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Public Access

European University Association publishes statement welcoming EU's current Open Science policies
- 02 Nov 2017

The European University Association (EUA) has recently published a statement welcoming the efforts of National Governments and the European Commission in promoting Open Science values in their national research funding schemes and in the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme.

This statement follows the previous recommendations EUA provided to its members 'Towards Full Open Access in 2020' and 'Towards Open Access to Research Data', and highlights the role of the OpenAire platform in the adoption of good research, sharing and assessment practices. In particular, EUA strongly supports EU policies such as Open access to publications and research data, EU-wide open science platforms such as OpenAIRE, and the upcoming creation of the European Open Science Cloud.

The document includes key messages addressed to EU institutions and national governments, covering different areas, from Open Science policies development to the researchers' engagement with open access, research assessment approaches, the creation of infrastructures and the establishment of necessary legislation on use and re-use of research publications and data, including text and data mining.

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AMIA launches new Gold Open Access journal - JAMIA Open
- 01 Nov 2017

American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) has launched JAMIA Open, a new Gold Open Access scholarly publication jamiaopen.org. JAMIA Open is a sibling publication to the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). Neil Sarkar is the editor, and manuscripts are now being accepted for review.

JAMIA Open's focus on what Sarkar calls 'the patient face of research' includes thought leadership with a commitment to innovation and diversity, and publishing works from across the five AMIA informatics areas - translational bio-, clinical research, clinical, public health, and consumer health informatics. JAMIA Open provides new opportunities for informaticians to publish with the efficiency of a continuous, all-digital, publishing model, which includes a cascade process. Cascade enables JAMIA Open to start a step ahead, benefitting from JAMIA's established quality, rigorous standards, and peer-review process. While JAMIA continues to offer open access opportunity to its authors, JAMIA Open will require that all articles be open access.

JAMIA Open will include expanded publication formats, such as short application notes and database notes. Sarkar intends to engage readers with the introduction of 'living papers' - which include interactive components such as embedded live code. A signature element in JAMIA Open's format will be the inclusion of patient/community abstracts accompanying each article, written in understandable language to allow patients or caregivers to better understand what the research means and how it could be important to care.

JAMIA Open provides a global forum for the publication of novel research and insights in the major areas of informatics for biomedicine and health (e.g., translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, public health informatics, and consumer health informatics), as well as related areas such as data science, qualitative research, and implementation science. JAMIA Open articles, which include application notes, database notes, and patient/community perspectives, alongside original research, reflect the broad diversity of the field of informatics community, focusing on the intersection of informatics, health, communication, and technology, and how that intersection can support patient care through research, practice, and education. JAMIA Open authors are encouraged to make data and source code accessible through publicly accessible repositories that can be cited using digital object identifiers. Accepted manuscripts will be required to have a patient/community facing abstract that highlights key findings.

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W. Bertelsmann Verlag makes titles Open Access through Knowledge Unlatched
- 30 Oct 2017

As part of the international Open Access Week W. Bertelsmann Verlag (wbv) is to make titles from its programs in social sciences, education research and social research freely available to researchers throughout the world.

The academic publisher already has much experience in open access publishing: since 2012, wbv has published monographs, conference proceedings and empirical studies in educational and labour market research in both green and gold open access.

The cooperation is part of a new service provided by Knowledge Unlatched. The open access initiative now offers services to increase visibility and usage of Open Access content, thus moving beyond KU's traditional crowd funding model. The services are geared towards libraries worldwide and are free of charge to them, the funding being provided by the respective publisher. From November onwards these services will also be used by wbv for their titles in English and German language.

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OA2020 relaunches website, calls on libraries worldwide to divest subscription model to finance innovative, sustainable business and publishing models
- 26 Oct 2017

With 'Open in order to innovate!' as the theme of Open Access Week 2017, OA2020 relaunches its website with a call to libraries worldwide to divest the traditional subscription model in order to finance innovative, sustainable business and publishing models.

This principle is the foundation of the Open Access 2020 Initiative, and it is now also the underlying strategy of an increasing number of new Open Access initiatives with whom OA2020 shares the common vision of making open the default in scholarly communications. In support of this mutual goal, a new expanded website OA2020.org has been launched. This website will help libraries and institutions find practical information, best practice and resources to plan and execute their own transformational roadmaps that address local needs and have impact in the drive for Open Access at a global scale.

As set out in the OA2020 Expression of Interest, drafted at the 12th Berlin Open Access Conference in 2015, the key to achieving large scale transformation of the current scholarly publishing (subscription) system is by 'converting resources currently spent on journal subscriptions into funds to support sustainable OA business models'. The OA2020 Expression of Interest goes on to clarify that the envisioned transformation shall be made 'in accordance with community-specific publications preferences' while continuing 'to support new and improved forms of OA publishing'.

One bold manifestation of these principles can be found in Germany, where nearly 200 institutions have announced that, pending positive results of the ongoing DEAL negotiations to incorporate open access publishing entitlements into a national content license agreement, they will not extend their current licenses with Elsevier; consequently, the local OA2020 coordinating body for Germany proposes that the funds saved on non-renewal with Elsevier be diverted to sustaining OA publishing initiatives. Yet, in keeping with the OA2020 objective of incorporating community-specific publication preferences, there are diverse proposals to be explored.

The recent Jussieu Call, echoes the principles voiced by OA2020 in their declaration by calling on research organisations and their libraries to secure and earmark as of now a share of their acquisition budgets to support the development of scientific publishing activities, which are genuinely open and innovative, and address the needs of the scientific community.

In the US, while not specifically calling out a conversion of subscription funds, the 2.5% Commitment recommends that libraries 'commit 2.5% of their total budgets to organisations and projects that contribute to the common digital infrastructure need to support the open scholarly commons'. And, the 'Red OA' proposal being studied by the Association of Research Libraries, albeit moving a step further, proposes to convert not only subscription funds but also the funds that scholars use to pay publishing fees, to support open, discipline-based pre-print repositories.

While adopting the tactics most appropriate for each geographic and discipline context, these strategies are united by a common denominator - the realisation that Open Access can only be achieved on a large scale if libraries and institutions take an active and systematic approach to divesting of subscriptions and investing in open access.

Whatever the strategies adopted, as institutions move their budgets away from subscriptions and invest in Open Access publishing models, the stronghold of the traditional subscription system is weakened. Nearly 80% of scholarly publishing lies with only a small group of publishers, and a growing percentage of institutions whose scholarly outputs publishers depend upon, are embracing the OA2020 strategy and adopting tactics to remove their financial support of the subscription model in order to inject open access into the system.

Based on current world publication trends, transformative actions from a relatively small number of global research-intensive institutions would be sufficient to bring down the subscription paywall, but the involvement of institutions from every geographical and academic context are essential for creating a truly open and just information environment.

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PeerJ announces expansion of its open access mega-journal to include dedicated section on Environmental Sciences
- 24 Oct 2017

Open access publisher PeerJ has announced the expansion of its flagship journal PeerJ to include a dedicated section on Environmental Sciences. Starting October 24, 2017, researchers can submit manuscripts to PeerJ on a broad range of environmental science subject areas including ecosystem science, green chemistry, forestry, environmental contamination, anthropogenic factors contributing to climate change, and more.

Environmental sciences is a notably interdisciplinary field, with significant overlap into PeerJ's traditional scope of biology, medical and health sciences. The field is responsible for producing vital research necessary for addressing pressing global challenges, yet researchers face a number of obstacles to getting their findings heard. By expanding the scope of its existing journal, PeerJ provides an immediate global audience and high visibility for the latest findings. The innovative peer-reviewed, open access journal for biology and medical sciences, PeerJ, has published nearly 4,000 articles since 2013 receiving over 12 million views from around the world.

PeerJ aims to efficiently publish knowledge to help solve the world's greatest problems. Environmental science is a field where open access to peer-reviewed research is of great importance to the global ecosystem now, and in the coming decades. The explicit inclusion of environmental science subject areas allows PeerJ to provide a high-quality, low-cost publication venue for environmental science researchers around the world.

Over 300 new Academic Editors have been added to the PeerJ board to ensure efficient peer review is overseen by leading experts in these fields.

PeerJ is actively seeking submissions in this area and will be waiving all article processing charges for new manuscripts submitted to the new environmental science subject areas until the end of January 2018.

In addition to its two journals, PeerJ and PeerJ Computer Science, PeerJ also hosts a free preprint server, PeerJ Preprints, for biology, medical, environmental and computer sciences. PeerJ publishes all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY), which allows users to share, copy and distribute a work, while at the same time crediting the authors of the article.

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