All publishers must fully respect researchers’ rights by providing clarity and transparency on Open Access

“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….”

COAPI Community Call: Making Green Open Access Work for Society Publishers: A Panel Discussion – Jun 16, 2021 – SPARC

“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? …”

Primer on the Rights Retention Strategy | Zenodo

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.

Balancing local & global in open science policies | EIFL

“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….”

Open Access Policy | NHMRC

“NHMRC supports the sharing of outputs from NHMRC funded research including publications and data. The aims of the NHMRC Open Access Policy are to mandate the open access sharing of publications and encourage innovative open access to research data. This policy also requires that patents resulting from NHMRC funding be made findable through listing in SourceIP….

NHMRC is seeking input from relevant stakeholders about proposed revisions to the Open Access Policy and Further Guidance. The proposed revisions are limited to sections of the documents about publications….”

The Rights Retention Strategy and publisher equivocation: an open letter to researchers | Plan S

“cOAlition S strategy of applying a prior licence to the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is designed to facilitate full and immediate open access of funded scientific research for the greater benefit of science and society. It helps authors exercise their ownership rights on the AAM, so they can share it immediately in a repository under an open licence.

The manuscript – even after peer-review – is the intellectual creation of the authors. The RRS is designed to protect authors’ rights. The costs that publishers incur for the AAM, such as managing the peer-review process, are covered by subscriptions or publication fees. Delivering such publication services does therefore not entitle publishers to limit, constrain or appropriate ownership rights in the author’s AAM.

Some subscription publishers have recently put in place practices that attempt to prevent cOAlition S funded researchers from exercising their right to make their AAM open access immediately on publication.

The undersigned – cOAlition S funders and other stakeholders in academic publishing – wish to provide clarity to researchers about these practices, and caution them about the possible consequences….”

Transformative Agreements and Institutional Open Access Policies, Principles, and Strategies

“In March 2021 the University of California announced a four-year transformative agreement with Elsevier covering reading access and open-access publishing for UC authors. While there continues to be significant discussion over the merits of UC’s approach, one aspect of this agreement that has not been widely discussed is how it relates to UC’s open access policies for research articles written by anyone employed by UC.

Given the great interest in UC’s agreement and policies, this event will focus on helping attendees understand the mechanics of UC’s approach to furthering open access to scholarship. Ellen Finnie, Open Access Publisher Agreements Manager for the UC Office of Scholarly Communication, will provide a brief presentation on the interaction of the transformative agreement and UC’s OA policies, principles, and strategies, followed by plenty of time for discussion.

This event is co-sponsored by the OA2020 US Working Group and Community of Practice and the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI). All are welcome to attend.”

Board of Visitors approves universitywide scholarly articles open access policy | Virginia Tech Daily | Virginia Tech

“During its March 22 meeting, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved the resolution to establish a scholarly articles open access policy, a revision to the university’s Policy on Intellectual Property 13000. As a result, Virginia Tech authors grant the university nonexclusive license to their scholarly articles in order to make them openly available through the university’s repository, VTechWorks, housed and maintained by the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. …

According to the approved policy, Virginia Tech authors will deposit an electronic copy of their unformatted, post peer-review, accepted manuscript for each scholarly article within one month after the date of its publication. Then, the university grants authors a nonexclusive license to share accepted manuscripts elsewhere. An author may waive the license for an article or delay access for a specified period of time to honor publisher embargoes. According to the policy, the university may not sell the articles. …”

Authors Alliance Partner Program (A2P2) [Product Review]

Abstract:  The Authors Alliance Partner Program (A2P2; https://www.authorsalliance.org/a2p2-home/) is a recent addition to the educational content of the Authors Alliance. This nonprofit advocacy organization aims, “to advance the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly.” Their new initiative provides prêt-à-porter instructional material with the express purpose of supporting the scaling of rights-related programming—a goal that distinguishes A2P2 from other well-established and deeply valuable copyright-focused resources. While copyright touches nearly all we do in libraries, outreach in this area often primarily falls to scholarly communication or copyright librarians. As Schmidt (2019) notes, “providing copyright information services in the library has become part of the standard operations of academic libraries in the U.S.” We must, consequently, train ourselves up and stay current on copyright issues, as well as instruct our peers and our communities on copyright- and author rights—related issues (Reeves 2015; Norris et al. 2019; Secker et al. 2019). We need to build resources on topics that are nuanced, evolving, and carry risk. These efforts take time, care, and confidence. For professionals who may well have varied and competing job responsibilities, time and confidence certainly may be at a premium (Charbonneau and Priehs 2014). While one could easily despair, there’s help to be had. Enter, A2P2.

Continuing the open access transition in 2021 and beyond | Advancing Discovery | Springer Nature

“However, for those of us committed to accelerating the transition to immediate gold OA, 2021 has come with a new challenge – the introduction by cOAlition S of its Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) and its  determination that zero-embargo green OA be used as an alternative to gold OA.  As we have made clear from the outset in our Plan S submission and contributions to blogs and letters, seeking to assert a prior CC BY licence on the accepted manuscript (AM) version of an article risks undermining the transition to immediate open access to the version of record, a goal we had thought cOAlition S shared with us.  This RRS/zero-embargo green OA approach forces publishers into defending subscription income since this is the only income available to pay for their per article costs. Further, this RRS/zero-embargo green OA approach has introduced significant confusion for authors with the priority it gives zero embargo green OA even if a journal provides a compliant immediate OA option for the version of record….”

Publishers Care about the Version of Record, Do Researchers? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“It was against this backdrop that I read Exploring Researcher Preference for the Version of Record, which reported on research Springer Nature conducted in collaboration with ResearchGate. It is perhaps obvious to caveat that it is in Springer Nature’s interests to use this study to reinforce the value of the VOR, a central position of a recent keynote by CEO Frank Vrancken Peeters at the APE 2021 conference.

The study was conducted “in situ” and leveraged the Springer Nature syndication pilot project that posted VOR articles for access on the ResearchGate platform. As Mithu Lucraft, Director for Content Marketing Strategy, of the Springer Nature Group and one of the study’s co-authors explained to me, the survey was presented to ResearchGate users that were logged in and who had interacted with at least one Springer Nature publication in the 60 days prior to the survey being live in October 2020. 

Importantly, survey participants were not only asked to choose which version of an article they prefer but also which versions they would feel comfortable using for different purposes. In many cases, participants indicated that multiple different versions would be acceptable for a given use, which indicates that a preprint or accepted manuscript can substitute for the VOR in some use cases but perhaps not all. …”

Elsevier Transformative Open Access Agreement – Office of Scholarly Communication

[This is an FAQ version of the UC-Elsevier deal.]

“After more than two years of negotiations, in March 2021 the University of California announced a transformative open access agreement with Elsevier, the world’s largest academic publisher. This successful outcome is the result of UC’s faculty, librarians and university leadership coming together to stand firm on the goals of making UC research freely available to all and transforming scholarly communication for the better.

The four-year agreement goes into effect on April 1, 2021, restoring UC’s direct online access to Elsevier journals while accomplishing the university’s two goals for all publisher agreements:

(1)   Enabling universal open access to all UC research; and

(2)   Containing the excessively high costs associated with licensing journals.

These goals directly support UC’s responsibility as a steward of public funds and its mission as a public university to make its research freely available….”

Elsevier Negotiations – March Update | University of Houston Libraries

“The Texas Library Coalition for United Action (TLCUA) negotiations with academic publisher Elsevier that cover UH Libraries journal subscriptions and access to journal content are ongoing. We’ve seen progress on some issues and believe we are getting close to a final offer.

At the heart of the negotiations are three key issues:

Sustainable pricing models while maintaining title access
Journal pricing has been unsustainable for some time. The Coalition is trying to maintain as much access to currently subscribed titles as possible while significantly reducing overall expenditures.
 
Copyright retention/reversion for authors
Authors are often expected to sign over their copyright as part of the agreement with the publisher, which can impede how authors are able to re-use or re-publish their work in the future. The Coalition believes that ownership matters and that this must change; Elsevier has indicated a willingness to engage creatively on this topic.
 
Post-termination access to subscribed content
Post-termination access is the ability to access prior years’ content from subscribed journals in the future, regardless of the current status of the subscription. Much like with a print journal, where we can keep copies available to library users even after ending a subscription, we want to be able to retain access to journal articles that we subscribed to electronically after the subscription ends. We believe PTA is important to the preservation of knowledge and the creation of new scholarship….”