He’s been a rebel without pause – ALL – The Hindu

“On his Twitter bio, Carl Malamud describes himself as a civil servant. In real life, he seems to spend a lot of time coming up with new ways to get in trouble with civil servants worldwide. Over the last three years, he has been involved in six different court cases across three continents. His crime? Making public information accessible to the public.

At the 19th International World Wide Web Conference in 2010, Malamud articulated his ‘10 Rules for Radicals’. Among them was the commandment “run really fast” because, “as a small player, the elephant can step on you, but you can outrun the elephant.” Malamud, dressed in business formals ahead of what promises to be a typically hot and humid Mumbai day, has the aura of someone who never stops running….”

ACRL/SPARC Forum at ALA Midwinter 2019 – SPARC

As we transition more fully into an open system for communicating the results of scholarship, the decisions that libraries make individually and collectively about what and whom to support—and under what terms—will determine whether we meaningfully address inequities created by legacy academic publishing systems or simply recreate them in new ways. These decisions will shape libraries’ role in the scholarly enterprise, now and for the future.

This one-hour panel discussion will explore emerging models for supporting scholarly infrastructure that put alignment with community values and considerations of equity at their core. The conversation will include both the perspective of people who are actively working to build open, community-aligned infrastructure and research funders who are committed to supporting an open system for scholarship that prioritizes equity and the needs of researchers. Moderated by Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, this session will contextualize these models within the broader market for scholarly infrastructure and highlight the role of libraries in creating a future where values are prioritized over vendors….”

Joint Statement on Implementation Guidance for Plan S

“Plan S is an initiative by cOAlition S to achieve full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications after 01 January 2020 in Europe. At the heart of the plan are 10 principles currently being developed into a set of implementation guidelines. We, representatives of early-career and senior researchers across Europe, have already commented on Plan S and hereby reaffirm our general support and offer our views on the implementation guidance….”

News – Launching the OLH Advocacy Network

In 2018 the OLH launched the EmpowOA programme, designed to provide scholars and librarians working in the humanities with tools, spaces and cogent arguments about open access. Visitors to the website can now make use of a collection of advocacy resources and read our new Open Insights series featuring interviews and opinion pieces from a rich variety of scholars and librarians within the humanities OA communities. As part of this initiative we have also been arranging a series of Twitter chats to explore the topics of the blog posts. Many of you have been part of the initiative already!

We are in the process of translating some of these resources and have recently added a Spanish version of the poster, infographics, OLH conference presentation and Glossary of OA terms to the website. We are also planning to add multilingual content to our bibliography.

The OLH advocacy network is another step in building a community around OA and the scholarly commons. It is a new space where OA ECRs, scholars, editors, librarians, or information specialists can have a conversation, share information, propose new initiatives and provide feedback. …”

An Open Letter to U.S. Scientist Legislators – Scientific American

The most glaring disregard for science is at the Environmental Protection Agency. One blatant example has been an attempt to weaken the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards that were built on deep research into the health threats from mercury, arsenic, lead and other pollutants, which come in part from coal-burning power plants. We urge you to uphold those standards, and to fight the stream of reckless rollbacks by both the EPA and the Department of the Interior of measures that safeguard people and the environment. Clean water, clean air and clean land should not be sacrificed for commercial gain.

Another egregious step you should fight is the EPA’s proposed “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” rule. Despite the nice-sounding name, it would force EPA to use only studies that make all data publicly available—including sensitive, personal information about individuals who were involved in health studies. In effect, it would prevent EPA from using important research. A concise argument against the measure was published by the editors-in-chief of NatureSciencePLOSPNAS and other major journals….”

Making Research Knowledge Public Award | Interview with recipients Hannah McGregor and Juan Pablo Alperin – scholcommlab

“What does “making research knowledge public” look like to you? 

Juan Pablo Alperin: I see open access as a very basic, initial step toward making research knowledge public. We never know who in society might care about our work, regardless of how niche an audience we might have in mind. My own research and other evidence points to the fact that there are members of the public who want to know. Even if faculty don’t want to change anything else about what they do, they can make sure that their research is at least accessible to anyone who wants to see it. For me, making research knowledge public is about enabling and supporting an ecosystem in which that becomes the norm. 

Hannah McGregor: I think open access should be the default and baseline, particularly for journals. But access goes beyond just paywalls; it also has to do with language and discoverability. Journals—open access or not—still circulate within particular systems of discoverability that are available mostly to people who know how universities work. 

The side of things that I have been working on is what my colleague Jon Bath calls public-first scholarship. I’ve been thinking about what it means to do your work in the public from the get-go, rather than doing it within the university and then making it public later. I’m making podcasts, because podcasts are not a university medium. They are a medium that has their own logic, a logic that is inherently open and inherently public-facing. I want the audience for my work to not be precluded by people who have access to scholarship….”

Richard Smith: Pharmaceutical companies follow public funders of research in efforts to reform science publishing – The BMJ

Funders of research are the one group who have the power to change the slow, inefficient, old-fashioned, wasteful, arbitrary, and, some would say, iniquitous way that we publish science. About half of biomedical research is funded by pharmaceutical companies, but they have been much slower than public funders of research to use their influence. Open Pharma, which “works with pharma to drive fast and transparent medical publishing,” is encouraging pharmaceutical companies to use their influence more. The group met last week and discussed promoting open access and finding ways to link together the material on particular issues—perhaps a single clinical trial, a drug, or a disease—that currently is widely scattered and hard to find. (I chaired the meeting: see conflict of interest statement below.)

On the day of the meeting only one pharmaceutical company—Shire had mandated open access for the research it funds, whether undertaken by its employees or outsiders. Indeed, remarkably it seemed to be the only for-profit company to have done so—despite hundreds, probably thousands, of public bodies having mandated open access. (The day after the meeting another pharmaceutical company, Ipsen, also mandated open access.) One ironic reason for pharmaceutical companies being so slow is that they are heavily regulated and uncertain how regulators will view mandatory open access….

We agreed that for a patient, researcher, reviewer, or journalist it could be useful to have all the material together, and for a funder, including a pharmaceutical company, it would be good to be able to easily access all material related to research it had funded. There was also a hope expressed at the meeting that ensuring all material was available would increase trust in pharmaceutical companies.

At the moment, six major pharmaceutical companies are part of Open Pharma, along with six publishers—and the hope is that more may join and that the companies can work with public funders of research in improving the publishing of science.”

Opinion: “Plan S” falls short for society publishers—and for the researchers they serve | PNAS

Hence, I, like many in scientific society leadership and publishing, have been following with great interest the ambitious plan (“Plan S”) put forward in September by a group of European funding agencies. But although well-intentioned, several aspects are troubling and problematic for society publishers and the scientific community at large. These aspects require serious discussion and, in some cases, a rethink….”

Open access mythbusting: Testing two prevailing assumptions about the effects of open access adoption – Pollock – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This article looks at whether there is evidence to support two prevailing assumptions about open access (OA). These assumptions are: (1) fully OA journals are inherently of poorer quality than journals supported by other business models and (2) the OA business model, that is, paying for publication, is more ‘competitive’ than the subscription journal access business model. The assumptions have been discussed in contemporary industry venues, and we have encountered them in the course of their work advising scholarly communications organizations. Our objective was to apply data analytics techniques to see if these assumptions bore scrutiny. By combining citation?based impact scores with data from publishers’ price lists, we were able to look for relationships between business model, price, and ‘quality’ across several thousands of journals. We found no evidence suggesting that OA journals suffer significant quality issues compared with non?OA journals. Furthermore, authors do not appear to ‘shop around’ based on OA price.

Can we transform scholarly communication with open source and community?owned infrastructure? – McGonagle?O’Connell – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points


  • Scholarly publishing is constrained by a technological infrastructure that is rigid, cumbersome, and weighed down by interoperability challenges – frustrating efforts to streamline and innovate.
  • Publishing is dominated by a few major players who control much of the scholarly record and its underlying infrastructure.
  • Collaborative publishing efforts offer huge potential for reducing cost and innovating more flexible workflows….”

Public Domain Manifesto

” The following principles are essential to preserve a meaningful understanding of the Public Domain and to ensure that the Public Domain continues to function in the technological environment of the networked information society. With regard to the structural Public Domain these are as follows:

  1. The Public Domain is the rule, copyright protection is the exception. Since copyright protection is granted only with respect to original forms of expression, the vast majority of data, information and ideas produced worldwide at any given time belongs to the Public Domain. In addition to information that is not eligible for protection, the Public Domain is enlarged every year by works whose term of protection expires. The combined application of the requirements for protection and the limited duration of the copyright protection contribute to the wealth of the Public Domain so as to ensure access to our shared culture and knowledge.
  2. Copyright protection should last only as long as necessary to achieve a reasonable compromise between protecting and rewarding the author for his intellectual labour and safeguarding the public interest in the dissemination of culture and knowledge. From neither the perspective of the author nor the general public do any valid arguments exist (whether historical, economic, social or otherwise) in support of an exceedingly long term of copyright protection. While the author should be able to reap the fruits of his intellectual labour, the general public should not be deprived for an overly long period of time of the benefits of freely using those works.
  3. What is in the Public Domain must remain in the Public Domain. Exclusive control over Public Domain works must not be reestablished by claiming exclusive rights in technical reproductions of the works, or using technical protection measures to limit access to technical reproductions of such works.
  4. The lawful user of a digital copy of a Public Domain work should be free to (re-)use, copy and modify such work. The Public Domain status of a work does not necessarily mean that it must be made accessible to the public. The owners of physical works that are in the Public Domain are free to restrict access to such works. However once access to a work has been granted then there ought not be legal restrictions on the re-use, modification or reproduction of these works.
  5. Contracts or technical protection measures that restrict access to and re-use of Public Domain works must not be enforced. The Public Domain status of a work guarantees the right to re-use, modify and reproduce. This also includes user prerogatives arising from exceptions and limitations, fair use and fair dealing, ensuring that these cannot be limited by contractual or technological means….”

AmeliCA vs Plan S: Same target, two different strategies to achieve Open Access. – AmeliCA

On 4 September 2018, a group of national research funding organizations, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of COAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access (OA) to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles (Science Europe, 2019). The target is:

“By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms. “

At the same time but in another region of the world AmeliCA was brewing, the extension of REDALYC’s philosophy, knowledge and technology to the Global South (Becerril-Garcia & Aguado-Lopez, 2018). AmeliCA is a multi-institutional community-driven initiative supported by UNESCO that arises in response to the international, regional, national and institutional contexts of Open Access, which seeks a collaborative, sustainable, protected and non-commercial solution for Open Knowledge in Latin America and the Global South (AmeliCA, 2018). This institution of Commons was launched at the Conference of CLACSO on November 21, 2018, in the “UNESCO Special Forum: Democratization of academic knowledge. The challenges for open access to knowledge. “


Do we need to move from communication technology to user community? A new economic model of the journal as a club – Hartley – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Much of the argument around reforming, remaking, or preserving the traditions of scholarly publishing is built on economic principles, explicit or implicit. Can we afford open access (OA)? How do we pay for high?quality services? Why does it cost so much? In this article, we argue that the sterility of much of this debate is a result of failure to tackle the question of what a journal is in economic terms. We offer a way through by demonstrating that a journal is a club and discuss the implications for the scholarly publishing industry. We use examples, ranging from OA to prestige journals, to explain why congestion is a problem for club?based publications, and to discuss the importance of creative destruction for the maintenance of knowledge?generating communities in publishing.

Key points:

The justification for open access (OA) remains founded on scientific rather than economic principles.

The rationale for using outsourced specialists (publishers) has shifted from the costs of production (print era) through those of dissemination (desktop era) to those of scale (internet era).

Hopeful predictions about OA have missed the mark or otherwise been frustrated, we believe, by a misunderstanding of the basic economics of scholarly journals.

A scholarly journal is a club where a group of scholars works together to understand their domain and share common language and knowledge as markers of insider/outsider status.

The most effective journals operate as clubs, providing frameworks and protocols for the production of knowledge and the creation of trust within a specialized community….”

Partnership for Open Access

“The Partnership for Open Access establishes an innovative model for collaboration between university libraries and scholarly journals, and helps provide continuous financial support to Canadian publishers in transition toward complete open access….

Coalition Publi.ca is a strategic partnership created in the spring of 2017 by Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). It stems from an intensive and collaborative reflection process within the Canadian research community, aiming to develop a national infrastructure for the open access dissemination of publications in HSS and arts and letters….”