FREE UKSG webinar – Library funding for Open Access at KU Leuven | UKSG

“At KU Leuven we believe that it is essential to apply library budgets to foster a greater diversity in the market of academic publishing. With this purpose in mind we have founded the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access, which is exclusively devoted to stimulating the development of non-profit and community-led publishers, infrastructures and initiatives. During this presentation I will share some insights about the operation of such a fund, the type of open scholarship infrastructures and OA programmes we support, and explain our decision to cease financing article processing charges, even in a Fair OA business model….”

The Radical Open Access Collective: Building Better Knowledge Commons | David Bollier

The general public may not give much thought to how scientists and scholars publish their work, but please know that it matters. Like so much else in the world, corporate markets have colonized this space, which means that turning business profits is the primary goal, not the easy, affordable sharing of knowledge.

Commercial academic publishers have long privatized and monetized academic research, which over time has resulted in an oligopoly of a few publishers able to charge exorbitant prices for their books and journal subscriptions. The impact has been greatest on researchers in the Global South and at smaller, less affluent colleges and universities, where it is harder to access and share the latest scientific and scholarly research.

The most spirited response has come from the open access publishing movement. Open access, or OA, got its start twenty years ago as a way to publish academic books, journals, and other research that can be readily shared and copied. This was a break from the traditional publishing models that allowed major corporations to take researchers’ copyrights and convert the fruits of academic commons into expensive proprietary products.

Open access not only helps scientists, scholars, and students build on the work of those who came before them. It assures a basic fairness — to the academic fields that generated the knowledge in the first place, and to taxpayers who often pay (via the government) for research in science, medicine, and the humanities. Why should corporate publishers get to own the copyrights and privatize the gains of publicly funded research and public universities?

To explore the state of open access publishing today, I spoke recently with Sam Moore, an organizer with the Radical Open Access Collective on my Frontiers of Commoning podcast (episode #25). Moore is also a scholarly communications specialist at Cambridge University Library in England, and a research associate at Homerton College.

My interview digs into the oligopoly control of academic publishing, the high prices of academic journals and books, the lack of choices among many scientists and scholars, the limited leadership of university administrations, and some open-access innovations now being developed.

Digitales Publizieren und die Qualitätsfrage – AuROA

From Google’s English:  “The two-day interdisciplinary event deals with digital publishing in the humanities. The thematic priorities are quality criteria in humanities publications in connection with and as a result of open access, digital publishing and scholar-led publishing as well as current problems of scientific publishing such as reputation building mechanisms, peer review and data tracking.

A theoretical part deals with sociological, scientific-theoretical and political issues relating to open access in the humanities. The different disciplinary perspectives of humanities scholars are brought together through common problems and interests. The specification of quality criteria and the current publication practice leads to the controversial topic of peer review.

In the practical part, the goal is the joint development of position papers on problem areas and task-oriented requirements for quality assurance in the humanities (in book format). Current examples of the implementation of academic and library-organized publishing are presented and discussed.

The third part focuses on other current problems of scientific publishing, such as data tracking….”

Stakeholder-Workshop mit dem scholar-led.network: Die nicht-profitorientierte Perspektive auf Open Access (Stakeholder workshop with the scholar-led.network: The non-profit perspective on Open Access) | Open4DE – Open Access Blog Berlin

Von Martina Benz, Malte Dreyer und Maike Neufend

Open-Access-Strategien, die auf staatlicher Ebene verankert sind, bewirken dynamische Diskurse rund um das Thema Open Access, sie positionieren Länder gegenüber global operierenden Wissenschaftskonzernen und haben nicht zuletzt eine Leitbildfunktion für die Einrichtungen und Wissenschaftler*innen des betreffenden Landes. Dennoch hat Deutschland bislang, anders als viele andere europäische Staaten, keine nationale Open-Access-Strategie.

Um Vorschläge für die Gestaltung des Politikprozesses und die Inhalte einer Open-Access-Strategie für Deutschland zu erarbeiten, planen wir im Projekt Open4DE: Stand und Perspektiven einer Open-Access-Strategie für Deutschland eine Serie von Stakeholder-Workshops. Den Anfang machte am 28. Januar 2022 ein 60-minütiger Workshop mit dem scholar-led.network.

Das scholar-led.network diskutiert und artikuliert Interessen der im deutschsprachigen Raum operierenden, von Wissenschaftler*innen geführten Publikationsprojekte. In ihrem 2021 veröffentlichten Manifest treten sie unter anderem für eine Vielfalt von Publikationsformaten, nachhaltig und öffentlich finanzierte Publikationsinfrastrukturen und eine Community-basierte Entwicklung des non-profit Publikationsökosystems ein: ideale Anknüpfungspunkte für die Diskussion über Anforderungen an eine bundesweite Open-Access-Strategie.

Der Workshop teilte sich in zwei Phasen. Im ersten kollaborativen Teil sammelten wir auf einem virtuellen Whiteboard Aspekte, die unter die im Manifest genannten Handlungsfelder – Vernetzung, Finanzierung und Bibliodiversität – fallen. Der Workshop startete also mit der Frage, welche konkreten Herausforderungen aus Sicht der Teilnehmer*innen als besonders bedeutsam für einen bundesweiten Policy-Prozess empfunden werden. Die Antworten aus dieser Diskussion wurden nach Wichtigkeit bewertet und daraufhin im zweiten Teil des Workshops in drei Kleingruppen vertieft und aufbereitet.

[…]

English translation via deepl.com

OA strategies that are anchored at the state level generate dynamic discourses around the topic of OA, they position countries vis-à-vis globally operating science corporations and, last but not least, have a guiding function for the institutions and scientists of the country in question. Nevertheless, unlike many other European countries, Germany does not yet have a national OA strategy. In order to develop proposals for shaping the policy process and the content of an OA strategy for Germany, we are planning a series of stakeholder workshops in the project Open4DE: Status and Perspectives of an OA Strategy for Germany. The first was a 60-minute workshop with the scholar-led.network on 28 January 2022. The scholar-led.network discusses and articulates the interests of scholar-led publication projects operating in German-speaking countries. In their manifesto published in 2021, they advocate, among other things, a diversity of publication formats, sustainable and publicly funded publication infrastructures and a community-based development of the non-profit publication ecosystem: ideal starting points for the discussion on requirements for a nationwide Open Access strategy. The workshop was divided into two phases. In the first collaborative part, we collected aspects on a virtual whiteboard that fall under the fields of action mentioned in the manifesto – networking, funding and bibliodiversity. The workshop thus started with the question of which concrete challenges the participants felt were particularly significant for a nationwide policy process. The answers from this discussion were rated in terms of importance and then discussed in greater depth and processed in three small groups in the second part of the workshop.

[…]

 

Scholarly Journals: A Modest Proposal

Therefore, I am instead suggesting that colleges and universities strategically invest directly in the publishing process and industry through various forms of sponsorship, partnership, or even outright ownership. Today, with outsourcing and partnerships becoming the norm, why shouldn’t scholarly output follow suit? Why not expend campus resources in ways that give institutions more control over costs and modes of distribution? Doing so could begin to erode the commercial publishing conglomerates’ stranglehold on scholarly output and put at least some of that control back into the hands of those who produce this output. Perhaps this could be characterized as extending the Diamond approach of institutional funding to underwrite free and open access in a strategic way that provides more direct benefit to the funding academic institutions and, just as importantly, increased power in the marketplace.

A significant number of institutions are already paying extra to make their faculty publications OA. Why should these institutions waste funds on up-front fees that fail to move us any closer to universal OA and that keep commercial publishing monopolies in control of the marketplace? If more colleges and universities were to take up the charge and invest in at least one high-quality OA journal through sponsorship, partnership, or ownership, the academic community could begin to take charge of its own intellectual property and change the scholarly journal marketplace. Crazy idea? Perhaps. Who would be willing to invest, why would they do so, what would be the result, and how would it happen?

EUA wants academia to ‘reclaim ownership’ of publishing – Research Professional News

““Universal” open access named as one of three European University Association priorities for open science

Academia must “reclaim” its ownership of scholarly publishing from for-profit publishers in the transition to open access and open data, European university representatives have urged….”

Replacing academic journals | Zenodo

Abstract:  A major factor underlying several of scholarship’s most pressing problems is its antiquated journal system with its trifecta of reproducibility, affordability and functionality crises. Any solution needs to not only solve the current problems but also be capable of preventing a takeover by corporations. Technically, there is broad agreement on the goal for a modern scholarly digital infrastructure: it needs to replace traditional journals with a decentralized, resilient, evolvable network that is interconnected by open standards under the governance of the scholarly community. It needs to replace the monopolies of current journals with a genuine, functioning and well-regulated market. In this new market, substitutable service providers compete and innovate according to the conditions of the scholarly community, avoiding further vendor lock-in. Redirection of funding from the legacy publishers to the new framework may be realized by a tried-and-tested incentive system: Funding agencies have ensured minimum standards at funded institutions by requiring specific infrastructures. These requirements, updated to include the new framework, provide exquisite incentives for institutions to redirect their infrastructure funds from antiquated journals to modern technology. At the same time and enabled by this plan, new, modern and adaptable reputation systems, long demanded by the scientific community, can finally be implemented.

Ownership involves socially recognized economic rights, first and foremost the exclusive control over that property, with the self-efficacy it affords. The inability to exert such control over crucial components of their scholarly infrastructure in the face of a generally recognized need for action for over three decades now, evinces the dramatic erosion of real ownership rights for the scholarly community over said infrastructure. Thus, this proposal is motivated not only by the now very urgent need to restore such ownership to the scholarly community, but also by the understanding that through their funding bodies, scholars may have an effective and proven avenue at their disposal to identify game-changing actions and to design a financial incentive structure for recipient institutions that can help realize the restoration of ownership, with the goal to implement open digital infrastructures that are as effective and as invisible as their non-digital counterparts.

Open Access Monographs: Myths, Truths and Implications in the Wake of UKRI Open Access Policy | LIBER Quarterly

The UK Research and Innovation funding council announced its latest Open Access Policy on August 6, 2021. This policy applies to all UKRI funded research, and thus constitutes a significant move towards OA as an academic standard. For the first time in the UK, OA is to be mandated for academic books – this means that both monographs and edited chaptered books must be published Open Access from January 2024, though a 1 year embargo is permissible. As the infrastructures, business models and workflows supporting OA book publishing are currently lagging behind journals, especially in the Arts and Humanities, many researchers and institutions have responded to the policy with some consternation, even whilst supporting the aims and ethics of OA publishing.

This article explores some of these apprehensions and questions raised by institutions, academics and by librarians regarding OA book publishing in a UK context, especially regarding funding and sustainability. It aims to dispel certain myths around OA book publishing in general, particularly the notion that Book Processing Charges are a necessary or even desirable element. The article then presents some of the varied models and systems currently in use and development, particularly the work of the UKRI/Research England funded COPIM project (Community- Led Open Access Infrastructures for Monographs), one of the aims of which is to build ways of delivering more sustainable revenue sources to OA publishers. It focuses in particular a key and soon to be launched output of the project: the Open Book Collective.

The OA Diamond Journals Study

“We are delighted to present the results of the study commissioned last year by cOAlition S, with financial support from Science Europe, to provide an analysis and overview of collaborative, community-driven open access journals and platforms (aka “OA diamond”). The main objectives of the study were to provide an analysis of the global landscape of OA diamond journals and platforms, identify their current funding models and their technical and organisational challenges, and examine the potential for collaboration and shared services. In addition, we asked for an action plan and recommendations to bolster and co-finance this crucial part of the academic publishing landscape.

The study presented today reveals a vast archipelago of OA diamond journals that was previously obscured by discussions mainly focused on the transformation of commercial models for academic publishing. The rich landscape that heaves into view shows, for the first time, to what extent the diamond publishing model serves the academic community through its variety of scholarly disciplines, languages, and cultures. To a large extent, the study uncovers the full dimension of an important part of the world of scholarly dissemination that is as old as science itself: the scientific community assessing scientific quality and managing scholarly communication on its own.

Moreover, the study shows that the collaborative, community-driven publishing model needs to be more efficiently organised, coordinated and funded to better support researchers in disseminating their work. These elements are essential for this type of publishing to be sustainable in the long term, and to reveal its full potential in the context of open science. We hope that the study will initiate a community-wide discussion leading to concrete steps for consolidating this vital infrastructure.

We would like to thank the consortium of 10 organisations (OPERAS , Sparc Europe , Utrecht University , DOAJ , UiT The Arctic University of Norway , LIBER , OASPA , ENRESSH , Redalyc-AmeliCA , CSI ) that conducted this study, and particularly the authors of the reports.”

Improving Community Funding and Workflows for Scholar-led Journals and Blogs | poster | Open Science Conference 2022

Open Science Conference 2022 poster: “Improving Community Funding and Workflows for Scholar-led Journals and Blogs

Marcel Wrzesinski 1, Philipp Hess 2

Organization(s): 1: Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society; 2: Knowledge Unlatched

The poster deals with the funding of scholar-led journals. This is very relevant since scholar-led journals can be considered as an additional pillar to raise the share of Open Access articles and provide publication infrastructure for those who are neither able  nor willing to afford high APCs. Initiative such as „Stop tracking science“ see them also as one means to diminish the influence of the big publishers. It is a very important effort to put scientific publishing in the hands and responsibility of academic communities….”

part of: The Open Science Conference 2022, the 9th international conference of the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science

Poster Presentations 2022

Accepted Posters 2022

bjoern.brembs.blog » Small changes, big effects

“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….”

Sustainability Funding for Scholarly Infrastructure Needs Infrastructure of Its Own

“SCOSS, OACIP, the SCIP census, and IOI are all promising initiatives to address the library community’s need for data, criteria, and transparency that would enable the operationalization of maintenance funding for community-based infrastructure necessary for sustainable scholarship. Research libraries can work with these new projects to supply and help standardize data about which scholarly infrastructures are used by their local communities and how their organizations are contributing to the infrastructures’ sustainability.”

ScholarLed welcomes new member presses: African Minds and mediastudies.press

ScholarLed are delighted to announce that two additional scholar-led presses will be joining our consortium: African Minds and mediastudies.press.

African Minds is a not-for-profit, open access publisher based in Cape Town, South Africa. They publish predominantly in the social sciences and their authors are typically African academics and thinkers, as well as international academics who have a close affinity with the continent. They offer a new publishing channel to authors frustrated by a lack of support from traditional book publishers as well as with publishing’s anachronistic and lengthy approach to making knowledge available.

mediastudies.press is a new, open-access publisher for the media and communication studies fields. Launched in 2019, the press is nonprofit and scholar-led. They publish living works, with iterative updates stitched into their process. And they encourage multi-modal submissions that reflect the mediated environments their authors study. Publishing with mediastudies.press is free on principle. Their aim is to demonstrate, on a small scale, an open-access publishing model supported by libraries rather than author fees. Open access for readers, they believe, should not be traded for new barriers to authorship.

We are also pleased to announce that our board has formally accepted Mattering Press, meson press, Open Book Publishers, and punctum books as members of ScholarLed. These four presses were founding members of ScholarLed before we registered as a not-for-profit foundation in the Netherlands, and have now formally become members of the foundation as per our constitution and membership criteria.

Help Shape the Transition to Open · Series 1.3: Global Transition to Open

“Some of the popular open access transition strategies, mostly promoted by publishers, manage to achieve more open access. But they lack much of what we need: making publishing accessible for everyone, lowering the costs of publishing, coping with an increasing number of publications, reducing the dependency on commercial publishers, transparency of procedures and costs, and a sustainable and irrevocable flipping of journals to open access [undefined]. The goal of achieving open access as the standard in academic publishing has been set for years now. Who do we trust with accelerating the speed of the transition while assuring the inclusiveness, transparency, and sustainability of  the publication system? Clear principles must be reconciled with the will to break new ground. Libraries are in a good position to shape this transition to open….

Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) has the mandate to provide both academia and industry with information from natural sciences and engineering. The library is strongly committed to openness in its mission. Measures include providing access to scholarly literature, deploying infrastructure, and conducting research. In terms of open access, TIB is deeply involved in defining concepts and tools that actively help shape the transition to full open access. In this post, I will give a short overview of the current activities of TIB….

At TIB, there are four major strategies underway, all based on the clear commitment to help shape the transition:

We established a library publishing service, TIB Open Publishing, to offer professional publishing services for non-APC, scholar-led open access journals and conference proceedings.

We developed our leading role in traditional library consortia by establishing models for open access consortia, e.g. through the KOALA project.

We contribute to collectively funded open access publications and systematically integrate this into our acquisition budget.

We help sustain open infrastructure for the open access landscape….”

Prioritizing academic publishers

“When the late Jon Tennant and I filed our formal complaint to the European Commission in 2018, in which we detailed how scholarly journal publishing was not a market but a collection of small monopolies, we had no idea that the EC was already well aware of that fact and saw nothing wrong with it. In fact, their reply at the time surprised us, when it indicated that the EC concurred with our description of scholarly journals being collections of monopolies, but saw levers for regulation/mitigation elsewhere.

Today, I have been privy to the informal brief written by a legal expert of the GFF mentioned above. It cites two prior EC instances from 2003 and 2015 where the EC had already acknowledged the lack of a genuine market due to the lack of substitutability (the reply to our complaint is thus just one in a long list of such documents acknowledging the lack of competition in scholarly publishing)….

The quote here is an example of how the EC is well aware of the conflicting interests between readers and libraries on the one hand (demand-side) and publishers (supply-side) on the other, while at the same time expressing a clear prioritization (“confirmed the relevance”) of the interests of the supply-side over the interests of the demand-side. The dysfunctionality of the current situation for readers and libraries is understood, acknowledged and dismissed by the EC as “not relevant” – very similar to the reply we received for our formal complaint. In this particular quote, a fig-leaf is offered by stating that the big publishers cover many scholarly fields, leading to each library having contracts with several publishers, giving the superficial impression that there would be several suppliers in a “supply-side” market. The sentence just prior, however, makes it clear that this is, in fact, not really a genuine market, but one that exists only on paper, solely for regulatory purposes….”