“At its launch in 2018, cOAlition S announced that its members would, for a “transition period,” fund open access fees for journals covered by “transformative” agreements. …As cOAlition S recently communicated, the transition period is ending; beginning in 2025, funders adhering to Plan S will no longer support the agreements. What is more, a growing chorus of stakeholders, including the Ivy Plus librarians in the US and a coalition of UK-based researchers, are calling for an alternative, collective funding model for OA. At the same time, collective funding experiments as well as conditional open models (such as Subscribe to Open)—in which neither authors nor readers pay—are reporting promising results around the globe. This webinar features perspectives on the emerging landscape of collective and conditional open models from publishers and will be followed this year by a second webinar focusing on the perspective of funders. The webinar will be chaired by Raym Crow of SPARC and Chain Bridge Group. Panellists: Vivian Berghahn of Berghahn Books, Evgeniya Lupova-Henry of Quartz OA and Judith Fathallah of Lancaster University. With thanks also to Demmy Verbeke of Leuven University for organising this webinar. …”
“Bloomsbury Open Collections is a collective-action approach to funding open access books which is currently in its pilot phase. Through this model, we are aiming to make open access publication available to a wider range of authors by spreading the cost across multiple organizations, while providing additional benefits to participating libraries. We are the first commercial publisher to pilot such a model. Our hope is to engage a more diverse set of authors, bringing their work to a wider global audience.
What is Bloomsbury Open Collections?
Bloomsbury Open Collections is a collective-action OA model – spreading the costs of publication in order to make a collection of titles open access
We aim to make 20 frontlist titles in African Studies and International Development open access immediately upon publication. The titles are due to publish between March 2024 and February 2025, and include titles from Bloomsbury’s renowned Zed Books imprint…”
“Bloomsbury has announced ‘Bloomsbury Open Collections’, a pilot collective-action funding model for Open Access books.
The publisher said Bloomsbury Open Collections seeks to improve equity in scholarly publishing by spreading the cost of Open Access publications across multiple organisations, while providing private benefits to participating libraries. According to Bloomsbury, it is the first commercial publisher to pilot such a model, and this approach aims to “reach and engage a more diverse set of authors, bringing their work to a wider global audience”.
An “alternative to more traditional Open Access models,” which typically rely on an individual or their funder or institution paying a fee (or ‘book processing charge’) to cover the costs of publishing, this collective-action approach seeks to spread the cost more equitably across multiple institutions….”
“Library Futures is excited to announce that we are launching our policy paper on digital ownership for libraries.
With broad availability of digital content, libraries and consumers should have more rights and access, but in fact, they have fewer. In the past several years, we have seen a dramatic digital shift by book publishers and ebook platforms away from traditional sales toward licensing content, particularly to the public sector, such as libraries. Licensing has resulted in a deeply broken system around ebook lending, impeding libraries from serving the needs of their communities while also creating critical access issues. This means that significant collections, archives, and repositories of digital content are inaccessible, unaffordable, or subject to exploitative terms that make it difficult for libraries to purchase materials to lend and preserve. A small group of large publishers and distributors dominate the ebook market and charge high costs for digital resources, forcing libraries to license rather than own works as they have traditionally with print resources.
In response, Library Futures recommends policymakers adopt an approach of digital ownership that extends the current paradigm for print works and allow libraries to both maintain the benefits of print collections and innovate even further toward providing new methods of access, preservation, and education by creating new lending models, equitizing access for underserved communities, and contributing to a more democratic balance. To that end, we have outlined some approaches to solving this issue through structural, community-based, and technical means:
Legal reform: This can include judicial remedies through the courts, legislative action on the part of Congress, or regulatory intervention by an authority such as the Federal Trade Commission.
Collective action: Community intervention can be a powerful way to act concertedly to stand against entities that are prohibiting libraries from exercising their rights, such as boycotts and grassroots action, state legislative initiatives, and the collective use of incentives and accountability measures for publishers.
Library-owned infrastructure: The library community can build its own infrastructure to ensure that it is oriented towards the needs of their users and provides libraries with the choice to own their digital content. This is not without its challenges (practical and resource-wise), but sustainable infrastructure can put control of digital content back into the hands of libraries and users….”
“Globally, there’s increasing acknowledgement that open, community-driven infrastructure is important, and we see that the discussions regarding its development and adoption are starting in Africa. Open infrastructure has huge potential to facilitate innovation, advance science and research, and help bridge inequities in society. This invite-only session will bring together key open infrastructure providers, funders, and intermediaries both from Africa and beyond to discuss challenges hindering the adoption of open infrastructure and the opportunities that can be leveraged through collective action to further the adoption and development of open infrastructure that centers the needs of the African community….”
Abstract: The following article is a composite review and critique of copyright systems in the United States and their impacts upon creators and individuals alike. The public domain is rapidly dwindling due to changes in copyright law that have greatly prolonged the length of copyright protections. The primary beneficiaries of these increased protections are the large entertainment corporations that can easily afford to contest what, in many cases, would otherwise be considered fair use of copyrighted material. This article argues the substantial need for collective action and stewardship of publicly owned information in order to generate a better and stronger public domain.
On March 31, 2022, presidents and high-level presidential representatives from 65 colleges and universities participated in the first convening of the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship (HELIOS). HELIOS emerges from the work of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science. Current members collectively represent 1.8 million students, faculty, and staff. The key outcome of the meeting was a clear commitment to collective action to advance open scholarship.
“The fifteen world-class research libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance have agreed to support arXiv, a community-supported resource administered by Cornell University, at the champion level for the next three years….”
Abstract: Vendors and publishers collaborate and work to protect their bottom line — which is threatened by open access (OA) — by expanding into research lifecycle and data analytics, and by continuing to merge and acquire each other, reducing choice in the library market. The implementation of Seamless Access and other systems force library staff into the position of gatekeeper for systems and platforms that we have no control or input over. Vendors and publishers control the online content that librariescan access: they add and remove content at will, and classify titles according to their greatest possible sales margins, making valuable resources unavailable to libraries to license for campus-wide access. These vendor actions—which impact the research lifecycle as a whole, disrupt traditional publishing, and seek to monetize user data—are extremely concerning. Collective action is the only way to make significant inroads against these developments. We suggestsome proactive ways that we can initiate these collective actions and resist these industry-wide developments imposed by vendors and publishers.
“EU regulators long-since recognize in principle that academic publishers are monopolies, i.e., they are not substitutable, justifying the single-source exception granted to academic institutions for their negotiations with academic publishers (another such negotiation round just recently concluded in the UK). Openly contradicting this justification for the single source exemption, the EU Commission nevertheless classifies academic publishing as a market and, moreover, demonstrates with Open Research Europe, that public, competitive tenders for publishing services are possible. This now offers the opportunity for the first decision: we propose that now is the time for regulators to no longer allow academic institutions to buy their publishing services from academic publishers that do not compete with one another in such tenders. The consequences would be far-reaching, but the most immediate ones would be that the (mostly secret and NDA-protected) negotiations between institutions and publishers, which allowed prices and profits to skyrocket in the last decades, would now be a thing of the past. Another consequence is that the obvious contradiction between academic publishing as a set of recognized monopolies in procurement regulation, but as a regular market in anti-trust regulation would be resolved. After this decision, academic publishing would be an actual market that could be regulated by authorities in pretty much the same way as any other market, preventing future lock-ins and monopolies. Yet another consequence would be that competitive pricing would reduce the costs for these institutions dramatically, by nearly 90% in the long term, amounting to about US$10 billion annually world-wide….”
“Levels of COVID-19 research data sharing have remained low during the pandemic, and preprinting of research on the virus has been lower than two initiatives tried to ensure it would be. This is according to a new report that examines the effectiveness of initiatives taken by players in the research ecosystem to promote sharing of COVID-19 research by stepping up open science approaches.
While the efforts of scientific publishers and the research community have speeded up publication times for COVID-19 research, and made much of it freely accessible, more effort is needed if society is to truly benefit from open science, the Scholarly Communication in Times of Crisis: The response of the scholarly communication system to the COVID-19 pandemic report says. The sharing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome is seen as the poster child for open science, and the pandemic held up as a turning point for open science. Yet the report finds this has only partly been realised. It makes a series of key recommendations, three of which focus on opening up data, encouraging preprinting and strengthening collaboration across the scholarly communication ecosystem:
Only joint efforts will improve the availability and quality of research data sharing. Common data policy templates should be developed to require data sets and software to be posted to a trusted, FAIR-enabling repository, and to require formal citations to data sets and software.
Mandating preprinting and rewarding researchers who use preprints could shift the needle. Publishers should include posting of preprints in their submission workflows and leaders should advocate for preprints.
Publishers and other scholarly communication organisations should intensify their joint efforts to improve the availability and quality of data and metadata on scholarly publishing, allowing for robust evidence-informed approaches to innovation in scholarly communication….”
“For decades, we have invested so much time, money, and hope in the idea that a small group of individuals who are experts in their field can solve the enormous, complex challenge of building and supporting an informed citizenry. But the longer I’ve worked in this industry—and the more I’ve grappled with the core questions of what and who makes journalism in the public interest—the more clearly I’ve seen the error of this thinking. This is not a problem that journalists can solve on our own. The best response to the current crisis in journalism is to get more people involved, at a level at which everyone is willing and able to participate. Not just as news consumers, but as distributors and—most importantly—producers of local information….
The solution to the current crisis in journalism isn’t simply to save jobs, but to willingly and intentionally democratize the means of journalistic production. New infrastructure that weaves together participatory media and public assets will democratize journalistic skills and could unlock a movement for collective action, a not-so-secret weapon against news deserts and misinformation hidden in plain sight. It relies on thousands of everyday people who are eager to participate, organizations with physical media-makerspaces, and communities taking collective action….
There is no number of news articles that will save us from the challenges ahead, but there are a million people willing to take on the role of “Observer,” “Courtwatcher,” “Community Correspondent,” “Info Hub Captain,” or “Documenter” for their neighborhood, block, or building. Let’s build new newsrooms as civic hubs—and integrate existing newsrooms into community spaces. Let’s train many more people to commit acts of journalism without going into debt for a costly degree. Let’s open up the field of journalism to include residents working alongside reporters on some of the biggest questions facing our communities. …”
Last week’s podium on the commodification of open science entitled “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product?” was surprisingly unanimous on the need to radically modernize academic publishing and abolish the current publishing system relying mainly on corporate publishers with monopoly status. It appeared as if the present funders, librarians, scientists and other experts essentially only argued about how and when this replacement for corporate publishers should be brought abut, not if.
It was also unexpected that this was probably the first time I was not representing the most radical position on the panel. The proposals to remove usage rights from publicly funded research papers, or to ban for-profit publishers altogether, prompted the moderator, Jan-Martin Wiarda, to ask if these were calls for an expropriation of the publishers. Julia Reda was quick to point out that the goal was not to expropriate anybody, but that the accurate technical term for what she was proposing was “collectivization”.