Open Sesame? Open access priorities, incentives, and policies among higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates

Authors : Mohamed Boufarss, Mikael Laakso

Higher education institutions (HEIs) have an instrumental role in the move towards Open Access (OA) by shaping the national strategies, policies, and agendas.

This study sets out to explore the role of HEIs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) OA uptake and reflect on the ongoing international initiatives pushing for universal OA to research.

The study is based on an online survey targeted at UAE higher education institutions research management units. In order to measure the institutional views, only one response was solicited from each institution.

A total of 19 valid responses were received, making up 47% of HEIs included in the population of organisations. Our results suggest that there is low commitment to OA among UAE HEIs as attested by the low number of OA policies, scarce OA funding, limited proliferation of institutional repositories, perceived lack of urgency to migrate from current access models, and little consideration of OA for promotion purposes.

The study is the first of its kind in the UAE, Arab and Middle Eastern countries, providing rare insight into a growing phenomenon that is global, yet most vocally discussed from a western perspective and context.

The study contributes to the debate on the role of HEIs in the transition to OA and in shaping national and regional OA policies, as well as informing international initiatives about the current status of OA in the region.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03529-y

Compliance with the first funder open access policy in Australia

Authors : Noreen Kirkman, Gaby Haddow

Introduction

In 2012, the National Health and Medical Research Council introduced Australia’s first national open access policy for funded journal articles. This study investigated the extent of compliance during the first two full years of the mandate.

Method

The funding acknowledgment fields in Web of Science facilitated the identification of the population of funded articles. Google Scholar, the Directory of Open Access Journals, publishers’ Websites, Trove, and Australian institutional repositories were the sources of data about open access.

Analysis

Quantitative analysis performed on the records of 3,190 articles and 1,137 journal titles enabled the calculation of descriptive statistics to present the characteristics of the sample.

Results

Over two-thirds (67.3%) of the articles were open access: 56.24% in journals and 11.06% in repositories. Hybrid open access comprised 25.58%, with 20.85% in fully open access journals and 8.75% in delayed open access journals.

Author accepted manuscripts in Australian institutional repositories (7.24%) and PubMed Central (3.82%) contributed to overall compliance but represented a small proportion of the non-open access articles.

Conclusions

As the first comprehensive study to measure compliance with Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council Open Access Policy, this study found a relatively high level of open access in journals alongside a low level of author accepted manuscripts in repositories.

Recommendations include better guidelines, procedures, and programs for grant recipients and a coordinated approach aimed at improving institutional repository deposit rates to achieve higher levels of open access and increased compliance with funder mandates.

URL : http://www.informationr.net/ir/25-2/paper857.html

Thought Experiment on the Impact of Plan S on non-Plan S countries and Japan

Author : Miho Funamori

In September 2018, a consortium of eleven European research funding agencies known as cOAlition S announced “Plan S,” which requires full and immediate Open Access to all research publications stemming from projects funded by the agencies.

The goal of making research output openly available to all has been generally welcomed; however, the strict requirements of Plan S, which take effect on January 1, 2020, have drawn criticisms from various stakeholders. Researchers from affected countries considered it a violation of their academic freedom, as they will be forced to publish only in conforming journals.

Publishers, especially those publishing high profile journals, claim that it will be impossible to sustain their business if forced to convert to Open Access journals and to rely solely on article processing charges. Institutions operating their own Open Access platforms or Open Access repositories view the requirements as well-intended but difficult to meet.

Despite the turmoil, little has been heard from non-Plan S countries, especially from non-English speaking countries outside Europe. There have been scarcely any comments or analyses relating to the impact of Plan S on these non-Plan S countries.

This paper aims to fill the gap with a thought experiment on the impact of Plan S requirements on various stakeholders in these non-Plan S countries. The analysis concludes that non-Plan S countries are indirectly affected by Plan S by being forced to adapt to the world standard that Plan S sets forth.

As many non-Plan S countries lack support for this transition from their respective funding agencies, they will be seriously disadvantaged to adapt to the new standards. The article processing charge for publishing in Open Access journals and the strict requirements for Open Access platforms could suppress research output from non-Plan S countries and reduce their research competitiveness.

Local publishers, whose financial position in many cases is already precarious, may be forced to shut down or merge with larger commercial publishers. As scholarly communication is globally interconnected, the author argues the need to consider the impact of Plan S on non-Plan S countries and explore alternative ways for realizing full and immediate OA by learning from local practices.

This analysis uses Japan as an exemplar of non-Plan S countries. Its distinctiveness is specified where applicable.

URL : https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Thought-Experiment-on-the-Impact-of-Plan-S-on-S-and-Funamori/f5c702b7f98ceec54f9409a693802c9c0a971ef2

NGOs’ experiences of navigating the open access landscape

Author : Nilam McGrath

Grant-led consortia working in the global development sector rely on the input of local and national non-government organisations in low- and middle-income countries.

However, the open access mandates and mechanisms embedded within grants and promoted by funders and publishers are designed almost exclusively with large universities and research institutions in mind.

Experiences from the consortium of health research non-government organisations comprising the Communicable Diseases Health Service Delivery research programme show that implementing open access mandates is not as simple or frictionless as it initially appears.

URL : NGOs’ experiences of navigating the open access landscape

DOI : https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.17359.2

Collaborating Across Campus to Advance Open Access Policy Compliance

Authors : Andrew Johnson, Melissa Cantrell, Ryan Caillet

In 2018, the Data and Scholarly Communication Services Unit (DSCS) at the University of Colorado Boulder began implementing two open access (OA) policy workflows with the aim of increasing content in the institutional repository CU Scholar, expanding awareness of the campus OA policy that was passed in 2015, and decreasing the burden on researchers for participation in the policy.

DSCS leveraged collaborative relationships with other library departments and campus units in order to mobilize the data, infrastructure, procedures, and documentation to execute these workflows.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) workflow identifies existing open access publications by CU Boulder faculty and mediates deposit in order to make them available in CU Scholar. The liaison outreach workflow partners with liaison librarians to request from faculty preprints and author’s final manuscripts of publications in which the publisher version may have copyright restrictions.

At present, the DOAJ workflow has resulted in 754 articles deposited in CU Scholar, and the liaison outreach workflow has resulted in 91 articles deposited. Each of these workflows pose challenges that have required flexibility, experimentation, and clear communication between stakeholders.

This case study, which includes detailed descriptions of both open access policy workflows, initial results, and plans for future implementation, may serve as a guide for other institutions wishing to adopt and/or adapt institutional repository workflows and forge collaborative relationships to further open access initiatives in their local context.

URL : Collaborating Across Campus to Advance Open Access Policy Compliance

Alternative location : https://digitalcommons.du.edu/collaborativelibrarianship/vol11/iss3/7

The International Open Access Movement and Its Status in Pakistan

Author : Arslan Sheikh

The objective of this study is to analyze the present status of the open access movement in Pakistan, identify challenges, and make recommendations for the effective use of this publishing model.

The article looks primarily at the open access movement in Asia, with special reference to Pakistan, India, and China. Findings show that, since the emergence of the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2001, the open access movement has developed rapidly at the international level. From the Pakistani perspective, gold open access, in which articles or monographs are freely available in their original form on publishers’ websites, developed quickly.

However, green open access, which relies on authors to self-archive their articles in institutional or subject repositories, has been relatively slow to develop. A lack of support from educational institutions, libraries, library associations, and funding bodies may explain the slow growth of green open access in Pakistan.

The author recommends that Pakistani universities, research institutions, and funding agencies develop open access policies, set up institutional repositories, and encourage publishing in open access journals and self-archiving in institutional repositories.

URL : https://preprint.press.jhu.edu/portal/sites/ajm/files/20.1sheikh.pdf