“On 25 May 2021, more than 880 universities and research-performing and research-funding organisations united within CESAER, EUA and Science Europe call on all publishers to stop requiring researchers to sign over their rights and to end the use of restrictions and embargoes. The joint statement, signed by the presidents of the three organisations, is a strong show of support for Open Science and Open Access.
The statement expresses deep concern regarding the unclear practices of some publishers, in particular the examples recently reported by cOAlition S, that complicate and confuse matters for researchers. The organisations urge publishers to reconsider their position and modernise their approaches in a way that fully respects researchers’ rights, including sharing their peer-reviewed research findings without restrictions or embargoes.
Notably, the statement declares that researchers who wish to deposit their author-accepted manuscript in a repository with an open license (e.g. CC BY), and without any embargo, must be able to do so.
Currently, publishers commonly require authors to sign exclusive publishing agreements that restrict what authors can do with their research findings. The statement urges this outdated system to be replaced and supports a diversity of models for the open dissemination of research for the greater benefit of society….”
“An Open Access mandate refers to a policy adopted by a funder, institution or the government which necessitates researchers to make their research articles public. This can be done via two routes: Green OA or Gold OA. The former refers to the researcher depositing her research article to an open access repository, generally institutional. The latter refers to submission of research to open access journals?—?some of which may levy Article Processing Charges (APCs) that can be paid by the researcher, his institution or from the research grant.
Universities that have adopted OA mandates include Harvard University (the first to do so), MIT, ETH Zurich, University of Liege and University College London. Harvard University has also developed a model policy language document for institutions looking to implement an open access policy for their faculty….”
“Access to scientific texts free of charge and freely – this should soon become the standard. Scientific publishers are also trying to take advantage of the transition to Open Access, for example with fees for authors and data tracking. Tilman Reitz analyzes what the open access transformation means for science and what design options there are.”
“Maintaining the status quo for public libraries – to build collections, preserve and lend them – is now seen as a radical and frightening mission, according Ben White, PhD researcher at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management, Bournemouth University and co-founder of KnowledgeRights21. Here he speaks to Rob Mackinlay about why not challenging the methods used by publishers to protect their content will damage not only libraries, but also threatens research and innovation.
“Publishers can’t refuse to sell paper books to libraries, but they can and do refuse to sell them eBooks. And all we want to do is to be allowed to do what we’ve always done, to keep the status quo, to be allowed to build collections, preserve and lend, so it is strange that the solution sounds a bit frightening and radical,” says Ben White who has been immersed in the legal minutiae of intellectual property across Europe for decades….”
“Back in January, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced a pilot to allow authors funded by cOAlition S organizations that have adopted the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy to place a CC BY or a CC BY-ND license on their accepted manuscripts and to share them without embargo.
Specifically, the AAAS License to Publish states that
“AAAS licenses back the following rights to the Author in the version of the cOAlition S Funded Work that has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication, (the “Accepted Version”) but not the final, copyedited and proofed version published by AAAS (the “Final Published Version”): The right to self-archive and distribute the Accepted Version under either a CC BY 4.0 license or a CC BY-ND license, including on the Author’s personal website, in the Author’s company/institutional repository or archive, and in not for profit subject-based repositories such as PubMed Central, without embargo but only following publication of the Final Published Version.” …
The announcement of the pilot policy was widely reported on and was welcomed by cOAlition S in a special statement. Since that time, representatives of cOAlition S have repeatedly praised the AAAS policy in webinars and the like. This celebratory response has been a bit puzzling to me. Plan S aims to flip the publishing system to gold open access, with its various leaders often decrying the lack of progress in the two decades since the Budapest Open Access Initiative statement. Specifically, Plan S states that, “the subscription-based model of scientific publishing, including its so-called ‘hybrid’ variants, should therefore be terminated.”
Yet in this case, cOAlition S is praising a publisher that is holding fast to the subscription-based model of closed publishing. And doing so even though this AAAS pilot policy is not a comprehensive route to compliance for Plan S since not all funders in the coalition have adopted the Rights Retention Strategy. Elsewhere I’ve observed that, over time, the implementation of Plan S has been marked by policies that “rehabilitate” journals into compliance. Is this another case of rehabilitation? …”
“Much of my time in the past 12 months has been committed to preparing for compliance with the Coalition S / Wellcome open access policies. Because we have core funding from Wellcome this means that all research papers submitted on or after 1 Jan 2021 must comply with their new OA policy.
So I have been buried in transformative deals, transformative journals and the Rights Retention Strategy, trying to ensure that these will work to make our research papers open and compliant with Plan S.
This work continues. The new policy only affects papers submitted on or after 1 Jan 2021 so we are just seeing more papers coming through for publication that need to comply with the new policy. And we are seeing a few cases where the publishers policies and practices conflict with what Plan S stipulates. We are now at the stage when ’The shit hits the Plan’….”
The Faculty of California State University, East Bay is committed to disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In particular, as part of a public university system, the Faculty is dedicated to making its scholarship available to the people of California and the world. Faculties across leading universities have adopted comparable open access policies to retain rights to publicly share their articles, and CSUEB, which strives to be a national model of public comprehensive higher education and a leader in the CSU system, would be the first in the California State University system to adopt such a policy. Furthermore, the Faculty recognizes the benefits that accrue to themselves as individual scholars, the University as a whole, as well as the scholarly enterprise for such wide dissemination, including greater recognition and a general increase in scientific, scholarly, and critical knowledge. Faculty further recognize that with this policy they can more easily and collectively reserve rights of their scholarly articles that might otherwise be signed away, often unnecessarily, in agreements with publishers. Such a policy will give CSUEB a legal basis to host and provide public access to future Faculty scholarly articles. In keeping with these considerations, the Faculty adopts the following policy:
II. Grant of License, Limitations, and Scope
The Faculty is committed to making their scholarly articles widely and freely available in an open access repository. In keeping with that commitment, each Faculty member grants to CSUEB a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of their scholarly articles, in any medium, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same. This policy does not transfer or affect copyright ownership, which is determined by existing CSUEB policy1. This policy applies to all scholarly articles authored or co-authored while the person is a faculty unit employee2 or emeritus faculty member3, except for any articles completed before the adoption of this policy or any articles for which the Faculty member entered into an incompatible licensing or publishing agreement before the adoption of this policy….”
“We are especially concerned by the unclear and opaque communication and practices of some publishers as reported by cOAlition S. Such an approach complicates and confuses matters for researchers, impeding progress towards a scholarly communication system based on Open Access to research outputs. We urge those publishers to reconsider their position and modernise, ensuring they play their part in providing fair and transparent conditions for authors. These should fully respect researchers’ rights, including the right to share their peer-reviewed research findings without restrictions or embargoes. If a publisher or platform chooses to take the stance of requiring authors to sign away their rights, they should clearly and publicly state this to ensure that researchers make informed choices. More broadly, the standard position of platforms and publishers should be to empower researchers to publish their findings (including data and digital assets) while retaining their rights. Researchers who wish to deposit their author-accepted manuscript in a repository with an open license (e.g. CC BY), and without any embargo, must be able to do so….”
“Policy-driven author rights retention has been around for some time; many academic institutions have implemented rights-retention policies over the past decade.
More recently, the Rights Retention Strategy proposed by cOAlition S has sparked a healthy debate about the impact of this strategy on academic publishers and about its utility as a pathway to Green Open Access more generally. This panel presentation will bring together representatives from two academic libraries and three society publishers to discuss rights retention strategies in the spirit of fostering open dialogue, sharing perspectives, and increasing understanding across these two communities. Specifically, the panelists will discuss the following questions:
What are your concerns about rights retention policies adopted by institutions or funders?
How can we work together to enact policies that at a minimum don’t harm society publishers, and that ideally benefit them?
How can librarians help society publishers in their efforts to transition to Open Access? …”
Abstract: The rights retention strategy (RRS) is a new tool to help academic authors retain rights over their manuscripts. This will allow you to freely share your author accepted manuscript at any time. The RRS is simple and elegant; authors need follow only two steps. (1) Add the following text, e.g. to the cover page, or acknowledgements, to your manuscript before submission to a journal: “A CC BY or equivalent licence is applied to the AAM arising from this submission.” (2) Once your article is accepted for publication, you can deposit your version of the manuscript in a public repository. This strategy has been developed by cOAlition-S, but can be used by all authors, irrespective of funding. Here I describe pros and cons of this approach, but recommend its adoption by scholars as a way to retain ownership of their own content.
“How to design open science policies that address local needs, and are at the same time aligned with regional – for example, African or European – priorities? I face this question every time I get involved in new open science policy development initiatives. And usually there is more than one answer, depending on the policy context….
Open access to publications – repository deposits, immediate open access under a CC-BY licence, alignment with the cOAlition S Right Retention strategy and Horizon Europe requirements, and linking to research assessment and evaluation:
Require researchers to deposit in a repository a machine-readable electronic copy of the full-text (published article or final peer-reviewed manuscript) before or at the time of publication.
Retain ownership of copyright, and licence to publishers only those rights necessary for publication. Authors (or their organizations) must ensure open access to the Author Accepted Manuscripts or the Version of Record of research articles at the time of publication. All research articles must be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY licence or equivalent or, by exception, a Creative Commons Attribution, NoDerivatives CC BY-ND licence, or equivalent. For monographs, deposit remains mandatory, but access could be closed.
For purposes of individual or institutional evaluation of research output, full texts of publications must be deposited in the repository….”