“Today, the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) releases Access Denied: Federal Web Governance Under the Trump Administration. The report examines the Trump administration’s management of federal websites related to environmental regulation and makes recommendations for the Biden administration moving forward. Currently, there are few policies governing website content.
Access Denied highlights the need to address these policy gaps. It’s the most comprehensive report yet from EDGI’s website monitoring program, which has monitored federal environmental websites ever since Trump took office in January 2017, documenting more than 1,000 changes.
Websites are how federal agencies communicate with the public, and changes to them can impact public participation in environmental regulatory processes. The information that’s available—or unavailable—on federal websites matters for the health of democracy and the environment….”
“At ScienceOpen, we’ve realized that “open,” which was once applied really only at the article level, should actually be applied to the whole process. Open peer review is a prime example of this. By opening up the peer review process, we increase transparency in the review process, and it simultaneously benefits researchers by giving them credit for the work they do to review a manuscript. On the ScienceOpen platform, you will find that we have innovatively implemented open peer review in a variety of ways–i.e. in the management of preprints, post publication review, and in the creation of open access journals. To demonstrate the solutions we have created in recent months, we invite you to an online session in which Stephanie Dawson will give a complete overview of open peer review on ScienceOpen! …”
“Too strict and too detailed criteria risk excluding repositories that can offer valuable services to a dedicated scientific user group. Some repositories have been certified as ‘trustworthy’ by one or several acknowledged certification bodies; however, small, institutional, or discipline-specific repositories might not (yet) have the means to seek such certification. Science Europe recommends that researchers should refer to certified repositories or discipline-specific repositories that are broadly recognised as trustworthy by their respective community where and when possible. But there are cases in which no such repository can be identified. Researchers should then be supported in their choice by a minimum selection of core criteria. Any supporting tool should not be prescriptive, overly complicated or exclude important repositories of research communities that may be in active usage for already quite some time, but do not meet formal certification criteria. Science Europe acknowledges that the criteria developed by FAIRsharing are intended to support researchers who wish to publish the data underlying their research findings and publishers in providing adequate guidance. It is understandable that publishers require access to data, for example for the purpose of providing a high quality peer review. However, based on its experience and broad consultations when developing its own criteria, Science Europe would like to point out a number of areas where it has considerable concerns with the suggested FAIRsharing criteria as they currently stand….”
Whereas a comprehensive overview of the history of preprint servers indicates their explosive growth over recent decades, empirical findings also show that, in the almost frictionless market of preprint publishing, concentration and convergence dynamics are at play.
While OS infrastructure has been generously funded for years, without more funding, essential services that many of us depend upon are at risk of service degradation, reduced availability and of survival in some cases. Furthermore, much of the infrastructure run by not for-profits is currently free to libraries. However, how long this free service will last unknown since some commercial publishers are diversifying portfolios. An uncomfortable truth is that budgets are now even more strained, and operational and development costs remain in the absence of mid- or long-term funding solutions. OS not-for-profit infrastructure is appealing to academic library directors due to limited financial support. It is crucial that library directors take a leading role in continuing to provide financial support for OS infrastructure, even in such challenging times.
Libraries across the world have raised over 2.9 million euros over several years for OS infrastructure, supporting DOAJ, Sherpa Romeo, DOAB, OAPEN, PKP and OpenCitations. However, some of these infrastructures are still far from reaching their targets. A few thousand euros can go a long way. This webinar brings together voices from the library community who have committed to funding OS infrastructure from all regions of Europe. They offer their own perspectives on why funding remains so important to them and their organisations. Attendees learned:
About the current SCOSS infrastructures who seek funding,
How institutions and library consortia are financially supporting OS infrastructure,
Arguments for justifying financial support for OS within your own institution.
This webinar is jointly organised by LIBER and SPARC Europe within the framework of SCOSS – Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services, which aims to improve the financial position, enhance resilience, and better ensure OS infrastructure sustainability. Speakers represent OS infrastructures, library directors and consortia who have funded OS infrastructure from different regions of Europe.
“Recently a researcher asked for our advice on the best way to disseminate her preliminary findings from a cross-disciplinary research project on COVID-19. She wanted to ensure policy makers in East Africa had immediate access to the findings so that they could make informed decisions. The researcher was aware that traditional models of publishing were not appropriate, not simply because of the length of time it generally takes for an article to be peer-reviewed and published, but because the findings would, most likely, be inaccessible to her intended audience in a subscription-based journal.
The Research Support and Open Access team advised the researcher to take a two-pronged approach which would require her to: (1) upload the working paper with the preliminary findings in a subject-specific open-access preprint service; and (2) to publicise the research findings in an online platform that is both credible and open access. We suggested she use SocArXiv and publish a summary of her findings in The Conversation Africa, which has a special section on COVID-19. The Conversation has several country-specific editions for Australia, Canada English, Canada French, France, Global Perspectives, Indonesia, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States, and is a useful vehicle to get academic research read by decision makers and the members of the public. We also suggested that the researcher publicise the research on the IOE London Blog….”
“At the Internet Archive, we believe passionately that access to knowledge is a fundamental human right. Knowledge makes us stronger and more resilient; it provides pathways to education and the means to secure a job. But for many learners, distance, time, cost or disability pose daunting barriers to the information in physical books. By digitizing books, we unlock them for communities with limited or no access, creating a lifeline to trusted information. The Internet Archive’s Open Libraries project will bring four million books online, through purchase or digitization, while honoring the rights of creators and expanding their online reach. Working with US libraries and organizations serving people with print disabilities, Open Libraries can build the online equivalent of a great, modern public library, providing millions of free digital books to billions of people….”
“Like campuses across the country, Howard University in Washington, D.C., shut down last March when COVID-19 hit. Most of its nearly 6,000 undergraduate students have been remote learning ever since.
Without access to the physical library, demand for e-books has increased. The university recently joined the Open Libraries program to expand the digital materials that students can borrow. Through the program, users can check out a digital version of a book the library owns using controlled digital lending (CDL)….”
“JSTOR’s Open Community Collection initiative has surpassed the 350 collection mark and is steadily growing, with more than 100 current contributing partners at libraries, museums, universities, and other institutions around the world….”
“WhoCanGetYourBook.com offers letter grades in accessibility and availability for books, laying bare prohibitive licensing costs, exclusive deals such as Amazon’s Audible Originals, and usability concerns that are keeping popular books out of the hands of our nation’s most-vulnerable readers….
The ‘Who can get your book?’ quiz offers authors and publishers a letter grade, granting one point for each equitable decision in how a book is released. For example, Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime receives a letter grade of D, based on the memoir’s lack of availability in audiobook format due to an exclusive with Amazon’s Audible—as well as restrictive licensing agreements for the ebook.
Access issues with audiobooks in particular don’t stop there. Despite an orientation to equity of access and rare download-and-own options for ebooks, PM Press’ Pictures Of A Gone City still received a C grade because the audiobook they paid to produce via Amazon’s ACX Services is only available on Audible….”
“This is a community resource for tracking, comparing, and understanding current U.S. federal funder research data sharing policies. Originally completed by SPARC & Johns Hopkins University Libraries in 2016, the content of this resource was updated by RDAP and SPARC in 2021….”
Kakai, M., 2021. An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 9(1), p.eP2276. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2276
Abstract: Institutional repositories (IRs) present universities with an opportunity to provide global open access (OA) to their scholarship, however, this avenue was underutilised in two of the three universities in this study. This study aimed at proposing interventions to improve access to research output in IRs in universities in East Africa, and it adds to the depth of knowledge on IRs by pointing out the factors that limit OA in IRs, some of which include lack of government and funder support for OA and mediated content collection workflows that hardly involved seeking author permission to self-archive. METHODS A mixed methods approach, following a concurrent strategy was used to investigate the low level of OA in IRs. Data was collected from three purposively selected IRs in universities in East Africa, using self-administered questionnaires from 183 researchers and face-to-face interviews from six librarians. results The findings revealed that content was collected on a voluntary basis, with most of the research output deposited in the IR without the authors’ knowledge. The respondents in this study were, however, supportive of the activities of the IR, and would participate in providing research output in the IR as OA if required to do so. CONCLUSION The low level of OA in IRs in universities in East Africa could be increased by improving the IR workflow, collection development, and marketing processes. Self-archiving could be improved by increasing the researchers’ awareness and knowledge of OA and importance of IRs, while addressing their concerns about copyright infringement.
“Similarly, many well-intentioned advocates of open data failed to see how free information has always concentrated power in the owners of the fastest information-processing machines. Like the publishers of centuries past, the richest technology companies will always lead in extracting value from open data, giving them unearned leverage over the rest of society. So putting data into the public domain actually does precisely the opposite of leveling the playing field.
If individual data ownership is Scylla, the mythical sea monster who devoured unwary sailors, then open data is Charybdis, the whirlpool near Scylla’s cave. Finding the narrow path between the two means treating data like a police force or a water system — that is, as the subject of widely shared yet deeply responsible governance….”