AOASG August 2016 newsletter

8 August 2016: what’s in this month’s newsletter

What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing in AU & NZ
What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally
Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing
OA week update
Recent writing & resources on OA

If it were possible, this past couple of months has seen even more of an acceleration of news and initiatives in Open Access. Below, we’ve highlighted some of major relevance. Comments on this month’s news and suggestions for inclusion in the next newsletter, planned for September, are always welcome.
In the meantime follow @openaccess_anz on twitter for daily updates.

What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally

General new initiatives

Support for abolition of subscriptions
Nearly two-thirds of UK researchers support the abolition of subscriptions and a move to open access, according to a major study commissioned by Jisc and Research Libraries UK.

Pre-payment agreements begin
The European Union FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot is now moving onto the pre-payment agreement implementation stage.

New Wellcome publishing venue
The Wellcome trust announced that starting later this year it was implementing a new way for their researchers to share their outputs. Wellcome Open Research will use services developed by F1000Research. Once articles pass transparent invited peer review, they’ll be indexed in major bibliographic databases, and deposited in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.

MUSE Open – a new OA platform
Johns Hopkins University was awarded a two-year $938,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop and deploy MUSE Open in Project MUSE, a unit of The Johns Hopkins University Press. MUSE Open is planned as an OA platform for monographs in the humanities and social sciences.

SocArXiv, and the Center for Open Science partner on new OA social science preprint server
A plan to develop a new preprint server which enables the sharing of data and code with the potential for post-publication review was recently released and signals an interesting new direction for COS

New eprint server for engineering
And in another development in preprints EngrXiv, a new free, open access, open source archive for engineering research and design was announced – also in partnership with COS.

And another preprint server – called Preprints – was announced – this time from a publisher, MDPI.

Canadian Government opens up
The Government of Canada has released a new plan for open government centering on openness and transparency.Section C focuses on making government data and information openly available without restriction on reuse.

Monitoring open access costs
Report from Jisc Scholarly Communications Analyst released on Article processing charges (APCs) and subscriptions. Key points include

  • The average APC has increased by 6% over the past two years, a rise well above the cost of inflation
  • Publishers’ APC costs are converging to a more uniform price range, although they still vary widely. Journals with low APCs are raising their prices, perhaps to avoid being perceived as low quality
  • APC expenditure is unevenly distributed between publishers, with the lion’s share of income distributed among a handful of major publishers.

Converting subscription journals to open access
Harvard Library published its report on converting subscription journals to open access. The report’s authors identified 15 journal-flipping scenarios: 10 that depend on article processing charges (APCs) and 5 that dispense with APCs. For each one they give examples, evidence, and their assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. The examples come from all scholarly niches by academic field, regions of the world, and economic strata. As well as the authors’s analysis 20 experts provided comments.

OA guidelines for Norway
Norway develops proposed national guidelines for open access.

ARL to open up SPEC kits
The Association of Research Libraries will open up access for all SPEC Kits on the ARL Digital Publications platform to all users by the end of August.
14M+ new books available to vision-impaired
More than 14 million digital books will soon be made available to blind and print-disabled users, thanks to a new collaboration involving the National Federation of the Blindand the HathiTrust Digital Library,

Open science statement signed
15 global organizations have endorsed statements to promote open science support for data citation, monitoring data sharing policies, and developing interlinking policy and infrastructure.  The meeting to discuss this was in 2015, but the full statement and list of signatories have just been released here.

Reports from meetings on open scholarship

2020 timeline for EU scientific articles
The video recording of Ralf Schimmer’s talk on “Initiatives for the Large-Scale Transition to Open Access”  at the LIBER Annual Conference 2016 in Helsinki is a good overview of the imperative for change in the publishing system, which is driving thinking in Europe on OA. This talk aligns with discussions at the Competitiveness Council  in Brussels in May, where the decision was made that all scientific publicly funded articles in Europe must be freely accessible and the data must be reusable, with a few exceptions, as of 2020.Dublin conference recordings on YouTube
Organizers of the 2016 Open Repositories Conference held in Dublin in June have made more than 40 selected video recordings of conference sessions available on YouTube. 


DCN becomes largest OA repository
The Digital Commons Network (DCN) was launched three years ago and has just surpassed  two million open access articles from more than 450 institutions making it the largest subject repository of open access scholarship available.First Open Repository in Myanmar
EIFL, in association with the University of Mandalay and the University of Yangon, launched the first open access repository in the country of Myanmar. A nice round up of the initiative is here

The IRUS-UK August newsletter highlighted a number of new case studies, which show how  IRUS-UK statistics are helping to promote Open Access awareness.

VARI Launched
London’s Victoria & Albert Museum has launched its research institute VARI and is making its publicly funded project outcomes from this available open access.

Book publishing

Knowledge Unlatched released its usage statistics of over 67,000 downloads in 180 countries with 20,000 page views

Data sharing

Concordat on Open Research Data launched
The Concordat on Open Research Data has been developed by a UK multi-stakeholder group and is a set of expectations of best practice reflecting the needs of the research community.

Clinical trial data sharing
Four articles in the  NEJM give contrasting views of data sharing in clinical trials. On the one hand US Senator Elizabeth Warren argues strongly for full data sharing; by contrast two groups of academics argue for limitations to be placed on data sharing.Open data creating apps
The Helsinki Region Infoshare service has opened the capital region’s data for everyone, and gives rise to apps and services making everyday life easier.

Want more OA news?

We can’t cover everything here! For daily email updates the best ways to keep up to date is the Open Access Tracking Project. Our Twitter account has posts throughout each day and our curated newsfeed on the website is updated daily.

The newsletter archive provides snapshots of key issues throughout the year.

Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing

The DARIAH Winter School “Open Data Citation for Social Science and Humanities” is set to take place in Prague on 24th-28th of October, 2016. Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Open Con will be on 12-14 November in Washington, DC, with satellite events hosted around the world. From the website Open Con describes itself as  “a platform for the next generation to learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information—from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data.”

OASPA’s 8th Conference on OA Scholarly Publishing (COASP) will be on 21st & 22nd September, 2016. at Westin Arlington Gateway, Virginia.

OA week 2016!

SPARC has announced that the theme for this year’s 9th International Open Access Week, to be held October 24-30, will be “Open in Action.” Details below.

International Open Access Week has always been about action, and this year’s theme encourages all stakeholders to take concrete steps to make their own work more openly available and encourage others to do the same. From posting pre-prints in a repository to supporting colleagues in making their work more accessible, this year’s Open Access Week will focus on moving from discussion to action in opening up our system for communicating research.

Established by SPARC and partners in the student community in 2008, International Open Access Week is an opportunity to take action in making openness the default for research—to raise the visibility of scholarship, accelerate research, and turn breakthroughs into better lives. This year’s Open Access Week will be held from October 24th through the 30th; however, those celebrating the week are encouraged to schedule local events whenever is most suitable during the year.

The “Open in Action” theme will also highlight the researchers, librarians, students, and others who have made a commitment to working in the open and how that decision has benefited them—from researchers just starting their careers to those at the top of their field.

The list of global OA week events is here.

Recent writing & resources on OA

Designing a fair and sustainable system of academic publishing: P2P Foundation Blog

Preparing for the Research Excellence Framework: Examples of Open Access Good Practice across the United Kingdom: Research paper from The Serials Librarian

Given frustrations with academic structures, how can we build a more human-centered open science?   London School of Economics & Political Science: The Impact Blog

Open access: All human knowledge is there—so why can’t everybody access it? Great review by Glyn Moody on the history of OA and why we aren’t there yet.