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….”

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/

Ouvrir la Science – Deuxième Plan national pour la science ouverte

From Google’s English:  “The National Open Science Plan announced in 2018 by the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal, has enabled France to adopt a coherent and dynamic policy in the field of open science, coordinated by the Committee for Open Science, which brings together the ministry, research and higher education institutions and the scientific community. After three years of implementation, the progress made is notable. The rate of French scientific publications in open access rose from 41% to 56%. The National Open Science Fund was created, it launched two calls for projects in favor of open scientific publication and it supported structuring international initiatives. The National Research Agency and other funding agencies now require open access to publications and the drafting of data management plans for the projects they fund. The function of ministerial research data administrator has been created and a network is being deployed in the establishments. About twenty universities and research organizations have adopted an open science policy. Several guides and recommendations for putting open science into practice have been published. About twenty universities and research organizations have adopted an open science policy. Several guides and recommendations for putting open science into practice have been published. About twenty universities and research organizations have adopted an open science policy. Several guides and recommendations for putting open science into practice have been published.

The steps already taken and the evolution of the international context invite us to extend, renew and strengthen our commitments by adopting a second National Plan for Open Science, the effects of which will be deployed until 2024. With this new plan, France is continuing the ambitious trajectory initiated by the law for a digital republic of 2016 and confirmed by the research programming law of 2020, which includes open science in the missions of researchers and teacher-researchers.

This second National Plan extends its scope to source codes resulting from research, it structures actions in favor of the opening or sharing of data through the creation of the Research Data Gouv platform, it multiplies the levers of transformation in order to generalize open science practices and it presents disciplinary and thematic variations. It is firmly in line with a European ambition and proposes, within the framework of the French Presidency of the European Union, to act to take effective account of open science practices in individual and collective research evaluations. It is about initiating a process of sustainable transformation in order to make open science a common and shared practice…”

Report on the OPERAS-P Workshop “The Future of Scholarly Communication”

The Future of Scholarly Communication

“The Future of Scholarly Communication” workshop was organised as a part of OPERAS Innovation Lab, which aims to facilitate communication and knowledge exchange within a field of digital humanities. The OPERAS Innovation Lab is led by IBL PAN, a partner in the OPERAS-P consortium and Executive Assembly member.

The main task of OPERAS Innovation Lab is to conduct user research in order to define the actual needs of the community with regards to open scholarly communication. Another important task is also analysing the existing innovative solutions in this field. These activities allow to improve, prepare – and sometimes prototype – services that respond to the needs of the community. 

The activities of the OPERAS Innovation Lab officially started within the WP6 “Innovation” in the OPERAS-P project. See the main findings and recommendations for stakeholders involved in scholarly communication in the final report “Future of Scholarly Communication. Forging an inclusive and innovative research infrastructure for scholarly communication in Social Sciences and Humanities” (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4922512) and in detailed task reports openly published on Zenodo

To further discuss and develop the future of scholarly communication, the OPERAS-P virtual workshop, “The Future of Scholarly Communication,” was held on February 24th–26th. During the three days of seminars, 341 participants discussed digital transformation challenges in humanities and social sciences (SSH).

The seminars were linked to a question: How can we effectively develop digital tools in order to apply novel research approaches, build interdisciplinary collaboration, raise the prestige of Open Access contributions and disseminate them outside academia? 

On each day two seminars were held. The two workshops on the first day were devoted to governance and business models. The panelists and participants discussed how new models of governance should embrace cultural and language diversity of research teams in SSH. They brought up the issue of institutional hierarchy within academia as opposed to more horizontal models specific for projects in digital humanities. The second panel concerned business models and publishing practices for academic books and monographs – an underdeveloped area of Open Access. 

On the second day, participants delved into bibliodiversity and multilingualism in SSH. In SSH disciplines, language is not only a tool but also an object of research. Using native languages is often crucial for these disciplines to achieve meaningful impact in local communities. Panelists debated  how digital tools should address this need and facilitate multilingual research and collaboration. The next panel was dedicated to processing academic publications as research data according to the FAIR principles (making them findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable). 

On the last day, panelists discussed the future of scholarly writing: publishing practices and scholars’ needs in the time of Open Access development. The starting point was a case study analysis of tools, services and digital projects enriched with interviews with researchers, librarians and publishers. The last panel was devoted to evaluation and assessment of academic writing. Its purpose was to exchange ideas for new models of evaluation that will take into account various types of academic achievements, such as monographs or digital editions and projects. 

“The Future of Scholarly Communication” workshop was organised as a part of OPERAS Innovation Lab, which aims to facilitate communication and knowledge exchange within a field of digital humanities. The OPERAS Innovation Lab is led by IBL PAN, a partner in the OPERAS Consortium.

You may find presentations from the seminars published here and the results were summed up in the report.


A short overview on the OPERAS Innovation Lab is given in this video presentation:

Maciej Maryl, Director, Digital Humanities Centre, IBL PAN” and Marta Blaszczynska, Coordinator, Digital Humanities Centre, IBL PAN” present the OPERAS Innovation Lab coordinated by the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IBL PAN)! #OPERASLab


Funding OPERAS-P

Balula and Leão (2021) Multilingualism within Scholarly Communication… | JLIS.it

Balula, A., & Leão, D. (2021). Multilingualism within Scholarly Communication in SSH. A literature review. JLIS.It, 12(2), 88–98. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-12672

Abstract

It is undeniable that scholarly publication is boosted nowadays by the use of the English language, but this does not (and cannot) mean that the other languages have to be obliterated as scientific and cultural agents, equally valid and indispensable. Therefore, multilingualism is an expression of bibliodiversity that has to be protected and cherished, particularly in the area of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), a field in which culturally and societally relevant studies are made in local languages, when approaching areas such as cultural heritage, education, migration, public administration. The main goal of this paper is to present a literature review in order to identify the main aspects influencing language selection and the use of multilingualism within scholarly communication, allowing for putting forward recommendations for future initiatives aiming at enhancing multilingualism, particularly in connection with the opportunities deriving from Open Science.  

Catalyzing the Creation of a Repository Network in the US – SPARC

“This is an important moment in time, in which open scholarship is more visible and widely-embraced than ever before. The urgency of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has led many researchers to eagerly embrace new, faster ways of sharing their research papers, data, and more via repositories and other open platforms. There is a renewed interest in community ownership of both infrastructure and content, and a spotlight on empowering author’s rights retention due to new funder requirements, such as Plan S. There is also a growing recognition of the pressing need to intentionally build channels for greater inclusiveness and diversity of voices in the research communication system, as underscored in the UNESCO draft recommendations which were developed through consensus by over 100 member countries.

Yet, against this backdrop of encouraging developments, the trend toward commercial concentration in the publishing industry continues unabated. This consolidation exacerbates a number of serious problems in the system, including unacceptably high and ever-increasing costs for subscriptions and APCs (article processing charges). It also contributes to a steady decline in the diversity of publishing outlets and options – decreasing bibliodiversity, which is fundamental for a healthy ecosystem….

 

With this context in mind, COAR and SPARC believe that it is a critical time to support and better organize the repository network in the US. This is part of an ongoing global effort led by COAR to work with national and regional organizations to enhance the role of repositories internationally. A strong vision for repositories in the US, along with collective actions that ensure their quality, sustainability and interoperability, will greatly benefit the scholarly community, and will contribute to the development of a global knowledge sharing system that is both open by default and equitable by design. …”

Open Science: read our statement – News – CIVIS – A European Civic University

“CIVIS universities promote the development of new research indicators to complement the conventional indicators for research quality and impact, so as to do justice to open science practices and, going beyond pure bibliometric indicators, to promote also non-bibliometric research products. In particular, the metrics should extend the conventional bibliometric indicators in order to cover new forms of research outputs, such as research data and research software….

Incentives and Rewards for researchers to engage in Open Science activities 

Research career evaluation systems should fully acknowledge open science activities. CIVIS members encourage the inclusion of Open Science practices in their assessment mechanisms for rewards, promotion, and/or tenure, along with the Open Science Career Assessment Matrix….”

Multilingualism within Scholarly Communication… | Balula | JLIS.it

Abstract:  It is undeniable that scholarly publication is boosted nowadays by the use of the English language, but this does not (and cannot) mean that the other languages have to be obliterated as scientific and cultural agents, equally valid and indispensable. Therefore, multilingualism is an expression of bibliodiversity that has to be protected and cherished, particularly in the area of  Social  Sciences  and  Humanities  (SSH),  a  field  in  which  culturally  and  societally  relevant  studies  are  made  in  local languages, when approaching areas such as cultural heritage, education, migration, public administration. The main goal of this paper is to present a literature review in order to identify the main aspects influencing language selection and the useof multilingualism within scholarly communication, allowing for putting forward recommendations for future initiatives aiming at enhancing multilingualism, particularly in connection with the opportunities deriving from Open Science.

“No Publication Favelas! Latin America’s Vision for Open Access” by Monica Berger | ACRL 2021 presentation

by Monica Berger, CUNY New York City College of Technology

Abstract: Open access was intended to be the great equalizer but its promise has not come to fruition in many lower-income countries of the Global South. Under-resourcing is only one of the many reasons why these scholars and publishers are marginalized. In order to examine inequality in our global scholarly communications system, we can compare a negative and a positive outgrowth of this imbalance. Predatory publishing represents a a weak imitation of traditional, commercial journal publishing. In contrast, Latin America’s community-based, quality scholarly infrastructure is anti-colonial. It can be argued that Latin America’s publishing infrastructure represents one solution to predatory publishing. As the future of open access is debated, it is critical that we look to Latin America as we support new models that reject legacy commercial journal publishing and support bibliodiversity.

Jeffrey Beall infamously called Brazil’s SciELO a “publishing favela” or slum. Yet Latin America represents an important exception to the problem of underdevelopment of scholarly communications in the Global South. In order to begin to better understand the marginalization of the Global South and Latin America’s success, we need to unpack the history of open access, its overemphasis on the reader as opposed to the author, and how notions of development influenced its discourse. This focus on the reader is neo-Colonialist, positioning scholars from the Global South as “downloaders” and not “uploaders,” whose scholarship is peripheral.

Lacking alternative publishing options, predatory publishing, or amateurish, low quality publishing, exploited this gap. In its pathetic imitation of international, corporate publishing, predatory publishing is neo-Colonial and a form of “faux” open access where subaltern authors, editors, and publishers poorly imitate Global North corporate publishing. Predatory publishing is a sad simulacra with real world damage. Since predatory publishing is overwhelming based in the Global South and many of its authors based in the Global South, it tarnishes the reputation of all scholarship from less developed countries. In contrast, predatory authorship and publishing are rare in Latin America.

Latin America is an exemplar of sustainable and humane open access. Heather Morrison deemed Latin American as a “long-time peerless leader in open access.” The advent of Plan S, a rapid flip to open access, is accelerating the co-option of open access by large, commercial publishers predicating a variety of negative outcomes. In contrast, the Latin American concept of bibliodiversity represents an important alternative model. No one size fits all and a local vision governs. Bibliodiversity interrogates the presumption that all scholarship must be English-language. It also values indigenous and local knowledge as well as lay readers. Redalyc and SciELO include measures for research collaboration. Various regional scholarly organizations cooperate, sharing expertise, providing training in editorial and technical best practices. This cooperation has expanded to a global scale. The Confederation of Open Access Repositories and SPARC are partnering with LA Referencia and others, expanding Latin America’s vision globally, generating a meaningful alternative model for open access.

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Slides with talk transcript and sources as presented at the Association of College and Research Libraries conference, ACRL 2021: Ascending into an Open Future, held virtually, April 16, 2021.

What is “Open Access,” Really? – A Comic – HAZINE

“As a movement in information sciences, [OA] has been praised, but in our particular contexts, in mine as someone who lives in the Arabic-speaking world, I wonder about its limitations. What does “available for all” truly mean? 

What open access is can be defined by cultural factors, like language, history and even the significance of computer literacy. I presented on this with N.A. Mansour at the Digital Orientalisms Twitter Conference in 2020 in both Arabic and English. But we thought a visual medium might help us provoke thought on this issue even more. …”

What is “Open Access,” Really? – A Comic – HAZINE

“As a movement in information sciences, [OA] has been praised, but in our particular contexts, in mine as someone who lives in the Arabic-speaking world, I wonder about its limitations. What does “available for all” truly mean? 

What open access is can be defined by cultural factors, like language, history and even the significance of computer literacy. I presented on this with N.A. Mansour at the Digital Orientalisms Twitter Conference in 2020 in both Arabic and English. But we thought a visual medium might help us provoke thought on this issue even more. …”

Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication | helsinki-initiative.org

“Research is international. That’s the way we like it! Multilingualism keeps locally relevant research alive. Protect it! Disseminating research results in your own language creates impact. Endorse it! It is vital to interact with society and share knowledge beyond academia. Promote it! Infrastructure of scholarly communication in national languages is fragile. Don’t lose it!

The signatories of the Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication support the following recommendations to be adopted by policy-makers, leaders, universities, research institutions, research funders, libraries, and researchers:…”

Guest Post – The Words We Live By: Our Ideas and Values as the Catalyst for Action – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Like a choir singing in unison, we (scholarly communication professionals) resolutely lift our voices in support of advancing knowledge (enlightenment) for the benefit of humanity. And you can count me in! But remove the rosy lens for a second and consider how we measure the “for the benefit of humanity” part. One indicator that I explore throughout this self-reflection — global inequality — has gotten worse over time despite scientific advancements. We broadly discuss access; however, more open access (OA) publications or transformative agreements won’t solve humanity’s most pressing problems if living in a world society stricken by poverty and privilege remains the status quo….

Galvanize funders, publishers, and open infrastructure partners to expand language support for OA articles, preprints, datasets, and metadata. DOAJ could also play a key role in advancing language support by including language support elements in their indexing requirements….”

Guest Post – The Words We Live By: Our Ideas and Values as the Catalyst for Action – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Like a choir singing in unison, we (scholarly communication professionals) resolutely lift our voices in support of advancing knowledge (enlightenment) for the benefit of humanity. And you can count me in! But remove the rosy lens for a second and consider how we measure the “for the benefit of humanity” part. One indicator that I explore throughout this self-reflection — global inequality — has gotten worse over time despite scientific advancements. We broadly discuss access; however, more open access (OA) publications or transformative agreements won’t solve humanity’s most pressing problems if living in a world society stricken by poverty and privilege remains the status quo….

Galvanize funders, publishers, and open infrastructure partners to expand language support for OA articles, preprints, datasets, and metadata. DOAJ could also play a key role in advancing language support by including language support elements in their indexing requirements….”

When more is more: A DORA Community Discussion on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication | DORA

“The webinar began with a discussion of the benefits of scholarship in native and national languages to both local communities and the international community. Zehra Ta?k?n provided an example of an instance where publications in the local language help local communities. The Polish silviculture industry relies on Polish-language studies of the forests which cover 8.6M ha (about 28%) of the country’s surface, many of which are published in the journal Sylwan. When locally relevant studies are published in the local language, findings can be utilized directly; if published in a non-national language, the local community may be barred from having direct access to scientific analyses. On the level of public understanding, Zehra pointed out that articles published in local languages can play a role in combatting misinformation and public misconceptions. Particularly during uncertain times such as the COVID-19 crisis, Zehra believes that having research published in the language of the public is especially important….”