Charleston 2021 Virtual Preconference “Evaluating New Funding Models for Open Access Books”, October 19, 2021

With the rise of Open Access (OA), academic book publishing and its funding are changing. This session will give librarians a better understanding of a number of emerging OA book funding models that support smaller presses, exploring how libraries can better evaluate their investment in these models.
 
Demand for OA books is increasing and publishers are responding with funding models such as MIT Press’s Direct2Open, or institutional agreements such as that between Springer Nature and UC Berkeley Library. A range of smaller presses are also critical to the academic book landscape, including those ‘born-OA’ presses that have long blazed a trail for OA books and a ‘long tail’ of smaller, non-OA presses that must adapt to a new OA reality.
 
Funding models are emerging to support these smaller presses, based not on Book Processing Charges (BPCs) but collective library funding. This session, led by members of the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project, will explore three such models, how they were devised, and what they offer to libraries, together with the issues librarians have raised when considering whether to support them.
 
It will explore: Opening the Future, a ‘subscribe to open’ model enabling smaller presses to ‘flip’ to OA; the library membership programmes of individual OA presses; and a collective approach with scholar-led presses providing combined affordable offers to libraries, including the underlying infrastructure to facilitate the discovery, dissemination and preservation of their OA books. COPIM’s members have pioneered the development of these models, enabling them to offer a unique look at their inner workings.
 
This session provides critical insights into the governance structures and operations of these models, and what they offer library communities. Attendees will be given the tools to make more informed decisions about the long-term management of their investment in consortial library funding programs.

Presenters:

Lucy Barnes, Editor and Outreach Coordinator, Open Book Publishers
Dr. Judith Fathallah, Research and Outreach Associate, Lancaster University
Dr. Lidia Uziel, Associate University Librarian for Research Resources and Scholarly Communication, University of California Santa Barbara
Prof. Martin Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing and the Strategic Lead for Digital Education at Birkbeck, University of London
Dr. Vincent Van Gerven-Oei, Co-Director of punctum books
Dr. Rupert Gatti, Fellow in Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge and Director of Open Book Publishers

FOASAS: Fair Open Access in South Asian Studies

“Profiteering and restricted access have led to a crisis in academic publishing. The Fair Open Access movement is best promoted by mobilizing individual disciplines. With this manifesto, we, an open group of scholars of classical and modern South Asian Studies, declare our support for Fair Open Access publishing….

The following publishers and journals meet many or all FOA criteria (see §7 of the FOASAS Manifesto). …”

 

The Lens: Open for Outcomes – SPARC

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fault lines in how we as a society solve important problems. It has shown the urgent need for affordable, open and cooperative action informed by evidence — and inspired by imagination. Science alone doesn’t solve problems; at its best, it answers questions.  Useful solutions require finding, incentivizing, and coordinating many more actors in the innovation system to work together. 

To help facilitate this kind of environment, the Australian-based nonprofit social enterprise, Cambia, created and runs an online open platform called The Lens. It currently hosts 120 million global patent documents linked to a vast searchable database of over 220 million scholarly works and their metadata, compiled and normalized from numerous collaborators and sources, includes Microsoft Academic, PubMed, ORCID, Crossref, CORE, UnPaywall and many others….

Supported by grants from philanthropic organizations (including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Wellcome Trust, Sloan Foundation, Lemelson Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation), the initiative is now positioning itself to displace and supersede proprietary and closed systems from commercial competitors that fragment what could be a community of enterprise and public sector, working to advance outcomes, says Jefferson….”

Now is the Time to Fund Open Infrastructures · Business of Knowing, summer 2021

“Recently, open infrastructures have gotten a lot of attention. This primarily comes down to two reasons: current events and economics.

Firstly, open infrastructures have proven to be essential for COVID-19 research. Open data portals and open source software power research efforts in data collection, analysis, and modeling efforts. Preprint servers and open discovery platforms have been at the heart of a rapid exchange of the knowledge benefitted in the process. The impact of openness on coronavirus research was widely recognized, prompting organisations such as the OECD to include open science in their key policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic [undefined]. 

The second reason that open infrastructures are in the spotlight is that they are seen as an antidote to the increased market concentration observed in the scholarly communication space. In recent years, large commercial companies such as RELX (Elsevier), SpringerNature, and Clarivate have formed through mergers and acquisitions. They bring together proprietary software spanning the whole research life-cycle. They are looking to control content, software, and research metrics, thus locking research organizations and funders into their software. In the process, they are using tried and tested methods from the giants of the tech world such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, including the surveillance capitalism that comes with it (see [undefined] [undefined] for more context).

Open infrastructures, on the other hand, are often scholar-led and run by non-profit organisations, making them mission-driven instead of profit-driven. Data and content created by and in the systems are published under an open license and made available following open standards. Ideally, they are based on open source software. This makes migration from one system to another much easier and avoids lock-in effects. Another important  distinction is that open infrastructures provide appropriate opportunities for community input and involvement in decision-making and governance processes. These qualities make open infrastructures hard to buy out. It is no coincidence that the draft for the forthcoming UNESCO Open Science declaration [undefined] calls for open science infrastructure to be not-for-profit and to be as open as possible….”

Re-thinking Academic Publishing: The Promise of Platform Cooperativism · Business of Knowing, summer 2021

Sustainable, just, and equitable open access academic publishing may sometimes seem to be a utopia. There are just too many “buts” — “but the academic career depends on your scholarly output,” “but you have to publish in ‘high-ranking’ journals.” Yes, there is much to say about the injustices of the academic publishing system, and how we got there and the need for “high-level” action to change funding models and incentives. Yes, it may seem that there are just too many factors outside our control. But are they? Or could we imagine a future where scholars are the ones at the helm of the scholarly publishing ecosystem? In this contribution, we propose to do just that: imagine a different — fairer, more economically sustainable, and inclusive — approach to open access. However, to do that, we need to think not only outside the scope of existing business and publishing models but also the existing organisational models.

Collective Funding to Reclaim Scholarly Publishing · Business of Knowing, summer 2021

“The open access movement has dropped barriers to readers only to erect them for authors. The reason is the article processing charge (APC), which typically runs $3,000 to $5,000. The APC model, with its tolled access to authorship, is the subscription model seen through a camera obscura: author paywalls in place of reading paywalls.

Most scholars cannot afford the steep fees, a fact masked by the privileged segment who can: scientists in the rich industrialized world, and scholars in a handful of wealthy European countries and North American universities. The fees are often paid via so-called “read-and-publish” deals, which fold APCs into the subscription contracts that libraries negotiate with publishers.

The emerging APC regime is also re-anointing the commercial oligopolists—the same five firms that fleece universities through usurious subscription charges. Springer Nature, Elsevier, and their peers are, with every read-and-publish deal, transitioning their enormous profit margins from tolled to open—and capturing the lion’s share of library spending in the process. Librarians continue to fund the tolled system, while also—at the richer institutions—picking up the tab for their faculty’s author fees. The result is an incumbent-publisher spending lockdown, one that ratifies the APC regime….

Collective funding is an appealing idea, versions of which have been circulating since at least 2006, with important variations on the theme published since. The challenge is getting the model to work beyond a handful of successful, single-resource experiments (including the ArXiv preprint server, the Open Library of Humanities, and the SCOAP3 particle physics journals, among others). The two main hurdles are coordination and funder participation. The academic communication system involves thousands of funders and hundreds of publishers, which makes for a nightmarish coordination challenge. A related obstacle, one made much worse with lots of actors, is the free rider problem. Fee-free open access is a public good that benefits everyone, even non-payers; if enough libraries opt out, the collective funding scheme is likely to collapse….”

New OSF enhancements for community-developed, open source infrastructure

“Not only do researchers use OSF as a tool to accelerate science by collaborating, managing and sharing their research; they’re also stakeholders in its sustainable development through the ability to access, review, interact with, and contribute to OSF’s open source code. 

By its nature, open source infrastructure is community oriented. The transparent OSF code invites the community of researchers and science stakeholders working to increase rigor and reproducibility to contribute code and ideas to enhance functionality, and benefit from the enhanced security and reliability by their involvement and review throughout the development process. These communities of researchers trust the OSF, and support it by maintaining its alignment to their needs by providing feedback and extending its use through third-party integrations. This continuum is propelled as OSF’s community of developers, users, and partners work together toward a shared vision: to accelerate scientific progress.

Together, an inclusive and open technology enables communities to embrace transparent and rigorous research practices with assurance that the infrastructure embodies the same principles of openness, transparency, and inclusion. As such, we prioritize the transparent development of an OSF experience that facilitates sustainability and mitigates technical barriers to the adoption of open and rigorous practices. 

A recent example of these priorities in action is the new Central Authentication Service (CAS) update for OSF, a state-of-the-art authentication framework that enhances the OSF login interface and brings a smoother, faster integration experience with external identity providers like ORCID and research institutions….”

New OSF enhancements for community-developed, open source infrastructure

“Not only do researchers use OSF as a tool to accelerate science by collaborating, managing and sharing their research; they’re also stakeholders in its sustainable development through the ability to access, review, interact with, and contribute to OSF’s open source code. 

By its nature, open source infrastructure is community oriented. The transparent OSF code invites the community of researchers and science stakeholders working to increase rigor and reproducibility to contribute code and ideas to enhance functionality, and benefit from the enhanced security and reliability by their involvement and review throughout the development process. These communities of researchers trust the OSF, and support it by maintaining its alignment to their needs by providing feedback and extending its use through third-party integrations. This continuum is propelled as OSF’s community of developers, users, and partners work together toward a shared vision: to accelerate scientific progress.

Together, an inclusive and open technology enables communities to embrace transparent and rigorous research practices with assurance that the infrastructure embodies the same principles of openness, transparency, and inclusion. As such, we prioritize the transparent development of an OSF experience that facilitates sustainability and mitigates technical barriers to the adoption of open and rigorous practices. 

A recent example of these priorities in action is the new Central Authentication Service (CAS) update for OSF, a state-of-the-art authentication framework that enhances the OSF login interface and brings a smoother, faster integration experience with external identity providers like ORCID and research institutions….”

LYRASIS 2021 Open Source Software Report: Understanding the Landscape of Open Source Software Support in American Libraries

Abstract:  The LYRASIS open source software (OSS) survey was conducted in spring 2021 as a mechanism to better understand how institutions interact with and support OSS programs. For the purposes of the survey, OSS programs were defined as community-based programs specifically designed for GLAM institutions, such as FOLIO, ArchivesSpace (a LYRASIS supported community), and Omeka. This report provides institutions with an opportunity to see where their efforts fall amongst the activities of their peers in three categories: funding/supporting OSS, justifying OSS, and evaluating OSS. The first section covers how/how much institutions contribute to OSS programs, either through financial contributions or staff time devoted to program contributions/governance. The second section focuses on how institutions justify investment in OSS programs. The final section covers the ways that GLAM institutions determine the qualifications for OSS, their evaluation tactics, and their decision-making about long term OSS maintenance.

 

Das scholar-led.network-Manifest | Zenodo

Fokusgruppe scholar-led.network. (2021). Das scholar-led.network-Manifest. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4925784

English abstract (via deepl.com): We are the scholar-led.network and are working collaboratively for a non-profit publishing culture beyond APCs and BPCs that is independent of major publishers. The scholar-led.network manifesto sums up our central critique of the current scholarly publishing system in the German-speaking world and identifies areas of action for fair, planned, and diverse publishing.

German abstract: Wir sind das scholar-led.network und setzen uns gemeinsam und kollaborativ für eine von Großverlagen unabhängige, nicht profitorientierte Publikationskultur jenseits von APCs und BPCs ein. Das scholar-led.network-Manifest bringt unsere zentrale Kritik am gegenwärtigen wissenschaftlichen Publikationssystem im deutschsprachigen Raum auf den Punkt und benennt Handlungsfelder für faires, planvolles und vielfältiges Publizieren.

Live document: https://preview.graphite.page/scholar-led-manifest/

English version via Google Translate

Informationsplattform Open Access: scholar-led Open Access: Manifesto for fair publishing

In its scholar-led.network manifesto, the focus group scholar-led.network, which was established within the framework of the open-access.network project, criticises the current scholarly publishing system in the German-speaking world and, at the same time, provides fields of action for the development of a fair, planned and bibliodiverse publishing culture.

The future relationship between university and publisher | Samuel Moore

As rumours circulate about the forthcoming UKRI open access policy announcement, fierce lobbying is underway by publishers worried that the policy may undermine their business models. Elsevier has even taken the step of directly emailing their UK-based academic editors to criticise the rumoured policy and encourage academics to relay the publisher’s views to UKRI. While these disagreements may not seem particularly new to anyone familiar with the open access movement, it also feels like things are coming to a head between academic publishers and the university sector. Ultimately, as I’ll argue here, universities need to take a view on what their future relationship with publishing should be.

In some respects, the debate over open access has always been about the antagonism between universities and publishers. Although access to research is an important and defining feature of these debates, the spectre of publishing profit margins and extractive business models loomed large from the beginning. There is no getting around the fact that publishers rely on labour and content they get for free. Instead, the editorial work of publishing is remunerated by universities as part of academic salaries, which of course does not fall evenly on individual academics (many of whom precarious, overworked and/or not employed by a university). Nevertheless, the university sector funds much of what the publishing industry relies upon for its operations and expects something in return.

To the extent that it has been marketised, the publishing industry is viewed as standing outside the university and not controlled by it. This is despite the fact that academics (for the most part) maintain editorial control of the publications they edit and peer review. Having talked to numerous editors of commercial journals, there is a very real sense that their publishers are service providers rather than part of the scholarly community. They might not provide the level of service that many editors expect, but they are service providers all the same. As scholarly communication has been ceded entirely to this market of service providers, universities have lost economic and material control of the publications they rely on (which also impacts on editorial control in various ways). This is all the more apparent given the dual functions the industry serves of both knowledge dissemination and researcher evaluation. Universities have outsourced both of these crucial functions to a separate, external industry.

[…]

scholar-led Open Access: Manifesto for fair publishing in German-speaking countries

Scholar-led.network points out problematic issues in the current publishing system and wants to initiate a debate on the role of scholar-led Open Access

In its scholar-led.network manifesto, the focus group scholar-led.network, which was established within the framework of the open-access.network project, criticises the current scholarly publishing system in the German-speaking world and, at the same time, provides fields of action for the development of a fair, planned and bibliodiverse publishing culture.

The authors of the text identify a journal crisis in the course of the Open Access transformation. This is reflected, among other things, in the monopoly position of major publishers who demand high publication fees from authors – so-called APCs (Article Processing Charges) and BPCs (Book Processing Charges). According to the Manifesto, this leads to new inequalities and exclusions. In order to make the Open Access transformation fairer and more diverse, scholar-led publishing models that do not charge such fees can be strengthened (Diamond Open Access). However, the current situation of scholar-led projects is deficient, partly due to a lack of funding.

Based on its critique, the focus group formulates concrete fields of action in which scholars, research institutions, libraries, research funding institutions, professional societies and other parts of the scholarly community must jointly get involved in to strengthen a diverse, independent and fair publication ecosystem. The fields of action are:

Networking, collaboration and strategic frameworks.
Sustainable funding structures for Diamond Open Access
Promotion of bibliodiversity in academia

You can access the scholar-led.network manifesto via this link: https://graphite.page/scholar-led-manifest/

Library launches future with FOLIO | Cornell University Library

“At the start of July, Cornell University Library made a giant leap to the future by implementing an innovative integrated library system (ILS) called FOLIO, becoming the first large research library in the world to migrate to the platform. 

Since 2016, Cornell University Library has been collaborating with institutions around the world to develop the new ILS, which is a complex suite of software for running services and operations—from ordering, paying for, cataloging, and lending out materials to analyzing resource use across physical, digital, local, and remote collections. An acronym for “The Future of Libraries Is Open,” FOLIO is envisioned as a sustainable, community-driven alternative to proprietary ILS products that are costly to purchase and maintain and are subject to vendor control. 

The open source and collaborative nature of FOLIO aligns with Cornell University Library’s commitment to open access and the wide sharing of knowledge …”