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Open Access Actions and Propositions

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Review the Latest Activities

For summaries of some of the most current news events see:

 


The Academic Spring initiative began with a boycott and petition by Timothy Gowers, a mathematician at the University of Cambridge, stating his frustrations with detrimental impact of the commercial actions of the STM publisher Elsevier. By April 2, over 8,900 academics have signed onto the http://thecostofknowledge.com/ site, agreeing to boycott Elsevier, vowing not to peer-review or submit papers for any of its scientific journals. They have now created a more formal statement of their concerns.

The protest not only questions the long-terms impact of Elsevier's actions, but it also highlights the company's support of three proposed US laws: the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills and the Research Works Act (RWA), which aims to prevent government-funded researchers from being required to publish in open-access journals. NOTE: Many other publishers also support these bills. Elsevier dropped support for the RWA, and they have produced a response to the boycott.

  The recent Finch Report has generated a great deal of reaction from the supporting British government, other governments, and Open Access supporters.  The focus is on whether agencies should support Green or Gold open access models.  (September 25, 2012)

   Opinion piece by Hugh Gusterson,professor of cultural studies and anthropology at George Mason University, questioning the continuation of giving away expertise by authors and reviewers in the current model.

   MLA protects their job board behind a firewall, and some scholars attempt to create a free version. (September 25, 2012)

   SCOAP3 is a consortium that facilitates Open Access publishing in High Energy Physics by re-directing subscription money. This answers the request of the High Energy Physics community. Geneva 1 October 2012. Representatives from the science funding agencies and library communities of 29 countries are meeting at CERN today to launch the SCOAP3 Open Access initiative. Following the effective award of contracts to several journals, and starting January 1st 2014, these journals will publish all SCOAP3 Articles submitted by any author as Open Access in perpetuity under a CC-BY license. Publishers will reduce their subscription fees, where those exist, to account for this conversion of entire journals, or parts thereof, to Open Access. SCOAP3 Articles are defined as either all articles appearing in journals mostly carrying High-Energy Physics content, or articles appearing in “broad band” journals which have been submitted by researchers to arXiv.org under the corresponding categories.

Interview with Jan Velterop about new national Big Deal models for subsidizing journals. He was instrumental in the initail Big Deal models.

 Hathi Trust copyright decision (October 11, 2012) he District Court issued its opinion (full text) in the case, finding that:

  • The fact that libraries have specific enumerated rights to make certain kinds of copies does not mean that they can't call on fair use to make other kinds of copies. (Section 108 does not limit libraries' section 107 rights.)
  • Providing access for users with disabilities is a valued purpose under fair use.
  • Providing digital copies to make analog works accessible to users with disabilities is transformative use.
  • Making copies of an entire work can be transformative fair use when it is for a transformative purpose, such as making the work searchable.
  • Hathi's activities are fair use.

Elementa is a new Open Access journal created through a collaboration among BioOne, Dartmouth, and several other leading research universities, that will publish original research on new knowledge of the Earth's physical, chemical, and biological systems during this era of human 
impacts.  

February 19, 2013—John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced today that Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Microbial Biotechnology have joined the Wiley Open Access publishing program. All articles in these two journals are now open access and free to view, download and share. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Microbial Biotechnology will publish all from January 2013 under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. A publication fee will be payable by authors or their funder on acceptance of their primary research articles. Authors affiliated with, or funded by, an organization that has a Wiley Open Access Account can publish without directly paying any publication charges.

February 25, 2013 - Federal agencies that spend more than $100-million a year to support research and development were directed to develop "clear and coordinated policies" to make the results of research they support publicly available within a year of publication. The new policy also requires scientific data from unclassified, federally supported research to be made available to the public "to search, retrieve, and analyze." Affected agencies have six months to decide how to carry out the policy. The memo also recognized that publishers provide "valuable services," such as coordinating peer review, "that are essential for ensuring the high quality and integrity of many scholarly publications." The memo called it "critical that these services continue to be made available." It was not immediately clear how the new policy would affect the prospects for the proposed Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, a bipartisan bill introduced this month in Congress. If enacted, the legislation would require federal agencies with external research budgets of $100-million or more to make the results of federally financed research available to the public within six months of publication.

February 28, 2013 -  New model for journal-independent peer review: a  portable peer-review service Rubriq aims to significantly reduce the time papers spend in peer review, especially if the paper is rejected from one journal and so has to start again from the beginning with the next. Instead, the service, owned by Research Square in Durham, North Carolina, US, which has already launched a pre-submission editing service, intends to improve one of the services traditionally performed in house by publishers. Rubriq will charge authors for a fast, independent peer review service that can then be taken with the paper to different publishers, with some of the fee passed onto the referees who review the manuscript. For $500, researchers in the fields of immunology, cancer research, and microbiology can already sign up the scheme, which will eventually accept submissions from all biological and medical sciences.

March 4, 2013 -- The European Union (EU) appears ready in principle to endorse the European Commission’s proposals for developing open access to scientific information arising from publicly funded research. Ministers from the 27 member countries, meeting as the EU’s competitiveness council, last week took a first look at the Brussels text and “supported the idea of developing broader and more rapid access to scientific publications in order to help researchers and businesses to build on the findings of publicly funded research”, said the council. For full report see the news release.


March 4, 2013 -- The Illinois General assembly is considering the Open Access to Research Articles Act. The act provides that no later than 12 months after the effective date of the Act, each public institution of higher education shall develop an open access to research articles policy. Provides that all public institutions of higher education shall develop policies that provide for the submission, by all faculty employed by the public institution of higher education, to the employing institution of an electronic version of the author's final manuscript of original research papers upon acceptance by a scholarly research journal; the incorporation of certain changes and replacements regarding the manuscript; free online public access to the final peer-reviewed manuscripts or published versions upon publication; an irrevocable, worldwide copyright license granted by the author to the public; production of an online bibliography of all research papers that are publicly accessible; and long-term preservation of, and free public access to, published research articles. Sets forth provisions concerning applicability, other policy requirements, and reporting requirements.

March 11, 2013 -- Library Publishing Coalition creation ... Over 50 academic libraries, in collaboration with Educopia, are founding the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) as part of a two-year project (January 2013-December 2014). The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) will be dedicated to advancing the emerging field of library publishing. Unlike practitioners in other fields of librarianship and publishing, library-based publishing groups lack a central location (e.g., a conference, an organization, a virtual space) where they can meet, work together, share information, and confront common issues. The LPC project is engaging practitioners to design a collaborative network that intentionally addresses and supports an evolving, distributed, and diverse range of library production and publishing practices. The project group is studying, documenting, and evaluating how best to structure this community-led initiative in order to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing for this field.

March 11. 2013 -- Open Library of Humanities aims to give the background to, and rationale for, a vision of building a low cost, sustainable, Open Access future for the humanities. The Open Library of Humanities aims to provide a platform for Open Access publishing that is:

    Reputable and respected through rigorous peer review
    Sustainable
    Digitally preserved and safely archived in perpetuity
    Non-profit
    Open in both monetary and permission terms
    Non-discriminatory (APCs are waiverable)
    Technically innovative in response to the needs of scholars and librarians
    A solution to the serials crisis 

 

April 23, 2013 -- Faculty of 1000 (http://f1000.com/) is an original open access journal for life scientists that offers immediate publication, transparent peer review (post-publication) and full data deposition and sharing. They publish four unique services that support and inform the work of life scientists and clinicians. F1000Prime and F1000Trials provide a layer of expert opinion and guidance on published articles, and F1000Research and F1000Posters present original and useful work via open access websites that encourage transparency, sharing and debate.

May 6, 2013 --  Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP) recognizes individuals who have applied scientific research – published through Open Access – to innovate in any field and benefit society. Anyone can nominate an individual or team. Individuals are also free to nominate themselves.

May 17, 2013 -- PaperCritic offers researchers a way of obtaining and providing feedback for published articles in a fully open and transparent environment.  Utilizes Mendeley and offers a tracking feature.

May 17, 2013 -- altmetrics is a way to measure impact from mentions of published materials beyond citations (web pages, tweets, etc).  On June 25, 2013, NISO announced a two year study of this alternative measurement technique.

June 7, 2013 -- SHARE - the SHared Access Research Ecosystem collaboration proposal. SHARE envisions that universities will collaborate with the Federal Government and others to host cross-institutional digital repositories of public access research publications that meet federal requirements for public availability and preservation.

 August 2, 2013 -- University of California adopts an Open Access Policy, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge. By granting a license to the University of California prior to any contractual arrangement with publishers, faculty members can now make their research widely and publicly available, re-use it for various purposes, or modify it for future research publications. UC faculty members have committed themselves to making their scholarly articles available to the public by granting a license to UC and depositing a copy of their publications in eScholarship, UC’s open access repository. The policy allows Faculty members to opt out on a per-article basis.  Details are explained in the FAQ.

 August 28, 2013 -- Libre is a free open peer review tool created by a growing community (Open Scholar C.I.C.) of enthusiastic research scientists and academics who share the vision of promoting a new, more open and transparent culture in scholarly communication and evaluation. The open peer-review process invites expert colleagues to formally evaluate submitted articles. This “author-guided open peer review process” is absolutely transparent and can be implemented at any moment during an article’s lifetime.

October 24, 2013 -- Library Publishing Directory provides a snapshot of the publishing activities of 115 academic and research libraries, including information about the number and types of publications they produce, the services they offer authors, how they are staffed and funded, and the future plans of institutions that are engaged in this growing field. 

November 4, 2013 --  Knowledge Unlatched is a Pilot project attempting to utilize library subscriptions to provide 28 new Humanities and Social Sciences books free for anyone in the world to read on an Open Access basis. The books are from 13 recognised scholarly publishers: Amsterdam University Press, Bloomsbury Academic, Brill, Cambridge University Press, De Gruyter, Duke University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Liverpool University Press, Manchester University Press, Purdue University Press, Rutgers University Press, Temple University Press and University of Michigan Press.

November 13, 2013 -- "BioRxiv, launched yesterday by the nonprofit Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), aims to be biologists' version of arXiv, the popular preprint server where physicists have shared their draft manuscripts for more than 20 years. The goal is to speed the dissemination of research and give scientists a way to get feedback on their papers before they are formally peer-reviewed, says John Inglis, CSHL Press executive director. "There is a growing desire in the community for this kind of service,” Inglis says.  It will be free to submit a paper or to read it in bioRxiv, Inglis says. CSHL is paying the costs of the service ... but hopes that, like arXiv, it will ultimately attract contributions. Although anybody can submit a paper, not everything will be posted: A group of more than 40 "affiliate" scientists have agreed to screen submissions to "assure us that this is real science,"  Inglis says. "We certainly don't want the enterprise to be sunk by publishing a load of crap."  Another limitation is that bioRxiv is for life sciences, not medicine, so it will not publish clinical trials or other research that is "medically relevant," Inglis says. Human genetic data could be posted, however."  Full Text Article via Science http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2013/11/new-preprint-server-aims-be-biologists-answer-physicists-arxiv

December 6, 2013 -- CERN announces that  the launch of the SCOAP3 initiative with open access to high energy physics materials from 11 key journal publishers will begin on January 1, 2014. With the support of partners in 24 countries, a vast fraction of scientific articles in the field of high-energy physics will become Open Access at no cost for any author: everyone will be able to read them; authors will retain copyright; and generous licenses will enable wide re-use of this information.

August 11, 2014 -- DOE announces PAGES, the Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science, with the mission to provide access to journal articles and accepted manuscripts resulting from DOE research funding.

August 11, 2014 -- CHORUS, The Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS), is a not-for-profit public-private partnership to increase public access to peer-reviewed publications that report on federally funded research.

August 21, 2014 -- The Academic Book of the Future is a two-year research project hosted by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Library which will explore the future of the academic book in the context of open access publishing and continuing digital change.

September 22, 2014 -- The American Physical Society is not participating in the current cycle of SCOAP3, the global Open Access initiative in physics coordinated by CERN, but has announced an agreement that demonstrates the organizations' commitment to Open Access publishing.

October 27, 2014 -- University of California Press is entering into the Open Access space with the launch of two new products: a mega journal focused on three core disciplines (life and biomedical sciences, ecology and environmental science, and social and behavioral sciences) and a monograph program designed to take advantage of rich, digital formats. 

November 26, 2014 -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new policy on Open Access requirements and will pay all necessary fees to make materials immediately available under Creative Commons conditions.  

November, 2014 -- OpenCon 2014  - a conference for students and early-career researchers that focused on open access (OA), open education, and open data.

December, 2014 -- the Open Access Button - a tool to help researchers find free versions of firewalled materials and/or record instances of firewalls.

January 5, 2015 -- A new report "Proportion of Open Access Papers Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals at the European and World Levels—1996–2013" offers an extensive Open Access analysis that provides breakdowns by discipline, type of OA, and across national borders.

March 27, 2015 -- UC Davis Library receives a Mellon grant to explore and develop new Open Access price models

March 31, 2015 -- Stanford, CA and Staten Island, NY  March 30, 2015. The CLOCKSS Archive, a not-for-profit joint venture between the world's leading academic publishers and research libraries, has entered into an agreement with CHORUS (Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States), the not-for-profit, cost-effective, and sustainable public access solution, to support the archiving, preservation, and perpetual public access to articles reporting on US federally funded research, at no additional cost to taxpayers.

March 31, 2015 -- Springer and Jisc have agreed to an arrangement to take into account UK scientists’ need to comply with multiple open access policies while accessing scientific articles published by Springer, while containing the combined costs of article processing charges and subscriptions. The proposed agreement will cap the amount paid by UK higher education (HE) institutions to subscribe and maintain full access to Springer’s subscription journals and to make their researchers’ articles open access in those journals – the latter being in compliance with the requirements of HEFCE’s Research Excellence Framework, RCUK’s open access policy and other major funders such as the Charity Open Access Fund.

May 22, 2015 -- Elsevier announces a revision to their open access policy which significantly reduces the allowances for Green institutional repository articles. 

August 14, 2015 -- Nature Publishing Group released a report on a recent faculty survey showing a reduction in the number of faculty who feel Open Access automatically means lower quality.

August 19, 2015 -- OpenAIRE is a consortium of 50 partners, from all EU countries, and beyond, that will collaborate to work on a large-scale initiative that aims to promote open scholarship and substantially improve the discoverability and reusability of research publications and data.  

October 27, 2015 -- University of California updates its Open Access Policy to include non-Faculty articles.

November 3, 2015 -- All six editors and all 31 editorial board members of Lingua, one of the top journals in linguistics, last week resigned to protest Elsevier's policies on pricing and its refusal to convert the journal to an open-access publication that would be free online. As soon as January, when the departing editors' non-compete contracts expire, they plan to start a new open-access journal to be called Glossa. See the list of Journal declarations of independence which records such editorial board defections.

January 25, 2016 -- The Open Syllabus Project analyzes and provides patterns for materials used across over a million college and university syllabi.

January 25, 2016 --  Wiley (publisher) will convert five of its leading journals to Open Access: all articles in Plant Biotechnology Journal, GCB Bioenergy, Health Expectations, Atmospheric Science Letter and Clinical and Translational Science are now free to read, download and share, with all five journals now accepting OA submissions for publication under a creative commons (CC BY) license.

February 12, 2016 -- Researcher illegally shares millions of science papers free online to spread knowledge ... describes the outlaw Sci-Hub and LibGen article servers.

March 7, 2016 -- A new Open Access mathematics journal, Discrete Analysis, is being developed as a peer reviewed journal composed from material submitted to the arXiv pre-print server.

March 23, 2016 -- Sherpa REF service checks journal titles for compliance with the U.K. open access (OA) policy for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

April 12, 2016 -- Canadian Science Publishing – an organization born out of the downsizing of the National Research Council – officially launches FACETS, an online multidisciplinary journal that will charge a fee of $1,350 for each paper it publishes, and will require that each paper it publishes contributes new knowledge.

April 12, 2016 -- Library Genesis is an illegal repository of pirated commercial books, brought to you by the folks that are running the illegal Sci-Hub article server.

May 27, 2016 -- The American Chemical Society has agreed that Dutch universities and participating research institutions author articles will be available as open access to the world in return for their continuing payment of journal subscription fees.

May 31, 2016 -- The University of North Carolina Press recently set up an Office of Scholarly Publishing Services that will offer copy editing, design layout, distribution, and seed money for professors making open educational resources.

June 20, 2106 -- Thirty-eight community colleges will take part in a new effort that involves replacing commercial textbooks with free educational materials. The open-educational-resources project, which is being coordinated by Achieving the Dream, a network for community-college reform, is expected to bring the free materials to at least 76,000 students in the next three years.

July 6, 2016 -- the Wellcome Trust, the charity in London that has become one of the biggest non-governmental funders of biomedical research, will launch its own open-access online journal. The journal, called Wellcome Open Research, will encourage researchers to post their work immediately on the site, as a full research paper or even just a data set. Only then does the peer review begin, and in this case the reviewers selected by the journal’s editors will be publicly known. "The transparent peer review process will encourage constructive feedback from experts," the Wellcome Trust's press release reads, "[focusing] on helping the authors improve their work rather than on making an editorial decision to accept or reject an article."

July 12, 2016 -- At a September 19 meeting, Princeton’s Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy adopted a new open access policy that gives the university the “nonexclusive right to make available copies of scholarly articles written by its faculty, unless a professor specifically requests a waiver for particular articles.”

August 16, 2016 -- The American Chemical Society (ACS) plans to create a preprint server, ChemRxiv, for the global chemistry community’s open dissemination of scientific findings. ChemRxiv will be designed to follow the models of the existing arXiv (physics, math, computer science, etc.) and bioRxiv (life sciences) servers. For more information, read the press release.

August 29, 2016 -- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against the academic journal publisher OMICS Group and two of its subsidiaries, saying the publisher deceives scholars and misrepresents the editorial rigor of its journals. Original press release.

September 2, 2016 -- ARL sponsored, David Shulenburger article which is an ssessment of the negative impact of flipping from subscriptions to APCs

September 13, 2016 -- The Open Library Foundation launched; the purpose is to assist and facilitate educational organizations, foundations, partnerships and commercial entities in collaborating to foster, develop and sustain open technologies and innovation to support libraries, learning, research and teaching.

September 19, 2016 -- The Open Access Citation Advantage Service reports on studies of whether there is an actual citation advantage from participating in Open Access publishing. 

September 20, 2016 -- CRL materials to become Open Accessas of January 1, 2017, all digital materials hosted on the web by the Center for Research Libraries that derive from source materials in the public domain or for which CRL has secured the requisite rights and permissions, will be available without restriction. 

September 21, 2016 -- CERN announces a three year continuation of the SCOAP3 collaborative High Energy Physics OA initiative.

September 22, 2016 -- Rutgers University announces the Open and Affordable Textbook (OAT) Project which will include a $12,000 open textbook initiative pilot grant program funded by the Office of Information Technology and administered by Rutgers University Libraries. The grant program will award $1,000 to 12 faculty or department groups from Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Rutgers University–Camden, Rutgers University–Newark, and Rutgers University–New Brunswick who will replace a traditional textbook with a free, low-cost, or open alternative. This project has the potential to save students upwards of $500,000 within one year of its implementation.

January 5, 2017 -- The Shrinking Mega-Journal post announces that the world's largest scholarly journal, PLOS ONE, is seeing fewer and fewer researchers publish their work in it as the open-access publishing market evolves. This may be a natural evolution, given competing OA journals -- but it creates stress on the underlying author page charges model.

February 16, 2017 -- Gates Foundation strikes deal to allow its researchers to publish in Science journals.

March 19, 2017 -- The Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of American University Presses (AAUP) are implementing a new initiative to advance the wide dissemination of scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members by publishing free, open access, digital editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited monographs.

March 24, 2017 -- The Gates Foundation announces the establishment of Gates Open Research its own open-access publishing platform for outputs from its grants. The foundation will fully cover all article-processing charges (APCs) — US$150 for articles of up to 1,000 words, $500 for those ranging 1,000–2,500 words and $1,000 for those exceeding 2,500 words. They believe this will help authors avoid predatory publishers. Researchers must make their papers and data open access immediately upon publication, and allow their unrestricted reuse.

April 5, 2017 -- Unpaywall is a browser add-on for Firefox or Chrome that will search for Open Access copies of articles across the Internet. They claim to have a greater than 60% find rate for scholarly materials.

April 6, 2017 -- Scientific Reports (Springer) Overtakes PLOS ONE As Largest Megajournal. This raises questions about the long-term viability of the APC business model.

April 6, 2017 -- MIT is launching a new way for authors of scholarly articles to legally hold onto rights to reuse and post their articles, and for others to more easily build on that work. As of this month, all MIT authors, including students, postdocs, and staff, can opt in to an open access license. This provides an optional license that offers the power of an open access policy for authors not covered by the existing 2009 policy giving MIT nonexclusive permission to disseminate their faculty journal articles for open access through DSpace@MIT.

July 31, 2017 -- "The four editors in chief of the Journal of Algebraic Combinatorics have informed their publisher, Springer, of their intention to launch a rival open-access journal to protest the publisher’s high prices and limited accessibility. This is the latest in a string of what one observer called “editorial mutinies” over journal publishing policies."  See the article in Inside Higher Ed https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/07/31/math-journal-editors-resign-start-rival-open-access-journal and the new journal.

August 2, 2017 -- Elsevier publishing purchased the bepress Institutional Repository platform

September 26, 2017 -- the scientific repository arXiv announces a new Economics (econ) section, starting with a single subject area of Econometrics, but according to demand we expect to add more subject areas in the future, and the Econometrics subject can also be subdivided further. The reason to start with Econometrics is that a significant number of Econometricians already regularly submit their work to the statistics domain of the arXiv. 

January 5, 2018 -- AIP Publishing announced today the elimination of publication page charges and color charges, as of January 1, 2018, for all of the organization’s journals.

March 22, 2018 -- the U.S. Congress has included funding for a $5 million open textbook grant program in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill. The $5 million will be awarded as competitive grants to institutions of higher education through the U.S. Department of Education.

March 28, 2018 -- the Canadian Association of Research Libraries proposes that institutions renegotiate unsustainable deals with journal publishers and transition toward open access.

April 23, 2018 -- See the Open Pedagogy Notebook website for examples of innovative teaching techniques and tools.

May 29, 2018 -- JAMA Network Open is a new Open Access journal from the editors of JAMA. Articles are provided free to the community following payment of an article processing charge (APC) of $3,000 and will be deposited in PubMed Central. This is the third journal launched by the AMA in the last three years. JAMA Oncology was launched in 2015, followed by JAMA Cardiology in 2016.

July 9, 2018 -- Not just the free OA articles...but free context to be offered for lay readers using AI tools. See the Get the Research project.

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