‘All your data are belong to us’: the weaponisation of library usage data and what we can do about it | UKSG

By Caroline Ball – Academic Librarian, University of Derby, #ebookSOS campaigner
Twitter: @heroicendeavour, Mastodon: @heroicendeavour@mas.to

and Anthony Sinnott, Access and Procurement Development Manager, University of York; Twitter: @librarianth

What do 850 football players and their performance data have in common with academic libraries and online resources? More than you’d think! The connecting factor is data, how it is collected, used and for what purposes.

‘Project Red Card’ is demanding compensation for the use of footballers’ performance data by betting companies, video game manufacturers, scouts and others, arguing that players should have more control over how their personal data is collected and particularly how it is monetized and commercialised.

Similarly, libraries’ online resources, whether a single ebook or vast databases, are producing enormous amounts of data, utilised by librarians to assist us in our vital functions: assessing usage and value, determining demand and relevance.

But are we the only ones using this data generated by our users? What other uses is this data being put to? We know for certain that vendors have access to more data than they provide to us via COUNTER statistics etc, but we have no way of knowing how much, what types, or what is done with it.

Witness the recent controversy generated by Wiley’s removal of 1,379 e-books from Academic Complete. Publishers like Wiley determine high use by accessing statistics generated by our end-users via the various e-book platforms through which they access the content. This in itself is indicative of our end-user/library data being provided to third parties without our knowledge or consent, particularly concerning given our licences are with vendors and not publishers. We are also not privy to what data-sharing agreements exist between vendors and publishers. Should we allow library usage data to be weaponized against us in this fashion? What recourse do we have to push back against this practice of ‘data extractivism’, to either withhold this data from publishers and vendors or prohibit them from using it for their own commercial gain?

 

 

Now we’ve heard it all! (No, not really ;) ) Engaging the community in shaping OA policy for books | UKSG22 Conference video recordings

The Open Access Books Network (OABN) is a relatively new kid on the block, but it punches above its weight. Our most significant series so far was the Voices from the OA Books Community, devoted to exploring different aspects of policy for OA books.

During the heated discussions, what were the main areas of consensus and which topics emerged as especially controversial? Which aspects of OA policy for books perplexed the community and provoked more questions than answers? In this session we will hear from session leaders and participants as they paint a nuanced picture of a necessary but complex endeavour: how to directly engage the OA books community in developing policies that will materially affect its future.

 

CfP: UKSG Annual Conference 2023, in-person in Glasgow, UK on 13-15 April 2023 | UKSG

The next UKSG annual conference will be held in person in Glasgow, UK on 13-15 April 2023.

The conference attracts delegates from across the global knowledge community, including librarians, publishers and intermediaries.  It provides a much-respected forum for discussing trends, showcasing initiatives, finding out about current practice across sectors, and connecting with other professionals.

You can see this year’s programme here to give you an idea of the topics we have covered (we welcome new ones too!).

Plenary presentations generally last 25 minutes plus time for questions; breakouts last up to an hour with 15 minutes included for questions; lightning talks are 7-10 minutes and are ideal for project introductions and updates. 
 

FREE UKSG webinar – Making Open Access Book Funding Work Fairly: Central European University Press and Opening the Future | UKSG

“Open access monograph publishing needs to be sustainable not just for publishers, but also for libraries. CEU Press’ collective library funding programme ‘Opening the Future’ was designed to be low-cost and simple, slotting into acquisitions budgets and existing library purchasing workflows. Several months into launch, we assess how this has fared and discuss how we can scale without increasing the administrative and decision-making burden already on collections and scholarly communications teams, who are already picking through a tangle of transformative agreements, pay-to-publish deals, author affiliations, and legacy subscriptions. The session will be set in context of the recent UKRI monograph policy announcement.”

Reflections on the new UKRI open access policy | UKSG

by Samuel A. Moore, Scholarly Communication Specialist, Office of Scholarly Communication, Cambridge University Libraries & Niamh Tumelty, Head of Open Research Services, Office of Scholarly Communication, Cambridge University Libraries

At Cambridge University Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communication, we have been supporting Cambridge researchers to comply with a variety of open access policies for many years. The policy landscape has evolved considerably in the past decade and affects increasing numbers of UK-based researchers, not only through the Research Excellence Framework but also through Plan S and charitable funder policies. Earlier this month, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) – the UK’s principal government research funder – released its new policy on open access relating to publications arising from UKRI-funded research. In this editorial we explore and assess some of the policy’s implications. 

Bosman, de Jonge, Kramer, and Sondervan (2021) Advancing open access in the Netherlands after 2020: from quantity to quality | UKSG Insights

Bosman, Jeroen, Hans de Jonge, Bianca Kramer, and Jeroen Sondervan. 2021. “Advancing Open Access in the Netherlands After 2020: From Quantity to Quality”. Insights 34 (1): 16. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.545

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to explore options to further open access in the Netherlands from 2021. Its premise is that there is a need to look at the qualitative aspects of open access, alongside quantitative ones. The article first takes stock of progress that has been made. Next, we suggest broadening the agenda by involving more types of actors and other scholarly formats (like books, chapters, proceedings, preprints and textbooks). At the same time we suggest deepening the open access agenda by including several open access dimensions: immediacy, diamond open access, open metadata, open peer review and open licences. To facilitate discussion, a framework is proposed that allows specifying these actions by the a) aspects of open access they address (what is made open access, how, when and where it is made open access, and copyright and rights retention), b) the actors that play a role (government, research institutions, funders) and c) the various levels at which these actions can be taken: state as goal, set as policy, legalize and promote, recognize and reward, finance, support with infrastructure. A template is provided to ease the use of the framework.

FREE UKSG webinar – Back to the Future: Lessons learned from the Jisc OA Textbook project | UKSG

“With eTextbooks high on library and publisher agendas and the controversy over costs and access raging, OA textbooks could be a solution. What are the considerations for initiating, and sustaining an open access textbook directly linked to teaching at one institution, but open to all? The 2014-2018 Jisc Institution as eTextbook Publisher project funded OA textbook pilots and created a toolkit. Liverpool published 2 titles, in a partnership with the Library and Liverpool University Press. In this webinar we will revisit the project and look forward, considering resource and expertise requirements for a sustainable OA textbook model….”

UKSG November Conference – From Transition to Transformation: providing scholarly content and services in tumultuous times | UKSG

“Join us for the 2020 UKSG November Conference – “From Transition to Transformation: providing scholarly content and services in tumultuous times”. This year’s event will take place online over two consecutive half days. Wednesday 11th November: 9am GMT to approx. 1pm and Thursday 12th November: 1.30pm GMT to 5pm….”

FREE UKSG webinar – Digital Scholarship and the Future of the Book | UKSG

“Scholarly authors are increasingly using digital tools. They want to produce enhanced ebooks and interactive scholarly works, but these tend not to fit into existing publisher and librarian workflows. Fulcrum is a platform developed at the University of Michigan that supports authors who want to push the boundaries of the book. The University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection (UMP EBC) includes an increasing number of enhanced titles and takes full advantage of the rich features on the Fulcrum platform. Thanks to the support of purchasing libraries, UMP EBC is able to sustain the publication of new forms of scholarship, including open access titles, and sustain the open-source, community-based scholarly infrastructure. In this webinar attendees will learn about this new form of scholarship, including how it is being sustained by the community via UMP EBC and Fulcrum, and walk away with inspired to sustain this burgeoning community.”

Free UKSG webinar – Working with Open Access | UKSG

“This webinar will introduce attendees to the basic concepts of Open Access and how they work together to build wider access to knowledge. Attendees will also be encouraged to think about the different ways in which librarians can build their skills and get involved in this rapidly growing and exciting area….”