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 …”

NLP needs to be open. 500+ researchers are trying to make it happen | VentureBeat

“A group of more than 500 researchers from 45 different countries — from France, the US, and Japan to Indonesia, Ghana, and Ethiopia — has come together to work towards tackling some of these problems. The project, which the authors of this article are all involved in, is called Big Science, and our goal is to improve the scientific understanding of the capabilities and limitations of large-scale neural network models in NLP and to create a diverse and multilingual dataset and a large-scale language model as research artifacts, open to the scientific community.

BigScience was inspired by scientific creation schemes existing in other scientific fields, such as CERN and the LHC in particle physics, in which open scientific collaborations facilitate the creation of large-scale artifacts useful for the entire research community. So far, a broad range of institutions and disciplines have joined the project in its year-long effort that started in May 2021….

Our effort keeps evolving and growing, with more researchers joining every day, making it already the biggest open science contribution in artificial intelligence to date.

Much like the tensions between proprietary and open-source software in the early 2000s, AI is at a turning point where it can either go in a proprietary direction, where large-scale state-of-the-art models are increasingly developed internally in companies and kept private, or in an open, collaborative, community-oriented direction, marrying the best aspects of open-source and open-science. It’s essential that we make the most of this current opportunity to push AI onto that community-oriented path so that it can benefit society as a whole.”

How to build a more inclusive SSH scholarly landscape | F1000Research

“There are several layers that need to be unpacked. The scholarly communication landscape in the SSH is very diverse,  which is not in itself a bad thing, but more communication and coordination between different institutions and stakeholders is needed. Moreover, the open science policies vary across Europe and there’s no consensus among researchers on how important and prestigious open access is. Similarly, digital innovations are adopted to a varying extent by different disciplines and individual scholars, with some curious and eager to experiment with different forms and others sticking to safer, more traditional solutions (interestingly, it often has nothing to do with the career stage!). 

The evaluation criteria have not caught up with the digital transformation and so many authors end up publishing via more traditional outputs even though they would rather experiment with the former as they know that they need to have the established publications  – for example articles in prestigious journals – on their academic resume.

There is another issue linked to evaluation: often publications in English are recognised as more valuable by funders or institutions which is not the best situation, especially in the case of domestic authors addressing important local issues in their native language.

There are several layers to a successful research infrastructure in the SSH. Firstly -and this really is key -it needs to be inclusive, so open to different stakeholders representing diverse perspectives.

Secondly, the infrastructure has to be dedicated to the specific traits of SSH: for example, research outputs often tend to be more traditional than in the case of hard sciences (‘the monograph is the king,’ claimed one of our interviewees in the OPERAS-P project) and there is often less funding for opening up research. Multilingualism is also an important aspect of the SSH as it is crucial that a topic that is important to smaller, local communities can be presented to them in a way that they can understand.

Thirdly, it needs to be researcher-driven, thus reflecting the actual needs of the scholars and be developed with the collaborators from various academic circles….”

ROR and GRID: The Way Forward

“Earlier today, GRID announced that it will discontinue its schedule of public releases in Q4 2021. This decision marks an important and exciting milestone in the evolution of both organization registries.

ROR’s core mission is to be a community-led registry of open organization identifiers. While GRID has maintained an open registry of organization identifiers available CC0 to the community since 2015, it did not intend to serve as a community-driven initiative. Therefore, it was a natural arrangement to jump-start ROR with seed data from GRID, and accept ongoing updates from GRID while developing ROR to ultimately function independently as the community registry of record. The plan has always been that ROR would inevitably need to be able to diverge from GRID in order to more fully address the requirements and use cases that come with maintaining a community-based initiative. GRID’s recent decision aligns perfectly with the progress ROR has already made towards this goal….”

GRID passes the torch to ROR – Digital Science

“In 2015 Digital Science first released the Global Research Identifier Database (GRID), an open database of unique research-related organisation identifiers they had developed in-house over several years, for public use by the research community. In 2019 ROR, the Research Organization Registry, was founded as a community-driven initiative, mirroring the GRID database. With ROR coming of age and becoming independent from GRID, Digital Science has decided to pass on the torch to ROR and retire GRID from the public space, with a last public release in Q4 of 2021.

This might come as a surprise, as GRID and ROR have been co-existing and collaborating for quite some time now. GRID was initially created to fill a void, as no open organisation identifier was available for the open research space. As a community-driven initiative has now built upon GRID’s first initiative, two open organisation identifiers could be perceived as competing against each other. Digital Science has therefore decided to formally hand the torch over to ROR as the leading open organisation identifier. Digital Science will continue to use GRID internally- but focused on the Digital Science products and their users and clients….”

Infusion of funding boosts prospects for impact of Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) on information ecosystem – SPARC

“With commercial forces increasingly consolidating control of scholarly research and knowledge production services, there is growing momentum behind an effort to offer a more community-aligned alternative.

Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) has brought together a variety of partners and funders to promote a community-governed system of infrastructure that can advance the health of the sector. SPARC was an early supporter of the non-profit initiative, working to catalyze its launch in the fall of 2019. The initiative has steadily developed into a growing global coalition….”

Impact of a new institutional medical journal on professional identity development and academic cultural change: A qualitative study – Hayes – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  We launched a new institutional open access journal, the Journal of Maine Medical Center (JMMC), in 2018. We sought to engender community support and engagement through purposeful design and implementation. An ad hoc group was formed of institutional members with diverse backgrounds. Editorial Board and Editorial Team members were drawn from within the academic community. The journal name, aims and scope, recognizable logo, cover page and images were all strategically selected in order to engender institutional and community support. Institutional funding was solicited to support an open-access, no-fee, model. We adopted a philosophy of supporting novice authors with revisions of manuscripts that show merit, as opposed to immediate rejection. We assessed success of community engagement through semi-structured interviews of authors and reviewers and qualitative analysis of the transcripts. As evidenced by their perceptions, we have made positive steps toward supporting the academic mission of our institution and the scholarly professional identity of our participants. We outline a number of elements that are relevant to the start of a new academic journal and community engagement that we feel would be of interest to others considering a similar undertaking.

 

An Open Knowledge Base for the Netherlands: Report of a Community Workshop | Zenodo

Cameron Neylon, Magchiel Bijsterbosch, Alastair Dunning, Bianca Kramer, Sarah de Rijcke, Clifford Tatum, & Ludo Waltman. (2021, June 2). An Open Knowledge Base for the Netherlands: Report of a Community Workshop. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4893803

The concept of developing a national Open Knowledge Base for the Netherlands (NL-OKB) has been proposed in response to the strategic needs of the research community in the Netherlands. In parallel with the work of the Dutch Taskforce on Responsible Management of Research Information and Data addressing these opportunities and the preparation of a feasibility study by Dialogic, interested stakeholders were convened with the goal of identifying expert and user-community interests in and need for an NL-OKB.

The goal in convening a workshop was: 1.    To gather evidence on the feasibility of an NL-OKB 2.    To test the community interest and appetite for developing an NL-OKB 3.    To identify a practical pathway forward towards startup and implementation of an NL-OKB

Over two days, 19-20 November 2020, 35 participants representing national and international organisations met in a virtual workshop. This included representatives of VSNU, NWO, NFU, SURF, DANS, CWTS and a range of Netherlands institutions alongside international stakeholders such as Crossref, ORCID, OpenAIRE, DataCite, SPARC North America, Jisc, UKRI and others.

There was strong support for an NL-OKB amongst the assembled group. The group as a whole was strongly in favour of the development of an NL-OKB run on behalf of and controlled by the academic community. Of those present, virtually all indicated they had a direct stake and interest in supporting the development of an NL-OKB. International participants were also keen to see efforts in the Netherlands succeed as an exemplar to be drawn upon. The assembled group reached a series of consensus conclusions, that taken together provide the beginnings of a roadmap for further development.

This report was prepared by the workshop conveners: Cameron Neylon (Curtin University), Magchiel Bijsterbosch (SURF), Alastair Dunning (TU Delft), Bianca Kramer (Utrecht University), Sarah de Rijcke (Leiden University), Clifford Tatum (SURF; Leiden University) and Ludo Waltman (Leiden University). The report may be re-used under a Creative Common Attribution v4 License.

Open access, open infrastructures

“COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) is an international partnership of researchers, universities, librarians, open access book publishers and infrastructure providers. It is building community-owned, open systems and infrastructures to enable open access book publishing to flourish.

Open access book publishing stands at a crossroads: one avenue leads to the monopolisation of open access by large commercial publishers and for-profit intermediaries, with infrastructures and funding systems set up to serve those businesses and their approaches; the other opens up a more diverse, scholar-led, community-owned, and not-for-profit publishing ecosystem that enables smaller and more community-focused presses to thrive and multiply.

COPIM is a project dedicated towards supporting these second sets of possibility. It is guided by the principle that publicly-funded research must be openly available to a global readership and a global authorship, without technical or economic barriers. It therefore aims to move away from a model that prioritises the working practices and interests of large-scale, commercial publishers and service operations, to a more horizontal, cooperative, and knowledge-sharing approach, governed by the research community and open for widespread participation by scholar-led and non-profit publishers. We call this ‘scaling small’….”

Guest Post – Scaffolding a Shift to a Values-driven Open Books Ecosystem – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Pressure from all sides of the ecosystem has propelled growth, experimentation, and commitment to making more scholarship accessible to more people. There is increased awareness, too, that making research open does not resolve all issues of equity and access to knowledge, that more critical engagement with the moral economy of open access is still to come. Living in a pandemic has accelerated the momentum and heightened the sense of urgency, not only in discourse, but in concrete steps being taken and strategies developed by institutions and publishers alike. Libraries, scholars, students, and readers of all kinds have had to move rapidly to adopt and adapt digital resources and tools. Open access books offer increased access to knowledge for the reader, but they also present an opportunity to remake a fragmented ecosystem, and to increase channels of communication about the processes involved in researching, writing, shepherding, financing, publishing, acquiring, and reading research….

Digital books, open or not, require infrastructure. Disintermediating hosting, distribution, and sales helps simplify cost structures. Non-profit presses are developing their own infrastructure to support greater strategic choice. Fulcrum, from Michigan Publishing, and Manifold, from the University of Minnesota Press, are two such developments that expand the new universe of values-aligned platforms. The MIT Press Direct platform launched in 2019 in an effort to disintermediate the relationship between the press and libraries. The platform aligns ebook distribution with the university press mission and opens space for dialogue with libraries. The greater connection with libraries has confirmed a gap in knowledge sharing between librarians, editors, library sales, and authors that, when filled, could make the monograph publication process clearer. Each stakeholder, internal and external to a press, holds valuable information about open access book development, funding, hosting, and discovery. Creating channels to share this information, and doing so through new, collective models, has the potential to benefit the system as a whole….”

The Open Library of Humanities merges with Birkbeck — Birkbeck, University of London

“Today, extending their existing partnership, and cementing the future of the platform, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) has merged with Birkbeck. 

The merger allows OLH to maintain its charitable status, while ensuring its ongoing financial sustainability and reducing redundant administrative overhead….”

Developing an objective, decentralised scholarly communication and evaluation system – YouTube

“This is our proposal for how we might create a radically new scholarly publishing system with the potential to disrupt the scholarly publishing industry. The proposed model is: (a) open, (b) objective, (c) crowd sourced and community-controlled, (d) decentralised, and (e) capable of generating prestige. Submitted articles are openly rated by researchers on multiple dimensions of interest (e.g., novelty, reliability, transparency) and ‘impact prediction algorithms’ are trained on these data to classify articles into journal ‘tiers’.

In time, with growing adoption, the highest impact tiers within such a system could develop sufficient prestige to rival even the most established of legacy journals (e.g., Nature). In return for their support, researchers would be rewarded with prestige, nuanced metrics, reduced fees, faster publication rates, and increased control over their outputs….”

OA Publishing Tools and Systems: 3 things you need to consider

“If you’re working with a scholarly organization or group of researchers to run an academic-led open access (OA) journal, you’re likely approaching all areas of journal management with the same core question in mind: How can we maximize our limited time and resources to keep improving our journal and expanding its reach? In order to meet the needs of readers and grow your journal, you need to be able to produce modern articles on a budget and with limited editorial resources.

Ultimately, the success of your OA journal will depend on the publishing tools and systems you leverage to maximize your efforts. Your journal team should seek tools and services that you can easily manage and that will enable you to keep up with the evolving digital publishing landscape.

There are certain considerations OA journal teams should keep in mind when choosing which peer review and publishing tools and systems to use. In this post, we outline 3 things to consider….”

Diamond unearthed: shining light on community-driven Open Access publishing | Plan S

“cOAlition S and Science Europe are pleased to announce the publication of an in-depth report and recommendations arising from a study of community-driven open access (OA) journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as “OA diamond journals”.

“The study uncovers the full dimension of an important part of the world of scholarly dissemination that is as old as science itself: that of the scientific community assessing scientific quality and managing scholarly communication on its own“, highlights Lidia Borrell-Damián, Secretary-General of Science Europe. Specifically, the study examines the areas that are critical for OA diamond journals, from legal structures and governance to technical capabilities, editorial processes, and funding models. The report finds that diamond journals represent a vast archipelago of relatively small journals serving a wide variety of scientific communities. They largely depend on volunteer work, universities, and government funding. Diamond journals are making headway towards Plan S compliance but face a number of operational challenges despite multiple scientific strengths. They need to be more efficiently organised, coordinated and funded to better support researchers in disseminating their work.

The study’s recommendations are to prepare an International Workshop and Symposium within 6 months, set up a funding strategy within 12 months, and establish a Diamond Publishing Capacity Center within 24 months. This may allow research funding organisations, institutions, scholarly societies, and infrastructures to sustainably strengthen OA diamond journals in the context of open science….”