Using image accessibility and alt text as a lens, our objective was to evaluate how open access journals incorporate disability accessibility as part of open access publishing. Using a random sample of 300 English language open access journals, we assessed author guidelines to understand image requirements for submissions and open access statements to understand how journals conceive of openness and accessibility. We found that most open access journals do not include disability accessibility elements in their guidelines to authors when submitting images as part of their scholarship. While over half the journals had required parameters for image submission, none of them required alt text. And while the majority of journals included the word 'access' or 'accessibility' in their open access statements, almost none included disability or inclusion related terms.
In separate court filings this week, lawyers for Amazon and the Big Five publishers said that a revived class action suit accusing them of colluding to fix e-book prices is not significantly different from the case that was dismissed in September for lack of evidence, and should not be allowed to go forward.
The paper is divided into three parts. Part 1 traces the historical events that led to the modern system of scientific research, funding, knowledge dissemination, and recognition, which largely confines health and medical knowledge production to those in HICs [high income countries]. By understanding our shared past and the rise of structural barriers to global health equity, we can better inform our shared path to dismantle them. Part 2 takes a clear-eyed look at where the scientific community is now. Are the ideals of Open Medicine playing out as envisioned? Are the benefits of Open Medicine shared amongst all of humanity, or with only a select few? Lastly, Part 3 offers ideas and recommendations for all stakeholders to chart a path to bring Open Medicine into alignment with its goals and aspirations.
In Copyright’s Broken Promise, John Willinsky presents the case for reforming copyright law so that it supports, rather than impedes, public access to research and scholarship. He draws on the legal strategy of statutory licensing to set out the terms and structures by which the Copyright Act could ensure that publishers are fairly compensated for providing immediate open access.
Strengthening the commitment to opening research, IOP Publishing (IOPP) has agreed to a three-year unlimited open publishing agreement with the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) consortium in the United States (US). Beginning January 2023, the agreement enables affiliated researchers to publish unlimited Open Access (OA) papers at no cost to them. . . . During the agreement, authors affiliated with Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions will be able to make their research openly accessible to the global community immediately after publication while retaining their copyright.
This article proposes a methodology for systematically assessing the cost of journal subscriptions. The authors of the paper. . . established ratios comparing the list costs of journal articles as advertised by publishers against the cost per article of journal articles available in aggregated collections in library databases. . . The researchers propose that the ratios can be used by libraries wishing to apply a standard methodology for assessing journal packages containing full-text articles.
All TLCUA members will receive a discount on journal subscriptions—some as high as 30%—while still maintaining significant amounts of access to journals and combined, will realize a savings of over $4.75M annually. Beyond initial cost savings, Elsevier agreed to a maximum annual increase of 2% over the course of the license agreement, with some years as low as 0%, which is significantly lower than industry standard. . . . TLCUA and Elsevier have agreed to partner on a pilot project to revert ownership of journal articles back to original authors—and not just those at TLCUA-member institutions. Currently, authors transfer copyright of their work in exchange for that work being published. This pilot will provide for rights to go back to authors after a period of time that will be collaboratively determined with Elsevier. . . . Further, all TLCUA-member authors who choose to publish their work under an open access license will have access to discounted author publication charges (APCs). TLCUA also negotiated a license template that removed non-disclosure terms, restrictions on sharing usage data, and 44-year-old limitations on interlibrary loans (i.e., CONTU Guidelines) to expand library collaboration and improve how libraries can share information on journal usage.
Journal policies continuously evolve to enable knowledge sharing and support reproducible science. However, that change happens within a certain framework. Eight modular standards with three levels of increasing stringency make Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines which can be used to evaluate to what extent and with which stringency journals promote open science. Guidelines define standards for data citation, transparency of data, material, code and design and analysis, replication, plan and study pre-registration, and two effective interventions: "Registered reports" and "Open science badges", and levels of adoption summed up across standards define journal’s TOP Factor. In this paper, we analysed the status of adoption of TOP guidelines across two thousand journals reported in the TOP Factor metrics. We show that the majority of the journals’ policies align with at least one of the TOP’s standards, most likely "Data citation" (70%) followed by "Data transparency" (19%). Two-thirds of adoptions of TOP standard are of the stringency Level 1 (less stringent), whereas only 9% is of the stringency Level 3. Adoption of TOP standards differs across science disciplines and multidisciplinary journals (N = 1505) and journals from social sciences (N = 1077) show the greatest number of adoptions. Improvement of the measures that journals take to implement open science practices could be done: (1) discipline-specific, (2) journals that have not yet adopted TOP guidelines could do so, (3) the stringency of adoptions could be increased.
Values and principles provide a scaffold for community governance of the knowledge commons, engaging stakeholders in the construction of a system that encourages participants to adhere to a shared set of ethical and functional practices. This article introduces the FOREST Framework for Values-Driven Scholarly Communication, a toolkit and approach developed by the Next Generation Library Publishing project to assess a community or organization’s alignment with scholarly values and principles. The article situates the FOREST Framework within the context of other initiatives advancing values-based scholarly communication and explains the importance of assessment mechanisms as a core element in governing an equitable and sustainable knowledge commons. It also synthesizes the findings of a half-day summit hosted in February 2022 that convened representatives of values-and-principles-based frameworks and initiatives in scholarly communication to strategize a collective future for these efforts.
"One Nation, One Subscription" (ONOS) is a scheme of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. The letter from the ministry’s Department of Higher Education said the government will negotiate with journal publishers for "all people in India" to have access to journal articles under a single centrally negotiated payment to be made by the government.
The Open Science movement is a response to the accumulated problems in scholarly communication, like the "reproducibility crisis", "serials crisis", and "peer review crisis". The European Commission defines priorities of Open Science as Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reproducible (FAIR) data, infrastructure and services in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), Next generation metrics, altmetrics and rewards, the future of scientific communication, research integrity and reproducibility, education and skills and citizen science. Open Science Infrastructure is also one of four key components of Open Science defined by UNESCO.
Mainly represented among Open Science Infrastructures are institutional and thematic repositories for publications, research data, software and code. Furthermore, the Open Science Infrastructure services range may include discovery, mining, publishing, the peer review process, archiving and preservation, social networking tools, training, high-performance computing, and tools for processing and analysis. Successful Open Science Infrastructure should be based on community values and responsive to needed changes. Preferably the Open Science Infrastructure should be distributed, enabling machine-actionable tools and services, supporting reusability and reproducibility, quality FAIR data, interoperability, sustainability, long-term preservation and funding.
These formulated criteria will serve as a common, action-guiding framework for actors from all science organizations—that is, higher education institutions as well as non-university research institutions—for negotiations with providers of publishing services. . . .The criteria are organized into the following aspects: journal transformation, pricing; transparency, workflow, preprints, metadata and interfaces, statistics, tracking, and waivers.
Anna’s Archive is basically a meta-search engine that can find content from third-party ‘pirate’ sources. . . . The Z-Library links rely on the Tor version of the site, which remains online. However, the goal is to ultimately make all content available through IPFS [InterPlanetary File System] as well. This would make it pretty much impossible to take down, similar to the Library Genesis forks, which also use IPFS.
You have probably just read the Provost’s announcement that we are suspending our negotiations with Elsevier for the remainder of this year. We did not make this decision lightly. Our Elsevier contract represents more than one-fifth of our entire collections budget at OSU, and we know that this decision will be disruptive. . . .Our primary strategy will be article-level fulfillment. We will build on our already outstanding Interlibrary Loan service (ILL), and add some additional tools that should improve those workflows and provide a more seamless user experience. . . . In the summer of 2023 we will develop a timeline and goals for access to Elsevier content in 2024. At that point, we will be looking to secure access to a curated list of titles, informed by the assessment I described above, and by the ongoing conversations we have been having with our OSU community about open and sustainable scholarly communication.
At $2.6M per year and an annual 2.5% increase, the Elsevier journal package is the most expensive annual expenditure for the University of Washington (UW) Libraries. For context, the total UW Libraries collections budget for the Seattle campus is approximately $16 million, and we spend about $13 million on ongoing subscriptions. Immediate access to 2,500 Elsevier journal titles published in the current year represent about 15% of the Libraries annual collections budget. . . .The Elsevier journal package reinforces the scholarly publishing model based on paywalls and rationing of access, inequitable opportunities for publishing, and excessive pricing and annual price increases that undermines a scholarly ecosystem where the open sharing of knowledge is critical to accelerating change for the public good. . . .As a result, the Libraries will be unable to maintain immediate access for all titles in our current list of 2,500 Elsevier journal titles on ScienceDirect. There is no choice but to begin identifying which journals need to be available for immediate access to meet patient care needs as well as long term use for research, teaching, and learning. The Libraries will continue to provide faculty, students and staff access to published articles through alternative access options such as PubMed Central, Google Scholar, and interlibrary loan — most requested articles are delivered within a few hours or business days.
How is the new publishing model similar to or different from older publishing models based on preprints combined with peer review (e.g. Copernicus, F1000)? There are three main differences. 1) Peer review and assessment at eLife continues to be organised by an editorial team made up of academic experts and led by an Editor-in-Chief, Deputy Editors, Senior Editors, and a Board of Reviewing Editors via a consultative peer-review model already known as one of the most constructive for authors in the industry. 2) The addition of an eLife assessment is a further crucial part of our model, distinctive from what others are doing—it is a key addition to our public peer reviews and it enables readers to understand the context of the work, the significance of the research and the strength of the evidence. 3) We are no longer making accept/reject decisions based on peer review—authors will choose if and when to produce a Version of Record at any point following the review process.
"While we are heartened by the takedown and the resulting reduction in harm to authors, we are not unsympathetic to the plight of those college and other students who have perhaps felt forced to resort to such illegal pirate websites and other free sources of textbooks to help them manage the extremely high cost of higher education," Rasenberger [Authors Guild CEO] said. "However, these students’ anger is misdirected. The exorbitant cost of education should not be borne by authors and publishers but by the universities, and it should not be used to justify reliance on foreign criminals for textbooks or to trivialize the immense personal and economic harm Z-Library was causing authors who are trying to make a living under increasingly difficult and hostile economic circumstances."
So just to summarize, there are two facts that are often overlooked when we discuss how university presses generally recover the costs of publishing their frontlist of new titles and how they might finance open access for monographs:
- A very large portion of a university press’s sales are not to academic libraries. Libraries are key to a university press’s overall success, and our model doesn’t work without them, but our model also depends on other revenue sources;
- Most of a university press’s annual revenues derive not from sales of new books, but from sales of previously published titles collectively known as the "backlist," which are generally those titles that were published more than twelve months ago. The sales of these titles may adversely be impacted by the availability of open access formats as readers transition to digital.
Mega-publishers are saying electronic books do not wear out, but this is not true at all. The Internet Archive processes and reprocesses the books it has digitized as new optical character recognition technologies come around, as new text understanding technologies open new analysis, as formats change from djvu to daisy to epub1 to epub2 to epub3 to pdf-a and on and on. This takes thousands of computer-months and programmer-years to do this work. This is what libraries have signed up for—our long-term custodial roles.
Also, the digital media they reside on changes, too—from Digital Linear Tape to PATA hard drives to SATA hard drives to SSDs. If we do not actively tend our digital books they become unreadable very quickly.
Then there is cataloging and metadata. If we do not keep up with the ever-changing expectations of digital learners, then our books will not be found. This is ongoing and expensive.
In April of this year, Springer Nature and Figshare announced a new integrated route for data deposition at Nature Portfolio titles to help address this problem and encourage researchers to share data rather than seeing it as a hurdle to article publication.
Following the success of the pilot, this streamlined integration is now being extended. Authors submitting to the Nature Portfolio journals, including Nature, in the fields of life, health, chemical and physical sciences will now be able to easily opt into data sharing, via Figshare, as part of one integrated submission process.
From the very first library checkout of an ebook through OverDrive back in 2003, we have had one vision: to create a world enlightened by reading. . . . It took us four years to reach the first 1 million checkouts in 2007 and another five to reach 100 million in 2012. In 2018, our all-time checkouts reached one billion. And now, twenty years after that very first ebook checkout, thanks to readers, librarians, and booklovers like you, we have reached three billion checkouts.
The three-year agreement addresses CAUL’s goals for a rapid and sustainable transition to open access publishing and represents the largest transformative agreement for both countries.
Under the agreement, which takes effect from January 2023, ANZ researchers at CAUL-affiliated academic institutions that participate in the agreement can make their research articles immediately available via open access publishing in Elsevier’s journals.
This article presents a range of perspectives on current issues around e-book and textbook supply and consumption in libraries and universities. It is an attempt to provide an analysis of the often-contentious issues arising and also offers an insight into the positions of all the various parties involved. Whilst there might not be agreement or consensus on the causes of issues and the way to proceed, the article attempts to coalesce various perspectives, in the hope of achieving a greater understanding of different stakeholders. Much of the debate in recent years has focused on the situation in the United Kingdom, but similar issues exist in many other countries and an insight into the international perspective is provided. We also offer some commentary on ways forward for both the short and longer term.
One in five studies declared data were publicly available (59/306, 19%, 95% CI: 15–24%). However, when data availability was investigated this percentage dropped to 16% (49/306, 95% CI: 12–20%), and then to less than 1% (1/306, 95% CI: 0–2%) when data were checked for compliance with key FAIR principles. While only 4% of articles that used inferential statistics reported code to be available (10/274, 95% CI: 2–6%), the odds of reporting code to be available were 5.6 times higher for researchers who shared data.