What’s the Big Deal? | Ithaka S+R

“The dominant mode by which research libraries have provided maximum journal access as cheaply as possible—subscription bundles or “Big Deals”—is giving way to new approaches. This transition is taking place through a combination of negotiations, activism, business modeling, user needs research, and decision support, among other factors. To support these processes, Ithaka S+R partnered with 11 academic libraries to understand researcher perceptions to help inform their ongoing strategic decision making about Big Deal journal subscriptions.

Recognizing that libraries must also undertake case-by-case assessments prior to making decisions about any particular journal package, in this report we share findings from the project that merit wider public consideration. We detail patterns in how researchers approach discovery and access to journal content, focusing on their experiences when mechanisms for access change. These experiences are used as a jumping off point to also explore researchers’ perceptions of the various models for facilitating their access to journal content and of the stakeholders engaged in that work.

We found that when a suite of journals is no longer available through a Big Deal subscription package, researchers experience little negative impact in the short term. There are some institutional, disciplinary, and career-stage variations, but overall researchers are able to work around the access barriers they encounter. This reality is deceptively benign. Researchers remain supportive of their libraries and are also interested in broader efforts to challenge the status quo of the scholarly communications business. However, they do not have a solid understanding of the strategies for advancing new modes of journal access beyond the subscription model, nor are they clear on what the library can and should provide in response.

We recommend three areas of activity that institutions should be especially mindful of when considering changes to journal subscription packages …

We found that when a suite of journals is no longer available through a Big Deal subscription package, researchers experience little negative impact in the short term. There are some institutional, disciplinary, and career-stage variations, but overall researchers are able to work around the access barriers they encounter. This reality is deceptively benign. Researchers remain supportive of their libraries and are also interested in broader efforts to challenge the status quo of the scholarly communications business. However, they do not have a solid understanding of the strategies for advancing new modes of journal access beyond the subscription model, nor are they clear on what the library can and should provide in response….”

Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science | Ithaka S+R

“We are excited to announce that Ithaka S+R has been awarded grant funding from the National Science Foundation to support the development of infrastructures for data sharing within data communities in collaboration with the Data Curation Network.  “Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science,” will bring together scientists and information technology professionals for focused discussions about initiating and sustaining data communities….”

Five New Higher Ed Datasets Now Available from Ithaka S+R | Ithaka S+R

“Over the years, Ithaka S+R has routinely deposited datasets from our research projects with the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, better known by its acronym of ICPSR. In doing so, this ensures that our data is not only digitally preserved, enabling long-term access, but also thoroughly processed and made available in a variety of formats for download. Several new datasets from our research projects have recently become available in our Ithaka S+R Surveys of Higher Education Series….”

Five New Higher Ed Datasets Now Available from Ithaka S+R | Ithaka S+R

“Over the years, Ithaka S+R has routinely deposited datasets from our research projects with the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, better known by its acronym of ICPSR. In doing so, this ensures that our data is not only digitally preserved, enabling long-term access, but also thoroughly processed and made available in a variety of formats for download. Several new datasets from our research projects have recently become available in our Ithaka S+R Surveys of Higher Education Series….”

Expanded access to JSTOR and Artstor further extended: a letter from Kevin Guthrie and Rebecca Seger – ITHAKA

“The challenges faced by the higher education community due to COVID-19 are deep and lasting. We are all affected and need to respond. At ITHAKA, our not-for-profit mission is to make access to knowledge and education more accessible for all. We have asked ourselves what it means to fulfill that mission during these difficult times and have discussed with our trustees creative ways we can respond. Through these discussions we decided to establish a $4 million fee relief program and to develop a range of expanded access offerings to help schools and universities that have had to rapidly pivot to online instruction.

Our expanded access offerings for JSTOR-participating institutions in response to COVID-19 include access to unlicensed JSTOR Archive and Primary Source collections as well as Artstor at no cost. Participation in these programs has been remarkable; to date this content has been accessed more than 24 million times by users at nearly 12,000 institutions….”

Open Community Collections – learn how to get involved, with Jisc and JSTOR | Jisc

“Learn more about the Open Community Collections programme and how to get involved.

We’ll talk about how the project fits into the context of Jisc’s goals for digital archival collections, followed by a description of the Open Community Collections programme and its benefits from JSTOR/ITHAKA personnel….”

Free access to digital collections through new Jisc and JSTOR collaboration – News | About JSTOR

“Not-for-profit ITHAKA, JSTOR’s parent organization, and the UK education and technology not-for-profit Jisc have agreed to a pioneering initiative that will allow institutions to make their digital special collections freely available to millions of researchers, faculties, and students around the globe.

The partnership gives UK higher education institutions the opportunity to add their digitized content to JSTOR’s Open Community Collections program, which enables libraries, museums, and cultural organizations around the world to bring together their materials, creating an unparalleled free resource for teaching and research….”

Academic Libraries at a Pivotal Moment – The Scholarly Kitchen

“For the first time, we asked library directors how likely they are to cancel one or more major journal packages in the next licensing cycle. Half of library directors say that they will likely cancel a major journal package in the next five years….

A relatively small share of libraries plan on pivoting to transformative agreements to bundle publishing and subscription costs; only about 20 percent strongly agree it is a high priority to bundle open access publish fees with subscription costs….”

How badly do authors want open access? What priorities do authors really have? Bringing data to the discussion | Dynamic Ecology

“Somewhat contradicting that result is this interesting study by Shaun Yon-Seng Khoo (https://www.liberquarterly.eu/article/10.18352/lq.10280/). It shows a couple of things. First journals that flip and go from free to publish to OA pay to publish have not seen a decline in the number of submissions. This suggests that at the moment plenty of authors are happy with the pay-to-publish OA APC model (although this doesn’t contradict the previous survey that shows that free to publish is even more popular; about 7-11% are Gold or Hybrid OA and another 13-16% ambiguous Bronze OA according to Piwowar et al 2018, which means at 20-25% of papers published by a pay-to-publish model OA this is less than the 35% who said free to read is a high priority). But this article also has some scary results. The cost to publish OA (i.e article publishing charges or APC) is showing hyperinflation, increasing at 3x the rate of inflation. And indeed higher APC charges led to HIGHER submission rates. It is clear that OA is going to be subject to the same dysfunctional prestige or premium goods market rules that earlier models have been subject to as well. If all journals are gold OA, this is only going to result in the rich having easier access to prestigious journals. Notions of all OA APC being $500 or less appears not to reckon with how much authors with grants are willing to pay for prestige/visibility (and also appears not to reckon with the actual costs of publishing journal articles at their current quality levels, but that is a post for a future day)….”

Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2018

“While faculty are increasingly interested in an open access publication model, traditional scholarly incentives continue to motivate their decision-making. Approximately two-thirds of respondents in this survey cycle indicated they would be happy to see the traditional subscription-based publication model replaced entirely by an open access system, which represents a greater share of respondents compared to the previous survey cycle. However, only four in ten faculty indicate open access characteristics of journals as highly influential in publication decisions.

There is substantial interest in use of open educational resources for instructional practices, particularly from younger faculty members. About six in ten respondents are very interested in using open educational resources (OER), and roughly half strongly agreed that they would like to adopt new instructional approaches with OER….”

Reveal Digital Joins ITHAKA

We are pleased to share the news that Reveal Digital has joined the ITHAKA family. Reveal Digital is a small innovative company that uses a unique library crowd-funded model to support the development of open digital collections. In partnership with libraries, Reveal Digital raises funds to digitize, clear rights and make available special collections that have been aggregated from universities and other institutions. Now affiliated with ITHAKA, Reveal Digital will continue to provide an open access publishing model for special collections where libraries drive the program. …”