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Institute/Association/Council/Academy/ Society/Organisation > Partnership programs / consortiums > Regulations, guidelines and other institutional frameworks > Public policies / MOUs> General Information - Public Access
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General Information - Public Access

   
 

Growth in Open Access showing signs of slowing down, says Delta Think’s updated Open Access Market Sizing analysis
- 23 Oct 2018

Delta Think, a consulting and advisory firm focused on innovation and growth in scholarly communications, has announced the release of a new Open Access Market Sizing analysis as part of the continually updated Delta Think Open Access Data & Analytics Tool (OA DAT). Launched in January 2017, OA DAT is an interactive, expertly curated, and regularly updated suite of information focused on Open Access that allows publishers, librarians, and funders to track and assess the impact of open access uptake and policies on the scholarly communications market and ecosystem. This analysis marks the third Market Sizing report released by Delta Think since OA DAT's inception.

The updated market sizing data show the Open Access market making strong progress, growing at a rate of 16% between 2016 and 2017. According to this analysis in 2017, the Open Access market reached approximately $570m USD, up from roughly $490m in 2016. It is on track to exceed $600M in 2018. Open Access represents ~23% of market volume and ~5% of market value. Data suggest a roughly 75/25 split between fully open access and hybrid journals respectively, by both value and volume. The number of open access articles published grew by around 12% from 2016 to 2017; articles published in fully OA journals grew by just under 10%, and those in hybrid journals by just over 20%.

Access to the full Market Sizing analysis as part of the Delta Think Open Access Data & Analytics Tool is available by subscription.

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First OASPA webinar in the Open Science Webinar Series scheduled for October 25
- 18 Oct 2018

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) has announced the first webinar in the new Open Science Webinar Series: The Economics and Sustainability of Open Access. Scheduled for October 25, 2018, 8.30am EDT, this webinar is free and open to the public.

What are the economic implications of publishing research open access? What do economically efficient models for open access look like at the moment, how do they differ between different kinds of publishers, and what might they look like in the future? Is there a sufficiently robust funding stream to finance open access? How variable is this across the world and across the various disciplines? How do we build sustainable models? What can we learn from other digital sectors?

In this webinar, chaired by Dr Stuart Taylor, Publishing Director at the Royal Society, different perspectives on the economics and sustainability of open access publishing will be presented and discussed by panelists Dr Rupert Gatti, Fellow and Director of Studies in Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Cofounder of Open Book Publishers; Liz Ferguson, Vice President of Editorial Development at Wiley; and Claudio Aspesi, an independent consultant in the media and publishing industry.

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MIT Open Access Task Force releases white paper
- 11 Sep 2018

The ad hoc task force on open access to MIT's research has released ‘Open Access at MIT and Beyond: A White Paper of the MIT Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT's Research,' which examines efforts to make research and scholarship openly and freely available. The white paper provides a backdrop to the ongoing work of the task force: identifying new, updated, or revised open access policies and practices that might advance the Institute's mission to share its knowledge with the world.

Co-chaired by Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Hal Abelson and Director of Libraries Chris Bourg, the task force was convened in July 2017 by Provost Martin Schmidt, in consultation with the vice president for research, the chair of the faculty, and the director of the libraries. The group was charged with exploring actions MIT should undertake to 'further the Institute's mission of disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible.'

Convening the task force was one of the 10 recommendations presented in the 2016 preliminary report of the MIT Task Force on the Future of Libraries. In addition, the task force has been charged to take up a question raised by the 2013 Report to the President on MIT and the Prosecution of Aaron Swartz, which is whether MIT should strengthen its activities in support of open access to the research and educational contributions of the MIT community. The task force is composed of a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate students.

Throughout the 2017-18 academic year, task force members consulted widely with domain experts across campus and beyond to develop an understanding of current local, national, and global practices, policies, and possibilities. The first part of the white paper provides an overview of current open access policies and movements in the US and Europe, examining the ways that different funding models, political structures, and priorities shape how open access is achieved. The second part explores MIT researchers’ approaches to making their publications, data, code, and educational materials openly available.

The task force is in the process of developing a set of draft recommendations across a wide range of scholarly outputs, including publications, data, computer code, and educational materials, and will be gathering community feedback on those recommendations throughout the coming academic year.

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Viability of open access books remains uncertain, says Simba report
- 31 Aug 2018

Media and publishing intelligence firm Simba Information has released the latest edition of Open Access Book Publishing 2018-2022. The report found that despite multiple years of growth at more than 30 percent CAGR, total revenue generated from book processing charges (BPC) remains small, well under 0.5 percent of total book revenue, comparable in size to a single university press book publisher or a single open access journal publisher.

On the 'glass half-full' side of the equation, growth by any metric remains strong. Every company, every program and the overall market continue to grow. The market is comparable to OA journal market sales in the early 2000s and while there are forces through mandates to accelerate progress on that path, OA books remain more than a decade behind journals.

An important difference between OA books and journals is that the overall market for journals, particularly life sciences, remained stable through OA's development. The current book market is troubled, which will impact OA books' ability to progress as OA journals did. OA books may become 'a' response, not 'the' solution, to a crisis in social science and humanities (SSH) monographs that preceded OA books.

A willingness to experiment has become established in OA book culture. New trials in search of a viable future business model continue to be launched. Cooperative ventures include Knowledge Unlatched and MUSE Open. Bookboon.com uses advertising, but this only works for widely viewed topics such as textbooks or health titles directed at patients. punctum books calls for donations or subscriptions to gain early access. While journal publishers like MDPI and Frontiers depend on support for the original journal article, Australian National University Press relies on print sales. But, like journal APCs, most still rely on book or chapter charges. The business models are very diverse, particularly considering the relatively small number of titles involved.

Open Access Book Publishing 2018-2022 provides detailed market information for this segment of scholarly book publishing. It analyses trends impacting the industry and forecasts market growth to 2022. The report includes a review of more than 20 notable OA publishers and programs, including InTechOpen, Bookboon.com, Frontiers Media, SciELO, De Gruyter, Brill, Knowledge Unlatched and Springer Nature.

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Switzerland takes top spot for OA publishing with 39 percent open access publications
- 10 Aug 2018

According to a report, compiled by the European Commission (EC), Switzerland occupies the top spot for OA publishing with 39% open access publications, closely followed by Croatia with 37.9% and Estonia with 37.1%. Globally, the share of research results published 'open access' is 30%.

220,416 scientific publications produced in Switzerland have been entered in the Scopus database for the 2009-2016 period. Thereof, 86,030 or 39% are in open access journals or on open access platforms. The United Kingdom achieved 36.1% open access publications, the United States 36.1% and Germany 30.8%.

With a share of 28.5% of all publications, the green road is the preferred version of open access publishing in Switzerland. It involves initial publication in a paywalled scientific journal followed by archiving in an OA repository at a later stage. The gold road - immediate open access - is only followed for 10.6% of publications. The green road is also the prevailing trend internationally, although its share dropped slightly during the seven-year duration of the study. The share of gold road publications, on the other hand, increased almost threefold in the same period.

According to the authors, the transition to open access has been slow due to a range of factors including funders’ mandates, journal policies, researcher attitudes, and costs.

Research funded by the SNSF has contributed to Switzerland's high rating: approximately 50% of the publications resulting from SNSF-funded research between 2011 and 2017 are freely accessible. By pursuing its OA policy 2020, the SNSF seeks to achieve 100% open access by 2020. This will speed up the dissemination of new knowledge across the sciences, the economy and society at large.

The European Commission study is based on the bibliometric data of the Scopus database between 2009 and 2016. All academic disciplines were considered in the study.

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Full program for 10th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing announced
- 10 Jul 2018

The full program for the 10th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP), hosted by the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, OASPA, is now available on the conference page: https://oaspa.org/conference/coasp-2018-program/. The conference will be held at the University of Vienna from September 17-19, 2018.

Registration for the conference is available via the Registrations and Accommodation page: https://oaspa.org/conference/registrations-and-accommodation/.

Now in its 10th year, COASP is a major annual scholarly publishing conference that brings the open access community together to discuss new developments and innovations in scholarly publishing, and unite in shared goal to enable research around the world to be openly accessible. In this important celebratory year for COASP, they will be kicking off the conference with an 'Early Movers' panel, in which key actors from the early years of the open access movement - Vitek Tracz, David Prosser, Susan Murray, Marin Dacos, Jean-Claude Guédon, and Caroline Sutton - discuss the history of the movement and the great progress in open access publishing that has been made since COASP held its first conference in 2008, and reflect on where open access publishing is heading.

Panel topics include: F.A.I.R. Research Outputs; Open Access Monographs; Transformative Agreements; and New Models in Open Access Publishing. A broad range of interdisciplinary global perspectives will be hosted on other panels and in keynotes. There will be a large number of networking opportunities for further discussion and collaboration between attendees. Delegates from a wide range of backgrounds at all stages of their careers who are working in publishing, librarianship, government, higher education, funding agencies, nonprofits, and other affiliated industries are welcome.

The conference is being discussed on social media with the hashtag #COASP10. Enquiries regarding the conference should be directed to coasp@oaspa.org.

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New Springer Nature report shows value of hybrid journals to research community and beyond
- 03 Jul 2018

A report from Springer Nature shows that OA articles published in hybrid journals attract more downloads, citations, and attention compared with non-OA articles in hybrid journals.

The findings of the report, ‘Assessing the open access effect for hybrid journals,’ demonstrate this wider value which hybrid journals bring to researchers and to funders, institutions and society more broadly.

The analysis by Digital Science of a global sample of over 70,000 articles published in Springer Nature hybrid journals examined the relationship between OA and usage (measured in terms of downloads), citations, and broader impact (using Altmetric data).

The global study showed that OA articles were downloaded on average 1.6 times more by users based at academic institutions and four times more by users overall, compared to non-OA articles. OA articles attracted an average of 1.6 times more citations and 1.9 times more news mentions than non-OA articles.

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Open Access sales exceed expectations and will continue to scale upwards, says new Simba report
- 27 Jun 2018

Media and publishing intelligence firm Simba Information has released a report, according to which the global push for open access (OA) to research papers, once viewed as a threat by traditional journal publishers, has delivered a fast-growing revenue stream that will continue to scale upwards.

The report, Open Access Journal Publishing 2018-2022, found that while sales of all scholarly journals grew at a compound annual rate slightly over 1% between 2015 and 2017, open access journals grew at a compound annual rate well into the double digits. Individual publishers have reported even more impressive gains, albeit from a small revenue base.

Simba Information first sized open access publishing as a separate distinct market in 2014. According to Dan Strempel, senior analyst, professional publishing at Simba Information, the industry was less optimistic about open access publishing than it is today. PLOS One had slipped and BioMed Central seemed to be slowing. Hindawi and several other top 10 players were battling questions about their peer-review process and shuttering journals. Growth was not ending, but there was every indication that the market was slowing.

But that is not how it has played out. The market has continued to expand and there is ample room for growth particularly among the large traditional publishers.

For most publishers, open access journal revenue comes primarily from article processing charges (APCs) paid to make individual articles available free to readers immediately upon publication. Over the last five years, the share of open access articles in hybrid journals (those that are primarily subscription journals) is just over 2% at Elsevier and 4% at Springer Nature. With several of the leading scholarly publishers having more than 2,000 journals, a further increase in OA uptake from 1% to 5% could represent hundreds of millions of dollars in new APC revenue.

There are challenges that come with new models and shifting habits. The OA movement is increasingly putting publishers at odds with university systems and library consortia when it is time to negotiate large journal subscription packages. Institutions are seeking steep price cuts and special OA provisions to allow their authors to publish OA without paying APCs.

Author-pay or funder-pay models have also given rise to 'predatory' journals that are happy to collect APCs and publish with little or no peer review.

A greater threat is posed by the rise of so called black open access - shadowy websites that provide pirated access to subscription materials. The popular Sci-Hub site hosts over 55 million articles, acting as an open source bypassing publisher paywalls and combining articles from multiple publishers in one location.

Open Access Journal Publishing 2018-2022 provides detailed market information for this segment of scholarly journal publishing. It analyses trends impacting the industry and forecasts market growth to 2022. The report includes an in-depth review of 10 leading OA publishers, including Springer Nature (including Biomed Central), PLOS, Hindawi, John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier, Frontiers, Wolters Kluwer Medknow and others.

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Springer Nature charts rapid growth in open access articles by UK authors
- 17 May 2018

Springer Nature has released a new report, Gold open access in the UK: Springer Nature's transition. The report outlines how Springer Nature has been able to deliver rapid growth in gold open access (OA) articles in the UK. In the five years since the Finch report was produced in 2012, Springer Nature has published nearly 28,000 gold OA articles with a UK corresponding author.

In 2017, 77% of all Springer Nature publications with UK corresponding authors were published via gold OA, representing a 174% increase in gold OA articles from 2013 to 2017 for this group.

The rapid growth in UK articles published via the gold OA route has been driven by a number of factors. As of 2017, 53% of gold OA articles with UK corresponding authors were published in fully OA journals, while 47% were published via the gold OA route in hybrid journals. Hybrid journals have played a key role in this transition and demonstrate the impact that the UK Springer Compact agreement has had on bringing about a transition to OA for hybrid authors.

The Springer Compact agreement which has made gold OA publication a simple option for UK authors in disciplines where gold OA publication has traditionally been more challenging. In 2013, UK corresponding authors publishing in Springer Nature's mathematics, humanities, and social sciences journals were making between 8% and 11% of their articles accessible via gold OA. From 2016, these disciplines saw a large jump in gold OA, rising to between 57% and 62% of articles with UK corresponding authors publishing gold OA.

A collaborative environment in the UK, which sees support from government and institutions for OA, funders who have developed policies in support of OA and provided the funds necessary for article processing charges (APCs), authors who are willing to publish via OA, and a publisher providing authors with a range of publishing options and effective workflows.

The report concludes that further transition to OA in the UK will require the UK government and research funders to make a long-term commitment to gold OA. It notes that while countries like the UK are leading the way in transitioning to OA, globally the picture is mixed and thus a range of publishing options are likely to continue to be necessary in the longer term.

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Registrations for 10th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing now open
- 24 Apr 2018

Registrations are now open for the 10th anniversary of the annual conference, the Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP). The conference will take place on September 17th-19th, 2018, at the University of Vienna, Austria.

As in previous years discount is being offered on registration fees to OASPA and OAPEN members. This year, the discount on COASP registration fees is being extended for academics and librarians at the member rate.

Now in its 10th anniversary year, COASP is a major annual scholarly publishing conference that brings the open access community together to discuss new developments and innovations in scholarly publishing, and unite in their shared goal to enable research around the world to be openly accessible. In this celebratory year for COASP, the conference will kick off with an 'Early Movers' panel, in which key actors from the early years of the open access movement - Vitek Tracz, David Prosser, Susan Murray, Marin Dacos, Leslie Chan, and Caroline Sutton - discuss the history of the movement and the great progress in open access publishing that has been made since COASP held its first conference in 2008, and reflect on where open access publishing is heading today.

The conference will host a broad range of interdisciplinary global perspectives on other panels and in keynotes, and offer a large number of networking opportunities for further discussion and collaboration between attendees. Delegates from a wide range of backgrounds at all stages of their careers who are working in publishing, librarianship, government, higher education, funding agencies, nonprofits, and other affiliated industries are welcome.

Panel topics this year are: F.A.I.R. Research Outputs; Open Access Monographs; Transformative Agreements; and New Models in Open Access Publishing. The full program for the conference will be announced soon.

The conference is being discussed on social media with the hashtag #COASP10. Enquiries regarding the conference should be directed to coasp@oaspa.org.

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Open access is the future of academic and scientific publishing, says new Springer Nature survey
- 15 Mar 2018

The overwhelming majority of professional staff in research institutions and libraries across the globe view open access as the future of academic and scientific publishing. However, many are not satisfied with the speed of transition, according to a survey by Springer Nature. The survey of 200 people aimed to gather opinions from people working in research institutions or research libraries, and who have responsibilities relating to scholarly communications, institutional policy, funding administration, or research data or publication management.

More than 70 per cent of respondents agreed that all future research articles, scholarly books and research data should be accessible via open access, with 91 per cent of responding librarians in agreement that ‘open access is the future of academic and scientific publishing’. This level of agreement was noticeably higher than in surveys conducted with researchers. For comparison, in a survey of Springer Nature authors conducted in 2017, only 67 per cent agreed with this same statement.

In the views of these respondents there was desire for progress at a greater pace for various types of research output - journals, books and data. The lowest level of satisfaction was on the speed of movement of scholarly books becoming open access in the future.

The majority of respondents thought that the move to all future scholarly articles being made accessible via open access would be achieved, with two thirds believing this could happen within the next 10 years.

Respondents’ preference for the type of open access e.g. gold or green was spread across the group surveyed.

In their comments, respondents highlighted open science being on the agenda of many organisations and funders as a key driver of open access. Research data sharing was identified as an area that needed more work and support in terms of policy and education, with less than a third of respondents satisfied with the speed at which data was becoming open.

Research Information will publish the graphic chart relating to the survey in its April/May issue, which will be delivered to readers on or around March 24.

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All SNSF research publications to become freely available as of 2020
- 29 Dec 2017

As of 2020, all research publications produced by SNSF-funded projects will be freely available in digital format. Based on the decision by the National Research Council, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) will expect all publications to be available free of charge as of 2020 as Open Access is quickly becoming the accepted standard in science.

Until now, less than 50% of the publications produced in SNSF - funded research have met this requirement.

Researchers will be able to publish their results in OA journals and OA books. Alternatively, they can archive their publications in public databases.

Until now, the SNSF has covered the costs of publishing OA journals and as of April 2018 they will also pay for OA books and for OA book chapters from October 2018. It will simplify the application process for publication grants, making it easier for researchers to meet the Open Access requirements.

The SNSF's new Open Access policy fits in with the national strategy defined by the Swiss higher education institutes in January 2017. According to the strategy, all publications financed with public money will need to be freely accessible as of 2024, which will allow scientific knowledge to spread faster through the economic and political sphere and through society as a whole.

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37% of UK research outputs freely available immediately at the time of publication, says new report
- 06 Dec 2017

The Universities UK Open Access Coordination Group has released a report, according to which, the proportion of UK research which is available via open access is increasing at a considerable rate, with 37% of research outputs freely available to the world immediately at publication.

This report, Monitoring the transition to open access: December 2017, is the second in a series commissioned by the Universities UK Open Access Coordination Group. It aims to build on previous findings, and to examine trends over the period since the major funders of research in the UK established new policies to promote open access.

The research was delivered by a partnership involving Research Consulting, the University of Sheffield and Elsevier, and was led by Jubb Consulting.

According to the report, more than half of UK-authored articles are made accessible for public view within 12 months, either through Gold or Green OA. 37% of UK outputs (vs. 25% globally) are freely available to the world immediately on publication, either through Gold or Green OA.

Further, the report notes that the proportion of UK-authored articles published open access rose from 12% in 2012 to 30% in 2016, an annual growth rate of over 30% sustained throughout the period. The global proportion of articles accessible for public view after 12 months via Gold or Green OA rose from 25% to 32% between 2012 and 2016; and the UK proportion rose from 37% to 54%

The proportion of journals indexed in Scopus that offer immediate OA is rising, with over 60% of journals offering the option in 2016. OA articles are downloaded from publishers' sites more than non-OA articles, says the report.

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Open access academic books downloaded, discussed and cited far more than traditional books, says Springer Nature report
- 08 Nov 2017

Springer Nature has released a report, according to which, there is a tangible benefit to publishing academic books using immediate, or 'gold', open access (OA) models. The research found that such books are downloaded seven times more - on average, there are just under 30,000 chapter downloads per OA book within the first year of publication, which is 7 times more than for the average non-OA book; cited 50 percent more - citations are on average 50 percent higher for OA books than for non-OA books, over a four-year period; mentioned online ten times more - OA books receive an average of 10 times more online mentions than non-OA books, over a three-year period.

As a pioneer of open research, Springer Nature is in a unique position to analyse the real effect of open access on books. Early to introduce open access options across monographs and shorter mid-form research such as Palgrave Pivot and SpringerBriefs, as of October 2017 Springer Nature has published more than 400 open access books on SpringerLink.

A sample of 216 Springer Nature OA books and 17,124 non-OA books was included in the download analysis (using SpringerLink data), and 184 OA books and 14,357 non-OA books in the citations and mentions analysis (using data from Bookmetrix). The report also contains qualitative analysis from authors and funders.

The report finds that increased visibility and a wider dissemination of research are the most popular motivations behind both publishing and funding OA books. There is widespread agreement that readers should not only be able to read publicly-funded research, but should also have equal access to knowledge.

Interviewed authors also stated that a benefit of OA is the ease in sharing books via direct links to encourage a wider readership, especially in regions where readers would not be able to afford a traditional print edition of the book.

Both authors and funders acknowledged feeling insufficiently informed about the implications of publishing books OA, and about how to measure impact, despite bibliometrics tools being at their disposal. There is a clear need for publishers to better communicate the effect of OA on their books.

The report finds a positive correlation between OA books and higher downloads, but acknowledges that causation cannot conclusively be proved. Open access is a relatively new business model for books, and there is at this stage insufficient data to give a complete overview of an OA book's life. As books have a much longer lifespan than scientific articles, and because citations build up over time, it is not possible to say what the definitive trends are, such as when the overall citation and usage peaks occur during an OA book's entire lifespan, until further research and analysis has been carried out.

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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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Panelists discuss the future of open scholarship in the humanities and social sciences at OASPA webinar
- 03 Jul 2017

Rebecca Kennison (Principal of K|N Consultants and the co-founder of the Open Access Network), Dr Jennifer Edmond (Research Fellow and Director of Strategic Projects for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Trinity College Dublin and co-director of the Trinity Center for Digital Humanities) and Ron Dekker (Director of CESSDA) recently joined OASPA for a webinar to discuss the future of open scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. Caroline Sutton (Head of Open Scholarship Development at Taylor & Francis and member of the OASPA Board) chaired the discussion. The Copyright Clearance Center hosted the webinar.

Caroline opened the webinar by highlighting the focus of the discussion: the broad topic of open scholarship within the humanities and social sciences (HSS), noting that discourse around 'open scholarship' in these disciplines is distinct from that of open science and the frameworks it works within. Panelists, she added, had been asked to consider not just the future of open scholarship within the HSS, but what they'd like the future to look like in this realm.

Rebecca kicked off the panelist presentations with her talk on open access models for communities in HSS. 'Fair' open access models, she explained, have historically worked to ensure the producer pays for the cost of article processing charges. But thinking beyond this, other open access models such as the Open Access Network, the Open Library of Humanities, and DOAJ are working instead with collective funding models. HSS finds itself in a position quite distinct from the sciences in that many of its authors publish books rather than in journals, and organisations such as Knowledge Unlatched are experimenting with crowdfunding to enable open access to both books and journals. Those working in HSS face many of the same academic and tenure-and-promotion pressures as their colleagues in working in STEM subjects, and HSS publishing practices can often be more expensive than those in STEM due to the costly nature of book publishing and smaller grants being available. HSS outputs, Rebecca continued, are increasingly diverse; many now feature digital humanities projects, for example. Cost-per-unit pricing, therefore, won’t continue to work for long. Open access solutions for HSS will also work for STEM, she concluded, but not the other way around.

Ron began by stressing that he would be talking with a focus on data, and specifically with regards to the reuse of data rather than open data. Opening up data, Ron argued, is good for society and the economy. Making data transparent, moreover, improves the quality of data. A multidisciplinary approach – as well as reaching outside the academy – in order to open up data, he continued, is vital for societal progress. The ability for all academics to reproduce data, he noted, is of paramount importance. Reproduction of data requires careful handling, for which data management plans and rolling out of training across universities and organisations needs to be required. A culture of data sharing must be embraced, he added.

Introducing herself as a 'policy wonk in the making', Jennifer began her presentation by describing the EU Open Science Policy Platform: a multidisciplinary stakeholder platform made up of about 25 people across Europe, including Jennifer and Ron, to talk about the issues around open science. She pointed to the EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, as being a key figure in gaining widespread support for open science and the ways it can be defined and reimagined. The challenges that remain for the platform, she argues, lie in publishing models. Various new open science models have arisen, such as the European Open Science Cloud, and the platform has embraced 'altmetrics' to consider alternative ways of measuring research impact.

Within HSS, Jennifer continued, the pervasive idea that open access is simply an act of 'good citizenship' means that it is often viewed as being 'nice to have' rather than vital for scholarly progress. A lesser concern with publishing speed and more of a focus on books than articles means that many HSS scholars are faced with less of a variety of open access publishing platforms, and are in any case afraid to publish with 'less prestigious' publishers. HSS scholars work with different conceptions of 'data' than do those working in STEM, and often aren't sure if what they're working with could be conceived of as 'data' in the first place. Not only is HSS data often not digital, but it is frequently not sharable for data protection issues.

With this all in mind, Jennifer argued that humanists are already far more naturally 'open' than those outside the community might presume. Projects she has coordinated, such as CENDARI – a toolkit for digital historical research – include a variety of outputs not normally recognised as being in line with strict conceptions of peer-reviewed journal content, and there are many working within the digital humanities that produce highly creative examples of open access projects. Looking to the future, Jennifer wished 'open science' could simply become 'science', and for the barriers between research excellence and 'openness' to be broken down. Open science isn't just a set of technical tools, but a set of values.

In the panel discussion and Q&A, Caroline, Rebecca, and Jennifer discussed the biggest milestones in open scholarship in HSS. For Jennifer, new reports on the importance of open access books and manuscripts have been vital. For Rebecca, projects like Ling OA, hosted by the Open Library of the Humanities, and Humanities Commons, a network for people working in the humanities, are interesting approaches to openness in that they strive to make all kinds of work open. Jennifer answered concerns on metrics; there is no one-size-fits-all answer to metrics, since they differ widely between disciplines. Rebecca added that 'Humane Metrics', a values-based framework that will enable humanities and social science scholars to tell more textured stories about the impact of their research and teaching, has just been funded by the Mellon Foundation. In general, publishers need to be clearer about their open access policies and work out how to ensure different kinds of work is validated, noted the panelists.

In terms of organisations 'leading the way' in HSS open scholarship, Rebecca highlighted UC Press and MIT Press, and noted that as more collective funding opportunities are developed, new groups and organisations might take off. Jennifer pointed to those such as F1000 and Ubiquity Press as offering new possibilities, and to the European Commission's HIRMEOS for integrating open access monographs into the open science ecosystem. Both panelists hoped for new and better ways of reviewing. Rebecca noted that as the publishing industry moves away from 'cost per unit' publishing, different initiatives such as the Open Access Network are looking at collective funding options, as well as to expand the idea of what is traditionally 'appropriate' to fund. Jennifer added that there are a huge number of new organisations, models, and experiments in how to publish, bringing with them a number of challenges in how to manage quality and expectations. Rebecca stressed the importance of credentialing, and having the mechanisms in place that allow for the recognition of 'valid' scholarship.

The discussion closed with the subject of academic societies, who, Rebecca noted, tend to be risk-averse. There are exceptions, however; MLA's Humanities Commons is a good example of how academic societies can innovate, she argued. Jennifer wished to see academic societies as 'thought leaders' rather than simply gatekeepers of knowledge.

The recording of this webinar, along with the accompanying slides from the discussion, is freely available for the public.

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Preliminary program announced for COASP 2017
- 26 May 2017

The preliminary program for the 9th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing, COASP, along with details of how to register for the conference, is now available on the conference page: https://oaspa.org/conference. The conference will be held at the Altis Grand Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal, on September 20-21, 2017.

Confirmed speakers include: Jean-Claude Burgelman (European Commission), Jessica Polka (ASAPbio), Louise Page (PLOS), Robert Kiley (Wellcome Trust), Vanessa Proudman (SPARC Europe), Mikael Laakso (Hanken School of Economics), Danny Kingsley (University of Cambridge), Jean-Sébastien Caux (University of Amsterdam), Paul Peters (Hindawi), Tony Ross-Hallauer (Goettingen State and University Library), Edit Görögh (Goettingen State and University Library), Liz Allen (F1000), Anke Beck (De Gruyter), Lara Speicher (UCL Press), Jonas Gurell (Swedish Research Council), Susan Veldsman (ASSaF), Colleen Campbell (Max Planck Digital Library), David Shotton (OpenCitations), Paul Shannon (eLife), Martin Quack (ETH Zürich), and Aina Svensson (Uppsala University Library).

Now in its 9th year, COASP is a vital conference for the open access publishing community to gather, advance and develop discussions, relationships, policy and research around open access publishing. As in previous years, delegates from a wide range of backgrounds will be brought together for an exciting range of panels, events, and networking opportunities.

A pre-conference reception for delegates will be held on September 19. Early bird registration fees are available until June 15th.

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CCC’s RightsLink for Open Access Roundtable explores the future of OA
- 05 May 2017

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), a global content management, copyright licensing, discovery and delivery solutions provider, recently brought together a panel of global leaders to share perspectives, challenges and stakeholder requirements around the payment, management and reporting of Article Processing Charges (APCs) and related author payments. The panel featured publishing organisations with a focus on Open Access (OA) publishing, vendors, funding institutions and leading academic institutions.

The meeting was held at the Institute of Directors in London, and focused on two key themes: The challenges and requirements of institutions and funders in reviewing, approving and reporting APC funding as activities and discussions around the 2020 Horizon framework unfold; and The future direction of Open Access and the wider author services landscape.

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Theme of 2017 International Open Access Week to be ‘Open in order to...'
- 25 Apr 2017

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), in conjunction with this year's Open Access Week Advisory Committee, has announced that the theme for this year's 10th International Open Access Week, to be held October 23-29, will be 'Open in order to….'

This year's theme is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realised by making scholarly outputs openly available. 'Open in order to…' serves as a prompt to move beyond talking about openness in itself and focus on what openness enables - in an individual discipline, at a particular institution, or in a specific context; then to take action to realize these benefits.

Open in order to increase the impact of my scholarship; Open in order to enable more equitable participation in research; Open in order to improve public health; are a few examples of how this question can be answered.

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 23rd through the 29th; however, those celebrating the week are encouraged to schedule local events whenever is most suitable during the year and to utilise themes that are most effective locally.

This year's theme of 'Open in order to…' also recognises the diverse contexts and communities within which the shift to Open Access is occurring and encourages specific discussion that will be most effective locally. The community is invited to help translate this prompt into new languages at bit.ly/translateoaweek.

Last year's 'Open in action' theme encouraged 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 pledging to educate colleagues about Open Access. The 2017 theme will help build on that emphasis on action by identifying the end goals Open Access can enable and encourage individuals and institutions to take steps to achieve those goals.

International Open Access Week is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research. The event is celebrated by individuals, institutions, and organisations across the world. The official hashtag of Open Access Week is #OAweek.

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OASPA issues call for contributions for 9th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing
- 11 Apr 2017

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, OASPA, will hold the 9th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP) at the Altis Grand Hotel on September 20- 21, 2017.

Now established as a key event in the scholarly publishing calendar, COASP brings together the open access community and major stakeholders to discuss critical issues, developments, innovations, and best practices in the industry.

As in previous years, the Program Committee have set aside one of the sessions within the conference program to provide six Show & Tell opportunities for showcasing new projects, ideas or initiatives relating to open access publishing. Organisations are invited to submit a proposal for one of the six available 10 minute presentations.

All proposals should be submitted by May 8, 2017 at the latest to info@oaspa.org. The Program Committee will then review the suggestions by the beginning of June.

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New report on the current state of the OA publishing market evaluates the range of policy options available to increase access and enhance competition and sustainability
- 22 Mar 2017

Research Consulting, within the scope of the OpenAIRE Work Package dealing with the FP7 Post Grant Open Access Pilot (WP5), was commissioned by LIBER in October 2016 to undertake an economic analysis study of the Open Access publishing market - "Towards a Competitive and Sustainable OA Market in Europe – A Study of the Open Access Market and Policy Environment". This study assesses the current state of the open access publishing market, and evaluates the range of policy options available to increase access and enhance competition and sustainability in the market.

The report is accompanied by an Annex which contains the mid-term evaluation of the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot, organised by OpenAIRE. This annex will be discussed in detail in the reporting phase of the pilot, which ends on April 30, 2017.

Building on the findings of the EC FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot, the findings form the starting point for a roadmap towards a more sustainable and competitive market. It will be accompanied in its final form by a Roadmap document, developed with input from an expert workshop to be organised by LIBER in The Hague, on April 20, 2017. Registrations for this workshop are still open.

According to the report, the proportion of immediate open access content has been growing by about 15% per annum, but it still only accounts for about 5% of the global market for academic journals. Some parts of Europe are ahead of the global average, of course, but only by a small margin. There are big disciplinary variations, though, and the situation looks significantly better in areas where research funders have issued firm mandates in the public interest (e.g. life sciences and medicine).

Green open access has not been included in these figures. This is a really important means of increasing access, but as content is usually subject to embargo periods of 6 or 12 months, green OA does not directly address the goal of immediate OA as the default.

Overall, it was found that there is a growing market for OA content, but it largely operates alongside the dominant subscription model. From an economic perspective, OA journals operate in a smaller, more competitive market, but the subscription market remains characterised by inelastic demand, and dominated by large commercial publishers.

Further, the report identifies several roadblocks that stand in the way of full and immediate OA, which can be grouped in three clusters - lack of incentives for authors and publishers to move to OA; absence of an effective market; and infrastructure for OA publishing and archiving. The perceived significance of these roadblocks varies between countries and stakeholder groups, but if the EU is to meet its ambitious goal all will have to be addressed in some form.

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Panelists discuss JATS for Reuse at OASPA webinar
- 21 Mar 2017

Kelly McDougall (MIT Press), Mary Seligy (Canadian Science Publishing), and Stephen Laverick (Maverick) recently joined OASPA for a webinar to discuss Open Access Publishing in the Global South. Melissa Harrison (eLife) chaired the discussion. The Copyright Clearance Center hosted the webinar.

JATS4R (JATS for Reuse) is an inclusive group of publishers, vendors, and other interested organisations who use the NISO Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) XML standard. On March 13, 2017, OASPA hosted a webinar on the history, goals and recent work of JATS4R, the importance of participation and outreach around JATS4R, and to provide a platform for discussions on how the initiative can be advanced in the future.

Melissa kicked off the webinar by explaining the mission of JATS4R: to advance scholarly content reuse through the development of recommendations for tagging content in JATS XML, and to provide resources to help people in all areas of interested organisations to produce better XML content. The group formed in 2014, she explained, after those working on the JATS XML standard began discussing the similar challenges they faced while mining content and negotiating licenses and decided to form a working group to implement standardisation and best practices in XML tagging practices.

Following the speakers there was some time for discussion, during which the panelists responded to questions from participants in the webinar. Asked about JATS4R's biggest achievements, Mary highlighted that the bringing together of a now tight community and robust execution of the group's marketing plan has enabled far bigger and newer audiences to JATS. Challenges for the group, though, remain; Kelly emphasised the importance of 'casting the net wide', and reaching out to all those working in all sections of the scholarly communication community. The success of JATS, she reiterated, depends on the ability of diverse sections of the publishing community to engage with it. Asked where panelists saw the role of JATS4R in the future, Stephen noted that JATS enables great flexibility and is evolving all the time; as more gets pulled into the online article, there's an obvious need for more standardisation. JATS4R will continue to evolve and give vital guidance as needed. Kelly sees JATS4R building on their excellent communications mechanisms and collaborative opportunities. JATS4R, it was reiterated, will always be there for new and returning participants, and the group hopes to hear from new interested parties as a result of this webinar.

JATS4R can be contacted at jats4r.org. The recording of this JATS for Reuse webinar, along with the accompanying slides from the discussion, are freely available for the public at http://oaspa.org/information-resources/oaspa-webinars/.

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OASPA to host Twitter Chat on open access publishing in the Global South
- 13 Feb 2017

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) will host a live Twitter chat about open access publishing in the Global South with Xin Bi (Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University/DOAJ), Ina Smith (Academy of Science of South Africa), Abel Packer (SciELO), and Lars Bjørnshauge (DOAJ) on February 22, 2017, from 1pm-2pm BST (8am EST).

Participants may tweet their questions about open access publishing in the Global South using the hashtag #OASPAChat, and Xin, Ina, Abel and Lars will be there to answer them in real time.

This Twitter Chat will allow the open access community and the general public the opportunity to ask questions about the current state of open access publishing in different parts of the Global South. Chat participants will be able to reflect on issues such as: the particular challenges posed by open access publishing in the Global South (South Africa, Latin America, and China in particular); the future of open access publishing in the Global South; and how open access journals in the Global South ensure they are recognised as legitimate and quality publishing channels within a global scholarly communication system.

OASPA will be moderating the questions tweeted on the hashtag.

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Open Access Trends 2017: Challenges and Opportunities
- 11 Jan 2017

Media and publishing intelligence firm Simba Information has examined open access in two recent reports - Open Access Journal Publishing 2016-2020 and Open Access Book Publishing 2016-2020 - and sees several trends developing in 2017. Open access has grown from a conceptual movement to transformational force in scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishing.

It is expected that library consortia and multi-campus university systems will play hardball with their "big deal" journal subscription renewals. There is great pressure on these institutions to lower costs and get contractual assurances from commercial publishers for the advancement of open access.

Göttingen University—as well as more than 60 other major German research institutions—allowed its journal subscription package with Elsevier to expire Jan. 1, as they continue to try and negotiate a new pact with the STM publisher. The group's decision is aimed at relieving the institutions' acquisition budgets and at improving access to scientific literature in a broad and sustainable way.

The European Union applied extra pressure to these university systems when it mandated last year that all journal articles stemming from its publicly-funded research must be published open access starting in the year 2020. But the policy also puts publishers in a position where they have to bend on access if they want to do business with EU institutions.

University systems in the Sweden and The Netherland have already finalized deals with Springer Nature and Taylor & Francis respectively that combine reading access with the elimination of open access publishing fees for their authors.

German-based Max Planck Society was one of the first institutions to negotiate a deal like this when it came to agreement with Springer Science+Business Media back in February 2008.

Large library consortia and university systems will repeat this strategy of holding back renewals for price and open access concessions.

The business model where authors or their institutions pay an article processing charge (APC) upon acceptance is the model that has helped open access to grow in recent years. However, it has also given rise to unscrupulous publishers that create an appearance of legitimacy, but do little more than collect APCs and post articles to the Web.

Researchers around the globe have a mandate to publish to maintain their grants and advance their careers. Some countries even have quota systems in place to encourage academic to publish as many papers as possible. The most prestigious journals reject far more papers than they accept, which leaves many authors looking for somewhere else to publish.

In May, The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) delisted more than 3,300 titles in an effort to exclude questionable and inactive publishers.

Faced with the proliferation of Napster like sites that allow folks to download STM articles for free, publishers are beginning to develop their own sharing policies. Springer Nature and Elsevier launched trial programs in 2016, which enabled researchers to freely share peer-reviewed content among themselves, media entities and the public. Simba expects more publishers will follow in 2017.

Revenue generated by APCs is growing fast, but open access advocates are starting to publically criticise this business model saying the jury is still out on whether this is the best way to achieve the aims of the open access movement.

The broad criticism is that simply shifting from subscription to article fee may have unintended consequences by impeding global participation in the system and will potentially contributing to more consolidation and driving up costs.

The U.K.-based Wellcome Trust is a private charity that funds STM research and pays APCs on behalf of its researchers. The group has been critical of publishers collecting the fee and not subsequently depositing the articles in the appropriate repository.

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OASPA webinar focuses on the current state of OA publishing in different parts of the Global South
- 19 Dec 2016

OASPA recently hosted a timely and wide-ranging discussion on the current state of open access publishing in different parts of the Global South. Xin Bi, University Librarian at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) and Editor and China Ambassador of the Directory for Open Access Journals (DOAJ) in China, opened the webinar by describing recent developments in open access publishing in China. In recent years, he explained, the Chinese central government has encouraged innovation strategies for economic and social development, which has involved a large increase in investment in Research and Development. Such strategies have included a focus on people being able to access and share research, and commitments to open access have expanded since 2014, when the China National Science Fund Committee and Chinese Academy of Science published their mandates for open access.

Publishing open access continues to grow in popularity, Bi argued, because much research produced by Chinese researchers – particularly in the sciences – has traditionally been published in international journals in English, which is then often sold back to Chinese academic organisations in the form of large publishing packages with ever-increasing subscription costs. Papers in the Social Sciences and Humanities are generally published in Chinese, but these papers are often still deposited back into Chinese local aggregator databases, which still charge for access and downloading.

Open access publishing enables research outputs to be published in China instead of in international journals, allows for far more publishing in Chinese rather than English, and lays the foundation for easier dissemination of research within China and around the world. Challenges for the open access community naturally remain; Bi described there being a variety of different understandings in China of how 'open access' can be defined, with many looser definitions of the term in play. China, he added, is still slow in enacting open access policy changes. Universities tend to encourage their researchers to publish open access, rather than make it mandatory. Despite this, it is clear that progress in open access in China continues at a brisk pace, and the open access community around the world should be watching the region closely for new developments.

The next panelist, Ina Smith, is a planning manager at the Academy of Science of South Africa, where she is working on a DST/ASSAf/ICSU/CODATA project for an African Open Science Platform, and is a DOAJ Ambassador for the southern Africa region. Smith took the participants on a whirlwind tour of the current state of open access publishing throughout the African continent. Fifty academic institutions in Africa have created open access policies. Hindawi and African Journals Online (AJOL) are the most active open access publishers within the continent. Half of all journals are open access, with around 200 of these being registered on the DOAJ. The growth of Internet usage and open source publishing software in the region point to an optimistic future for the open access community, and the Africa Open Science agenda offers excellent opportunities to push for open access publishing. However, large challenges remain for open access advocates across Africa. Many journals are still only available in print. Uptake of open access research and sharing of research outputs has been relatively slow compared to the rest of the world and other regions within the Global South. As Smith explained, many countries across Africa face widespread poverty, political instability, corruption, disease, and lack of infrastructure, connectivity, and electricity, and thus support for open access publishing will continue to take a backseat while urgent social and political challenges are tackled. A 'blind belief' in the value of the journal impact factor system, Smith continued, also serves to hinder progress in the open access movement. Authors face a system of promotion and reward based on publishing in international journals rather than journals within Africa. There is a huge lack of knowledge on best practice scholarly publishing, Smith added. However, momentum for open access publishing must continue to be advocated for, since its rewards hold huge promise for the continent. Democratising access to quality research, Smith argued, allows individuals to better educate themselves, can empower the African research community to raise the quality of African publishing, can stimulate entrepreneurship and economic growth, and can ultimately serve to help alleviate poverty and enable healthier communities.

The final panelist was Abel Packer, Director of the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) Program. Moderator Lars Bjørnshauge (Managing Director and Founder, DOAJ), introduced Latin America as ‘inventing open access before we (in the West) even started talking about it', and from there, Packer took the participants through the recent history of, and developments in, open access publishing throughout Latin America. The population of Latin America, including the Caribbean, totals about 9% of the world's population, and the region publishes the highest proportion of open access research globally. 71% of all academic journals in Latin America are open access, compared to a total global average of 17%.

Latin America offers strong open access publishing options in the form of both gold and green open access publishing, Packer continued. The SciELO network, which runs on a gold open access model, was established in 1998 in Brazil. The network was set up to increase the visibility, quality, use and impact of academic journals. As of this year, the network operates in 15 countries, including 12 countries from across Latin America, as well as Portugal, South Africa and Spain. SciELO boasts more than a thousand active journals, around 600,000 articles, and over a million downloads per day.

Alongside this, green open access models are also on offer; La Referencia, a network of institutional repositories across 8 'national nodes', compliments SciELO by offering public access to over 1.3 million research documents and 750,000 journal articles. Packer spoke of open access research as being largely envisaged within the Latin American research community as regional or global 'common good'; the SciELO model consists of a decentralised network of national collections of journals across the region, all of which are governed and funded nationally, usually by government research agencies. Over the years, Packer explained, SciELO has greatly strengthened the visibility, usage, and impact of quality journals in these national collections. SciELO and others in Latin America are working to improve recognition, credibility, professionalisation, internationalisation, and sustainability of nationally published journals, and he points out 'major challenges' remain in the way of research and journal evaluation. However, it is evident that the open access movement within Latin America that Packer described has been nothing less than a phenomenon, and open access advocates across the world should take inspiration from the continued work of SciELO and others across the region.

The webinar concluded with a short Q&A session with the panelists, in which Bi, Smith, and Packer reflected on particular leaders within the Global South Open Access movement who have inspired them and their work, and where they saw the open access movement in the Global South in ten years time. Smith cited Stevan Harnad, Peter Suber, and the DOAJ as historically inspirational open access advocates, and described wanting to see large increases in quality of journals and a shift in impact factor measurement across the Africa region over the next ten years. Packer argued for acknowledgement of the risks of enforcing the use of Article Processing Charges (APCs) in publishing within Latin America, and agreed with Smith on the urgency of pushing for quality in journals in the future. Bi wished for greater government support in China for open access publishing, which he sees as vital for the continuing progress of the open access movement.

The recording of this Open Access Publishing in the Global South webinar, along with the accompanying slides from the discussion, are freely available online at http://oaspa.org/information-resources/oaspa-webinars/.

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New study proposes pragmatic scenario for transitioning the publication system towards Open Access
- 22 Nov 2016

The Swiss National Science Foundation in collaboration with the Scientific Information programme (SUC P-2) run by swissuniversities has initiated a study, which for the first time, has developed scenarios for restructuring transitioning Switzerland's scientific publication system towards Open Access (OA). The study recommends a model that proposes a pragmatic and flexible way of making publicly funded research freely available at no charge and with no delay.

In 2015, the libraries at Switzerland's universities paid a total of 70 million Swiss francs in licences and subscriptions fees to publishing houses in order to make more than 2.5 million scientific articles available. Researchers spent a further 6 million Swiss francs on article processing charges so they could have their results published in a scientific journal. These figures were generated by an initial analysis of cash financial flows in the Swiss higher tertiary education system.

Research results obtained with public funding should also be readily made available to the public at no charge – this is the principle underlying European efforts to restructure the current publication system towards Open Access (OA). The cash financial flow analysis commissioned by the SNSF in association with SUC P-2 (a programme set up by swissuniversities) has produced data on the cost of restructuring transitioning the system to provide immediate, unrestricted electronic access to publicly funded publications at no charge by 2024. On this basis it outlines possible scenarios for restructuring transitioning the Swiss publication system so that it meets these requirements and identifies the financial impact of each. Every year, more than 30,000 scientific articles are published in Switzerland alone. Internationally, 21 percent of published articles are currently available free of charge; the corresponding figure for Switzerland is an above-average 30 percent.

The cash financial flow analysis differentiates between the costs associated with various scenarios for implementing Open Access. According to the report, the ‘blue road’ would generate savings in excess of 2 million Swiss francs annually. In this scenario, the publisher's version of all articles would be placed in free, publicly accessible institutional repositories at the universities after a certain embargo period. At the other end of the scale is the 'gold road'. This involves the immediate release of articles in scientific OA journals, usually after the author or another sponsor (university, research funding body organisation) has paid an article processing charge. If this scenario was to be implemented in full, it would lead to additional costs of about 27 million Swiss francs annually in Switzerland. The additional costs would be even higher with a 'hybrid' OA model, in which licensing subscription fees would be charged in addition to the fees for making an article available on an OA basis in a journal that is otherwise not available free of charge in closed access – or in other words a scenario in which the article would basically have to be paid for twice.

The authors of the study, Cambridge Economic Policy Associates Ltd., compared the costs associated with the various scenarios with the current actual standard costs. The actual effective costs for Switzerland depend heavily on how quickly the changeover to the 'gold road' of Open Access takes place worldwide. In their report, the authors recommend a combined approach that makes both the 'blue road' and the 'gold road' to Open Access possible. They calculate that this pragmatic, flexible model for restructuring the publication system towards Open Access would limit the additional costs in Switzerland to 13 million Swiss francs annually. The systematic implementation of a model of this kind would show other countries that Switzerland is serious about making publicly funded research publicly available without delay.

The authors also recommend greatly improving the quality of the data on physical and financial flows in the publication system. Moreover, they feel that a national strategy and corresponding action plan are needed to coordinate OA activities. Efforts in this direction are already being made in Switzerland under the leadership of swissuniversities. Switzerland should also continue to play an active role in international discussions. In the medium term, the costs of restructuring towards Open Access will depend heavily on whether joint negotiating positions vis-à-vis the major publishing houses can be established nationally and internationally. In addition, the necessary infrastructure needs to be created developed in Switzerland, and scientists have to be brought on board.

The SNSF and swissuniversities take note of the study results. Possible scenarios for the transition in Switzerland will be discussed within the scope of the national strategy and the OA action plan.

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USDA and CHORUS sign MoU to advance public access to content reporting on USDA-funded research
- 15 Nov 2016

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and CHORUS have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to advance public access to content reporting on USDA-funded research.

USDA already links from the PubAg portal to CHORUS-verified, publicly accessible content on CHORUS Publisher Members' sites. Closer collaboration between the two organizations aims to further increase public access to publications covered by the PubAg/AGRICOLA systems.

USDA issued its Public Access Plan in November 2014, identifying their PubAg portal as a foundation for hosting data sets and articles from extramural researchers who receive USDA funding, and intramural authors who do research as agency staff. The Plan also indicated a strong interest in public-private partnerships to maximize the agency's investment and balance the needs of all involved in scholarly communications.

CHORUS enables sustainable, cost-effective, and transparent public access to content reporting on funded research. Built on proven infrastructure, CHORUS operates at no cost to the government, academic institutions, or taxpayers, and minimizes costs to publishers, overheads for funders, and administrative burden for authors. CHORUS verifies public access, the availability of reuse license terms, and long-term archival and preservation arrangements and reports on these metrics in agency and publisher level dashboards; over 288,000 articles are currently monitored and these numbers are growing daily.

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Open Access books set to grow 30% a year through 2020, says Simba report
- 14 Nov 2016

Media and publishing intelligence firm Simba Information has released a report titled 'Open Access Book Publishing 2016-2020.' The report notes that while the movement to unlock the vaults of scientific, technical and medical (STM) research is revolutionizing academic journal publishing, scholarly and professional book publishers are experimenting with open models simply to keep the venerable monograph from extinction.

The report found that there is promise in this strategy. While both STM and social science and humanities (SSH) book revenue is expected to decline at a compound annual rate of about 1% between 2016 and 2020, open access (OA) book revenue is expected to grow by almost 30% a year through 2020.

However, many have been skeptical of whether OA books have a future. In many disciplines, the high fixed costs of a 70,000- to 100,000-word book compared to a 2,000- to 5,000-word journal article mean the author-pays or funder-pays OA gold approach is not an easy fit, given the limited funds for research in the prime SSH fields.

The university presses active in these areas have relied on a variety of funding sources for decades, a combination of direct and indirect institutional funding, and now crowd sourcing and special non-traditional library budgets.

Current revenue generated by OA books only represent a fraction of a percentage of 2015 global scholarly and academic book sales overall and OA books also only represent a few titles per thousand published. Despite its small size, OA books are a bright spot against a depressed market. They have taken hold in the humanities social sciences and in countries outside of the mainstream of global scholarly publishing in other disciplines as well.

Open Access Book Publishing 2016-2020 provides detailed market information for this segment of scholarly book publishing. It analyzes trends impacting the industry and forecasts market growth to 2020. The report includes a review of more than 20 notable OA publishers and programs, including InTechOpen, Bookboon.com, Frontiers Media, SciELO, De Gruyter, Brill, Knowledge Unlatched and Springer Nature.

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Portland Press highlights OA articles at International Open Access Week
- 25 Oct 2016

The theme of International Open Access Week, being held October 24-30, encourages everyone to take concrete steps to make their own work more openly available and encourage others to do the same.

In full support of this, Portland Press highlights some of the best Open Access articles from across the Portland Press portfolio in the new collection of top open access articles.

All the articles listed are accessible without a subscription and comprise research papers and review articles taken from across the journal portfolio published by Portland Press.

Portland Press has also taken steps to make it easier for authors to choose one of the Open Access options during the submission process and have implemented RightsLink as the new Open Access payment system for all of their journals.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Biochemical Society, Portland Press is fully committed to the open science agenda and to serving the needs of their authors, readers, librarians and Society members. The Copyright Clearance Center's RightsLink platform streamlines author fee transactions for Article Publishing Charges (APCs), supporting the mission as a Society-owned publisher to place the requirements of the community at the heart of everything they do.

By offering an intuitive easy-to-use system, the collaboration will also offer a time-saving benefit for authors minimising the administrative burden they and their institutions face in making APC payments.

Portland Press offers several Open Access options, including funder-compliant routes to publishing, in all of the journals.

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Open access represents one third of all research articles published, says Simba report
- 07 Oct 2016

The number of open access (OA) research articles published annually is growing at double the rate of the complete spectrum of research articles. This is according to the most recent report from media and publishing intelligence firm Simba Information.

The report, Open Access Journal Publishing 2016-2020, found that open access already represents about a third of all research articles published when articles completing their embargo periods are included.

Open access is the online digital delivery of scholarly research free of charge and without most copyright and licensing restrictions. The term was only coined a dozen years ago and the concept continues to be the subject of fierce debate about how free is free (costs) and how open is open (copyrights). Some articles are freely accessible right away because they are published in an open journal or because a fee has been paid to make it accessible. Other articles are made available after an embargo period, usually six months, has passed.

Open access revenue generated by article processing charges (APCs) is also growing fast, but it is a relatively small revenue stream for scholarly journal publishers. OA sales revenue only represents 3.2% of global 2015 STM journal sales. But that business segment is a bright spot in what is otherwise a flat market for academic journal sales.

The influence of OA is felt even more strongly in the number of OA articles published. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists nearly 2.3 million OA articles. Simba estimates this number will continue to grow and will top 3 million by 2020.

OA is still a young idea without the centuries of evolution of the traditional subscription and peer review methods. It took years for the online journal charging mechanisms to settle into a few discrete business models and open access still has its critics. Fundamental to the debate is the innate conflict of interest the paid gold model offers: the more that is published, the more money to be made. This creates a strong temptation to lower standards and accept anything.

Open Access Journal Publishing 2016-2020 provides detailed market information for this segment of scholarly journal publishing. It analyses trends impacting the industry and forecasts market growth to 2020. The report includes an in-depth review of 10 leading OA publishers, including Springer Nature (including Biomed Central), PLOS, Hindawi, John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier, Frontiers, Wolters Kluwer Medknow and others.

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Wellcome initiates open access requirements for publishers
- 06 Sep 2016

Wellcome has published a set of requirements for open access publications, which will come into force next spring.

The policy outlines what is required of publishers in order to receive article processing charges (APCs) from the charity. These include uploading articles to PubMed Central (PMC), making updates available to PMC if they are corrected or retracted, publishing content under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) and offering a reimbursement policy for APCs.

Publishers are requested to sign up to the requirements by December 16, 2016, and they will come into force on April 1, 2017. Wiley, Springer Nature, OUP, Royal Society and PLOS, who combined publish almost 50% of Wellcome funded research outcomes, have all committed to signing up to the requirements.

Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) members Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and Parkinson's UK will also apply the same requirements for outcomes of research they have funded. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation introduced the requirements in their Open Access Policy in January 2015, which come into full effect in January 2017.

Since 2006 Wellcome has worked with the publishing and research communities to champion unrestricted access to research, and accelerate the rate at which new discoveries can be applied to improve health. Its open access policy aims to ensure publications can be accessed, read and built upon.

The move to produce a set of publisher requirements came following an analysis by Wellcome of the number of articles which were non-compliant with their open access policy.

Sector bodies and research associations Jisc, SCONUL, UKCoRR and RLUK are also supportive and will help to promote these requirements amongst the research community.

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OASPA webinar panelists discuss attribution
- 23 May 2016

Cameron Neylon from Curtin University, Michael Carroll from American University, and Ernesto Priego from the City University London recently joined OASPA for a webinar to discuss attribution in open access publishing - an important, timely issue for publishers that goes hand-in-hand with licensing. Catriona MacCallum (PLOS) chaired the discussion. The Copyright Clearance Center hosted the webinar.

Catriona MacCallum opened the discussion by noting that Creative Commons licenses have become the standard means by which credit can be given to authors in open access publishing. Any potential membership applicant to OASPA, Catriona continued, must have at least one journal which features 'CC-BY', or in some cases 'CC BY-NC' content, which allows those accessing research to remix, tweak, and build upon work, while acknowledging the original author in the process. But there are ongoing challenges in the attribution realm: unclear licensing frameworks, differing community norms of content reuse, and varying disciplinary attitudes to attribution. Catriona handed over to Cameron Neylon, who presented on the topic, with Michael Carroll and Ernesto Priego as respondents.

Cameron began by underlining the importance of attribution. Those working on and interested in open access share a common belief in the maximum amount of people being able to 'take content and research outputs, and make them available in a form that others can use in ways that we haven't yet thought about.' Licensing, Cameron argued, is at the centre of open access publishing work: having a common set of licenses expresses a set of values around content reuse, but also enables legal consistency around reuse. Importantly, he continued, the use of such licenses lay the foundation for interoperability – information to flow between communities, not just within them.

Core to licensing, Cameron noted, is attribution. But unlike the consistency seen in licensing behaviours and values, attribution is often inconsistently expressed. Attribution, he cautioned, is not citation: citation is a bibliographic practice particular to research to enable someone else to find the work you are describing, whereas attribution is a 'legal requirement under Creative Commons licenses to recognize the copyright holder'. To 'attribute' does not simply mean to cite the work of the author you are reusing, since authors are not always the copyright holders.

Attribution could be made more interoperable and more consistent, argued Cameron, by actively making use of the four proposed attribution principles set out in an OASPA document, Getting the Credit.

Cameron pointed out that by thinking through case studies and day-to-day attribution practices, the OASPA principles go some way to tackle the particular challenges of third-party marketers failing to properly attribute academic content, and of the difficulty humanities scholars have found in having translated work attributed correctly. Many translation-related challenges, for example, can be overcome by making attribution very explicit. Beyond the establishment of attribution principles, Cameron wondered if the creation of stock examples of how to attribute would be helpful to distribute, if further education was needed around standard forms of attribution, and if so, what form guidance should take – and who should take responsibility for enforcing any rules.

Cameron then moved onto explore the attribution-licensing relationship. Cameron explained that Creative Commons licenses bind together the author and the user of the content through attribution, while a separate 'license to publish' creates the relationship between the author and the publisher. Attribution requirements by the publisher then establish the relationship between the publisher and content users – which may differ between publishers. There may be real opportunities, argued Cameron, for publishers to standardise their publisher-user attribution guidelines.

In response, Ernesto Priego remarked that within the humanities realm, difficulties lie in third-party content being reused with Creative Commons licenses when the original author did not intend it to be. To navigate this challenge, publishers such as the Open Library of Humanities have CC-BY as their licensing default, but offer other licensing options, and the journal Ernesto edits, Comics Grid, has a special clause for third-party content re-users. He cautioned that standardisation, especially around third-party content, is still needed however.

Following on from this, Michael Carroll wondered if attribution is often described in too complex a fashion. Users need to be aware of the copyright status of the content they are working with, and the source of their right to use it. Creative Commons licenses provide people with the means to attribute, but without being too specific about how authors satisfy the legal conditions of licenses. This, he argues, enables flexibility in the way materials are presented. But the addition of the statement of attribution principles, he continued, is important: it encourages the open access publishing community to come together and think about how to make 'attribution and citation synonymous'. Standardisation of attribution practices, rather than competition, Michael noted, would be most beneficial to the community. Ernesto agreed with this analysis, adding that CC-BY licensing has generally been well taken-up by the humanities community. In response, Cameron commented that he hoped that the establishment of standardised attribution practices would build a 'stronger knowledge network'.

In the Q&A session, Cameron was asked if the ORCID ID would ever be used as a standard citation. Certainly there are ways of this being taken up in the future, Cameron replied. Catriona followed this up with a question on data held in repositories or the paper itself: how was attribution for data different to that for publications? Cameron answered that often, there is very little copyright associated with data – and that as a result, it is often better placed into the public domain.

Publishers are well placed to lead the way in standardising attribution practices and OASPA looks forward to further discussions on developing attribution standards – and how these could be implemented across different disciplines.

The recording of this webinar, along with the accompanying slides, can be found on the OASPA website http://oaspa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/OASPA-Webinar-Attribution-20160505-1402-1.mp4.

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Theme for 2016 International Open Access Week to be ‘Open in Action’
- 13 May 2016

In conjunction with this year's Open Access Week Advisory Committee, SPARC has announced the theme for this year's 9th International Open Access Week, to be held October 24-30. The theme for 2016 will be 'Open in Action.'

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.

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 benefitted them—from researchers just starting their careers to those at the top of their field.

Last year's 'Open for Collaboration' theme highlighted both the power of Open Access to enable better collaboration within the research community and the ways the Open Access movement itself is driven by collaboration. This theme of collaboration was embodied by last year's global Wikipedia Edit-a-thon that improved content related to Open Access across the world's largest open resource.

International Open Access Week is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research. The event is celebrated by individuals, institutions and organisations across the world.

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Florida State University Faculty Senate passes university wide open access policy
- 23 Feb 2016

The Florida State University Faculty Senate, in consultation with its Library Committee and staff of the FSU Libraries, voted unanimously this week to adopt a university-wide Open Access (OA) policy.

FSU joins a growing list of major universities with similar policies designed to create a safe harbour for faculty intellectual property rights and dramatically increase the visibility of FSU journal scholarship. Many years in the making, this policy builds upon the Faculty Senate's Open Access Resolution, which was adopted by a unanimous vote in 2011 and demonstrated the faculty's support for open access in principle.

Under the new policy, faculty grant FSU permission to share the accepted versions of their scholarly articles for non-commercial purposes and agree to send the accepted, peer-reviewed versions of their articles to Library staff to be made publicly available in DigiNole: FSU's Research Repository and Digital Library. By granting non-exclusive rights to the university, faculty create a safe harbor against overly-restrictive intellectual property agreements and retain far greater control over their work than they would in standard publication contracts.

Through working with FSU Library staff to make their articles publicly available in DigiNole, faculty will also dramatically increase the visibility of their research, potentially attracting more citations than they otherwise would if their scholarship were available exclusively in pay-walled journals. Making faculty journal articles available in DigiNole also greatly simplifies the process of complying with federal funder public access mandates.

A full copy of the Open Access Policy will be published in the FSU Faculty Senate Bulletin. The Research Repository Team in the University Libraries' Office of Digital Research & Scholarship will work with FSU faculty toward the successful implementation of the new policy.

FSU Libraries' newly formed Office of Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS) provides support, infrastructure and consulting for technology-focused research projects in the areas of digital humanities, academic/digital publishing, data management, and more. DRS is focused on building collaborative research partnerships across campus, and providing platforms for new forms of scholarship.

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Berlin 12 conference focuses on proposal to flip subscription journals to open access
- 21 Dec 2015

Representatives from several regions (Asia, Europe, and North America) recently met in Berlin, Germany, to discuss a proposal to flip subscription-based journals to open access models. The initiative is being led by the Max Planck Society, the organiser and host of the invitation-only Berlin 12 Open Access Conference. The rationale for the initiative is based on an analysis undertaken by Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL), which found that a flip to open access would be possible at no financial risk, 'maybe even at lower overall costs' to the system.

The objective of the conference was to build a consensus for an internationally coordinated effort to shift libraries' journal budgets away from subscriptions and towards article processing costs (APCs). The meeting was attended by 96 participants from 19 countries, with several US and Canadian representatives. The major point of discussion was an expression of interest (EOI) that would form the basis for gaining support and moving forward with the initiative. Once published, organisations will be invited to sign the EOI and it will be used to galvanize interest in the initiative around the world.

Most conference participants were supportive 'in principle' of a collaborative, international effort to accelerate the transition to open access, although a number of concerns were expressed about a model in which APCs would prevail. Several representatives, including US delegates, felt that this transition must come with real reductions in the overall costs of the scholarly publishing system. The next joint Association of Research Libraries (ARL)–Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, in April 2016, may offer a good opportunity for ARL and CARL members to discuss this initiative further and determine if there is sufficient support for moving forward.

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Perceptions of open access publishing are changing for the better, reveals NPG and Palgrave Macmillan survey
- 13 Aug 2015

A survey of 22,000 academic researchers by Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and Palgrave Macmillan has found that a decreasing number of authors are concerned about perceptions of the quality of open access publications.

In 2014, 40 percent of scientists who had not published open access in the last three years said 'I am concerned about perceptions of the quality of OA publications.' But this year, only 27 percent said they were concerned. In the humanities, business and social sciences (HSS), the drop was more marked; from 54 percent in 2014 to 41 percent in 2015. Nonetheless, a concern about perceptions of the quality of OA publications is still the leading factor in authors choosing not to publish OA.

NPG and Palgrave Macmillan are making the anonymised data from their annual survey available for the second year running under a CC BY license, in order to achieve greater understanding between authors, funders and publishers.

The survey reveals authors' views on a diverse range of topics, including open access, how they determine the reputation of a journal, the value they place on publisher activities and services, and funder mandates. A summary of views from authors based at Chinese institutions is also available, which provides some interesting comparisons between China and the rest of the world. All data is available to view and download on figshare, along with summaries pulling out the highlights.

According to the findings of the survey the four most important factors for author when choosing where to publish were reputation of the journal, relevance of journal content, quality of peer review and the journal's Impact Factor (although authors in the HSS disciplines placed more importance on journal readership than Impact Factor). Factors that contributed most to a journal's reputation were the journal's Impact Factor, seen as the place to publish the best research, the consistency of quality and quality of peer review.

When asked about their understanding of their main funders' open access policy, 30.7 of authors accurately matched the policy. Another 30 percent partially matched their funders' policy, and 40 percent did not match their funders' policy. Of those who did not match their funders' policy, 41 percent thought their funder had no open access requirement when it did, while another 41 percent thought their funder had an open access requirement but it did not.

Further, the survey found that Chinese authors are much more likely to receive support to publish their research via open access (OA) than their global colleagues and an increasing proportion are choosing to do so exclusively. 92 percent of Chinese researchers who took part had sufficient funds to publish their research in OA journals, substantially higher than the global average 68 percent of researchers from the rest of the world. 20 percent of Chinese authors report having published exclusively in OA journals in the last 3 years.

The Author Insights Survey 2015 was originally carried out for internal research purposes in April 2015 among academics who have written papers for NPG and Palgrave Macmillan, as well as other publishers.

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Ukrainian authors and writers criticise new state open access initiative
- 29 Jul 2015

Ukrainian writers and authors are reportedly on the verge of massive protests, due to a recent initiative of the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) to conduct digitalisation and online publishing of all of the books and documents stored in the national archives and libraries.

According to an official spokesman of Vladimir Groisman, head of Verkhovna Rada, the initiative is very useful as it will provide free access to local population to the Ukrainian national libraries and books.

It is planned that the new state initiative may be approved in the form of amendments to the existing law, which is known as 'On Copyright and Related Rights'.

In the meantime, the new state initiative has already been criticised by some leading Ukrainian authors and writers, who say its approval will result in huge losses to them and copyright infringement.

According to Alexandra Odinetsk, a well-known Ukrainian lawyer for copyright and related rights, online publishing of books without the consent of the author is prohibited by the current Ukrainian legislation and can be contested in the court. The same position is shared by the Ukrainian writers.

In addition to Ukrainian writers and public, it is expected that the initiative will be sharply criticized by the European Union, as it will be seen as not complying with EU legislation in the field of copyright.

Ukraine recently signed an agreement 'About the Association' with the EU. It is a base agreement, but imposes obligations on Ukraine not to approve laws which directly contradict basic EU principles and norms.

Some Ukrainian writers have already announced their plan to submit a petition to the European Commission, asking to take measures for the blocking of the new proposal by the Ukrainian government and the national Parliament.

Meanwhile, according to Alexander Brigints, member of Verkhovna Rada and a well-known Ukrainian writer, the Ukrainian Parliament and the national government are aware of the protests of the writer community, and are considering several options out of the current situation.

The state plans may include the provision of compensation to authors and writers whose books will be subject to online publishing and digitalisation. It is planned that this compensation may be in the form of royalties to authors. Another option may involve publishing of books only on paid online resources.

Finally, the government has not ruled out the possibility of digitalisation of only those books whose copyright has already expired or is not applied. It is planned that a final decision on the new state initiative will be taken by the Ukrainian government in mid-September.

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Registrations now open for 7th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing
- 08 Jun 2015

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) has announced that registration is now open for the 7th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP) which will be held in the Trippenhuis at The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam, September 15-17, 2015.

Open access is now firmly established as a valuable part of the scholarly publishing landscape with a growing number of governments embracing and promoting open access as the way forward to disseminate their national research, together with an increase in the volume of open access papers year-on-year, including from subscription based publishers.

COASP is a key event this year for academic publishers, librarians, funders, policy makers and the research community who will come together and discuss the latest developments and innovation relating to open access publishing and promote best practices within the industry.

Speakers this year include Sander Dekker (Minister for Education, Culture and Science, The Netherlands), Salvatore Mele (CERN), Geoffrey Bilder (CrossRef), Dick Wilder (Gates Foundation), Stephen Curry (Imperial College London), Andrew Preston (Publons), Pierre Mounier (OpenEdition), Jonathan Gray (Open Knowledge), Kaitlin Thaney (Mozilla Science Lab) and Ryan Merkley (Creative Commons).

Early bird registration fees are available until July 9. Further reductions are offered to OASPA and OAPEN members.

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Open Access books slowly on the rise, says new PCG study
- 28 May 2015

Publishers and libraries are increasingly experimenting with Open Access (OA) books, according to a new survey by industry advisors, Publishers Communication Group (PCG). Books published under the so-called 'author-pays,' Gold Open Access model with no paywall for readers are expected to slowly grow in importance, with funding derived from a variety of sources including library budgets, the study reported.

Following on from PCG's 2014 survey into library adoption and funding of OA journals, the Open Access Monographs Survey sought input from both publishers who are active in and considering OA book programs, and librarians around the world who contend with new institutional OA mandates and emerging acquisition models.

Among the key library findings are that within the 57 percent of institutions currently cataloguing OA books, 81 percent use established criteria in making selection decisions, including relevance to curriculum (68 percent), faculty request (67 percent), authorship within the institution (51 percent) and listing in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB, 33 percent). Known funding sources for OA author fees were identified variously as outside grants (26 percent), the authors themselves (23 percent), academic departments (21 percent) and library funds (15 percent). Of library funds supporting OA book publishing, 53 percent are taken from the existing materials budget, according to respondents. On average, library OA funds are divided 26 percent toward book publishing with the remaining 74 percent covering article processing charges for OA journals.

The third of publishers stating that they publish OA monographs reported that such works currently account for less than 5 percent of their book collections, but 44 percent of them felt that the program was growing, albeit modestly. About 30 percent of those not yet publishing OA books felt that it is somewhat or very likely that their organization would begin doing so within the next five years.

Librarians and publishers perceive the benefits of the OA books movement differently. While 20 percent of libraries report participation in OA funding initiatives such as Knowledge Unlatched, and many librarians feel they should advocate for OA publishing within their institutions, diversion of existing funds remains an issue. Publishers, meanwhile, fear unrealistic funding expectations in the academic community, the resemblance to vanity publishing, and the inevitability of institutional mandates.

PCG Managing Director, Melissanne Scheid will discuss the results of the survey during the session, Open Access 2.0: Monographs from the Perspective of Publishers and Librarians on May 28 from 10:30- 12:00 at the 37th SSP Annual Meeting in Arlington, VA. The full report is available at pcgplus.com/whitepapers.

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Call for contributions to the 7th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing
- 07 May 2015

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, OASPA, will be holding the 7th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP) this year at the Trippenhuis at The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam, September 15-17, 2015.

Now established as a key event in the scholarly publishing calendar, the conference is directed towards the interests of professional publishing organisations, independent publishers and university presses, librarians, university administrators, funding organisations, policy makers and other stakeholders. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from many leading figures within the open access publishing environment and to discuss recent developments, innovations and best practices within the industry.

The Program Committee have set aside one of the sessions within the conference program as a Show & Tell opportunity for showcasing exciting new products, projects, ideas or initiatives relating to open access publishing as this proved to be such a success last year. Six slots are available and organisations are invited to submit a proposal for a 10 minute presentation.

All proposals should be submitted by May 31, 2015 at the latest to info@oaspa.org. The Program Committee will then review the suggestions and make a final decision by the end of June.

Further announcements will be made shortly when registrations for the event are open and the preliminary program is available.

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CCC named one of ‘10 to Watch’ in Outsell’s 2015 Open Access Market Report
- 06 May 2015

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), a global licensing and content solutions organization, has been named one of '10 to Watch' in Outsell, Inc.'s 'Open Access 2015: Market Size, Share, Forecast, and Trends' report.

In its report, Outsell defines the market, estimates its growth and identifies the major contributors that are developing an infrastructure to support the Open Access (OA) landscape. It also points to potentially disruptive factors, such as funder mandates and numerous revenue models, which are being called for despite insufficient infrastructures in place.

RightsLink® for Open Access is CCC's platform that automates the collection and management of Article Processing Charges (APCs). It can be easily integrated with publishers' manuscript management and production systems to help automate the collection of Open Access charges. As a result, the platform allows editorial staff to focus on publishing high-value content and new value-added services for their authors. RightsLink for Open Access also offers comprehensive billing and collections services to publishers, priority customer service to authors, and detailed reporting to both.

CCC recently brought together institutions from the UK and publishers from both the US and UK for an Open Access roundtable discussion to explore the implications of managing Open Access fees on a large scale. During this meeting, held at University College London, the attendees examined a number of issues related to fragmentation, approach and processes, including ways vendors can play an expanded role in addressing the challenges. CCC published the group's findings in a report written by Rob Johnson, Founder and Director of Research Consulting.

As part of its commitment to education, CCC regularly updates its Open Access Resource Center in collaboration with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP). The Center is a curated set of links to the latest Open Access news, reports, industry whitepapers, webinars and websites.

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Max Planck Digital Library study calculates redeployment of funds in Open Access
- 30 Apr 2015

The Max Planck Digital Library has put forward a study on the transformation of the subscription-driven system for scientific publications to an Open Access model. For the first time, quantitative parameters are presented showing that the liberation of scholarly literature is possible at no extra costs.

According to market analyses, annual turnovers of academic publishers amount to approximately EUR 7.6 billion. This money comes predominantly from publicly funded scientific libraries as they purchase subscriptions or licenses in order to provide access to scientific journals for their customers. Since more than a decade the Open Access movement, in which the Max Planck Society plays a major role, has been demanding free and immediate access to the results of academic research on the internet.

Open Access publishers ensure their financial sustainability through charging publication fees: Not readers but rather authors or their institutions or funders are supposed to pay for publications. While numerous publishers have already adopted an Open Access business model during the last few years, the share of openly available scientific articles is still only at a level of some 13 percent.

The study which has now been presented by the Max Planck Digital Library is investigating the question whether the previously used subscription budgets would be sufficient to fund the Open Access publication charges and thus bring about a complete transition of academic publishing. The paper, entitled 'Disrupting the subscription journal's business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access,' concludes that such a transition would be possible at no extra costs.

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The National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and IOP Publishing sign new MoU to support OA publications
- 24 Mar 2015

The National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NSCL) and non-profit scientific publisher IOP Publishing (IOP) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to support open access publications for Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) researchers.

The Memorandum indicates the commitment of both organisations to work together to create sustainable open access options for the future.

CAS introduced its Open Access Policy in May 2014 and the NSCL has been working to establish efficient and streamlined processes with publishers like IOP to fulfil this policy.

As a result of this agreement, IOP will support CAS authors to self-archive their accepted manuscripts by directly depositing papers published in IOP’s journals in the CAS repository. NSLC has also agreed to fund a proportion of article publication charges for CAS authors who wish to publish with IOP on a gold open access basis. IOP and CAS will also work together to explore longer term sustainable solutions for funding open access publishing, including an agreement to balance article publication charges and subscription fees.

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SPARC announces theme for 8th International Open Access Week
- 05 Mar 2015

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has announced that the theme for this year's 8th International Open Access Week will be 'Open for Collaboration.' The theme highlights the ways in which collaboration both inspires and advances the Open Access movement—from the partnerships behind launching initiatives such as PLOS and ImpactStory, to the working relationships the community has established with policymakers that have delivered Open Access policies around the world. The theme also emphasizes the ways in which Open Access enables new avenues for collaboration between scholars by making research available to any potential collaborator, anywhere, any time.

Established by SPARC in 2008, International Open Access Week provides an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the benefits of Open Access, to share what they've learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access the norm in scholarship and research. This year's Open Access Week will be held from October 19 - 25.

The 'Open for Collaboration' theme will also explore how cooperation between stakeholder communities helps to set the default to open for scholarly communication. At a broader level, the theme will provide an opportunity for Open Access supporters to consider working with those in similar, allied movements for Open Data and Open Education to advance common goals more quickly.

Last year's 'Generation Open' theme addressed the important role students and early career researchers play within the Open Access movement, and coordinated efforts between librarians and the students on their campuses have proven to be effective in advancing the conversation around Open Access at universities around the world.

International Open Access Week is a distributed, community-driven week of awareness for opening up scholarly communication, celebrated by institutions and organisations across the world.

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CCC announces findings from open access roundtable discussion with UK institutions and publishers
- 16 Jan 2015

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), a global licensing and content solutions organisation, recently brought together institutions from the UK and publishers from both the US and UK for an Open Access roundtable discussion to explore the implications of managing Open Access fees on a large scale. During this meeting, held at University College in London, the attendees examined a number of issues related to fragmentation, approach and processes, including ways vendors can play an expanded role in addressing the challenges. CCC published the group’s findings in a report written by Rob Johnson, Founder and Director of Research Consulting.

The roundtable was characterized by a shared desire among the attendees to work collaboratively to make Article Processing Charges (APCs) easier to manage, despite the uncertainties in the marketplace. The institutions and publishers issued the following statement at the close of the event: “We should work towards simplifying and standardizing processes to move to a sustainable and scalable Open Access ecosystem which preserves academic freedom and author choice in publishing and makes the research as valuable as possible for the end user.”

In his report, Johnson wrote, “The current approach to APC management is highly fragmented and undermined by differences of approach among nations and academic disciplines, by inefficiencies in process, and by scarcity of resources. Many of these issues could be alleviated through improvements in data sharing and development of common identifiers and vocabularies, but these must be placed in the context of broader trends and continuing uncertainties over the future of academic publishing.”

Roundtable attendees included the American Chemical Society, Aries Systems, British Medical Journal, Institute of Electrical and Electronics (IEEE), Imperial College London, Jisc, Nature Publishing Group, University College London, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, University of Huddersfield, University of Kent, and University of St. Andrews.

RightsLink for Open Access is CCC’s next-generation platform that automates the collection and management of APCs. It can be easily integrated with publishers’ manuscript management and production systems to help automate the collection of Open Access charges. The platform thereby allows more time for editorial staff to work with authors and for publication personnel to produce high-value content. RightsLink for Open Access also offers comprehensive billing and collections services to publishers, priority customer service to authors, and detailed reporting to both.

As part of its commitment to keeping the market informed of the latest Open Access news and trends, CCC launched an Open Access Resource Center in collaboration with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), linking to the latest Open Access news, reports, industry whitepapers, webinars and websites.

Johnson will discuss his report during the CCC-sponsored webinar, ‘Making Open Access Work,’ on January 28 at 11:00 am EST.

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation set to introduce new open access policy in January 2015
- 22 Dec 2014

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is set to introduce an open access policy next month for the studies it funds that goes further than most other research funders.

According to Trevor Mundel, the foundation's president of global health, the policy will enable other researchers to access the latest evidence and draw on it to advance their own research to help tackle malnutrition, infectious diseases, and child and maternal mortality.

Observers say the foundation's move may inspire other funders to adopt similarly stringent open access policies too. There are also concerns that developing world scientists who receive funds from the foundation may be prevented from publishing research in local journals, some of which lack open access options.

From the start of 2017, researchers funded by the foundation will be required to publish their scientific papers and underlying data in publications that allow immediate free access without subscription or payment. The material must also be reusable without permission or fee.

For funding agreements made during a two-year transition period beginning January 1, 2015, the foundation will allow a 12-month embargo, enabling publishers to restrict access to a paper for up to a year. The foundation says it will pay 'reasonable fees' that a publisher requires to publish on these terms.

Open access enthusiasts hope the move will encourage other organisations to follow suit.

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London Higher and SPARC report on the cost to UK research organisations of implementing funder open access policies
- 24 Nov 2014

London Higher and SPARC Europe have commissioned a new report on the cost to UK research organisations of implementing funder open access policies. The report 'Counting the Costs of Open Access' highlights the compliance burden associated with the move to open access publication of research articles, and for the first time identifies the administrative cost of making articles open access through the 'gold' and 'green' routes.

The report is based on a national survey of UK research organisations conducted in September 2014. According to the report, achieving compliance with Research Council UK's open access Policy cost at least £9.2m in 2013/14 – with a further £11m or more spent on article processing charges (APCs). The time spent on increasing open access to research within UK research organisations in 2013/14 is equivalent to more than 110 full-time equivalent staff members. Further, the report notes that the burden of compliance falls disproportionally on smaller institutions, who receive minimal grant funding. The cost of meeting the deposit requirements for the UK's post-2014 Research Excellence Framework is estimated at £4-5m.

Additionally, the report reveals that while making an article open access through payment of an APC (the 'gold' route) takes 2 hours or more, at a cost of £81, making an article open access through self-archiving in an institutional repository (the 'green' route) takes just over 45 minutes, at a cost of £33.

The findings are made available under a CC-BY licence.

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Corporate interest is a problem for research into open-access publishing, says NPG/ Palgrave Macmillan survey
- 03 Nov 2014

Scientific publisher Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and its sister company, Palgrave Macmillan, recently conducted a survey, which notes that the open-access movement, which aims to provide researchers and the public with free access to academic work, has been growing. But most academic research remains behind expensive paywalls, which decreases its reach for the public who often fund the work. The charges to access this information can also be so high that some leading university libraries cannot afford to access material either.

The difficulties faced by the movement are also apparent in this new survey of 30,000 academic authors. Of those who had already published in open-access journals, the largest group believed that research should be open and 'freely available immediately to all'. But the majority of the others in the broader research community said that they would not choose to publish open access if it was at the expense of other factors, such as perceived prestige.

While other surveys have looked at this issue before – notably Wiley and Taylor & Francis – the sample size in this new survey is particularly large. About four in five authors belonged to the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths, while the remainder were from humanities and the social sciences.

It is notable that NPG sees open access as a major part of its strategy. Its flagship journal, Nature Communications, became completely open access in September. But many other journals have not followed suit, opting instead for a mixture of subscription and open-access options (a hybrid model which offers free access to a limited number of articles). It remains true that the vast majority of journals permit authors to deposit their work in institutional repositories, such as those owned by universities, to allow free access.

But for journals who wish to go wholly open access, it may be that questions over funding a free model still have not been answered. It is for this reason, though, that the open-access movement is asking funding bodies, journal publishers and academics to come up with sustainable models to make research available to everyone free of charge.

Researchers, however, remain driven to publish in known journals that hold the symbolic currency of reputation through their brand name, even if the publication is not open access. Publishing in such top journals is often considered a proxy for evaluating researchers' output. In other words, a high value is attached to your work simply by being published in certain journals. The survey is an interesting example of the dilemma faced by researchers: whether to publish their research in the most accessible place or to opt for the added prestige value of publishing in 'esteemed journals'.

There is still a common misconception that researchers are always charged a fee to publish in open-access journals. These fees – known as Article Processing Charges (APCs) – are one way that some publishers attempt to recoup the costs they lose by not levying a subscription. But this is not correct – some publishers offer open-access publishing without charging these APCs or offering discounts.

About 25% of researchers in the survey said they had published in journals that didn't charge these fees. This appears to be at odds with the commonly stated reason for not publishing in open-access journals – namely that authors were "not willing to pay APCs". Many researchers are also unaware that they can make their work openly accessible through institutional repositories.

The other problem the survey highlights is the role played by research-funding agencies. As the open-access movement has grown, many funders have become keen to encourage their researchers to publish in open-access journals. This is thought to increase the reach, visibility and, therefore, impact of such work. One way by which research-funding agencies can achieve this is to make it mandatory for their funded research to be published openly.

From the survey, though, it has emerged that nearly a fifth of the academic authors in the sciences and a tenth of those in the humanities and social sciences didn't know whether this was a requirement of their funding or not.

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WHO joins PubMed Central
- 07 Jul 2014

Global health authority, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced the launch of a new open access policy in January 2014 to ensure the widespread dissemination of scientific research. The policy, which applies to all WHO-authored or WHO-funded research published in external journals and books, kicked into action on July 1, 2014.

There are many drivers behind the open access movement: to accelerate the pace of scientific research, discovery and innovation; increase the visibility, readership and impact of authors' works, as well as to enhance interdisciplinary research, to name but a few. All factors point to one ultimate goal, the advancement of knowledge, which both researchers and publishers know, can only be reached by sharing results and making them as accessible as possible.

Effective January 1, articles authored or co-authored by WHO staff or WHO funding recipients will have to be published in an open-access journal or a hybrid open-access journal (a subscription journal with some open access articles). The research must be published under the terms of the standard Creative Commons licence or in a subscription journal that allows for the depositing of the article in Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) within 12 months of the official publication date.

WHO will become the 26th funding member of the open access repository Europe PMC; the most widely used biomedical bibliographic database service. It provides free access to nearly 3 million full-text biomedical research articles, over 23 million abstracts from PubMed and 4 million biological and patent records. It is the same barrier-free and peer reviewed repository that BioMed Central publishes with, to ensure all its articles are immediately made freely available.

WHO will be joining 25 other life sciences and biomedical research funders at a time when providing free access to research outputs continues to be championed at the highest levels.

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Scientific Data launches with first Data Descriptors
- 28 May 2014

Open access publication Scientific Data has launched online, publishing its first eight Data Descriptors across fields including neuroscience, ecology and epidemiology. Scientific Data is the latest open research initiative from Nature Publishing Group.

Data Descriptors, Scientific Data's article type, are peer-reviewed, scientific publications that provide detailed descriptions of experimental and observational datasets, designed to maximise reuse and enable searching, linking and data mining.

Scientific Data gives credit, through a citable publication, for sharing research data in a way that enables reuse, discoverability and understanding of the dataset. Data Descriptors are accessible and searchable via the Scientific Data online platform, under a Creative Commons license. The data files are stored in one or more public, community-recognised data storage systems. Where a community recognised repository does not exist, Scientific Data supports the deposit of the data into a more general repository such as Dryad and figshare. All Data Descriptors are open access and free to access at point of publication.

Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Associate Director and Principal Investigator at the University of Oxford e-Research Centre is the Honorary Academic Editor of Scientific Data. She and the in-house team work closely with an Advisory Panel of senior scientists, data repository representatives, bio-curators, librarians, and funders who guide the policies, standards, and editorial scope.

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Key international associations come together to underscore their support for immediate open access to research articles
- 19 May 2014

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has joined major international associations in support of immediate open access to research. SPARC, along with five international partner organisations, recently released a statement underscoring the importance of immediate, free access to the research of research.

As organisations committed to the principle that access to information advances discovery, accelerates innovation and improves education, these international associations endorse the policies and practices that enable Open Access - immediate, barrier free access to and reuse of scholarly articles.

Policies that promote Open Access are increasingly being adopted worldwide by research funders, academic institutions and national governments in order to improve the use and value of scholarly research. The associations fully support such policies and the dual avenues for implementing them: open access repositories and open access journals. These policies play an important role in creating an environment where collective investments in research can be maximised for the benefit of the public, and for society at large.

Many policies have employed the use of embargo periods - delayed access to research articles for a short period of time to help protect publishers' subscription revenue as they shift to new business models. These organisations consider the use of embargo periods as an acceptable transitional mechanism to help facilitate a wholesale shift towards Open Access. However, embargo periods dilute the benefits of open access policies and we believe that, if they are adopted, they should be no more than 6 months for the life and physical sciences, 12 months for social sciences and humanities. The organisations further believe that mechanisms for reducing - or eliminating - embargo periods should be included in any Open Access policy.

According to the statement, any delay in the open availability of research articles curtails scientific progress and stifles innovation, and places unnecessary constraints in delivering the benefits of research back to the public.

Signatories to the statement included: Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche - Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER); National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe (OpenAIRE); and Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

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CCC announces findings from UK Open Access forum
- 09 Apr 2014

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), a global licensing and content solutions organization, welcomed more than 30 publishers and copyright leaders to London in January for a day of industry updates, panel presentations, and roundtable discussions, as well as keynote addresses from Dominic Young, CEO of the UK's Copyright Hub, and Dr. Michael Jubb, Director of the Research Information Network.

CCC provided a forum for strategic thinkers to discuss a range of pertinent issues related to Open Access, including emerging standards and technology, new business models, and the corresponding evolution of RightsLink®, a flexible platform for publishers to automate the collection of author charges and downstream licensing and content delivery.

Major takeaways from the program include: Publishers are looking for robust e-commerce systems that can fit within existing workflows to facilitate reuse and promote content value; Publishers recognize the rising importance of metadata in the scholarly communications process; Changes in traditional scholarly publishing business models are introducing new dynamics in relationships among publishers, authors and libraries; and Confusion continues around the definition and potential implications of various Open Access business models.

CCC recently launched its Open Access Resource Center in collaboration with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) to help the publishing community stay on top of the latest Open Access news and trends.

CCC will be at the London Book Fair from April 8 -10, Stand M510, conducting demonstrations of its next generation Open Access platform.

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First ever Conference on Open Access and Scholarly Publishing in Asia to begin June 2
- 31 Mar 2014

The first ever Conference on Open Access and Scholarly Publishing in Asia (COASP Asia) will begin June 2, 2014. Discussions will focus on open access publishing as a global industry with a key focus on Asia as an emerging market. The conference aims to provide a forum in which speakers and delegates can share their thoughts and best practices from all aspects of the field including OA policies, advocacy and the development of OA journals in Asia.

COASP started in 2009. All of the meetings so far have been held in Europe and delegates have been from professional publishing organisations, independent publishers and university presses, as well as librarians, university administrators and other stakeholders. According to Bev Acreman, Vice President, BioMed Central and Springer, the decision to host an event in Asia represents the growth in OA across this region in recent years.

Research output in Asia is growing fast. According to the National Science Foundation indicators published in February this year, the number of articles published by researchers in Asian countries increased from 89,000 in 1997 to 212,000 in 2011.

If this trend continues, Asia, with China in the vanguard, is likely to overtake both the US and European Union in terms of research output in the very near future. A Royal Society report from 2011 predicted that China would overtake the US sometime around this time.

Given this trend, there has been an increase in the number of researchers from Asia choosing to publish their research open access. According to Joyce Li, BioMed Central's Journal Development Manager based in Beijing, open access is growing in China. A lot of interest in partnerships to start new OA journals has also been witnessed.

However, there are still a lot of questions around open access and plenty to do if the model is to become as established as it is in the US and Europe, says Joyce. She further noted that mandates for open access from governments are not common. People are also often unclear about the licensing and what it means for the research community. There is a lack of awareness about predatory publishers, so more information and support is needed.

China is not the only Asian country where an increase in researchers publishing open access has been observed.

Natsu Ishii, from Springer, who is based in Tokyo, says that more and more authors are now publishing in OA journals in Japan. It seems that the number of Open Choice take-ups from Japanese authors is relatively large despite there being no open access mandate or policies in place.

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PSP 2014 features publisher experimentation with Open Access business models
- 11 Mar 2014

The Association of American Publishers' Professional and Scholarly Publishing division hosted a session at its annual Washington D.C. conference last month to discuss a movement that has, until recently, left many key players in the industry scratching their heads. "Open Access: Beyond the Tipping Point," brought together five leading publishers to share their experiences with the implementation of the OA business model, and to discuss how its adoption has been received by each respective academic community.

Despite a slow start in the clinician community, Wolters Kluwer Health Medical Research rolled out an open access hybrid option last year to all interested authors. Anna Salt Troise, Vice President of Medical Journals at Wolters Kluwer, noted that a new fully-open access journal has launched and that they expect to add more journals this year. Wolters Kluwer went one step further with the open access model and acquired India-based academic publisher Medknow, who has over 300 peer-reviewed open access journals. The journals themselves are openly available online, while PDFs and print versions are available for a fee, which serves the needs of many emerging economies.

According to Stephen Hall, Managing Director of IOP Publishing, 70 of their journals currently offer authors the option to have their article published under an open access license, and four of their journals are fully open access. Of all articles published in 2013, a full 12 percent of them were open access immediately upon publication. Hall did note, however, that the adoption of this open access model was not free of its own pains, and that creating the infrastructure for open access publishing has required substantial investment in back office systems. There is even a considerable difference in demand for open access among sub-disciplines. Within the field of physics, for example, there is a higher demand for open access in medical physics and biophysics.

It's not just sub-disciplines that are in demand with the open access model in play – publishers are also looking for individuals who know how to implement these new models. David Ross, Executive Publisher, Open Access, at Sage Publications, was brought to Sage to develop open access publishing in the social sciences. Sage Open, a mega-journal covering all areas of social science, was launched in 2010 and has 1,500 subscribers with roughly 500 articles published. The majority of authors who submitted their articles to Sage Open did so because they were unsure of how their topics would fair amongst more traditional publishers, an avenue with great potential that could gain popularity for authors across disciplines.

Alicia Wise, Director of Access and Policy at Elsevier, noted that they currently have 82 Gold open access journals and 1,600 hybrid journals, and are also encouraging subscription-based journals to make the switch to open access, as they've noticed an increase in open access articles within their hybrid journals. Publication fees range from $500 to $5,000, and where ever possible, have reduced prices for journals with open access content.

The final speaker, Wim van der Stelt, VP for Publishing Strategy at Springer Business + Media, mentioned that Springer, similarly to Wolters Kluwer, has expanded their library of open access journals by acquiring BioMed Central. Springer currently has 450 fully open access journals and has seen even stronger growth in submissions within this particular model than in others. Another 1,580 journals allow authors to choose open access as an option. Springer anticipates all of their journals to be open access by 2024.

How will open access models affect the business of scholarly publishing? In many cases, the cost burden appears to be simply shifting from library budgets to authors and their research grants; so while the revenue stream may come from a different bucket, it is still largely paid for by scientists, their institutions or the government. While OA experiments are certainly a growing trend among commercial publishers, it also remains to be seen how this will affect the quality of information now available without a pay wall. We may have reached a tipping point for new initiatives, but are authors voting with their feet by abandoning traditional subscription journals and publishing business models? Or more to the point, will tenure and promotion processes evolve to embrace OA these publications?

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ALA TechSource announces new workshop, Getting Started with Open Access
- 30 Dec 2013

ALA TechSource has announced a new workshop, Getting Started with Open Access, with Emily Puckett Rodgers and Meredith Kahn. This workshop will last 90 minutes and is scheduled for January 15, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. EST.

Journals continue their transition to becoming increasingly digital publications, experimenting with new publishing models such as Open Access (OA) and incorporating multimedia into their formats. In addition to these changes in scholarly output, the process of research is also changing due to mandates from funding agencies to publicly share research findings and data. In this workshop, Emily Puckett Rodgers and Meredith Kahn will provide attendees with tools, techniques and advice on how to successfully engage with emerging open publishing practices in their own library.

After participating in this event, participants will be able to recognize foundational aspects of these trends in order to understand, evaluate and apply open scholarly practices at their own institution; know techniques to develop a customised elevator pitch to your faculty or administration when they have question about these issues; and be able to engage with these trends in their own library.

Registration for this ALA TechSource Workshop is available on the ALA Store. ALA TechSource is a publishing imprint of the American Library Association.

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Registrations for SPARC Open Access Conference 2014 now open
- 26 Nov 2013

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has announced panel topics and invites participants to register for the SPARC Open Access Meeting set to take place in Kansas City on March 3–4, 2014.

Advances in the areas of open access, open data, and open educational resources have grown exponentially since the last SPARC Open Access Meeting was convened in 2012. As this push for greater openness continues, these three fronts are converging in interesting and potentially transformative ways.

Leaders from the library community, academia, industry, the student community, and other research avenues will discuss how open access, open data, and open educational resources are intersecting, and the impact this convergence will have on research and discovery. The meeting is designed to emphasise collaborative actions that stakeholders can take to positively impact publishing, policy, digital repositories, author rights, and licensing.

The conference program will cover: advocacy and policy, practical information, professional development and blue sky and big picture.

Registration for the SPARC Open Access Meeting is now open. Early bird rates start at $279 for SPARC members. To register and to see more details about the event, visit the SPARC Open Access Meeting 2014 website.

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New BMJ Open study focuses on publishing priorities of biomedical research funders
- 24 Oct 2013

Large medical research funding bodies are fully committed to open access publishing. But although smaller charitable funders back the principle, they worry about the impact open access will have on their budgets and their funded researchers, reveals a qualitative study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

The findings come as Open Access Week (October 21-27), a global annual event to promote open access as the norm in scholarly publishing and research, celebrates its seventh year in business.

The premise of open access is that it provides free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and ideally, the right to use and reuse those results as desired, rather than restricting access behind a subscription pay wall. The UK leads the world on open access.

Semi-structured interviews about open access policies and preferences were carried out with 12 employees at 10 UK biomedical research funding bodies in the Spring of this year in the public, charitable, and commercial sectors.

The results showed that all three sectors back open access, but that while public and charitable funders have clear policies on it, commercial sector funders do not tend to.

Most funders are happy to support the "gold" route, whereby a study's publication is paid for out of a research grant to cover the journal's costs. This is the model used by BMJ Open and the other open access titles published by BMJ.

Funders however said that not all publishers have embraced open access; many are resisting it and are either reluctant to move away from traditional publishing or are using it purely as a means to boost income.

Open access also seemed to be part of a funder's overall mission - that is, improving health, healthcare, patient outcomes, and patients' lives - although for many of the charitable funders, this had to be balanced against other types of public communication and support for people living with medical conditions.

But the way in which a funder gets its income influences its attitude to open access. Charities, which rely on public donations, had to be able to justify their costs and make the best use of available cash for all their competing objectives.

But research funders across the board were worried about the escalating costs of open access as the gold route becomes more mainstream and the cost of publishing shifts from institutions to funders.

This is of particular concern to the smaller charitable funders, who have historically not covered off these costs in their overheads, and fear they will need to stump up the additional costs required.

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SAGE Open article compares and contrasts the disruptive tensions of open access publishing with MOOCs
- 24 Oct 2013

Supporters of open academic content have long touted its ability to widen the impact and productivity of scholarship while relieving cost pressures in academia. While the development of open access (OA) publishing and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been labelled a disruption to publishing and the academic community, a new study published in SAGE Open finds that OA has a more tempered impact on scholarship while the impact of MOOCs on teaching is more severe.

SAGE Open is an award-winning, peer-reviewed, 'Gold' open access journal from SAGE that publishes original research and review articles in an interactive, open access format. Articles may span the full spectrum of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities.

Researcher Richard Wellen found that while OA advocates' arguments are based on principled commitment to openness for the academic community, current advances in OA publishing are driven by a strategic commitment to maximise research productivity, which ultimately tempers its ability to disrupt academic output.

Wellen went on to examine how “gold” and "green" OA models and OA mega journals impact the costs of research and may prompt changes in scholarly communication that challenge the long-held desire to be published in a prestigious journal.

Through his analysis, Wellen concluded that OA mega journals are an innovative way to address costly review cycles and streamline hierarchical publishing options while maintaining quality in research. Still, he found that they are not likely to fully replace upper-tier research journals because the research community perceives these journals as a tool to identify new important research.

Wellen found that MOOCs conversely, have had more of a disruptive impact on the academic community, in part because they define higher education institutions as a barrier to improved productivity and because the content designed for MOOCs has been found to be standardised, homogenised, and safe in order to lower costs and heighten automation.

Wellen has also discussed the broader implications of the development of open academic content. The full article "Open Access, Megajournals, and MOOCs: On the Political Economy of Academic Unbundling" in SAGE Open is here.

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Florida State University announces two campus-wide initiatives during Open Access Week
- 18 Oct 2013

As Florida State University observes Open Access Week Oct. 21-27, Florida State University Libraries is advancing two campus-wide initiatives to support a growing international effort to promote free and immediate online access to scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use research results as needed.

The first initiative, 'DigiNole Upload-A-Thon,' is an effort to bulk up the holdings of DigiNole Commons - the university's institutional repository of scholarly articles - by encouraging at least one faculty member from each academic department to upload an already-published scholarly article.

Institutional repositories similar to Florida State's DigiNole Commons are becoming increasingly commonplace at the nation's universities as a method for achieving open access while continuing to publish research in traditional academic journals. Nineteen of the top 25 public universities as ranked by U.S. News & World Report have adopted policies or resolutions that make their scholarly articles openly accessible.

The second initiative, "Student Statement on the Right to Research," an open access resolution offered by the Right To Research Coalition, will give individual Florida State students and student organisations the opportunity to endorse the idea of open access as a right.

On Oct. 9, the Student Senate of Florida State's Student Government Association passed a resolution in support of open access, and the Congress of Graduate Students is expected to pass a similar resolution Oct. 21. In October 2011, the university's Faculty Senate passed a resolution endorsing the principle of open access. This is the fourth year that Florida State has celebrated Open Access Week.

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The UK House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Report on OA
- 17 Sep 2013

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has published a Report welcoming the UK Government's commitment to increasing access to published research findings, and its desire to achieve full open access. However, while Gold open access is a desirable ultimate goal, focusing on it during the transition to a fully open access world is a mistake, says the Report.

The Report calls on the Government and the Research Councils UK (RCUK) to reconsider their preference for Gold open access during the five year transition period, and give due regard to the evidence of the vital role that Green open access and repositories have to play as the UK moves towards full open access.

The Report recommends that the Government take an active role in promoting standardisation and compliance across subject and institutional repositories. It calls on the RCUK to reinstate and strengthen the immediate deposit mandate in its original policy and improve the monitoring and enforcement of mandated deposit. Further, the Report states that the Government and RCUK should revise their policies to place an upper limit of 6 month embargoes on STEM subject research and up to 12 month embargoes for HASS subject research. Further, it urges the Government to mitigate against the impact on universities of paying Article Processing Charges out of their own reserves. If the preference for Gold is maintained, the Government and RCUK should amend their policies so that APCs are only paid to publishers of pure Gold rather than hybrid journals to eliminate the risk of double-dipping, the Report noted.

Amongst the Reports other conclusions and recommendations are: The Government should work to introduce a reduced VAT rate for e-journals; Non-disclosure clauses should not be used in publishing contracts that include the use of public funds. If their use persists, the Government should refer the matter to the Competition Commission; and BIS must review its consultation processes to ensure that lessons are learned from the lack of involvement of businesses, particularly SMEs, in the formation of open access policy.

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OA to research publications reaching 'tipping point', says new European Commission study
- 22 Aug 2013

A new study, funded by the European Commission, has confirmed the global shift towards making research findings available free of charge for readers. This new research suggests that open access is reaching the tipping point, with around 50 percent of scientific papers published in 2011 now available for free. This is about twice the level estimated in previous studies, explained by a refined methodology and a wider definition of open access.

The study also estimates that more than 40 percent of scientific peer reviewed articles published worldwide between 2004 and 2011 are now available online in open access form. The study looks at the EU and some neighbouring countries, as well as Brazil, Canada, Japan and United States of America.

By making research results more accessible, open access can contribute to better and more efficient science, and to innovation in the public and private sectors. The study looked at the availability of scholarly publications in 22 fields of knowledge in the European Research Area, Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the United States.

In several countries and disciplines more than 50 percent of papers are now available for free. Free availability of the majority of articles has been reached in the fields of general science and technology, biomedical research, biology and mathematics and statistics. The fields where open access availability is most limited are the social sciences and humanities and applied sciences, engineering and technology.

A recent European Commission Communication (IP/12/790) identified open access as a core means to improve knowledge circulation and thus innovation in Europe. Therefore, open access will be mandatory for all scientific publications produced with funding from Horizon 2020, the EU's Research & Innovation funding programme for 2014-2020. The Communication recommended that Member States take a similar approach to the Commission in their domestic programmes.

The study included the 28 EU Member States, as well as Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Turkey, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Israel, Brazil, Canada, Japan and United States of America. Two other reports by the same group examining open access policies and the issue of open access to data were also released.

Concerning open access policies, the report found that the majority of 48 major science funders considered both key forms of open access acceptable: open access publications in journals (referred to as "gold" and "hybrid" open access) and self-archiving (referred to as "green" open access). More than 75 percent accepted embargo periods of between six to 12 months.

However, the third study found that there are currently still fewer policies in place for open access to scientific data than for open access to publications. Open access to research data is rapidly evolving in an environment where citizens, institutions, governments, non-profits and private companies loosely cooperate to develop infrastructure, standards, prototypes and business models. Under Horizon 2020, the Commission will also start a pilot on open access to data collected during publicly funded research, taking into account legitimate concerns related to the grantee's commercial interests, privacy and security.

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2014 SPARC Open Access to focus on ‘Convergence’
- 17 Jun 2013

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has announced that the next SPARC Open Access Meeting, themed ‘Convergence,’ will convene March 3–4, 2014, in Kansas City.

The past year has seen growing momentum in the areas of open access, open data, and open educational resources. As the push for greater openness continues, these three fronts are converging in interesting and potentially transformative ways. Leaders from the library community, academia, industry, student community, and other research avenues will discuss how open access, open data, and open educational resources are intersecting, and the impact this convergence might have on research and discovery.

The meeting is designed to emphasise collaborative actions that stakeholders can take to positively impact publishing, policy, digital repositories, author rights, and licensing.

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Authors value rigorous peer review, says Taylor & Francis survey
- 06 May 2013

Academic publisher Taylor & Francis has released the sixth in a series of press releases on the themes and findings of the Open Access (OA) Survey. In this survey, Taylor & Francis investigated authors' preferred methods of peer review suitable for their research.

Taylor & Francis / Routledge journals, including those that are part of the Open programme, reportedly benefit from editor-led rigorous peer review and wanted to understand the value and importance of this service to its author base.

Respondents were asked about the kind of peer review they find the most suitable for their research when publishing an OA article. Findings from the survey show that 45 percent of all respondents would 'always' value a 'rigorous assessment of the merit and novelty of their article with constructive comments for its improvement'. Adding those who would 'often' prefer this more traditional style of peer review takes this figure up to 78 percent.

Moving down the scale of rigour, to peer review that 'reviews the technical soundness of my research without any judgement on its novelty or interest', there is a huge fall in support; only 11 percent of authors would 'always' find this suitable for their OA articles. Similarly the number of supporters for an 'accelerated peer review [process] with fewer rounds of revision' shrinks, with only 9 percent of respondents 'always' accepting this method. And lastly, only 7 percent of respondents would 'always' find 'post-publication peer review after a basic check by invited reviewers' appropriate. In fact, more than a quarter of authors would 'never' value 'post-publication peer review'; contrastingly, the number of those who answered 'never' to traditional peer review was too small to plot on the chart.

Across all subjects and regions, the majority of authors felt that rigorous peer review would be the most suitable refereeing style for the bulk of their OA research papers (selecting 'always' or 'often'). Authors from Library and Information Science seem least wedded to the traditional style of peer review but even here 72 percent of authors said they would 'always' or 'often' find this rigorous peer review suitable for their OA articles.

Peer review in the style of PLoS One, which 'reviews the technical soundness of my research without any judgement on its novelty or interest', is the second most popular type of review for most subject areas, finding the largest level of support from Library and Information Scientists (50 percent choosing 'always' or 'often').

'Accelerated peer review [process] with fewer rounds of revision in (the style of eLIfe)' was the second most popular form of peer review in seven subject areas, most notably Business and Economics where 41percent of respondents chose 'always' or 'often' for this option. 'Post-publication peer review' in the style of f1000 Research found most favour from authors in Chemistry and Materials Science, where it saw a similar level of support as the other two types of alternative peer review models.

Authors from Asia, the Middle East and Africa were slightly more supportive of all the alternative forms of peer review but only those from the Middle East and Asia showed a corresponding decrease in support for rigorous peer review. However, this still came out as the most popular type of review in both of these regions.

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Taylor & Francis survey notes OA dichotomy among authors
- 25 Apr 2013

Academic publisher Taylor & Francis has released the fifth in a series of press releases on the themes and findings of the Open Access Survey. In this survey, Taylor & Francis investigated authors' attitudes and values relating to the communication of research when publishing in open access journals.

According to the survey, authors agree that publication should not be limited by the ability to pay, but all research outputs should be free to read online. Respondents were asked about their level of agreement with statements concerning the communication of their research. Findings from the survey confirmed agreement that, ‘the publication of research should not be limited by the ability to pay', as affirmed by 86 percent of authors surveyed.

However, 66 percent of respondents agree that 'all research outputs should be free for everyone to read online'. This is considered to be evidence of the 'Open Access Dichotomy' - a tension between aspirations and reality. Publication of research does incur costs, it is noted. Seventy-seven percent of respondents agree that publishers are an essential part of the research communication process and significantly contribute to the dissemination of research.

Taylor & Francis charges article publishing charges (APCs) for those authors wishing to take the gold OA route to publication, which cover the costs of OA publication. It, however, offers waivers for authors in developing countries and is also an active participant in a number of development initiatives offering free or reduced price access to research for those in the developing world. Of the publisher's journals, 94.5 percent now comply with the author mandates for those funded by Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust.

Biological Sciences, Public Health and Social Care are said to appear consistently in the top three subjects most committed to the ideals surrounding the freedom of data, namely that 'all research outputs should be free for everyone to read online', 'the dissemination of research is a common good that should not be monetised in any way' and 'there should be no restrictions on research outputs'. Additional, Biological Science authors also show the highest level of agreement that 'publication of research should not be limited by ability pay'.

Business and Economics stands out as the subject with the highest level of agreement for the statements 'researchers have access to most of the articles they need' and 'free access to data matters more to me than free access to research articles'. In the case of free access to data - the level of agreement in Business and Economics (39 percent) is 50 percent higher than the next most supportive subjects, Politics, International Relations and Geography (26 percent).

Worldwide, as many authors agree (37 percent) as disagree (38 percent) that they have access to the articles they need. One could be forgiven for thinking those at either end of the spectrum were likely to be from very different regions of the globe. However, examining the level of agreement for each region reveals a surprising degree of homogeneity, according to the survey.

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NPG set to launch Scientific Data to aid scientists publish and reuse research data
- 05 Apr 2013

Scientific publisher Nature Publishing Group (NPG), UK, has announced the Spring 2014 launch of Scientific Data. Open for submissions this autumn, Scientific Data is a new open-access, online-only platform for the publication of descriptions of scientifically valuable datasets. Scientific Data will initially focus on experimental datasets from the life, biomedical and environmental science communities with future plans to expand to other fields in the natural sciences.

Scientific Data will introduce and publish a new type of content called Data Descriptors: peer-reviewed, scientific publications that provide detailed descriptions of experimental and observational datasets. Data Descriptors will be a combination of traditional scientific publication content and structured information curated in-house, and are designed to maximize reuse and enable searching, linking and data mining. Data Descriptors may be associated with articles from a broad range of journals.

Scientific Data gives credit through a citable publication, for depositing and sharing research data. Data Description will be accessible and searchable via the Scientific Data online data platform, under a Creative Commons license. The actual data files will be stored in one or more public, community-recognised systems. The full release of Data Description and associated data will be verified as part of the peer-review process. Where a community recognized repository does not exist, Scientific Data supports the deposit of the data into a more general repository such as Dryad and Figshare. All accepted data descriptors will be published on payment of an article-processing charge (APC) that will also cover the Data Description curation process.

Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Associate Director and Principal Investigator at the University of Oxford e-Research Centre, has worked with the NPG team for the past months to define the Data Description's concept. She has now been appointed Honorary Academic Editor of Scientific Data. She will work closely with the Advisory Panel which comprises senior scientists, data repository representatives, bio-curators, librarians, and funders who guide the policies, standards, and editorial scope.

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Taylor & Francis survey examines authors’ attitudes to re-use of work
- 28 Mar 2013

Academic publisher Taylor & Francis has released the third in a series of press releases on the themes and findings of the Open Access Survey. In this survey, Taylor & Francis investigates authors' attitudes and values relating to the dissemination of their research when publishing in open access journals.

Respondents were asked how acceptable it was for their work to be re-used in a variety of ways without their prior knowledge or permission, provided they received credit as the original author. Findings from the survey demonstrate that the opinion from authors on overall re-use was fairly evenly distributed. Forty percent agreed with the statement that it was acceptable to have their work re-used in any way, 41 percent did not support this – 18 percent did not have a strong opinion either way.

However, asking specifically about commercial re-use versus non-commercial re-use brought up an interesting anomaly. When asked about how acceptable it was for their work to be reused for non-commercial gain, 68 percent of respondents agreed that it was acceptable, with 18 percent deeming unacceptable. When asked their opinion about having their work used specifically for commercial gain, however, only 18 percent found this acceptable with 67 percent deeming this unacceptable.

Authors were asked also about their attitudes and values relating to various specific types of re-use of their work. Support was strongest for use in text or data mining, with 48 percent agreeing this is acceptable, and weakest for the adaption of their work, with 50 percent deeming this unacceptable without their prior knowledge or permission.

Translation or inclusion in an anthology elicited more evenly split responses. While 45 percent of authors were happy for others to translate their work, 39 percent were not. While 45 percent of authors found it acceptable for their work to be re-used in an anthology, 40 percent considered this unacceptable.

The finding that almost half of the authors surveyed would find text or data mining of their work acceptable is in line with the objectives and aims of policy makers such as Research Councils UK and the Welcome Trust who are strong advocates of the openness of research via these methods.

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Copyright Clearance Center hosts open access forum in London
- 20 Mar 2013

Licensing solutions provider Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), US, hosted a forum in London, named 'A Copyright Clearance Center Roundtable: Open Access Publishing and the Role of Intermediaries.' The day consisted of facilitated discussions preceded by a keynote address from Ellen Collins, co-author of the Research Information Network (RIN) report 'The Potential Role for Intermediaries in Managing the Payment of Open Access Article Processing Charges.'

Collins' talk was followed by an open access (OA) panel made up of experts from publishing and academia. Among the highlights, the roundtable dwelt on how, although OA publishing is not new, recent mandates by funding agencies have created confusion and a sense of urgency to comply among publishers, institutions and authors.

It was also observed that all parties face many challenges related to administering APCs. These include how to define new business models and workflows, the need for education for authors and publishers, visibility to an article's publication status, uniquely identifying authors and articles with standard metadata, tracking and reporting OA compliance, and finding and implementing a scalable process.

CCC was recently named as one of the '10 to Watch' in Outsell's first Open Access Market Report. CCC's Open Access Solutions include secure tools for managing APCs, as well as colour charges, page charges and reprint orders. CCC's Open Access solutions also address downstream licensing options. CCC reportedly makes it easier for publishers to charge different OA fees pre-publication based on variables such as author affiliation or membership, funding source and journal type.

CCC also seeks to communicate publisher-specific reuse rights post-publication to users seeking permissions for all content, including OA articles, and capture valuable data about user interest in and reuse of publishers' OA publications.

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Experts examine complex issues, explain OA at Open Access Africa
- 21 Nov 2012

Open access (OA) publisher BioMed Central had organised the third Open Access Africa conference at the University of Cape Town (UCT) last week. This was followed by the Berlin10 open access meeting at the University of Stellenbosch. Jonathan Harle of the Association of Commonwealth Universities has provided commentary on the events.

Open Access Africa was seen to have offered a refreshing chance to take a detailed look at the implications of OA for African research. UCT offered representation from projects such as the OpenUCT Initiative and the Scholarly Communications in Africa Programme. Complex issues were explored through the presentations and discussion amongst the speakers and delegates.

The event kicked off with an explanation of OA through a video. Deborah Kahn, Publishing Director, BioMed Central, pointed out that OA journals employ different business models but the same editorial quality standards as other journals.

The use of the Impact Factor to assess individual researchers was condemned a number of times, with Eve Gray describing it as a 'car crash' for African researchers, partly due to the lack of developing country research in the database that is used to make the calculation.

Michelle Willmers spoke about incentive and reward systems for achieving impact through research, and the current focus on prestige instead of relevance. There was also encouragement to think beyond the journal in terms of how research is communicated.

The importance of African journals is said to have come through strongly. Susan Murray of African Journals Online (AJOL) pointed out that development of publishing capacity was often overlooked in work to strengthen research capacity in African higher education. Marcel Hommel, Editor-in-Chief of Malaria Journal, showed that 90 percent of malaria mortality was in Africa but less than 2 percent of malaria articles were published in African journals. Conrad Ononhinmin, co-ordinator of the Nigerian open access group, questioned the effect on African journals of policies employed by OA publishers based in the North to waive article-processing charges for authors from developing countries.

The power of students as advocates for OA was demonstrated by Daniel Mutonga from the Medical Students Association of Kenya (MSAKE). That was backed up by Laura Czerniewicz, pointing out that students are often the most ardent advocates as they realise that when they leave university they will lose access to subscription content.

The Wellcome Trust, the World Bank, and the Department for International Development (UK) reportedly demonstrated the progressive thinking of their organisations in realizing the value of making their research and data openly available. It is expected that more organisations will take this approach in the future.

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BioMed Central to celebrate Open Access Week 2012 via activities across the globe
- 22 Oct 2012

Open access (OA) publisher BioMed Central has announced that, as the official sponsor of Open Access Week 2012, it is participating in various activities around the globe for the event. Open Access Week, organised by SPARC, is now entering its sixth year. It is projected as a global opportunity for the academic and research community to enhance their knowledge of the benefits of OA, to share what they've learned with colleagues, and to inspire wider participation in making OA the norm in scholarship and research.

BioMed's OA journal BMC Medicine has published a research that reports the growing volume of scientific articles published in full immediate OA journals during the period 2000-2011. Mikael Laakso and Bo-Christer Björk from Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, found that OA journal publishing is disrupting the dominant subscription-based model of scientific publishing, and the annual share of published journal articles published in immediate OA journals has grown rapidly during the last decade.

BioMed Central went mobile last week in a move that seeks to promote OA to scientific research on the move. All BioMed journal websites now offer users on mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablet computers, an enhanced experience when viewing full text articles, making better use of small screen sizes and touch-screen functionality. Using a 'responsive' web design, article pages now automatically respond to the capabilities of the device that is being used, providing a mobile-optimized appearance.

SPARC and World Bank announce speakers for Open Access Week 2012 webcast
- 25 Sep 2012

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the World Bank have announced the speakers for their co-sponsored kick-off event for Open Access Week 2012. The event will be held October 22, from 4pm - 5:30pm, at the World Bank in Washington, DC.

The distinguished panel of speakers comprises experts from the broad range of stakeholders in the Open Access movement - researchers, students, policy makers, publishers and academics. Speakers include Michael Carroll, Professor of Law, American University and founding Board Member, Creative Commons; Matt Cooper, President, The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students; Maricel Kann, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland and member, PubMed Central National Advisory Committee, NIH; Carlos Rossel, Publisher, The World Bank; and Neil Thakur, Special Assistant to the Deputy Director, Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health (NIH). They will discuss why Open Access is an imperative to them, and to their work.

The 90-minute panel will be moderated by Heather Joseph, Executive Director, SPARC, with ample time for questions from audience members. Registration is only required for in-person attendance and can be done by emailing Andrea Higginbotham at SPARC. To view the webcast and participate in the live blog, interested parties may go to the World Bank's live portal.

Open Access Week is now in its sixth year, and offers an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research. Last year's Open Access Week featured events in more than 130 countries. This year's theme, 'Set the Default to Open Access,' will continue to advance the global conversation, and showcase the many steps taken all over the world towards Open Access initiatives.

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AAP supports Finch report recommendations for expanding access to research publications
- 29 Jun 2012

The Association of American Publishers has joined stakeholders across the worldwide scientific community in commending ideas set forth by the Finch Group report, the British government-funded project to identify sustainable strategies that could effectively expand access to published scientific research. The report, ‘Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications’ is the result of a year-long initiative that brought together disparate stakeholders from academia, funding groups, libraries, learned societies and publishing.

While the final report is focused on the UK research community, many recommendations have implications for driving policy worldwide. Among them, it calls for government to support the publication of research in open access or hybrid journals, fully funded by article processing charges. Where total funding is not available, it recognizes that publishers must have an appropriate embargo period to avoid undue impact on recouping costs.

AAP agrees with the report’s conclusion that a mixed economy of subscriptions, licensing, open access, repositories and pay-per-view will exist for the foreseeable future and all stakeholders need to work toward an environment for the best public good.

Tom Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer, AAP, noted numerous similarities between the Finch Report, tenets of the America COMPETES Reauthorization and collaborative practices already underway between US publishers, funding agencies and research institutions to broaden access to information. These include publishers’ engagement with such federal agencies as the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, with the recently-announced FundRef as one of several projects in development. In addition, publishers have launched Research4Life in collaboration with the United Nations, Emergency Access Initiative with the National Library of Medicine and patientINFORM with voluntary health organisations.

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SPARC-ACRL forum scheduled to be held at ALA on June 23
- 07 May 2012

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has announced that the next SPARC-ACRL Forum, ‘Campus Open Access Funds: The State of Play’ will be held at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA, on June 23, 2012, from 4:00-5:30 pm in the Grand Ballroom South at the Disneyland Hotel.

Co-sponsored by SPARC and ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries), the popular semi-annual forum focuses on emerging issues in scholarly communication. This Forum will explore the current status of campus-based funds designed to support publication in Open Access Journals.

Speakers will examine the latest developments in creating, implementing and administering this crucial resource. Presenters will include Sue Kriegsman, Program Manager for the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard University Library; Chuck Eckman, Librarian and Dean of Library Services at Simon Fraser University, and Andrew Waller, Librarian at University of Calgary.

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UK public sector saving £28 million through open access to scholarly content, say reports
- 02 May 2012

The UK Open Access Implementation Group (OAIG) has released two reports that say open access (OA) to published scholarly research offers significant benefits to the UK.

The UK public sector already saves £28.6 million by using OA. The reports make it clear that both the public sector and the voluntary sector would see further direct and indirect benefits from increased access to UK higher education research publications.

The reports note that more Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations already use OA than pay for subscriptions, despite the fact that subscription journals make up the vast majority of journals on offer. The UK public sector spends £135 million a year, made up of subscriptions and time spent trying to find articles, accessing the journal papers it needs to perform effectively. Each extra 5 percent of journal papers accessed via OA on the web would save the public purse £1.7 million, even if no subscription fees were to be saved, say the reports.

The UK's voluntary and charitable sectors are also seen to benefit from OA to academic research. For survey respondents, the two most frequently mentioned barriers to accessing research were cost (80 percent) and lack of time (46 percent).

Making more research free at the point of access, and easier to search across, could produce significant savings, but could also lead to better decisions based on all the available evidence. This, in turn, offers benefits back to researchers, boosting the impact of their research by increasing its reach outside the academy, according to the reports.

These findings are borne out across all three reports in this series. This body of new, quantitative work is said to provide compelling evidence that increasing OA to research articles will have direct financial and practical benefits for the UK as a whole, benefits that are especially valuable in a time of austerity.

The reports make a number of recommendations around increasing awareness of OA in the public and private sectors. These include promoting the value of the information produced as a result of public research funding and exploring ways of improving relationships between academic researchers and workers in other sectors who rely on their research to do their jobs well.

The UK OAIG is working to add value to the work of the member organisations to increase the rate at which the outputs from UK research are available on OA terms, and these reports show how important that work is to the UK.

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OA policies, author rights discussed at SPARC’s first-ever OA meet
- 19 Mar 2012

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) recently wrapped up a first-ever Open Access (OA) Meeting in Kansas City, Montana. The meeting built on the foundation established by the SPARC Digital Repositories meeting, and its expanded focus included information on institutional OA policies, author rights and OA publishing. The 250 participants represented librarians, researchers, publishers and technologists from around the globe. The meeting programme was designed to inspire the community and foster opportunities for collaborative action on all issues relating to open access.

Keynote speaker, John Wilbanks, Fellow of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, kicked off the meeting with a presentation constructed in triads: he highlighted three stories, three “uncomfortable truths” and three eventual scenarios relating to the future of OA. His talk touched on topics from decentralised networks to data publishing to do-it-yourself alternative metrics. Throughout the presentation, Wilbanks emphasised the need for the community to insist on clarity of the definition of OA, especially with regards to end user rights. Underscoring the notion that the true power of Open Access is to enable innovation by encouraging collaboration, he noted ‘there is no together without rights,’ and ended with a proposal for a new kind of ‘SWOT’ analysis for the 21st scholarly publishing landscape.

The meeting included panels with expert speakers discussing OA policies (on a local, national and international level), new developments in the world of open digital repositories, an examination of author rights, and a look into the state of play in OA journal publishing. All of the available presenter slideshows and recordings will be available shortly.

The Innovation Fair reportedly provided a significant showcase for the creative work being done by institutions and businesses around OA. In rapid-fire two-minute presentations (including some in rhyme), participants described their projects and key outcomes. This year’s topics included information from specialised repositories to the possibility of new metrics challenging the impact factor for primacy in the tenure and promotion process.

Throughout the meeting, Twitter activity was extremely high and presented a variety of questions and comments from those in the room, as well as from those just following along at home.



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SPARC Innovation Fair to showcase creative advancements in Open Access
- 20 Feb 2012

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has announced that measuring the once-hidden impact of Open Access on clinical practice and public awareness, embedding digital repositories into the research cycle, encouraging student publishing, and engaging elusive faculty are just some of the top innovations to be showcased at the SPARC Innovation Fair next month. The Innovation Fair is a favoured highlight of the biennial SPARC Open Access Meeting, set for the Kansas City Intercontinental Hotel, March 12 and 13.

In rapid-fire presentations that breathe energy and personality into scholarly communications issues, Innovation Fair participants will share their creative approaches to a diverse set of challenges. This year, a suite of librarians, technologists, research producers, and publishers will take on the task of presenting, in no more than two minutes, innovative or creative approaches to: the use of open content, content discovery, value-added services, impact assessment, commercial innovation, and Open Access advocacy.

The SPARC Open Access meeting expands on the popular SPARC Digital Repositories meetings, hosted biennially since 2004, and will provide a North American-based complement to the 'Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OAI)' workshop held in Geneva, Switzerland in alternating years. The SPARC meeting will be a regular forum for a full discussion of Open Access as an emerging norm in research and scholarship and will emphasise collaborative strategies for advancing scholarship for all stakeholders to help effect positive change.

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Authors increasingly aware of open access publishing, says InTech survey
- 03 Feb 2012

InTech, a Croatia-based open access (OA) publisher, has published the results of a survey appraising attitudes and awareness of the research community towards the OA business model in scholarly publishing.

The InTech white paper, titled 'Open Access: Awareness and Attitudes amongst the Author Community', is based on a review of current research and a survey sent to 20,000 STM researchers worldwide. The survey attracted an overall response rate of 1.3 percent, with 275 participants taking part and 253 (92 percent) completing it. The majority of respondents were researchers (75 seventy) based at a university (70 seventy).

Key findings from the report reveal that of 258 participants who responded when asked, 51 percent said they understood OA publishing, and 36 percent said they had some knowledge of it. The report notes that the OA publishing experience is lower but still strong. Twenty six percent of the respondents said that they had published with an OA publisher for a journal article and 10 percent for a book.

It was found that researchers in biological sciences had greater awareness and experience, particularly in journals, while participants from the earth sciences and technology had lower awareness and less OA publishing experience. Over 25 percent of researchers are aware of OA publishers such as PLoS, InTech, BioMedCentral and Hindawi.

For OA journal publications, it is the image and reputation of the journal itself that is the most important factor for authors when considering where to submit their work; but for books it is the image and reputation of the publisher. The survey highlighted that authors want more support from publishers in getting their work noticed - services provided by publishers where the level of satisfaction scored lowest centred on PR and media support; post-publication information on usage / citations / peer feedback; and promoting the author effectively alongside their work.

The survey also explored the most common concerns surrounding OA publishing; among these were author fees. Over 65% (of the 256 participants who responded) said they were willing to pay author fees, 30% said they would be willing to pay if it helped ensure the widest possible audience for their work, while 38% would only pay in exceptional circumstances. The full results can be downloaded from: http://www.intechweb.org/js/ckeditor/kcfinder/upload/files/InTech_WhitePaper_FutureofOA_Dec11.pdf.

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Open access widely supported by universities, research centres and funding agencies across Europe, says new report
- 22 Dec 2011

The European Research Area Committee (ERAC) on National Open Access and Preservation Policies has published a report called 'Analysis of a Questionnaire to the European Research Area Committee'. The report reveals that open access is backed by a growing number of universities, research centres and funding agencies across Europe.

The results of the 2010-11 questionnaire on Open Access and Preservation Policies in Europe gives an overview of how policies and strategies on open access and preservation have been developing in the European Research Area.

The questionnaire was sent to all ERAC members and observers on November 25, 2010. The Commission received 29 responses between December 21, 2010 and March 11, 2011. These include 25 from EU Member States (Bulgaria and Hungary did not respond) and four from ERAC Observers (Iceland, Montenegro, Norway and Switzerland).

A preliminary analysis of the results was conducted in April-May 2011. A first impression of answers received was presented to Member State representatives on May 31, 2011 in a special Member States session that followed a public hearing on access to and preservation of scientific information on May 30, 2011. The preliminary analysis was sent for feedback to all respondents in July-August 2011. The final report, which incorporates some corrections and additional information, was prepared in September-October 2011.

The report finds that Open Access is much more prominent in Europe than previous surveys indicated, but that issues around long-term digital preservation are seriously in need of further consideration. The information contained in the report is a milestone that serves as valuable input for the development of a Commission policy on access and dissemination of scientific outputs in the European Research Area and in Horizon 2020.

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SPARC calls for proposals for the SPARC 2012 Open Access Meeting Innovation Fair
- 09 Dec 2011

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is inviting proposals for the SPARC 2012 Open Access Meeting Innovation Fair, where new technologies and strategies will be showcased in engaging, informative, rapid-fire presentations. The Innovation Fair is a highlight to the regular SPARC meeting, now set for the Kansas City Intercontinental Hotel, March 11 through 13, 2012.

The SPARC Open Access meeting expands on the popular SPARC Digital Repositories meetings, hosted biennially since 2004, and will provide a North American-based complement to the popular ‘Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OAI)' workshop held in Geneva in alternating years. The SPARC meeting will be a regular forum for a full discussion of Open Access as an emerging norm in research and scholarship, and will emphasise collaborative actions that stakeholders can take to effect positive change.

The Innovation Fair invites participants – librarians, technologists, research producers, research funders, publishers, and others – to present, in no more than two minutes, innovative or creative approaches to: use of open content, content discovery, value-added services, impact assessment, commercial and other innovation using open resources, and Open Access advocacy.

For details and to submit a proposal, interested parties may visit http://www.arl.org/sparc/meetings/oa12. Submissions must be received on or before January 18, 2012.

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Berlin 9 meet examines benefits of OA to humanities and social sciences
- 15 Nov 2011

The recently concluded Berlin 9 Open Access Conference at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute was reportedly attended by 260 high-level researchers, fund providers and open access (OA) advocates. Impact, not ideology, was the watchword at the conference, it has been observed.

The attendees focused on the benefits of putting research - in the humanities and social sciences as well as in the sciences - quickly and freely into the hands of scholars, students, innovators and the general public.

Cameron Neylon, a senior scientist at Britain's Science and Technology Facilities Council, spoke at a session on how OA can create new opportunities for business as well as for scholarship. Harold E. Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute, argued the case for redesigning the system of scholarly publishing and rewards.

The need to rethink the scholarly reward system came up time and again at the meeting. Other speakers called on researchers to be stronger advocates for change. Michael Carroll, director of the programme on information justice and intellectual property at American University's law school, told the audience he got involved in OA because 'I want copyright law to do its job in society, and I don't think it's doing its job.' Researchers need to take responsibility for making sure their publishing contracts permit OA, he said. Mark Liberman, director of the Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania, said it was time to talk frankly about costs and business models.

Unlike many discussions of OA, which have focused on the sciences, the Berlin 9 meeting made the humanities and social sciences squarely part of the agenda. The National Endowment for the Humanities contributed some financial support to the meeting.

One session picked up the theme of open education and how OA can contribute to it. Laura Czerniewicz, director of the University of Cape Town's OpenUCT program, spoke about how difficult it is for many South African students to get textbooks and other resources they need to pursue education.

OA publisher InTech sponsored the meeting, which was organised by the Hughes Institute; the Association of Research Libraries; the Marine Biological Laboratory, in Woods Hole, Mass.; the Planck Institute; and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, or Sparc, which promotes OA. The Institute of Museum and Library Services as well as the NEH also provided support.

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Speaker presentations, images and poster abstracts of Open Access Africa 2011 event available online
- 14 Nov 2011

Open Access Africa 2011, a BioMed Central and Computer Aid International event, was hosted at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, during Open Access Week 2011.

All presentations are now available online, together with conference images and poster abstracts. These include presentations delivered by representatives from Google, British Medical Journal (BMJ), Department for International Development (DFID), Pan African Medical Journal and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Videos of all presentations will follow shortly.

The conference, now in its second year, discussed open access publishing in an African context. The diverse programme offered insights from library, funding and technology perspectives as part of Open Access Africa, a collection of initiatives designed to increase the output and visibility of scientific research published by African learning institutes.

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BioMed Central participating in open access events across four continents
- 19 Oct 2011

Open access publisher BioMed Central, UK, has announced that it will be celebrating the Open Access Week with a strong 'global' focus spanning four continents. Open Access Week, which runs from October 24-30, is a global event which promotes the benefits of open access (OA) publishing.

Commencing just before Open Access Week is OA Publishing in Africa: free online workshop, a webinar held in association with EIFL. BioMed Central's Head of Sales, Calum Land, will review the development of OA publishing in Africa and outline the objectives of Open Access Africa, a set of initiatives launched by the publisher earlier this year to increase the visibility of research from African institutes.

Open Access Africa 2011, a free conference hosted by BioMed Central in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), will run from October 25-26, 2011. The conference is expected to raise awareness of OA among African researchers and foster discussion about how to ensure African research receives the international recognition it deserves. Representatives from Google, British Medical Journal, African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), Pan African Medical Journal, Development for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa will review OA publishing in Africa from library, funding and technology perspectives.

BioMed Central has been invited to speak at the Internet Librarian International 2011 conference in London. Also, 'An institution's response to open access,' will be presented at OA events in Sweden including the University of Stockholm and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

A historical overview of OA publishing in the context of 'open' movements and implications for future scholarly publishing will be given during the week at University of Manitoba, George Mason University, University of Virginia and City University of New York. BioMed Central will also be delivering presentations in Shanghai at BioMed Central Member Institution Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Open Access Korea conference.

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VCU Libraries to conduct open access publishing workshop on October 27
- 18 Oct 2011

Dan Ream of VCU Libraries is conducting a workshop titled 'Open Access Scholarly Publishing for Faculty' on October 27, 2011, from 1pm to 2pm.

As journal subscription costs have increased dramatically, fewer and fewer libraries can afford every journal that is needed, including some that are considered prestigious and essential. Faculty worldwide have responded by creating and publishing their research in open access (OA), peer-reviewed journals that charge no fee to their readers. Faculty Senates from Harvard to Berkeley to the University of Virginia have endorsed OA publishing for their faculty, with a few even mandating that their faculty share their research with the world via OA publishing.

VCU's Faculty Senate last year passed a resolution urging the VCU promotion and tenure committees to reconsider the value of peer-reviewed OA publishing in promotion and tenure deliberations.

Next week's one-hour session, open to all, will introduce faculty to this revolution in publishing of open-access, peer-reviewed journals and demonstrate how to locate them in almost any discipline. It will also discuss the potential benefits of worldwide free access to faculty research. Options for faculty retention of copyright will also be discussed.

The workshop will be held in library classroom/lab 319 in James Branch Cabell Library. No advance registration is necessary. A repeat session will also be offered on November 7 at 1 pm at the same location.

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Registrations for Berlin 9 Open Access Conference now open
- 07 Sep 2011

The ninth installment in the Berlin Open Access Conference Series, which convenes leaders in the science, humanities, research, funding, and policy communities around The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, will take place at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute on November 9 and 10, 2011. Registration is now open for the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference and also for pre-conference sessions scheduled for November 8 in downtown Washington, DC.

The event will focus on the impact of Open Access in research and scholarship. It will explore how open, online access has the potential to transform the process of discovery and the translation of knowledge into benefits to society, as well as to enhance public engagement and create new opportunities for scholarship and business.

Berlin 9 is being organised by representatives from the science, humanities, research, funding and policy communities, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Marine Biological Laboratory, the Max Planck Society, Association of Research Libraries, and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition).

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BioMed Central to exhibit at 17th WONCA Europe Conference
- 05 Sep 2011

Open access publisher BioMed Central, UK, has announced that the company will be exhibiting at the 17th WONCA Europe Conference in Warsaw, Poland, scheduled for September 8-11, 2011.

The theme of this year's conference is 'Family Medicine - Practice, Science and Art'. The programme includes high-level speakers and experts from across Europe and participants can learn about the latest innovations in family practice.

BioMed Central representatives will be available at booth #10 to answer any questions on the publisher's established titles - Journal of Medical Case Reports, a journal devoted to case reports from all medical disciplines; Asia Pacific Family Medicine, the official journal of WONCA Asia Pacific; and BMC Family Practice.

Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Medical Case Reports and president-elect of WONCA, Professor Michael Kidd, will run a workshop at the conference on writing case reports about patients seen in family medicine, on September 9 in Room F (Freud). The workshop will highlight the importance of case reporting in family medicine and will also seek to provide an opportunity for anyone wanting to improve their case reporting skills.

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KNUST becomes first African Foundation Member to participate in BioMed Central's Open Access Africa initiative
- 05 Aug 2011

Open access publisher BioMed Central, UK, recently launched 'Open Access Africa', a collection of initiatives designed to increase the output and visibility of scientific research published by African learning institutes. Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, has been announced as the first African Foundation Member to participate in the free scheme.

KNUST ranks 13th amongst African universities on the Webometrics World University Ranking and claims to be the only university in Ghana with an open access institutional repository and fully supports open access research. In addition, BioMed Central and KNUST have partnered to host the Open Access Africa 2011 conference, in conjunction with Computer Aid International, from October 25-26 during International Open Access Week.

Following the success of Open Access Africa 2010, the conference, now in its second year, will discuss the benefits of open access publishing in an African context and explore the possibilities provided to researchers through the facilitation of scientific and medical information flow. The conference is free to attend but registration is necessary.

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Programme for Berlin 9 Open Access meeting announced
- 02 Aug 2011

The programme for the international Berlin 9 Open Access meeting has been announced by the organising coalition. Focusing on the impact of Open Access in research and scholarship, the event will explore how open, online access has the potential to transform the process of discovery and the translation of knowledge into benefits to society, as well as to enhance public engagement and create new opportunities for scholarship and business.

This 9th instalment in the Berlin Open Access conference series, which convenes leaders in the science, humanities, research, funding, and policy communities around The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, will take place at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, MD, on November 9 and 10, 2011. Pre-conference meetings have been planned for November 8th, in Washington, DC.

The programme committee for the meeting has been examining the role that Open Access can play in accelerating the conduct and communication of scholarship, and the opportunities this presents to the funders, creators, and end users of this information. They have identified five key topics to explore. These include transforming research through open online access to discovery inputs and outputs; creation of innovative new opportunities for scholarship and business; the impact of open access and open repositories on research in the humanities; open education: linking learning and research through Open Access; and public interaction: the range and power of OA for citizen science, patients, and large-scale collaboration.

Speakers for each topic area are being invited and will be announced this fall. The committee has also invited keynote remarks from top US and international policymakers, including a high-level exploration on redefining measures of impact.

Berlin 9 is being organised by representatives from the science, humanities, research, funding and policy communities, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Marine Biological Laboratory, the Max Planck Society, Association of Research Libraries, and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition). Registration will open in September.

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BioMed to host African conference as part of open access initiatives
- 12 Jul 2011

Open access publisher BioMed Central, UK, has announced that new initiatives being launched in 2011 look to increase the visibility and output of scientific research from across Africa and the wider developing world.

The publisher has announced that its Open Access Africa 2011 conference will discuss the benefits of open access (OA) publishing in an African context. Hosted by BioMed in association with Computer Aid International, the event is scheduled for October 25 -26, 2011, at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Discussions at this event will be led from the perspective of researchers seeking access to information, and authors seeking to communicate the results of their work globally, in an effort to increase visibility and output of African research.

BioMed believes that the facilitation of scientific and medical information flow plays an important role in future international social and scientific development. Removing restrictive journal subscription fees challenges inequalities regarding the access to and use of high-quality scientific resources and increases the visibility and impact of research published from low-income countries.

To meet the cost of publishing, authors who publish in BioMed's OA journals are required to pay an article-processing charge (APC) per published paper. However, the waiver scheme, operated by BioMed, supports researchers in the listed developing countries, enabling authors from these areas to publish their research without incurring the usual APC.

Foundation Membership is projected as a free service from BioMed that enables institutions in developing countries to demonstrate their commitment and support for OA publishing and offers a range of wider benefits for participating Members. In addition, the company's Open Access Package has been designed to provide a complete and affordable OA solution for institutions in developing countries. The package enables institutions to show their commitment for OA and provides them with the tools to support both open access publishing and self-archiving.

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Washington University in St. Louis Faculty Senate adopts Open Access Resolution
- 30 Jun 2011

The Washington University in St. Louis Faculty Senate has adopted an Open Access Resolution that encourages faculty members to make their scholarly and creative works freely available online. The resolution also includes a recommendation for University Libraries and the Bernard Becker Medical Library to develop the capacity to capture faculty scholarship, make it publicly accessible and preserve it over time. It also calls for a three-year review to determine the best way to implement the resolution.

WUSTL faculty members conduct research in a range of disciplines and seek to share their findings. Typically, faculty members publish their research in print or online publications that often require costly subscription fees to access. The Open Access Resolution passed by the WUSTL Faculty Senate encourages faculty to publish their research results in open access journals, such as titles in the Directory of Open Access Journals at doaj.org.

Regardless of where faculty members publish, the resolution asks them to retain the right to include a version of their publication in an institutional or other open access repository. Works, such as journal articles, in open access repositories can be viewed, free of charge, by anyone with Internet access.

The Bernard Becker Medical Library has an open access repository, Digital Commons@Becker at digitalcommons.wustl.edu, in place for School of Medicine faculty. Work on a repository for Danforth Campus faculty is under way.

The text of the resolution can be found at news.wustl.edu/Documents/Record/OpenAccessResolution.pdf.

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Proposals invited for poster display at Berlin 9 Open Access conference
- 23 Jun 2011

Proposals are now being invited for the Berlin 9 Open Access meeting poster display, which will showcase open access (OA) initiatives from all corners of the globe.

Posters will be displayed through the duration of the meeting and on the conference website at http://www.berlin9.org, where policy makers, research funders, scholars, publishers and advocates will learn about initiatives to enhance research, teaching, learning and innovation through OA worldwide. Poster proposals will be reviewed by the conference programme committee and evaluated according to their contribution to the meeting theme - the impact of OA in research and scholarship.

Successful proposals will highlight the role that open online access can play in accelerating the conduct and communication of scholarship and the opportunities this presents to the funders, creators and end users of information.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words in length are invited for review by the Program Committee. Submissions must be received no later than July 27. Acceptance notifications will be issued by September 30, 2011. To submit a proposal, visit http://sparc.arl.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=84.

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BioMed Central and Edanz host free workshops on OA and scientific writing for authors in China
- 22 Jun 2011

Open access publisher BioMed Central, UK, and Edanz recently hosted two complimentary workshops for authors in China. Zhejiang University School of Medicine (ZUSM), a BioMed Central member, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTU-SM), hosted more than 140 scientists at seminars, led by Diane Wang, Publishing Manager China for BioMed Central, and Dr Warren Raye, Senior Life Sciences Editor for Edanz.

The workshops comprised two lectures, 'BioMed Central: Making Scientific Findings More Open' and 'How to Write and Publish Scientific Articles'. Attendees learnt about the open access publishing landscape and BioMed Central's open access journal portfolio, as well as hearing key points on manuscript preparation and submission, including study design, journal selection, manuscript structure and common language mistakes.

East Asia is reportedly the fastest growing source of papers for all STM publishers. The number of peer-reviewed articles published by Chinese researchers alone has risen 64-fold over the past 30 years. In addition, BioMed Central has witnessed a 168 percent rise in the number of papers submitted from authors based in mainland China in the last two years. Services such as Edanz, for which BioMed Central authors receive a discount, provide scientists from this region with cost-effective and comprehensive English language support throughout the peer review process.

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Open access journals showing rapid growth with advent of web, says study
- 14 Jun 2011

A study published in PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed online publication of open access (OA) publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS), reports on the rapid growth of OA publishing since the start of the World Wide Web. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Hanken School of Economics.

The results show a very rapid growth of OA publishing during the period of 1993-2009. In 2009 an estimated 191,000 articles were published in 4,769 OA journals. Since the year 2000, the average annual growth rate has been 18 percent for the number of OA journals and 30 percent for the number of OA articles. This can be contrasted to the reported 3.5 percent yearly increase in the total number of peer reviewed journals. It was estimated that in 2009, articles in OA journals reached 7.7 percent of all peer reviewed journal articles.

Since the web emerged in the mid 1990s, scientists have dreamed of having the whole body of scientific peer reviewed literature freely accessible on it, openly available without any hindrance. Slowly but steadily OA to peer reviewed journal articles has increased. This could be due to the emergence of over 6,000 OA journals; pressure from research funders such as the NIH; and a growing awareness among scholars of the advantages of publishing in OA journals. A number of specialised OA publishers such as the PLoS, BioMed Central and Hindawi have entered the market and more traditional publishers have also begun to offer OA alternatives.

The full article, "The Development of Open Access Journal Publishing from 1993 to 2009", is available online at http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0020961

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BioMed Central announces initiatives to increase visibility of scientific research from Africa
- 10 Jun 2011

Open access publisher BioMed Central is working to increase the visibility of scientific research from Africa with a set of initiatives designed to encourage African researchers to publish their work in open access journals.

The publisher has announced that its 2nd Open Access Africa conference will take place from October 25 -26, 2011, at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The free conference, organised in association with Computer Aid International, will provide a focal point to bring researchers, librarians and funders together to examine the opportunities and challenges for open access publishing in an African context. The conference is free to attend but registration is necessary. Interested parties may contact oaafrica@biomedcentral.com to register their details.

Alongside the announcement of Open Access Africa 2011, BioMed Central has also launched a new free membership scheme for qualifying universities and research institutions in low-income countries. Foundation Membership will enable institutions to demonstrate their support for open access publishing and offers a range of benefits which will enhance the visibility of the institution's research output. Institutions are eligible to become Foundation Members if they are located in a country covered by BioMed Central's Open Access Waiver Fund , have an official institutional policy in support of open access, and have published at least five papers in BioMed Central open access journals within the last three years.

In addition to the new Foundation Membership programme, BioMed Central is also introducing a new cost-effective open access publishing and institutional repository solution targeted at low-income countries, the 'Open Access Package'. The Open Access Package provides a comprehensive and affordable open access solution that offers Foundation members the tools to support both open access publishing and self-archiving of scientific articles within their libraries.

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SPARC Europe to host online event on open access projects
- 09 May 2011

SPARC Europe, an alliance of European research libraries, library organisations and research institutions, has announced a free SPARC Europe online event. The event is scheduled for June 7, 2011, from 12:00 - 1:00 PM GMT. Registration is free, but required, and limited to SPARC worldwide members.

Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe (OpenAIRE) is a three-year project funded by the European Commission that seeks to create an opportunity for countries and academic institutions throughout Europe to collectively make the case for open access and support its realisation. OpenAIRE supports the implementation of the EC's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) - Open Access Pilot and the European Research Council Guidelines on Open Access - by focusing on digital repositories, and developing an infrastructure for open access along with a support network across Europe. Specifically, researchers are supported in depositing their peer-reviewed research articles in institutional or disciplinary repositories, if available, or into the OpenAIRE Orphan Repository hosted by CERN.

The initiative is seen as an important development in the open access movement in Europe, providing a key collaborative opportunity for libraries. SPARC Europe will host Inge van Nieuwerburgh, a regional coordinator for OpenAIRE, on June 7, to explore project features, approaches, risks, challenges, and future directions for the projects, as well as to explore ways libraries can be actively involved in the project. This SPARC Europe webcast is open to all SPARC members (SPARC North America, SPARC Japan and SPARC Europe).

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SPARC-ACRL forum at ALA to focus on Berlin Open Access Declaration
- 04 May 2011

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) have announced that the upcoming SPARC-ACRL forum on emerging issues in scholarly communication will focus on expanding support for the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. The SPARC-ACRL forum will be held at the American Library Association (ALA) meeting in New Orleans, LA.

The Declaration, issued in 2003, outlines concrete steps to promote the Internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge, including encouraging researchers and cultural heritage custodians to make materials openly available. The goals of the declaration are advanced in part by an annual conference of international leaders. In 2011, this meeting will take place in North America for the first time, offering a unique opportunity for the library community to continue its leadership role in advancing Open Access.

The Berlin Declaration has garnered signatures from nearly 300 research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, funding agencies, and governments from around the world – including the leaders of organisations ranging from the Max Plank Society to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to Academia Europaea. Most recently, both Harvard University and the International Federation of Library Associations added their names to the roster.

The next SPARC-ACRL forum will explore the motivations behind the Berlin Declaration and its impact on the global research community. It will also present the opportunity for North American libraries to encourage their institutions to sign onto the document and become engaged in further advancing Open Access by promoting the statement's call to action.

The forum will be held June 25, 2011, at the Morial Convention Center, Room 383. The ACRL Scholarly Communications Discussion Group, which offers a more intimate setting to explore topics in greater depth, will explore how we can bring a global action like the Berlin Open Access Declaration to our own institutions through our education and outreach programmes. The Discussion Group will be held June 26, from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the New Orleans Marriott, Mardi Gras H Room.

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JISC welcomes new report investigating costs and benefits of transitions in scholarly communications
- 11 Apr 2011

The UK's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has welcomed the 'Heading for the open road: costs and benefits for transitions in scholarly communications report', which adds to the growing knowledge into the different publishing models for UK research.

JISC co-funded the report with the Research Information Network, the Publishing Research Consortium, Research Libraries UK and the Wellcome Trust, to look at the UK scholarly communications system; particularly the five possible routes for academics and researchers to disseminate their work. The report suggests that encouraging open access appears to be a good way forward for the UK's scholarly communications community and in particular via gold or green routes. It is consistent with previous research in coming to this conclusion.

JISC will be broadcasting a pre-recorded roundtable discussion on why it is important for universities and researchers to be aware of the UK's scholarly communications publishing models on May 26, 2011.

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Free access does not ensure more citations, says FASEB Journal report
- 31 Mar 2011

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has published a new research paper in the FASEB Journal that reportedly shows that free access to scientific journal articles leads to increases in downloads, but not to increases in citations. The number of citations is said to be a key factor used in scientific publishing to assess a research article's relative importance and value.

The study, by Philip M. Davis from Cornell University, is expected to help scientists make informed decisions about where they publish their work. It is also seen to assist governments, granting institutions and universities with evaluating whether or not their open access policies are leading to greater dissemination of useful scientific knowledge.

To reach his conclusions, Davis ran several parallel randomised controlled trials. Upon publication, articles, including those from the FASEB Journal, were randomly assigned to either the open access or the subscription-access group. He then observed how these articles performed in terms of downloads and citations over three years. He found that free access did not affect the number of citations a paper received, rejecting a widely-held belief that open access articles are cited more frequently because of their free access status. The results are consistent over time across 36 journals covering the sciences, social sciences and humanities, according to the report.

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Berlin 9 Open Access Conference to be held in Washington, DC
- 25 Mar 2011

The ninth installment in the Berlin Open Access Conference Series, which convenes leaders in the science, humanities, research, funding, and policy communities around The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, will take place at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute on November 9 and 10, 2011. The conference, called 'Berlin 9 Open Access Conference: The impact of Open Access in research and scholarship,' will focus on the role that open online access can play in accelerating the conduct and communication of scholarship, and the opportunities this presents to the funders, creators, and end users of this information.

The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, issued in 2003 by international research, scientific, and cultural institutions, promotes the Internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge. It has been signed by the leaders of nearly 300 research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, funding agencies, and governments from around the world. Signatories include the Max Planck Society (co-initiator and custodian of the declaration), CERN, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academia Europea, Harvard University, and the International Federation of Library Associations.

The Berlin Open Access Conference Series supports the continued adoption and realisation of the principles of the declaration and has been hosted in Germany, Switzerland, England, Italy, France, and most recently in China. Berlin 9 will mark the first such meeting to take place in North America. The programme will feature concrete steps taken by a variety of stakeholders to support Open Access and invite participants to consider added actions that might be taken - including encouraging signatures to the Berlin Declaration.

Berlin 9 is being organised by representatives from the science, humanities, research, funding and policy communities, including the Marine Biological Laboratory, and will be held on the campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in Chevy Chase, MD. Conference planning is being coordinated by the Max Planck Society and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition).

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SPARC to host free online event 'The (OA)Week ahead: Getting started on Open Access Week 2011'
- 15 Feb 2011

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is conducting an online event titled 'The (OA)Week ahead: Getting started on Open Access Week 2011.' The event is scheduled for February 22, 2011, 1:00 - 2:00PM Eastern. Interested parties are invited to join in for a conversation on how to deepen faculty engagement at their institutions.

According to SPARC, the 2010 Open Access Week (OAW) was the largest and most successful yet. With just under 900 participants in 94 countries, the event was three times larger than it was just a year before. Hundreds of videos, photos, blog posts, and more were released to promote and highlight the benefits of Open Access to research and take the conversation even more deeply into the research community. Participants from the academy - including humanists, climate change scientists, provosts, research funders, Nobelists, and lawyers -took advantage of the occasion to share their insights on how Open Access has had an impact on their work and lives.

On February 22, 2011, Heather Joseph and Jennifer McLennan, representing the Open Access Week organizing coalition (SPARC), will present participant feedback from last year and invite suggestions on how to take the Week to yet another level in 2011. Registration for the event is free, but required. RSVP by February 21 at http://sparc.arl.org/civicrm/event/register?id=68&reset=1.

The online event is held in conjunction with Open Access Week 2011 (October 24 - 30). Now entering its fifth year, Open Access Week is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access (OA), to share ideas with colleagues, and to inspire wider participation in establishing Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research. Universities, colleges, research institutes, funding agencies, libraries, and think tanks have used Open Access Week as a platform to host faculty votes on campus open-access policies, to issue reports on the societal and economic benefits of Open Access, to commit new funds in support of open-access publication, and more.

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Registrations for 7th Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication now open
- 14 Feb 2011

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has announced that registrations for the 7th Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OAI7) is now open. This event will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from June 22 - 24, 2011. Interested parties may register with the online form available on the conference website at http://indico.cern.ch/event/oai7.

The workshop will follow the successful format of previous editions mixing practical tutorials, presentations from cutting-edge projects and research, discussion groups, posters, and an intense social programme to maximise interaction and communication. It will be possible to register for a part or all of the programme.

The workshop is aimed at those involved in the development of open access (OA) repositories and who can influence the direction of developments either within their institution, their country or at an international level. This includes technical developers of OA bibliographic databases and connected services, research information policy developers at university or library level, funding bodies concerned with access to the results of their research, OA publishers, and influential researchers keen to lead OA developments in their own field.

The event is projected as a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and contact details with a large public connected to the OA movement. The OAI workshops are a series of important international meetings in this field and take place roughly every two years.

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Highlights from BioMed Central's Open Access Africa 2010 conference now online
- 09 Feb 2011

Open access publisher BioMed Central, UK, has announced that videos, slideshows and photos from the Open Access Africa 2010 conference are now available online. The conference, held late last year in Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, was hosted by BioMed Central, in conjunction with Computer Aid International. The event brought together a diverse panel of speakers to discuss open access publishing in an African context.

It has been observed that despite the vast population, just 0.7 percent of all research findings come from Sub-Saharan Africa. As a whole, the continent's domestic scientific research is under-represented in the International Indexes of Scientific Output. Some of the main barriers Africa faces are the limited number of local high-impact journals and the minimal resources available to cover the article processing charges (APC) for authors looking to publish their work. This is an issue that BioMed Central will addresses with its waiver fund, a policy that allows over 90 low-income countries to publish high-quality research for free.

Open access journals allow free, unrestricted, online access to scientific research and hold many benefits for the developing world. The Open Access Africa 2010 conference looked to address the implementation of access to academic research resources and to promote and discuss the benefits and implications of open access research in this context. The success of Open Access Africa 2010 will lead to a follow up event which will be organised for the latter part of this year.

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Study of Open Access Publishing project presents findings of two-year EC funded study on OA publishing
- 17 Jan 2011

The SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project presented the results of its two-year European Commission (EU) funded examination of open access publishing at an open symposium on January 13, 2011, in Berlin, Germany. Over the two-year study duration, the SOAP project performed a comprehensive study of open access journals, publishers and business models, including analysis of publishing houses, learned societies and licensing along with the overall supply and demand for open access.

The study surveyed over 50,000 researchers for their opinions on open-access journals, which make all their papers freely available online and usually charge authors a fee for each published paper. According to the study, while scientists like open-access papers as readers, as authors, they are still skeptical. The study found overwhelming support for the concept, with 89 percent of respondents stating that open access is beneficial to their field. However, this support did not always translate into action, the study noted. While 53 percent of respondents said they had published at least one open-access article, overall only about 10 percent of papers are published in open access journals.

The study found two main reasons as to why researchers do not submit their work to open-access journals. About 40 percent said that a lack of funding for author fees was a deterrent, while 30 percent cited a lack of high-quality open-access journals in their field.

Requiring authors to make sure the results of their work are freely available has reportedly had only partial success. Robert Kiley, head of digital services at the Wellcome Trust’s Wellcome Library in London, said at the symposium that open-access rates had risen from 12 percent to 50 percent since the funder began requiring its grantees to publish in open-access journals or deposit their papers in a freely available repository. However, Kiley acknowledged that Wellcome Trust had not imposed sanctions on researchers who failed to comply.

The study also makes it clear that open-access journals are proliferating, especially among small publishers. It was observed that one-third of open-access papers were published by the more than 1600 open-access publishers that publish only a single journal. The study also identified 14 ‘large publishers’ that publish either more than 50 journals or more than 1000 articles per year. The group accounts for roughly one-third of open-access publications, the study noted.

Study of Open Access Publishing project to present findings of two-year EC funded study on OA publishing
- 20 Dec 2010

The SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project is set to present the results of its two-year European Commission funded examination of open access publishing at an open symposium on January 13, 2011, in Berlin, Germany.

Over the two-year study duration, the SOAP project performed a comprehensive study of open access journals, publishers and business models, including analysis of publishing houses, learned societies and licensing along with the overall supply and demand for open access. The study garnered over 50,000 responses including over 38,000 from published academic researchers worldwide. Early results have indicated that open access is not just now an accepted model for academic publishing, but that it is also growing rapidly in both popularity and uptake.

At the open symposium, to be held at Harnack House in Berlin, publishers, funding agencies and policy makers will gather to hear the final results of the study along with in-depth analysis of the changing publishing landscape and to discuss what actions need to be taken to ensure that the supply of open access outlets meets the ever growing demand.

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US associations oppose provision expanding NIH public access policy to other agencies
- 17 Dec 2010

Representatives of the American Physiological Society and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) have written a letter opposing legislation to expand a policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The legislation seeks to expand the NIH policy requiring that private-sector scientific journal articles reporting on government-funded research be made freely available on the Internet. The letter is signed by over 70 scientific and medical societies, university presses and commercial publishers.

On behalf of the many STM journal publishers and tens of thousands of their US employees, these organisations have expressed their strong opposition to a provision that is included in the omnibus appropriations bill: SEC. 524. The policy regarding public access to research results established for the NIH by section 217 of division F of Public Law 111-8 shall apply to all departments funded in this Act having more than $100,000,000 in annual expenditures for extramural research.

This provision would impose a new government mandate requiring that private-sector scientific journal articles reporting on government-funded research be made freely available on the Internet. This is expected to expand the so-called 'negative' policy in place at the NIH to other major federal agencies. Implementation of the provision will undermine private sector investments, jobs, intellectual property and US leadership in scientific research, it has been pointed out.

While government funds scientific research, non-profit and commercial journal publishers invest hundreds of millions of dollars each year in the peer review, editing and publishing of these articles. Government mandates that require these private sector publishers to make their peer-reviewed, value-added journal articles freely available on the Internet would fundamentally undermine a significant segment of the US publishing industry that employs 50,000 in the US and contributes over $10 billion annually to the nation's economy, it has been observed. For many US journal publishers, more than 50 percent of their revenue comes from overseas subscriptions, contributing to a positive balance of trade.

Publishers welcome the opportunity to work with the federal government to address public access in a meaningful way that does not jeopardise the current peer-review publishing system with all the benefits it provides to the US, the letter noted. They believe that the public access provision in the America competes legislation which received thoughtful input from many Congressional, Administrative and non-governmental entities is a better approach.

Further, the letter notes that this is a critical issue for scholarly societies and companies, and urged for the removal of the provision expanding the NIH public access policy to other federal agencies from the omnibus appropriations legislation.

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SPARC, ACRL announce speakers for forum on changing state of open-access journal publishing
- 15 Dec 2010

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) have announced the speakers for a panel discussion on 'Marketplace: Open Access and the changing state of scholarly publishing'. The event is being held in conjunction with the upcoming meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) in San Diego, CA, on January 8, 2011, at the San Diego Convention Center, Room 29A.

This forum will discuss the rapidly changing - and maturing - open-access publishing sphere, illustrate the growing range of options and approaches that are emerging, and help the library community to make sense of what it all means for you and your campus.

Guest presenters will include Caroline Sutton, President of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA); Wim van der Stelt, Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy for Springer; and Catriona McCallum, Chief Editor of PLoS Biology for the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

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SPARC, ACRL to co-host panel discussion on open access publishing at ALA event
- 23 Nov 2010

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) will co-host a panel discussion on 'Marketplace: Open Access and the changing state of scholarly publishing' at the upcoming meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) in San Diego. The forum will be held on January 8, 2011 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the San Diego Convention Center, Room 29A.

As awareness of the potential of open access (OA) - the free, immediate availability of scholarly articles on the public Internet, coupled with the rights needed to use them fully in the digital environment - has spread, there have been significant changes in the journal publishing options open to scholars. Widespread experimentation with business models has resulted in OA journals supported by mechanisms ranging from article processing fees to institutional membership to sponsorships. Even commercial journal publishers - like Springer - are reportedly joining the trend, providing new opportunities for scholars in all disciplines.

While many of the early OA journals essentially replicated traditional publications - albeit with very different access parameters - new types of venues are seen to be emerging. These are expected to provide a multitude of choices for scholars in terms of journal structure and peer review models. The Public Library of Science, for example, now operates 'currents', 'hubs', and PLoS One in addition to its flagship journals, showcasing an array of new services and features for authors to consider when selecting a publishing outlet.

The forum is expected to paint a picture of the rapidly changing - and maturing - OA publishing sphere, and illustrate the growing range of options and approaches that are emerging.

The ACRL Scholarly Communications discussion group, which seeks to offer a more intimate setting to explore topics in greater depth, will be held January 9, from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the San Diego Convention Center, Room 31B.

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