IDAHO – IDentificAtion of hurdles to open access publishing for researchers with weak institutional ties – epistemic injustice in scientific publishing

The IDAHO project is a research project that aims at contributing to an inclusive, equitable and diverse open access publishing culture. For this purpose it investigates the difficulties and hurdles that researchers with weak institutional ties face in OA publishing. It will particularly focus on refugee researchers, researchers form small and private universities, researchers from non-governmental institutions (NGO), independent researchers, or those in the citizen science domain without sufficient institutional backing. In addition, it will examine the awareness of scientific publishers on existing burdens these researchers face in the pursuit of open access publishing. The ultimate objective of IDAHO is to derive a set of evidence-based recommendations for science policies and publishers, which could eliminate or mitigate identified burdens.

Queen’s and the Tri-Agency’s Update to National Open Access Policy | Queen’s University Library

“As Canada moves to follow the open access example set by Europe and the USA, questions about financial sustainability and equity must be addressed.

On June 4th, 2023, Canada’s federal research granting agencies announced a review of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications*, with the goal of requiring immediate open and free access to all academic publications generated through Tri-Agency supported research by the end of 2025. At Queen’s, this will mean significant changes to relevant policies and processes, primarily related to navigating the pay-to-publish model currently dominating the publishing landscape in the form of article processing charges (APCs).

APCs are extra fees that authors pay to academic publishers to make their articles openly available rather than barriered behind paywalls. Academic publishers are increasingly embracing this pay-to-publish business model, making the cost of open access publishing prohibitively expensive for many authors. APC fees vary by publisher and journal and can range from less than $1,000 USD to over $11,000 USD. Estimates indicate that Canadian authors spent at least $27.6 million USD on APCs related to Tri-Agency funded work from 2015 to 2018. This is in addition to the millions of dollars spent annually by academic libraries to provide access to paywalled articles, sometimes in the same journals in which the APC-paid open access articles appear. There are ongoing questions and concerns about not only the financial sustainability of academic publishers’ APC-driven business model, but the potential of this model for creating and reinforcing global inequities to the detriment of authors, libraries, and academic institutions.  Ensuring open, accessible, and sustainable scholarly publishing is all the more urgent given Queen’s University’s strongly established commitment to advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals including ensuring equal access to university education and strengthening protection and safeguards for the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

While the University does not currently fund individual author APC fees, it does support open access through other means, including publishing agreements with select publishers, support for open infrastructure like Open Journal Systems and QSpace, and membership and participation in provincial, national, and international bodies promoting and supporting sustainable open access….”

Cultivating sustainable in-house scholarly publishing programs: Community conversation PT 2

“Gaynor Redvers-Mutton, Associate Director of Business Development and Sales at the Biochemical Society, and Maxine Aldred, Director of Publications Production at the American Society of Civil Engineers, respond to the questions:

What factors do you consider essential for scholarly societies and institutes to sustainably operate in-house publishing programs like yours?
How is your team working to increase publishing efficiencies, promote research equity, and provide more value to the academy?…

We acknowledge that the scientific communities must adapt to changing scholarly norms and develop new dissemination models that address open and equitable access. However, this must be done in a way that preserves the scholarly value of the peer-reviewed version of research. This must be fixed at the time of publication without any possibility of historical rewriting –– meaning that the original work cannot be altered by the author or anyone else. ASCE also believes that learned societies, acting in accordance with their educational mission, should be able to recover their costs of investing in managing the peer review process, editing, publishing, disseminating, and maintaining an ever-growing archive in perpetuity.”

ARL Comments on NASA Public Access Plan: Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research – Association of Research Libraries

“On March 28, 2023, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) released a request for information on “NASA’S Public Access Plan: Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research.” The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is pleased to offer the following comments in response to this request….”

Pandemia trouxe oportunidades para mais inclusão na ciência | RDBCI: Revista Digital de Biblioteconomia e Ciência da Informação

From Google’s English:  Abstract:  Introduction: The Covid-19 pandemic produced a large volume of scientific data and encouraged open science practices due to data sharing for the control of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. This scenario generated opportunities for the Open Science (AC) movement. Objective: The purpose of this article is to map the circulating narratives about AC practices during the pandemic – with emphasis on debates on public access to knowledge and practices and values ??characteristic of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Methodology:A documental and thematic analysis of 30 scientific articles, news in the press, blog posts and institutional materials published in Portuguese was carried out, obtained by searching for keywords in SciELO, Google and libraries of the Chamber and Senate. Results: It was observed that 36.6% (11) of the documents mentioned EDI values, while 70% (21) included discussions about public and universal access to knowledge. The texts could present both themes, being counted both in the EDI and public access categories. Of the sample, 23% (7) did not mention either of these two categories and 77% presented at least one of them. Conclusion:In general, the use of open science has been associated with the rapid production of responses to the pandemic, which raises questions about the continuity of open practices in periods when this urgency is not present. As for the debate on EDI, although still incipient, the pandemic presents opportunities for more inclusive knowledge co-production and practices — with real-time public debate experiences of building evidence.

Pensoft’s statement on the European Union’s Conclusions on OA scholarly publishing

“On behalf of Pensoft Publishers, we express our support for the Conclusions on high-quality, transparent, open and equitable scholarly publishing, recently published by the Council of the European Union. We do share all concerns articulated in the document that highlight major inequities and outstanding issues in the scholarly publishing environment.

In our opinion, it is of utmost importance to promptly address the existing issues in the publishing system, where healthy competition can thrive and contribute to a reality safe from potential mono-/oligopolies and corporate capture.

We firmly believe that only an industry that leaves room for variously-scaled pioneers and startups is capable of leading a long-awaited shift to a high-quality, transparent, open and equitable scholarly publishing landscape aligning with the principles of FAIRness….”

Open access: A watershed moment – Gennaro – Journal of Nursing Scholarship – Wiley Online Library

[A paywalled article. Not even an abstract is OA.]

“We all want transparency and open access to knowledge. The cost of publishing has decreased. However, many questions still re-main as to what is the fairest way to support the work that does have to be done to get a quality journal published. This is the time that decisions are being made in many countries about the future of open access and at this watershed moment it is imperative that each of us pay attention and let our representatives know that we support open access and support the desire to have it be available such that the burden of paying for open access is fairly distributed. Clearly, we will all benefit from more transparency and quicker dis-semination but want to do this with maintaining high standards, pro-tecting authors intellectual property, and not pricing out scientists from poorer countries. Today being a scientist means ensuring that you pay attention to how your work will be disseminated. At Sigma (as the honor society of nursing), we will continue to provide infor-mation about trends in publishing and urge you to, in this watershed moment, follow and be part of the public conversations about open access.”

The Corporate Capture of Open-Access Publishing

“As the heads of progressive university presses on two sides of the North Atlantic, we support open and equitable access to knowledge. If history is any guide, however, the new policies may unintentionally contribute to greater consolidation in academic publishing — and encourage commercial publishers to value quantity over quality and platforms over people. Unless the new open-access policies are accompanied by direct investment from funders, governments, and universities in nonprofit publishers and publishing infrastructure, they could pose a threat to smaller scholarly and scientific societies and university presses, and ultimately to trust in published knowledge….

Without meaning to, many putatively open-access policies could further privatize the results of academic research….

The open-access movement has its roots in the practice of self-archiving (also called “Green” open access), wherein scholars deposit prepublication versions of their work in university repositories or community-owned preprint servers that function (to the extent possible) outside the economic strictures of formal publishing. Publishers effectively co-opted the movement by promoting instead models in which authors or their institutions pay publishers for the privilege of openness (also called “Gold” open access). As a result, open-access policies that enforce openness at any cost, under any model, have paradoxically, and against the intentions of policymakers, furthered the commodification of knowledge….

With paid open access, the academy is being asked, in effect, to subsidize the commercial sector’s use of university-research outputs with no reciprocal financial contribution….

Questions about academic freedom, widening inequality, the impact on smaller publishers, and the applicability of science-based policy for the arts, social sciences, and humanities have long been overlooked in conversations about open access….

The answers, we propose, lie somewhere in that overlooked, undervalued middle ground of nonprofit or fair-profit university-press publishing, mission-aligned with the academy. Many of those presses have been leaders in findings ways to meet the goals of providing both equitable access to knowledge and equitable participation in the creation of new knowledge. These are the publishers that universities should protect, invest in, and make deals with. Perhaps an international network of university-based publishers, libraries, and other public-knowledge providers could work together, balancing paid-for and open research content in a way that is sustainable rather than extractive, and that still values the research itself. Such a network could face down the likes of….”


“As open access publishing grows, many are concerned that as equity of access to read and use research increases, equity in publishing may decrease and that many actors in the research publishing ecosystem may become more disenfranchised than before. Many recent initiatives and statements by organizations such as OA2020,  cOAlition S, UNESCO, Science Europe, the US Office of Science and Technology, and the International Science Council (ISC) have highlighted inequity as a challenge in the open access publishing landscape. The causes of this inequity are not just financial but also structural and cultural.

OA2020 is convening an online workshop, in collaboration with Coordenação De Aperfeiçoamento De Pessoal De Nível Superior (CAPES), Consorcio Colombia, Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), California Digital Library (CDL), Iowa State University, UNESCO, the ISC, cOAlition S, Science Europe, and additional partners, to bring together a wide range of participants from across North, Central, and South America to discuss the challenges to equitable open access in 2023 in this region and to explore potential solutions. 

Part of a series of regional workshops, this workshop is an opportunity for those who produce and fund research, including scientists and scholars, research administrators, libraries and library consortia, university leadership, science councils and grant funders, and ministries and agencies of research and education, to better understand the current tensions in the scholarly communication landscape and seek actionable plans and practical mechanisms that ensure equitable opportunity to openly disseminate the results of research. This workshop will expand and build on insights gathered in previous workshops that focused on viewpoints from Africa and Europe and from Australasia and Asia Pacific (insights are forthcoming)….”

Johnson | The Limits of Inclusion in Open Access: Accessible Access, Universal Design, and Open Educational Resources | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  Introduction: The impacts of open educational resources (OER) are both well-documented and far-reaching. Without mitigating the positive outcomes of OER—including reduced textbook costs, readily available knowledge platforms, and open research—we problematize the commonly held assumption that open resources are necessarily more accessible and inherently good. 

Description of Program: Drawing on writing from antiracist, feminist disability researchers and advocates, we critically examine the UCLA Library online open educational initiative known as Writing Instruction + Research Education (WI+RE). In doing so, we (1) demonstrate how open access (OA) is often framed as an end, when in fact it is just the beginning; (2) encourage readers to resist evangelizing the OA movement such that it is beyond critique; and (3) advocate for the centering of disability justice within and beyond our OA efforts. 

Next Steps: We discuss both general and specific approaches for centering accessibility in creative processes, advocate for expanded definitions of OERs (beyond simply being “free”), and caution against evangelizing OERs without acknowledging the structural factors that contribute to inaccessibility. We outline four strategies and recommendations for other practitioners, educators, and designers seeking to build accessibility and dis-ability justice into OER design and OA initiatives more broadly. We approach OER both practically and theoretically to present an argument and path forward for designing more accessible resources and expanding OA through accessible access and universal design.

Is the Tide Turing in Favour of Universal and Equitable Open Access? – International Science Council

“The current scientific publishing system is not prepared to evolve accordingly. With so many advancements in digital technologies, why stick to an outmoded system which is hindering the progress of science? The International Science Council (ISC) recognized the urgency of reforming the entire publishing system. Based on an analysis in the ISC position paper: Opening the Record of Science: making scholarly publishing work for science in the digital Era, the ISC steering group established 8-core principles as guiding concepts to maintain integrity and ensure an equitable and universally accessible system.”

“Preprints present an opportunity for a fairer, more transparent, and streamlined approach to disseminating research. As the concept of preprints continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly evident that they could become the way forward for academic publishing if the research community takes on the responsibility of ensuring rigorous validation and is credited in the research assessment process as the legitimate output.”


The Alexandria Archive Institute

“The Alexandria Archive Institute will lead a network of cultural heritage stakeholders to investigate, develop, demonstrate, and promote more equitable cultural heritage data curation practices. Specifically, the project aims to reconcile the apparent social and technical contradictions between two highly regarded data management principles: CARE (collective benefit, authority to control, responsibility, and ethics) and FAIR (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reuse). The participation network includes representatives from libraries; museums; data repositories; public, commercial, and non-profit institutions; as well as Indigenous heritage representatives. Participants will meet twice in-person and more frequently in virtual meetings of three thematic working groups to explore alignment of cultural heritage data management practices with indigenous and other descendant community needs. This project will advance the capacity of cultural heritage institutions to curate data documenting the histories, landscapes, and cultures of diverse communities in an ethically responsible manner.”

Mellon Foundation Funds Digitizing Hidden Collections and Archives: Amplifying Unheard Voices • CLIR

“The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has been granted a $5,000,000 award from the Mellon Foundation to bolster the Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Amplifying Unheard Voices regranting program and related operations.

This highly anticipated renewal continues the decisive shift in thematic focus, with a strong emphasis on collections of historically marginalized individuals, and aims to amplify voices, work, experiences, and perspectives that have been insufficiently recognized or unattended. Since its establishment in 2015, Digitizing Hidden Collections has made a significant impact by distributing over $28 million to digitally capture and share rare and unique content in cultural memory institutions.

The forthcoming call, Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Amplifying Unheard Voices, is set to create a groundbreaking opportunity for eligible nonprofit organizations in the US and Canada to digitize materials in any format. By providing essential funding to a diverse cohort of academic, independent, and community-based organizations, CLIR seeks to unlock access to previously unavailable or underutilized collections. This move is expected to foster broader recognition of the immense value in preserving resources that document the history of marginalized people to the advancement of social justice….”

FORRT Summaries | FORRT – Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training

“The FORRT community has prepared 100+ summaries of Open and Reproducible Science literature. The purpose of these summaries is to reduce some of the burden on educators looking to incorporate open and reproducible research principles into their teaching as well as facilitate the edification of anyone wishing to learn or disseminate open and reproducible science tenets.

These summaries are very much a work in progress. We would love to receive your criticism, areas for improvement, ideas, and help.

You can find the summaries via the menu in the left. We made a distinction between “ Open and Reproducible Science” summaries and “ Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion” summaries to highlight that the topics of social injustices and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) are often neglected in academia, and in open and reproducible science literature. We have also prepared a .pdf version (coming soon!) in case you want to keep a copy for yourself. If you are an educator, you may also be interested in our FORRT Syllabus on Open and Reproducible Science (.pdf & G-doc), which is based on FORRT Clusters….”