The impact of open access publishing agreements at the University of Vienna in light of the Plan S requirements: a review of current status, challenges and perspectives

Authors : Rita Pinhasi, Brigitte Kromp, Guido Blechl, Lothar Hölblin

The University of Vienna, in partnership with other organisations across Austria, has been at the forefront of the open access (OA) movement in Europe and has been actively broadening the OA publishing opportunities for its researchers for well over half a decade.

Although the launch of Plan S in September 2018 by a group of funding bodies that includes the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) brought its unique challenges, it has also provided the international research community with a much-needed impetus, jolting publishers into action and raising awareness among university administrators and faculty in general.

The announcement also prompted the Vienna University Library to perform a mapping exercise, with a view to assessing how well the current publishing agreements match the needs of the University’s researchers in light of the Plan S requirements.

This article presents the results of this analysis and shares some of the challenges encountered through the negotiation and implementation of OA publishing agreements and how these, together with the revised Plan S implementation guidelines, have been informing the University’s strategy.

URL : The impact of open access publishing agreements at the University of Vienna in light of the Plan S requirements: a review of current status, challenges and perspectives

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.523

Open Access Legislation and Regulation in the United States: Implications for Higher Education

Authors : Anjam Chaudhary, Kathy Irwin, David Hoa Khoa Nguyen

Accessing quality research when not part of an academic institution can be challenging. Dating back to the 1980s, open access (OA) was a response to journal publishers who restricted access to publications by requiring a subscription and limited access to knowledge.

Although the OA movement seeks to remove costly barriers to accessing research, especially when funded by state and federal governments, it remains the subject of continuous debates. After providing a brief overview of OA, this article summarizes OA statutory and regulatory developments at the federal and state levels regarding free and open access to research.

It compares similarities and differences among enacted and proposed legislation and describes the advantages and disadvantages of these laws. It analyzes the effects of these laws in higher education, especially on university faculty regarding tenure and promotion decisions as well as intellectual property rights to provide recommendations and best practices regarding the future of legislation and regulation in the United States.

URL : Open Access Legislation and Regulation in the United States: Implications for Higher Education

DOI : https://doi.org/10.17161/jcel.v4i1.13637

Centering Accessibility: A Review of Institutional Repository Policy and Practice

Authors : Talea Anderson, Chelsea Leachman

INTRODUCTION

Libraries have proposed institutional repositories as a means of providing universal access to university research. However, in recent years, it has become clear that universities and libraries have neglected web accessibility in constructing services including open access publishing programs.

METHODS

To better understand accessibility practices in relation to institutional repositories, survey responses were collected from repository managers. The survey consisted of five multiple choice and two open-ended questions regarding remediation and accessibility practices used by repository managers.

RESULTS & DISCUSSION

While the importance of accessibility has been well documented, survey responses showed that few policies and practices have been put in place to ensure accessibility in institutional repositories. Key barriers to accessibility included lack of organizational resources, lack of time, inadequate training, and product restrictions.

CONCLUSION

These results suggest that accessibility should be prioritized in future creation of policies and allocation of library resources.

URL : Centering Accessibility: A Review of Institutional Repository Policy and Practice

DOI : https://jlsc-pub.org/articles/abstract/10.7710/2162-3309.2383/

Transformative agreements: Do they pave the way to open access?

Authors : Ángel Borrego, Lluís Anglada, Ernest Abadal

Transformative agreements, also known as ‘offsetting’, ‘read and publish’, or ‘publish and read’ agreements, have shifted the focus of scholarly journal licensing from cost containment towards open access publication.

An analysis of 36 full‐text transformative agreements recorded in the ESAC registry shows that ‘transformative agreement’ is an umbrella term that encompasses different kinds of contracts. We differentiate between pre‐transformative, partially transformative, and fully transformative agreements.

Pre‐transformative agreements are traditional subscription licences that grant article processing charge (APC) discounts or vouchers for open access publication of a limited number of articles. Partially transformative agreements differentiate between a read fee and a publish fee to cover the processing charges of a certain number of articles.

Fully transformative agreements allow unlimited open access publication of the scholarly output of the subscribing institution. In all three categories, some agreements restrict open access publication to hybrid journals, whereas others allow publication in both hybrid and gold journals.

Transformative agreements are more transparent than traditional journal licences, allow authors to retain copyright, and make provisions to facilitate the management of open access workflows.

It is hard to assess whether these agreements are just a temporary phase in the transition towards open access or will perpetuate the current structure of the scholarly communication system and its associated high costs.

URL : Transformative agreements: Do they pave the way to open access?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1347

How is open access publishing going down with early career researchers? An international, multi-disciplinary study

Authors : David Nicholas, Hamid R. Jamali, Eti Herman, Jie Xu, Chérifa Boukacem-Zeghmouri, Anthony Watkinson, Blanca Rodríguez-Bravo, Abdullah Abrizah, Marzena Świgoń, Tatiana Polezhaeva

This study explores early career researchers’ (ECRs) appreciation and utilisation of open access (OA) publishing. The evidence reported here results from a questionnaire-based international survey with 1600 participants, which forms the second leg and final year of a four year long, mixed methods, longitudinal study that sought to discover whether ECRs will be the harbingers of change when it comes to scholarly communications.

Proceeding from the notion that today’s neophyte researchers, believed to hold millennial values of openness to change, transparency and sharing, may be best placed to power the take-up of OA publishing, the study sought to discover: the extent to which ECRs publish OA papers; the main reasons for their doing or not doing so; and what were thought to be the broader advantages and disadvanta-ges of OA publishing.

The survey data is presented against a backdrop of the literature-based evidence on the subject, with the interview stage data providing contextualisation and qualitative depth. The findings show that the majority of ECRs published in OA journals and this varied by discipline and country.

Most importantly, there were more advantages and fewer disadvantages to OA publishing, which may be indicative of problems to do with cost and availability, rather than reputational factors.

Among the many reasons cited for publishing OA the most important one is societal, although OA is seen as especially benefiting ECRs in career progression. Cost is plainly considered the main downside.

URL : How is open access publishing going down with early career researchers? An international, multi-disciplinary study

Alternative location : http://www.elprofesionaldelainformacion.com/contenidos/2020/nov/nicholas-herman-jamali-xu-boukacem-watkinson-rodriguez-abrizah-swigon-polezhaeva.pdf

Open Academic Book Publishing during COVID-19 Pandemic: A View on Romanian University Presses

Authors : Mariana Cernicova-Buca, Katalin Luzan

In the context of the 2020 public health crisis that discourages exchanges of physical objects in society, university-led publishing needed to rethink its operations. Worldwide the opening of quality scholarly content proved to be a solution.

University presses reacted rapidly and offered books according to the open access model. The present research aimed to map the editorial landscape of Romanian university presses, to identify the main features displayed online by the university presses parented by public universities and to highlight the readiness of these players to further open access academic books, especially in the time of the COVID-19 crisis.

The quantitative approach investigated the availability of e-books in the university presses’ portfolios, including the alignment to the open access scholarship movement, the use of social media accounts to promote the presses and the response of the presses to the challenges of the health crisis.

Out of the 46 active university presses, only six had open book titles in their portfolios and only one genuinely responded actively to the challenges posed by the need for electronic formats in 2020. Unless Romanian university presses modernize and restructure their modus operandi, they can prove irrelevant in the post-crisis period.

URL : Open Academic Book Publishing during COVID-19 Pandemic: A View on Romanian University Presses

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications8040049

Swedish researchers’ responses to the cancellation of the big deal with Elsevier

Authors: Lisa Olsson, Camilla Lindelöw, Lovisa Österlund, Frida Jakobsson

In 2018, the Swedish library consortium, Bibsam, decided to cancel big deal subscriptions with Elsevier. Many researchers (n = 4,221) let their voices be heard in a survey on the consequences of the cancellation.

Almost a third of them (n = 1,241) chose to leave free-text responses to the survey question ‘Is there anything you would like to add?’. A content analysis on these responses resulted in six themes and from these, three main conclusions are drawn.

First, there is no consensus among researchers on whether the cancellation was for good or evil. The most common argument in favour of the cancellation was the principle. The most common argument against cancellation was that it harms researchers and research.

A third of the free-text responses expressed ambivalence towards the cancellation, typically as a conflict between wanting to change the current publishing system and simultaneously suffering from the consequences of the cancellation.

The general support for open access in principle reveals a flawed publishing system, as most feel the pressure to publish in prestigious journals behind paywalls in practice. Second, it was difficult for researchers to take a position for or against cancellation due to their limited knowledge of the ongoing work of higher education institutions and library consortia.

Finally, there are indications that the cancellation made researchers reflect on open access and to some extent alter their publication pattern through their choice of copyright licence and publication channel.

URL : Swedish researchers’ responses to the cancellation of the big deal with Elsevier

DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.521