“The OA Switchboard initiative is a collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers with the aim to facilitate the fulfilment of OA strategies across business models, policies and agreements, whilst providing a better experience for researchers/authors. The 2020 OA Switchboard project, as announced in our January progress report, explores how we can build an operational solution to tackle the shared problems together and investigates a sustainable governance and funding set-up for a shared initiative such as this….”
“Simon Fraser University Library invites applications for the Head of Digital Publishing and Managing Director of the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). Reporting to the Associate Dean of Libraries, Digital Strategy and based at the W.A.C. Bennett Library, Burnaby campus, this full-time continuing position will be responsible for both managing PKP operations and supporting SFU faculty, staff, and students as Head of the Digital Publishing division within the Library….”
“The Next Generation Library Publishing project (NGLP) has a grant from Arcadia to invest in existing, emerging, and new infrastructure for library publishing, and we need your help in deciding how and where to invest those funds. This is your chance to help shape the future of library and other nonprofit publishing by identifying specific ways we might focus our project resources toward improvements large and small.
Based on your experiences with existing publishing technologies and workflows, we request your input on how to improve the scholarly communication publishing infrastructure. Infrastructure projects might include new tools, improvements to existing tools, bridges between tools, hosted solutions, or even work on shared practice and standards. We are also interested in projects or initiatives that relate to this effort.
We are eager to see all your ideas, from single sentence wishes to brief proposals for already well-formulated plans. It may be something that you or your organization wants to work on or something that you wish others would do to make your life easier. No idea is too big or too small! …”
“In this project, Educopia, California Digital Library (CDL), and Strategies for Open Science (Stratos), in close partnership with LYRASIS, Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), and Longleaf Services are working to advance and integrate open source publishing infrastructure to provide robust support for library publishing. Our project goals include:
Creating a more balanced, effective academic publishing ecosystem that aligns with academic values and increases choice, opportunity, and innovation via compelling library publishing solutions;
Developing tools and standards that allow better integration of campus repository systems and publishing workflows across the lifecycle of scholarly research;
Establishing sustainable, community-governed, open solutions that rival best-of-breed commercial tools and advance scholarly communication in important ways….”
“Through the Next Generation Library Publishing project (2019-2022), Educopia Institute, California Digital Library, and Stratos, in close collaboration with COAR, LYRASIS, and Longleaf Services, seek to improve the publishing pathways and choices available to authors, editors, and readers through strengthening, integrating, and scaling up scholarly publishing infrastructures to support library publishers. In addition to building publishing tools and workflows, our team is exploring how to create community hosting models that align explicitly and demonstratively with academic values. …”
“At present, China is courageously fighting against the COVID-19. Driven by the expectations of the whole country and even the whole world, Chinese medical talents have urgently launched all-round research on issues such as disease prevention and control, pathology, clinical diagnosis and treatment, and the development of new drugs, sparing no effort to make key technology breakthroughs as soon as possible and to completely defeat the epidemic. As the researches move on, more and more new achievements will be made in the near future. The research is not only a particularly important project but also a severe challenge for the medical circle of China and the world. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to publish the latest domestic and foreign research achievements as soon as possible and to provide timely, comprehensive and systematic knowledge services to the public and the professionals both at home and abroad, which is also a major responsibility of Chinese academic journals on medicine and health and relevant online platforms and also provides an important opportunity for China’s development of world-class research journals.
After deliberation, the Chinese Medical Association Publishing House, the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, Chinese Medical Doctor Association, China Association of Chinese Medicine, Chinese Medical Association, and China Academic Journals (CD Edition) Electronic Publishing House Co., Ltd. jointly advocate to mobilize the journals affiliated to these associations and the outstanding academic journals on medicine and health across China, especially the journals that have already started online-first publishing in China National Knowledge Infrastructure ?CNKI?, for immediate action. In particular, great efforts will be made to focus on the research on COVID-19 as a major topic, to organize open access?OA? publishing of high-quality and high-level research achievements in CNKI, to apply research achievements to the fight against the epidemic as soon as possible, and to facilitate the wide spread of research achievements across China and the world. The cost for open access publication and related services will be completely covered by CNKI….”
“COVID-19 has attracted widespread attention from experts, scholars and the public since its outbreak in December, 2019. In order to provide more information about this epidemic and relevant knowledge on disease protection, diagnosis and treatment, CNKI has cooperated with domestic publishers to present worldwide readers the latest books and audios of fighting against COVID-19 through CNKI-eBooks (Intl) platform….”
“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten and disrupt lives, publishers across all sectors are working tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition experience for readers of all ages.
These publishers already offer a robust variety of high-quality books, research journals, and education solutions through an equally robust variety of print, digital, and audiobook business models. Nevertheless, as the situation around COVID-19 continues to press demand, many leaders are doing more to assist avid book readers, teachers, students, researchers and medical professionals to obtain literature and resources, including as to the novel coronavirus itself.
Publishers are committed to helping booksellers (see here). If you’re reading this, we encourage you to visit the American Booksellers Association website (see here) to find your local bookstores, many of which are offering home delivery and curbside pick-up.
Below is a partial list of industry actions, which we will continue to update for the public….”
How Wiley and Sons is Positioned Against Open Access
John Wiley & Sons is a mainly digital business. According to their 2019 annual report (Pages 25-27) the plurality of their earnings come from their research division where online academic journal subscriptions are their bread and butter. In fact, their reliance on online journal subscriptions is shown by the observation that it contributes more than half of their profits for their research segment. This sector also has continuously seen a decrease over the past 2 years. This decline is likely related to the growth of the open access publishing movement going on in academia. John Wiley and Sons understands this movement as well and has taken steps to accommodate. Between 2018 and 2019, they’ve increased their open access journal revenue by 30%. Where does this money come from though? It just so happens that authors have to pay a fee to publish their papers in Wiley and Sons online journals. These fees range anywhere between $500-$2000 fee per publication. Another avenue of revenue from their open access journals is that they contain advertisements.
Regarding Open Access, Wiley currently offers two models of Open Access that is at the author’s choice. A fully open access journal or a subscription journal offering called OnlineOpen is called Gold. The other option, Green, is free to the author, but allows for a 12 to 24-month embargo period. Wiley cites in its 2019 10-K that the hybrid open access is only available to authors that are publishing in the majority of the company’s academic journals are able to make their articles available through Wiley’s OnlineOpen. This is a network effect in play, if you want to publish in a particularly respected journal, you must access it via the Wiley tollroad. Not only that, the as stated below by Wiley and Sons, the open access journals cover a wide array of disciplines as per their 2019 10-K ….”
“Drugmakers are facing mounting calls to give up their patent rights for potentially life-saving treatments and vaccines for coronavirus as authorities worldwide race to curb the pandemic’s death toll. The heads of the World Health Organization and Unitaid, a UN-backed group funding global health innovation, have welcomed a proposal devised by Costa Rica for companies voluntarily to pool their intellectual property for all medical interventions — including treatment, vaccines and diagnostics….”
“MIT researchers hope to publish open-source designs for a low-cost respirator that could potentially help Covid-19 patients struggling with critical respiratory problems.
The motorized device automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks, the sort of manual resuscitator used by ambulance crews to assist patients with breathing problems. The designs could arrive as a growing number of engineers, medical students, and hobbyists attempt to build or share specifications for makeshift respirators—of unknown quality and safety—amid rising fears of widespread shortages as the coronavirus epidemic escalates….”
“Last Tuesday we launched a National Emergency Library—1.4M digitized books available to users without a waitlist—in response to the rolling wave of school and library closures that remain in place to date. We’ve received dozens of messages of thanks from teachers and school librarians, who can now help their students access books while their schools, school libraries, and public libraries are closed.
We’ve been asked why we suspended waitlists. On March 17, the American Library Association Executive Board took the extraordinary step to recommend that the nation’s libraries close in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In doing so, for the first time in history, the entirety of the nation’s print collection housed in libraries is now unavailable, locked away indefinitely behind closed doors.
This is a tremendous and historic outage. According to IMLS FY17 Public Libraries survey (the last fiscal year for which data is publicly available), in FY17 there were more than 716 million physical books in US public libraries. Using the same data, which shows a 2-3% decline in collection holdings per year, we can estimate that public libraries have approximately 650 million books on their shelves in 2020. Right now, today, there are 650 million books that tax-paying citizens have paid to access that are sitting on shelves in closed libraries, inaccessible to them. And that’s just in public libraries.
And so, to meet this unprecedented need at a scale never before seen, we suspended waitlists on our lending collection. As we anticipated, critics including the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers have released statements (here and here) condemning the National Emergency Library and the Internet Archive. Both statements contain falsehoods that are being spread widely online. To counter the misinformation, we are addressing the most egregious points here and have also updated our FAQs….”
“We are stunned by the Internet Archive’s aggressive, unlawful, and opportunistic attack on the rights of authors and publishers in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Publishers are working tirelessly to support the public with numerous, innovative, and socially-aware programs that address every side of the crisis: providing free global access to research and medical journals that pertain to the virus; offering complementary digital education materials to schools and parents; and expanding powerful storytelling platforms for readers of all ages.
“It is the height of hypocrisy that the Internet Archive is choosing this moment – when lives, livelihoods and the economy are all in jeopardy – to make a cynical play to undermine copyright, and all the scientific, creative, and economic opportunity that it supports.”
“The Authors Guild is appalled by the Internet Archive’s (IA) announcement that it is now making millions of in-copyright books freely available online without restriction on its Open Library site under the guise of a National Emergency Library. IA has no rights whatsoever to these books, much less to give them away indiscriminately without consent of the publisher or author. We are shocked that the Internet Archive would use the Covid-19 epidemic as an excuse to push copyright law further out to the edges, and in doing so, harm authors, many of whom are already struggling.
With mean writing incomes of only $20,300 a year prior to the crisis, authors, like others, are now struggling all the more—from cancelled book tours and loss of freelance work, income supplementing jobs, and speaking engagements. And now they are supposed to swallow this new pill, which robs them of their rights to introduce their books to digital formats as many hundreds of midlist authors do when their books go out of print, and which all but guarantees that author incomes and publisher revenues will decline even further.
IA is using a global crisis to advance a copyright ideology that violates current federal law and hurts most authors. It has misrepresented the nature and legality of the project through a deceptive publicity campaign. Despite giving off the impression that it is expanding access to older and public domain books, a large proportion of the books on Open Library are in fact recent in-copyright books that publishers and authors rely on for critical revenue. Acting as a piracy site—of which there already are too many—the Internet Archive tramples on authors’ rights by giving away their books to the world….”
“One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators. These machines can keep patients breathing when they no longer can on their own, and they can cost around $30,000 each. Now, a rapidly assembled volunteer team of engineers, physicians, computer scientists, and others, centered at MIT, is working to implement a safe, inexpensive alternative for emergency use, which could be built quickly around the world.
The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12 in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students and faculty working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts, although in the years since prices have gone up and the device would now cost $400 to $500 in materials. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace….”