Journals publishing open access (OA) articles often require that authors pay article processing charges (APC). Researchers in the Global South often cite APCs as a major financial obstacle to OA publishing, especially in widely-recognized or prestigious outlets. Consequently, it has been hypothesized that authors from the Global South will be underrepresented in journals charging APCs. We tested this hypothesis using >37,000 articles from Elsevier’s ‘Mirror journal’ system, in which a hybrid ‘Parent’ journal and its Gold-OA ‘Mirror’ share editorial boards and standards for acceptance. Most articles were non-OA; 45% of articles had lead authors based in either the United States of America (USA) or China. After correcting for the effect of this dominance and differences in sample size, we found that OA articles published in Parent and Mirror journals had lead authors with similar Geographic Diversity. However, Author Geographic Diversity of OA articles was significantly lower than that of non-OA articles. Most OA articles were written by authors in high-income countries, and there were no articles in Mirror journals by authors in low-income countries. Our results for Elsevier’s Mirror-Parent system are consistent with the hypothesis that APCs are a barrier to OA publication for scientists from the Global South.
“I am thrilled to announce that Brianna Schofield has joined the Stanford Libraries as director of the new Office of Scholarly Communication. Brianna will support faculty, researchers, students, and staff with their scholarly communications concerns, including providing information on their intellectual property rights and responsibilities, implementing Stanford’s new Open Access Policy, and strategizing to improve access to Stanford’s scholarship and research outputs. Brianna looks forward to working with Stanford Libraries colleagues to advance new scholarly publishing models.
Prior to joining Stanford, Brianna was the Executive Director of Authors Alliance, a nonprofit organization representing the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly. She is the co-author of a handbook that helps users evaluate whether works are in the public domain, a guide that helps authors revert copyrights, a guide to open access, and a guide to fair use in nonfiction. In addition, Brianna served as an editor to a guide to negotiating publication contracts and a forthcoming guide to navigating the third-party permissions process.
Brianna holds a JD from UC Berkeley, School of Law and a BSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a passionate advocate of access to knowledge. She brings expertise and commitment that will serve the scholarly communications needs of the Stanford community. I look forward to working with Brianna to promote the Libraries’ mission to expand open access publishing opportunities for Stanford faculty and students.”
The scholar-led.network (German) wants to change this and advocates fair, diverse and public spirit-oriented publishing. In doing so, it is committed to and involved in Open Access journals, book publishers and blogs which are run collaboratively by scientists in order to give the diverse community of publication initiatives a voice. The network aims to be an advocate for independent, non-profit-oriented Open Access and to ensure sustainability in a field which is often characterised by project-based funding. In the interview, network co-founders Juliane Finger and Marcel Wrzesinski introduce the initiative and discuss its challenges, goals and initial plans.
“Open access and open science are attempts to ensure knowledge is as widely accessible as possible. More and more publishers are launching open access journals and embracing open science principles. Questions remain, however, as to whether open access and open science are currently accessible to all. The most visible notions of open access and open science are primarily founded in—and have perpetuated—the values and standards established by organizations, institutions, and funders in Western Europe and North America. Open access and open science can therefore continue to exclude the very researchers that these models are supposed to benefit. For example, business models like article processing charges do not account for unequal access to funding. Other issues not specific to open access are exclusionary English-language style standards and unconscious bias in the peer review process.
In this webinar, we will explore how models of openness have not always resolved, and in some instances may have created, inequitable barriers for some researchers. We will unpack the impact of those barriers on researchers and propose some ways to overcome them.”
Nearly 400 participants, representing hundreds of institutions and consortia from around the world, came together for the 15th Berlin Open Access Conference (B15) to discuss the ongoing transition of the scholarly publishing system to open access. Co-hosted by the University of California and the Open Access 2020 Initiative of the Max Planck Digital Library/Max Planck Society, the online conference placed particular emphasis on negotiation processes with publishers.
This paper is based upon the 2021 Miles Conrad Award Lecture that was given by Heather Joseph at the second annual NISO Plus conference held virtually from February 22–25, 2021. The lecture provided a brief look back at the emergence of the Open Access (OA) movement in scholarly communication beginning with the E-biomed proposal in 1999 that was shortly followed by the Budapest Declaration released on February 14, 2002, through how far it has come in almost two decades.
The author notes that the initial reaction to OA was often just a quick dismissal of it as an idealistic pipe dream and as the idea began to grow in popularity, skepticism changed into hostility. OA was criticized as being too disruptive to the then-existent publishing paradigm. Yet, far from disappearing, the movement towards the open sharing of knowledge steadily advanced. Today conversations about “why” or “whether” to open up the scholarly communication system have evolved into conversations about how best to do it.
The author notes that the Budapest Declaration underscored that the end goal of OA is to empower individuals and communities around the world with the ability to share their knowledge as well as to share in accessing the knowledge of others. She warns that members of the global scholarly communication community must look critically at who currently can participate in the production of knowledge, and whose voices are represented in the “global intellectual conversation” that need to be facilitated. Whose voices are still are left out because structural barriers – be they technical, financial, legal, cultural, or linguistic – prevent them from joining?
The advent of open access (OA) has changed the scholarly communication landscape resulting in disruption of traditional relationships between different stakeholders. Thus, the gatekeeping role of academic librarians has been impaired. However, by assuming the role of gate-openers, librarians have become facilitators of OA uptake in the United Arab Emirates. Results of the UAE librarians survey show that they are aware of OA routes and predatory journals; they are using different instruction methods to educate users on OA resources and publishing; and they harness OA resources along the traditional subscription-based products. Readers of international library journals need to be aware of efforts undertaken by their peers to advance OA mandate outside the Eastern European and North American context, often dominating scholarly communication studies.
Developing scholarly communication competencies: How a post-master’s degree residency program can provide career preparation
by Willa Tavernier
Vol 82, No 4 (2021) April
“…During the final semester of my MLIS, IU-Bloomington advertised its inaugural diversity residency for an open scholarship librarian—the position which I now hold. This three-year residency based in the Scholarly Communication Department, is collaboratively funded by the library and the university. Over the first two years of my residency, I have developed competency in institutional repository management and publishing services, assessment and impact metrics, and outreach and instruction. A high level of institutional support, the length of the residency, and the agency I had in developing projects, together with substantial professional development funding and mentorship, were key contributors to developing these competencies….”
Abstract: This survey-based study sought to measure the experience of impostor phenomenon among library personnel supporting scholarly communications in academic libraries in the United States. Additionally, the survey sought to assess confidence levels in key, professionally defined competencies and the factors most significantly affecting those confidence levels. Results indicated that, on average, scholarly communications librarians experience impostor phenomenon more frequently and intensely than academic librarians more broadly. The length of time spent working in libraries was negatively correlated with levels of impostor phenomenon, as were hours spent in specialized continuing education activities and number of research publications. Implications for improving training and mentoring opportunities to decrease impostor phenomenon are discussed.
“My view is that we are in the stone age. If you look at AI and semantic search — it hasn’t taken off. Folks are still using a standard boolean search. AI can be used in so many different ways. Blockchain is very early days and has so much great promise. Unfortunately, it is equated to cryptocurrency, but it’s not about that at all.
This is my caution to publishers. You don’t want to be Telerate. Telerate had 100% of the market before Bloomberg. Bloomberg had better analytics, better customer service, better user experience. Unfortunately, the Bancroft family took a multibillion-dollar bath with Telerate. A lot of publishers are very hesitant to try Blockchain. Someone will create a better mousetrap that will make publishing so much more effective than it currently is.
I remember speaking with a librarian in 1999, as we were rolling out ScienceDirect, who insisted that the internet would go away and print would resurge. We’ve had so many panels about whether ebooks will ever come to fruition. In this industry, we make the error of ignoring so much new technology — it’s great to challenge it for efficacy — that debate is always worthwhile, but any new technology shouldn’t be dismissed outright….”
“The Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Communication Librarian leads the law school in the creation, curation and long-term preservation of digital projects and collections. This librarian provides vision and guidance for the law school’s institutional repository, setting priorities that respond to the needs of the law school community. This librarian also has a leading role in the development of the law school and law library websites….”
“The post will form part of the Directorate of Digital & Information Services within the University’s Professional Services. With approximately 1,500 staff, professional Services consists of several student and academic focused areas as well as other corporate and support areas.
Based in the University Library the postholder will work with colleagues across the University to support the implementation and development of an inclusive and supportive research culture, with the focus on providing guidance to the research community on open and responsible research publishing practices and incorporating the principles of responsible research assessment into University policy and practice….”
Accelerating open access to academic books
cOAlition S has just issued its statement on Open Access (OA) for academic books. With this statement, cOAlitition S sets a clear direction for academic books to become OA. It recommends that “All academic books based on original research that was directly supported with funding from cOAlition S organisations should be made available open access on publication”. This is great news!
The OA Books Network (OABN), steered by OAPEN, SPARC Europe, OPERAS, and ScholarLed) salutes this clear support from cOAlition S for OA to books. While OA policies for journal articles have been developing rapidly for years, progress on the OA book side has been rather slow. However, this cOAlition S statement combined with the recently launched UKRI open access policy indicates that there is great potential for things to accelerate for OA books, too.