India’s Fumbled Chance For Sharing Knowledge – CodeBlue

“In terms of open access to knowledge, India could have been the Vishwa Guru — the world’s teacher.

As early as 2000, India was making moves to allow taxpayer-funded research to be freely available for anyone in the world to read, share and distribute. But India has squandered that advantage.

Fast forward to 2022, and much of India’s research is still locked up behind the paywalls of corporate academic publishers, while the global science community increasingly questions why taxpayer-funded research should not be available for everyone to read….”

The open access movement, to make academic papers accessible for all – The Hindu

“The government conceived of ONOS in 2020 to lower this bill, but experts remain sceptical. There are three main concerns — first, while the government will pay a fixed sum to journals, this sum could still be large; secondly which journals will be included in the negotiations and why? (a ‘recommended list’ faced some resistance in 2020); and finally as India has a large population of researchers with diverse interests, journals may not agree on a common price….”

India-wide subscription to research journals paves path for Global South

“India’s “One Nation One Subscription” (ONOS) policy has garnered plenty of attention.

India’s ONOS model, first called for in 2017 by the Indian Academy of Science and drafted into government policy three years later, calls for a centrally negotiated subscription deal with publishers, making scholarly articles free to read for all researchers, eliminating the need for individual and institutional subscriptions. The collective bargaining power of the entire nation is expected to allow greater value for money….

Its success depends on well-negotiated deals between government and publishing houses. The government would need a team of seasoned negotiators to ensure a good outcome. …

Many institutions worldwide have been pushing towards a “transformative agreements”, as the publishers call them, gradually moving from individual subscriptions to nation-wide free-to-read arrangements. These agreements enable all of society to have free access to scientific literature. 

The catch is such agreements put in place an up-front fee to scientists who want to publish their research findings. It shifts the burden of fees from readers to authors, which in turn is passed on to funding bodies or the taxpayer. The fee to publish for the most reputed journals are often exorbitant and, despite occasional fee waivers, researchers from the Global South many times cannot afford the “pay-to-publish” models.

The ONOS policy serves as a formidable alternative to transformative agreements for the Global South. This model will enable countries to stand on stronger negotiating positions through purchase of greater bulk of content and provide people with full access to a large number of journal titles. Although it is not yet clear whether scientists will need to pay up-front fees to publish, a mature ONOS policy is also expected to support access to journals in the Global South, especially for young researchers, by having separate provision for funding free-to-read publications or a one-time licensing agreement to journals with up-front publishing fees. Experts on ONOS policy have recommended a similar plan to promote and support accessibility for India….”

Texas consortium of 44 colleges strikes deal with Elsevier

” “If you want open access to become the universal model of access to scholarship, then [this deal] … is going to feel like a real setback,” Rick Anderson, university librarian at Brigham Young University, said, referring to the set of principles and practices in which research articles are available online free, without barriers. “But if you’re OK with the subscription model in principle and just want to see it work better for all parties, then this deal provides what may be a very useful template.”…

Lower Costs, More (Though Not Open) Access

In the agreement, Elsevier said it will cap annual increases at 2 percent, which is lower than the industry standard—“startlingly low,” Anderson said. That near-term cost certainty will allow member institutions to budget responsibly, according to Charles Weaver, associate dean for sciences and professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, who served on the consortium’s negotiating team. Baylor is a consortium member.

The deal also includes a pilot project in which article copyrights revert to authors “after a period of time that will be collaboratively determined” by consortium members and Elsevier, according to the news release. In addition, authors affiliated with the consortium who publish open access will pay discounted author publication charges….

But some, including some consortium members, see some shortcomings.

“Our institution would have liked to see more increased focus on open-access publishing,” said Catherine Rudowsky, dean of university libraries at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, who served on the steering committee and whose institution is a coalition member. “We appreciated the reduced author publication charges, but at the end of the day, we are still paying Elsevier to read and to publish. We will not solve the world’s biggest problems by limiting access to research and by controlling information.” …”

Texas consortium of 44 colleges strikes deal with Elsevier

” “If you want open access to become the universal model of access to scholarship, then [this deal] … is going to feel like a real setback,” Rick Anderson, university librarian at Brigham Young University, said, referring to the set of principles and practices in which research articles are available online free, without barriers. “But if you’re OK with the subscription model in principle and just want to see it work better for all parties, then this deal provides what may be a very useful template.”…

Lower Costs, More (Though Not Open) Access

In the agreement, Elsevier said it will cap annual increases at 2 percent, which is lower than the industry standard—“startlingly low,” Anderson said. That near-term cost certainty will allow member institutions to budget responsibly, according to Charles Weaver, associate dean for sciences and professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, who served on the consortium’s negotiating team. Baylor is a consortium member.

The deal also includes a pilot project in which article copyrights revert to authors “after a period of time that will be collaboratively determined” by consortium members and Elsevier, according to the news release. In addition, authors affiliated with the consortium who publish open access will pay discounted author publication charges….

But some, including some consortium members, see some shortcomings.

“Our institution would have liked to see more increased focus on open-access publishing,” said Catherine Rudowsky, dean of university libraries at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, who served on the steering committee and whose institution is a coalition member. “We appreciated the reduced author publication charges, but at the end of the day, we are still paying Elsevier to read and to publish. We will not solve the world’s biggest problems by limiting access to research and by controlling information.” …”

The sustainability argument or… How academic journals economic models never really last – The political economy of academic publications

“For most publishers – including self-publishing learned societies – subscription has only been profitable for a short time and is not anymore. It is not sustainable, since it now implies the disappearance of their autonomy or at least dependence on increasingly powerful players, likely to act unilaterally on their revenues. And even for the largest publishers, the threat of non-renewal of Big Deals is growing stronger from 2010 onwards, whether through the sudden drop in financial resources (Greece) or through the choice to no longer pay for a service that does not meet the needs of libraries (United States) or open access demands (Germany, Sweden). It is in this context that Elsevier has started to brand itslef as a data company, while new publishers are trying to make a new model last, based on Article Processing Charges….

From the point of view of these new big players, APCs are so sustainable that they create journals almost every week. For example, in 2021 MDPI launched 84 new journals and only acquired two existing titles….”

 

India heads into open access negotiations | Times Higher Education (THE)

“India could drive a hard bargain with academic publishers, leveraging its massive higher education system to secure a favourable nationwide deal for journal subscriptions, according to Europe’s open access guru….

From April 2023, India will adopt a “One Nation, One Subscription” policy, a move that would replace individual subscriptions with a single centrally negotiated deal, bringing all government-funded universities under one umbrella and putting it on par with countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland….

Johan Rooryck, executive director of the Coalition S group of funders advocating for open access in Europe, said India was in a “very strong position” heading into the talks. “They seem to have unified…subscribers into a single national negotiation consortium. That puts them in a very different position from when subscriptions were negotiated with individual universities,” he said.

The move comes at a time when institutions increasingly have come to expect open access, following the removal of paywalls during the pandemic. Just months ago, a Biden administration decision mandated that all federally funded research in the US be made freely available, seen as paving the way for global open access….”

Education Ministry To Implement ‘One Nation One Subscription’ For Open Access To Research Papers

“The Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India will implement the ‘One Nation One Subscription’ (ONOS) initiative for open access to scientific research papers and journal publication in India from April 1, 2023. All the educational and research institutions, including universities, colleges, and research organisations, as well as each and every person in the nation, are expected to gain benefit from this initiative.

 

The core committee is taking into consideration 70 publishers’ resources for the first phase of ONOS based on the Planning and Execution Committee’s (PEC) recommendations.

A statement of the MoE reads:” The ONOS intends to sign national licenses with most of the prominent STEM publishers and database producers of the world whose contents are already being subscribed by various institutions of higher education and research organizations either directly or through Government-funded consortia”.

The ONOS is implemented for the government, government-funded academic and research and development institutions, research labs from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEiTY), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and other ministry or department funded institutions….”

Access to chemical database Reaxys under threat in UK as fees spiral | Chemistry World

Concerns have been raised that institutional access to the Reaxys chemical and reactions database could end at universities across the UK in a row over rising costs. The dispute over subscription fees is being described as a potentially significant problem for chemists in the UK, and maybe worldwide.

Reaxys incorporates Beilstein – the largest organic chemistry database – and Gmelin – a sizeable repository of organometallic and inorganic compounds and databases, as well as other key chemistry resources. Launched in 2009 and licensed by commercial publishing giant Elsevier, Reaxys enables research chemists to search and find chemical compounds, reactions, properties and synthesis planning information. It also includes chemical patent literature.

The Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc), an organisation that assists UK universities with digital resources and negotiates on behalf of the UK higher education and research sector, is currently in talks with Elsevier to make institutional access to Reaxys more affordable.

[…]

 

OLH reopens applications to flip subscription journals to open access | Open Library of Humanities

We are delighted to announce that the Open Library of Humanities is now open to expressions of interest from subscription journals in the humanities seeking to move to a gold open access (OA) publishing model without author-facing charges (‘diamond’ OA).

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs). We are funded by an international consortium of libraries who have joined us in our mission to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future. Our mission is to support and extend open access to scholarship in the humanities – for free, for everyone, for ever.

CEU Press’ Opening the Future programme hits funding target for 2nd and 3rd books

We are pleased to announce that Opening the Future at Central European University Press has already accrued enough library support to fund two more open access monographs, taking the total funded so far to three. This is hot on the heels of our June announcement on funding our first OA book; the programme is gaining momentum and already making a difference.

Opening the Future at CEU Press is a cost-effective way for libraries to increase their digital collections on the history and culture of Central and Eastern Europe and the former communist countries. Subscribing libraries get unlimited multi-user access to curated packages of books, with perpetual access after three years. The Press uses membership funds to produce new frontlist titles in open access (OA) format. All OA titles will be available via Project MUSE OAPEN, and DOAB. Today’s announcement sees the following two new OA titles funded by those subscriptions and forthcoming in November 2021:

Constructing Identities over Time: “Bad Gypsies” and “Good Roma” in Russia and Hungary, Jekatyerina Dunajeva

Everyday Life under Communism and After: Consumption and Lifestyle in Hungary, 1945–2000, Tibor Valuch

Author Jekatyerina Dunajeva said: 

“It is an honour to have my book published in Open Access. I frequently receive emails from scholars around the world asking if I might share my work, often citing prohibitive prices charged for publications. As a researcher of social inequalities, I believe equal access to knowledge is a necessary first step towards an equitable and democratic system of scholarship. Constructing Identities over Time will be part of a newly-launched book series in Critical Romani Studies at CEU Press and I hope that one day more books in the series might also be published OA.”

Further titles will be announced soon and advance notice will be given to avoid any double-dipping. And we are recording our progress along with our plans for OA books in 2021-2022 on the website at https://ceup.openingthefuture.net/forthcoming/.

If you would like to know more about becoming a member of Opening the Future, you can read more about the programme and benefits on the website, or contact Frances Pinter, CEU Press Executive Chair, on pinterf@press.ceu.edu