Blog – Copyright Clearance Center Rights Licensing Expert Thu, 02 Apr 2020 18:55:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Blog – Copyright Clearance Center 32 32 Publishing & The Pandemic Fri, 03 Apr 2020 05:59:59 +0000 In a special report for Beyond the Book, CCC's Christopher Kenneally visits virtually with journalists, publishers and industry analysts in France, Italy, Spain and Mexico to examine the impact COVID-19 has had on the publishing industry.

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COVID-19 has given rise to a new, terrifying vocabulary from epidemiology and infection prevention: Social distancing. Flattening the curve. Super-spreader. We have suddenly become well acquainted with medical equipment: ventilators; PPEs; N-95 respirators. We are learning quite a lot these days about subjects few but the professionals ever gave much thought.

For those under quarantine, many with children out of school, the Internet is a lifeline, providing information, instruction, and welcome distraction. We are recognizing, in new ways, how much of daily life that authors and publishers make possible and how much they make life under lockdown bearable.

In a special report for Beyond the Book, I visit virtually with journalists, publishers and industry analysts in France, Italy, Spain and Mexico.

To date, Italy is the European country hit hardest by COVID-19, with the number of deaths recently climbing over 10,000. Piero Attanasio of the Italian Publishers Association describes an industry in severe contraction with impact across the supply chain.

“The expectation is a reduction of 25% of the number of titles. That means in Italy, since we publish around 80,000 books per year, it’s 20,000 books less and 40 million copies, more or less, which means that this has an effect that will be in the printing industries, in the paper industry, but also, of course, with the authors’ revenues and translators, Attanasio says.

“We estimate that we will probably translate 2,500 books less than last year, so there is a problem of revenues for all the employees around; the professionals along the value chain from the beginning to the end, including, of course, the bookshops.

From France, which began a national lockdown on March 17 that was recently extended to April 15, journalist Olivia Snaije relates the cultural dilemma of closing bookstores.

“There was a big discussion last week on whether or not bookshops were considered essential industries. And most agreed that they were. However, the Union of Booksellers put out a statement that the health measures weren’t secure enough to reopen their bookshops, even if the economic upset for them was great,” Snaije explains.

“There are 3,300 independent bookshops, which is so much more than in most countries. But this isn’t to say that they aren’t struggling as well and most of the big publishers have agreed to reschedule payments for bookshops and reimburse them immediately for returns.

In Madrid, analyst Javier Celaya advises publishers to heed the real lesson to be found in the dramatic shift to the virtual.

“I think this is a time to reflect,” Celaya declares. “We, in the sector, for the last decade, have not really understood the power of digital. And I think now is the time to really reflect that the importance is not the format. The importance is the content. And if we want to have people continue reading, we have to really invest in this digital transformation in order to guarantee that the publishing sector has a future.”

And in Mexico City, International Publishers Association president Hugo Setzer hopes the crisis may strengthen the industry.

“We are seeing the importance of the publishing industry, how the publishing industry has been important to society since a long time, how publishers are responding with solidarity, with innovation, to the public,” Setzer says.

In the novel The Plague by Nobel laureate Albert Camus, the gates of the Algerian city of Oran are shut during an epidemic, entrapping the citizens. Characters plot to escape or struggle to cope and assist others. Published in 1947, Camus’s fiction has strong resemblance to ancient plagues and, of course, for our own pandemic. Physicians treat the sick without fear. And officials dither and dissemble.

In his acceptance speech for the Nobel in 1957, Camus declared his dedication to writing as essential to his own existence:

It is a means of stirring the greatest number of people by offering them a privileged picture of common joys and sufferings. It obliges the artist not to keep himself apart; it subjects him to the most humble and the most universal truth. And often he who has chosen the fate of the artist because he felt himself to be different soon realizes that he can maintain neither his art nor his difference unless he admits that he is like the others.”

Over the weeks and months ahead, the response by authors and publishers to COVID-19 will capture our time and our humanity in all their complexity. The news accounts and scientific breakthroughs will call for a greater share of our attention.

We should be grateful, too, when there is something else to read.  According to Olivia Snaije, in Paris, volumes may arrive outside your door at any time.

“In certain apartment buildings here in Paris, neighbors are leaving books in a box downstairs, near the letterboxes, so that people can take books. They’re building their own mini-libraries,” Snaije says “There’s a lot of talk about what are you reading and how to get books – and for children too. I think people will appreciate more and more books.”

Recommended Reading

Copyright Clearance Center has launched numerous resources and thought leadership from a publishing perspective on COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus that causes it. We encourage to view our COVID-19 Resources Page as well as our Velocity of Content blog posts on the subject, including:

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Can the Dinosaurs Save Us From Extinction? A Look at Academic Publishing and the Response to COVID-19 Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:41:28 +0000 Neil Turkewitz provides information on the response of academic publishers to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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This article originally appeared on Neil’s Medium page – republished with permission.

A piece recently appeared in the South China Morning Post entitled: “Will the Coronavirus kill off the ‘dinosaur’ world of academic publishing.” As a former representative of another “dinosaur” sector — the record labels, this captured my attention. Is academic publishing truly a dinosaur industry, relying upon artificial scarcity in a time of superabundance — standing in the way of progress that can be achieved at scale through disintermediation and the magic properties of the internet to drive global distribution costs to near zero? Are paywalls to academic literature merely mechanisms for rent-seeking for the provision of access to non-rivalrous information? Or, as the tingling of my Spidey senses suggests, is the world of academic publishing somewhat more complicated? I’ll come to these questions in a moment, but before doing so, I wanted to provide some information about what academic publishers are doing in response to the current crisis.

On March 13, governments from 12 countries, including the United States, called on academic publishers to provide machine readable, non-paywalled, versions of all academic literature that might assist health authorities in addressing COVID-19. “To assist efforts to contain and mitigate the rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic, basic science research and innovation will be vital to addressing this global crisis. Given the urgency of the situation, it is particularly important that scientists and the public can access research outcomes as soon as possible.”

The response to this request was swift and extremely impressive, but perhaps even more impressive is that many academic publishers had already taken action six weeks earlier. As reported by The Scientist: “On January, 31 this year, a day after the novel coronavirus was designated a public health emergency of global concern, 94 academic journals, societies, institutes, and companies signed a commitment to making research and data on the disease freely available, at least for the duration of the outbreak.

Some statements made at the time are worthy of particular attention — see for example Kieran Walsh, a clinical director at the esteemed British Medical Journal (BMJ) who observed that: “we don’t think about commercial aspects during emergencies like this.”

The Scientist also noted that Edward Campion (executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine — NEJM), Walsh, and Heber (editor-in-chief of PLOS One) “all tell The Scientist that the journals are putting in extra effort to expedite peer review of articles related to COVID-19. “We’re getting up to 20 submissions per day on coronavirus, some of which, frankly, are not high-quality reports,” says Campion. “Part of our responsibility is to select what we think is most important for our audience, for the clinical audience and public health audience.”

Fast forward to today, and academic publishers have responded with speed, dexterity and care in making resources available in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Copyright Clearance Center has published, and is constantly updating, a list of links to COVID-19 Resources which reveals the scope of the response from the world of academic publishing. And individual academic publishers and related organizations have been providing updates of their own, including Elsevier which announced that it was providing “full access to its content on its COVID-19 Information Center for PubMed Central and other public health databases to accelerate fight against coronavirus.

The International Association of STM Publishers also provides an excellent directory for information about the response of the academic publishing community to COVID-19.

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has also posted a link to the COVID-19 related efforts of their member companies, which can be found here.

AAP President and CEO, Maria A. Pallante, recently noted that “As the pandemic continues to threaten and disrupt our lives in unprecedented ways, the point of publishing is clearer than ever and publishers are embracing their responsibilities to the public. Across all sectors we see commercial publishing houses, nonprofit societies, and university presses working to address the crisis, with many publishers creating special programs, flexible licenses, and other initiatives to propel reading, learning, and commerce.”

But of course, getting “information” out quickly isn’t really a solution. Our experiences on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites can attest to that. More information isn’t the answer if the information isn’t properly vetted and useful. In fact, as observed by Neil Postman in Amusing Ourselves to Death, we can effectively drown truth in a sea of irrelevance. The dissemination of more information, without regard to its value, is far more likely to add to problems than to help address them. Just ask my friend, David Newhoff, who has an entire blog dedicated to exploring the “illusion of more.” In fact, in many respects, our current obsession with ubiquity that elevates quantity over quality and prioritizes access over production has dramatic consequences on the overall health of societies, and obscures the path to truth, but I digress. Let’s return to an examination of how this plays out in the current scenario.

I want to come back to something that NEJM’s Edward Campion said: “Part of our responsibility is to select what we think is most important for our audience, for the clinical audience and public health audience.” Academic publishers realize that simply opening up the fire hose to uncurated and non-peer reviewed literature would likely have the effect of drowning truth in a sea of irrelevance. In other words, editing, peer-review and curation each play a major role in the dissemination of information that is useful to scientists, policy makers and the general public. We depend — indeed require, points of friction to effectively manage the information flow so that it’s useful to our learning. As such, even in this period of crisis when academic publishers are moving as quickly as possible to get information out to health professionals and the public, they are still mindful of the need for curation and review. And that, as you might imagine in a moment of sober reflection, requires investment. Investment of time, and investment of resources. This is the role of a publisher — a role, I would venture to say, that is more important now than ever given the extent of misinformation and disinformation otherwise available.

So this brings me back to where I started this piece — are academic publishers really dinosaurs standing between information and the public? I would venture to suggest that the answer is a resounding no. There may be a reasonable discussion to be had about the business model of academic publishing. Should this role be played by universities themselves and the costs borne by taxpayers and through tuition while making the final product free for all to use? That’s arguable, but I’m not sure I see the advantage, and until we address problems in our tax system, would likely have a disparate impact on those least able to afford tax increases to pay for the publication of academic research. But at a minimum, let’s have that discussion without pretending that the role played by academic publishers is no longer necessary given developments in technology that facilitate instantaneous global distribution. It’s critical that we understand how the ease of distribution and the flow of mis and disinformation makes the role of independent publishers even that more important to the advancement of science.

Joanna Bryson, Professor of Ethics and Technology at the Hertie School, posted a piece almost a decade ago that captured this brilliantly:

One of the problems with the age of open access and wikileaks is the idea that everyone can get something for nothing. Stuff costs money. Some things seem free, like Google, but as has often been pointed out, if you aren’t paying for it you aren’t the customer, you are what’s being sold. Google makes money by selling your interests to advertising. That’s OK by me, it’s an exchange of information I’m content with. But I’m not content when we start destroying important parts of our culture.

Academic publishing has provided an important role in moving progress forward in fields for several hundred years now via the mechanism of peer review. It costs money. It isn’t perfect, peer review like any government can be corrupt to various degrees, but is generally better than anarchy…

I know why I value academic publishers — because if you go through my many papers, the ones that are smartest (smarter then me really) are the ones that have had good editing and reviewing. As a computer scientist, that’s only a fraction of my output, so I can compare those articles to the ones with just quick reviews and no edits. I’m glad to have a wide portfolio of publishing options, but I totally see where the value lies in the academic publishers, and I can see the loss our society will suffer if they are driven out of the system.”

Turns out that perhaps dinosaurs are necessary for our survival. Or that dinosaurs are adaptable. Or that sometimes, the past has something important to teach us about ourselves. Or that dinosaurs may not be such an apt description for complex entities that help us to understand the world around us. And that, dear friends, may be the most disruptive thing I’ve offered in awhile.

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Healthy Metadata and the EU Copyright Directive Wed, 01 Apr 2020 09:50:24 +0000 Publishers must maintain clean, reliable metadata for their content, including about authors, institution, license types, and citations.

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Over the next two years, EU member states are required to adopt The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which passed in 2019. Importantly for publishers – scholarly and otherwise, and whether based in the EU or not – this directive provides a clear and explicit formulation of the legal status of copying materials for text and data mining (TDM) and other types of information extraction.

While a narrow, non-commercial exception for scientific research does exist, the Directive leaves in place critical protections around licensing. To capitalize on any opportunities, publishers must maintain clean, reliable metadata for their content, including about authors, institution, license types, and citations.

“I’m a real believer in having infrastructure and standards that kind of enable better and quicker, more effective uses and reuses of content,” explains Duncan Campbell, Senior Director, Global Sales Partnerships at John Wiley & Sons, where he is responsible for licensing, agent relations and copyright & permissions for Wiley’s academic journal and database content. In addition, he is also engaged in developing Wiley’s strategies and policies in areas such as government affairs, content sharing/syndication and text & data mining.

“I think that metadata is a crucial component of that,” Campbell continues. “One of the crucial aspects of this is how to identify articles, how to identify versions of articles and the sharing rules that apply to those articles. For example, if I’m a researcher and I’ve downloaded some PDF files of articles to my desktop and I’d like to upload them to a platform, at what point do I know whether I have the rights to upload that? Do I know which article version I’m uploading?”

Campbell, together with CCC’s Roy Kaufman, spoke with me recently for the Beyond the Book podcast series. The program is a “virtual” edition for “Get Fit for Licensing: Healthy Metadata and the EU Copyright Directive,” originally scheduled for the second day of London Book Fair 2020.

Healthy Metadata and the EU Copyright Directive

“The Digital Single Market Directive actually answers a lot of questions about the copyright status of text and data mining, while, like any piece of legislation, also opening up a brand-new set of questions,” says Kaufman, CCC’s Managing Director of both Business Development and Government Relations.

“The question that the EU was trying to wrestle with was … if you have a subscription to this content, do you need the publisher’s further consent for text and data mining? For that content, the EU decided if it’s sort of an academic, non-commercial use, you don’t need further permission from the publisher, but if it’s a commercial use, you do. This is very much in line with the position that the publishers had taken.”

Read the full transcript here.

Throughout March, CCC is delivering a series of virtual programming planned for London Book Fair presentations. For a complete schedule, please visit

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COVID-19: Beyond the Headlines Tue, 31 Mar 2020 20:40:13 +0000 Today’s headlines show us that in the face of regrettable loss of life, overwhelmed health systems worldwide, and major business disruption, the world can be united and work together to regain health and prosperity.

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Today’s headlines show us that in the face of regrettable loss of life, overwhelmed health systems worldwide, and major business disruption, the world can be united and work together to regain health and prosperity. Lots of stats and news grab the headlines. Here, I would like to go beyond the headlines and talk about the way I look at what is happening. Three areas that I want to make brief remarks on are: (1) data management and data quality, (2) the engagement of large consortia of public and private entities, and (3) the power of text mining in combating the COVID-19 outbreak.

Data Management & Data Quality

I have written before about the need for high-quality data in knowledge supply chains. Now, when we need to source, and act upon, all available knowledge as rapidly and effectively as possible, having high-quality data is of paramount importance. However, it turns out that even the most authoritative sources of data are prone to errors or inconsistencies. For example, a number of data inconsistencies have been reported related to the WHO Situation Reports. Promptly identifying and notifying the custodians of the information source of such data inconsistencies, as the University of Oxford team did, is very important. If this crisis doesn’t help us see FAIR data as an absolute necessity, I am not sure what will.

Public-private Partnerships are Vital

The discovery of effective therapies to treat COVID-19 will require tremendous effort and collaboration. Consortia and public-private partnerships are crucial in the fight against a threat like COVID-19. Two interesting examples of such consortia, with initiatives tackling COVID-19, are the Digital Transformation Institute (C3 DTI), and the EXaSCale smArt pLatform Against paThogEns (Exscalate). The C3 DTI was recently established by, Microsoft, the University of California Berkeley, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Chicago, MIT, and Princeton University. The goal of the Institute is to be a catalyst for cooperative research activities to accelerate advances in research. Exscalate is a consortium of 18 institutions from seven European countries which strives to identify molecules that could work against pathogens using advanced screening and computing techniques.

Text Mining

The importance of text mining has been underscored repeatedly in the past. In the context of COVID-19, the identification and extraction of chemical entities from scientific publications can lead to candidate compounds that can be repurposed because they specifically interact with SARS-CoV-2 vital proteins such as the 3-chymotrypsin-like cysteine protease (3CLpro or Mpro), Nsp12 RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase (RdRp), and Nsp13 helicase. This website provides excellent coverage of drug repurposing efforts and other developments towards the treatment of SARS-CoV-2.

In the home front, I am proud of the work that we do at CCC to support the needs of all participants in the scientific research and publishing ecosystem. We’re leveraging our Velocity of Content blog, our Beyond the Book podcast, and social media to amplify the voices of scientific research and publishing during these difficult times. From the simple action of washing our hands all the way to the use of text mining, we are all doing our fair share to fight this virus.

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Celebrating the Women Leading the Copyright Office Fri, 27 Mar 2020 09:10:27 +0000 To celebrate Women’s History Month, CCC praises the five women who have served (and are serving) as leaders of the U.S. Copyright Office.

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This post originally appeared on the Library of Congress Copyright Creativity at Work blog. Re-published with permission.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, I wanted to write about the five women who have served (and are serving) as leaders of the U.S. Copyright Office. Women have led this Office consecutively since November 1993, and their accomplishments are nothing short of incredible. These five lawyers (who all attended either Columbia Law School or George Washington Law) have contributed over 100 years of public service to the Copyright Office, counting all their roles. Here is just a snapshot of their accomplishments and contributions to copyright.

Barbara Ringer

Portrait of former Register of Copyrights Barbara Ringer

Barbara Ringer

Barbara Ringer was the first female Register of Copyrights, from 1973 to 1980. She joined the Office in 1949, served for thirty-one years, and then, after her retirement, returned for another year as Acting Register spanning 1993 and 1994. She was a champion of women’s rights in the workplace and is widely recognized as a principal architect of the Copyright Act of 1976. In addition to her widely acknowledged deep expertise on U.S. copyright law, she was an ardent supporter of the United States joining the international copyright community, and she led U.S. delegations at negotiations on international copyright conventions. Her famous 1974 article, “The Demonology of Copyright,” contains many insights on copyright law and technology still relevant today. She foresaw the analog world converting to a digital one and advocated that the Office must move to a digital database interwoven with the registration system. “We are on the verge of enormous technological change,” she said in 1993. “The Library and the Office should be at the center of what’s going on.”

Marybeth Peters

Portrait of former Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters

Marybeth Peters

On August 7, 1994, Marybeth Peters became the second female Register of Copyrights, having joined the Office in 1966 as a music examiner. Early in her career here, she completed her law degree at night. She later served as a policy planning advisor, working on both domestic and international issues. She wrote the Office’s General Guide on the 1976 Act, and with her teaching skills, she trained Office staff on the then-new law. Peters had a longer tenure (sixteen years) than any other Register except the first Register, Thorvald Solberg. As Register, Peters also oversaw the implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. She launched the triennial section 1201 rulemakings and testified before Congress on issues ranging from music to felony streaming. She also instituted online copyright registration and electronic copyright records. Upon her retirement in 2010, Peters said, “There were times when I was discouraged, although I never lost my belief in an electronic Office.” For those who know her, her laugh is unmistakably joyful.

Maria A. Pallante

Portrait of former Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallange

Maria A. Pallante

Maria A. Pallante worked at the Office during Peters’ tenure for a brief time in the 1990s and then returned to the Office in 2007, serving in several senior legal positions. In 2011, she was appointed Acting Register and then Register of Copyrights. When she was named Register, Pallante told the Office staff that “The Copyright Office is known for its leadership role before Congress and internationally. It is also known for bringing together stakeholders with diverse points of view.” Her 2013 lecture and article, “The Next Great Copyright Act,” was followed by the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives launching a two-year review of copyright law. There were 20 hearings and 100 witnesses, with Pallante serving as the first and final witness. Under her leadership, the Office completed a multiyear process, which, in 2014, resulted in the first comprehensive revision of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices in more than two decades. Pallante delivered eight major policy studies to Congress and developed a strategic plan and a provisional IT plan for the Office. She also created the Barbara A. Ringer Copyright Honors Fellowship, the Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence, and the Copyright Matters Lecture Series.

Karyn A. Temple

Portrait of former Register of Copyrights Karyn A. Temple

Karyn A. Temple

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden named Karyn A. Temple Acting Register in 2016 and then Register of Copyrights in 2019. Temple released our current strategic plan and also launched our work on modernization, which includes building a new Enterprise Copyright System, streamlining business processes, improving access to public records, and re-imagining the entire Office. Under her stewardship, she issued several policy studies (such as the Section 108 Discussion Document and the Moral Rights Report) and also oversaw the Office during the passage of the landmark Music Modernization Act. On the international front, she was active in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) work that led to the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty and the Beijing Treaty, and the United States amending its law to join the Marrakesh Treaty in 2019. Upon leaving the Office for the private sector in January 2020 after working at the Office for almost nine years, Temple said she was “proud of the significant accomplishments the Office has made in the past few years, from elimination of its backlog of pending registration claims to reduction of its application processing times to implementation of historic new copyright legislation to entirely new departments and outreach initiatives.”

Maria Strong

Portrait of Acting Register of Copyrights Maria Strong

Maria Strong

Maria Strong has been our Acting Register since January. She came to the Copyright Office in 2010, joining the Office of Policy and International Affairs, an office created by Peters and where Pallante and Temple also worked and led. Strong is committed to keeping the momentum of the many Office work streams moving forward. At the recent Copyright in the Age of Artificial Intelligence event, which the Office co-hosted with WIPO, she spoke about the work of the Copyright Office dealing with new technologies and legal changes. Strong observed, “Before I joined the Office, I had the pleasure of working with Marybeth on international issues for many years, and I met Barbara Ringer several times. Over the past decade, I enjoyed working with Karyn and Maria, learning from their perspectives on how to approach complex matters and strategies on both international and domestic copyright matters.” Strong added, “I am honored to serve as Acting Register. It’s really important to remember, in the midst of these challenging times, that this Office is composed of staff committed to public service and dedicated to our role contributing to the copyright ecosystem.”

I am proud to work for an organization that has a robust history of strong women leaders. Their legacies will last for many years to come.

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A Common Lot: Publishers & Researchers Thu, 26 Mar 2020 08:25:58 +0000 Throughout March, CCC is delivering a series of virtual programming planned for London Book Fair presentations.

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Throughout March, CCC is delivering a series of virtual programming planned for London Book Fair presentations. For a complete schedule, please visit:

On Monday, March 23, 2020, we released a podcast edition for “A Common Lot and Lot in Common,” originally scheduled for the second day of London Book Fair 2020.

Researchers and publishers have much in common. Dr. Milka Kostic recently told the Scholarly Kitchen blog that both “want to make a difference – they want to advance human health and wellbeing, the health of our planet, and of our society.”

Spurred by the movement toward Open Access and Open Science, transformative agreements prescribe educational programs on open access publishing for scholars. On their own and with third-party vendors, publishers also provide editorial assistance, social media services and career development guidance.

Panelists Kathryn Sharples of Wiley, Pablo Palmeiro at Editage, and Ros Pyne with Springer Nature shared with me how scholarly publishers have taken up a range of new approaches to strengthen relationships with researchers.

“Wiley, like many other publishers, is doing a huge amount of work to try to take as much of the pain as possible out of the publishing experience for our authors and researchers,” says Kathryn Sharples, Wiley’s Senior Director for Open Access.

“We know that it can be confusing to understand the different licenses that are available for open access publishing, [especially] the different types of Creative Commons ‘by’ attribution (CC-BY) licenses,” she explains. “We’ve spent a lot of time and a lot of effort trying to make that particular part of the publishing process as streamlined and as easy for authors to understand as possible.”

In 2020, scholarly research is a global endeavor, notes Pablo Palmeiro, Vice President, Publisher and Society partnerships, with Editage, a division of Cactus Communications.

“Researchers from China, Korea, Japan, Latin America, and Africa are producing high quality research,” he says. “Authors are looking for advice and help with the language editing of a paper so that it’s ready for publication and to better understand reviewer comments.”

According to Palmeiro, Editage provides English-language editing and author support services to academic and scholarly communities worldwide.
“Publishers are now understanding more than ever the ‘pain points’ [in the publishing process] for author, reviewer, and editor. They recognize the value editorial services have in their workflows and for supporting author communities.”

A Common Lot: Publishers & Researchers

In 2012, Springer Nature became one of the first open access book publishers, and in 2019, the publisher conducted a survey of scholarly authors asking for their views on the quality and impact of OA books. Springer Nature has quickly begun putting that data to use, says Ros Pyne, Director, Open Access Books.

“We really want everything that goes out to authors to be based in good research. Some of the things we’ve done recently include releasing two videos that introduce our OA books program,” she explains.

Earlier in March, to mark Academic Book Week, Springer Nature released a series of author testimonials for OA books on environmental topics. “I think that can be a really powerful way of communicating the benefits to hear from your peers, and we’ve had a really positive response to that on social media,” Pyne says.

Read the full transcript here.

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CCC Launches Education Continuity License Tue, 24 Mar 2020 15:14:40 +0000 CCC Partners with 40+ Rightsholders to Authorize New Uses of Existing Learning Materials at No Cost as Educators Cope with Remote Teaching During COVID-19 Crisis.

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The unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic has necessitated schools in the U.S. and around the world to shut their doors. As a result, many of us parents (and grandparents) have our school-age children at home. And while this creates the opportunity to spend quality time with the younger set, it is also a challenging time for the increasing number of schools and teachers who continue to strive to meet the educational needs of their pupils, as well as the curriculum demands of their states and regions, in the midst of these shutdowns. In that context, significant numbers of teachers and school administrators across the U.S. have been contacting Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) with urgent questions and requests about how they can use copyrighted materials to support new and creative methods of teaching their students at a distance. In response, CCC immediately began coordinating with its network of publishers and other rightsholders to provide a broad authorization for U.S. educators to address this critical need.

Here are the details of this new Education Continuity License:

• The new license authorizes educators in the U.S. to use publishers’ materials in distance learning models and other uses as required by the pandemic, at no cost, during this time of emergency.
• CCC will not collect fees from any party and will administer this service for no cost.
• In just a few days, nearly 50 publishers have agreed to grant these rights at no cost through this license. We continue to solicit publishers to participate.
• CCC has posted a form on its website so that educators can look up participating publishers and record their intended use of materials covered under the license.
• CCC is not delivering educational materials or content as part of the license; the license allows U.S. school districts, educators, parents and others to make immediate additional uses of materials that they have lawfully acquired.
• The authorization will run through mid-summer 2020, at which time CCC will work with rightsholders to assess whether an extension may be necessary.

As a parent and grandparent, this seems very much the right thing to be doing in these trying times. I also appreciate the responsiveness of the publishers who have so rapidly stepped up to the challenge of our times —in this and so many other ways.

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Publishers Putting Research & Information to Work Against COVID-19 Mon, 23 Mar 2020 08:50:34 +0000 An interview with Publishing Perspectives editor-in-chief Porter Anderson on CCC's Beyond the Book Podcast.

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In this time of pandemic, once ordinary medical resources have taken on greater importance, from simple thermometers to sophisticated ventilators.

Most highly prized of all may be peer-reviewed research and carefully curated information. Indeed, immediate access to research findings and reliable news sources can make a critical difference for individuals and entire nations.

In an effort to contribute to the common good, leading scientific news, trade, education and business publishers are offering open-to-read access to a deep pool of content on topics related to the novel virus and the COVID-19 disease pandemic it is creating.

Last week, Copyright Clearance Center published an alphabetical list of links to this important content on our Website. CCC will support this roll call of responsible publishing through our own social media channels to give it the greatest possible reach for individuals, academic researchers, commercial scientists and students.

Publishing Perspectives Editor-in-Chief Porter Anderson recently reported on how leading publishers across the scholarly publishing ecosystem have enlisted in this volunteer army of knowledge sharing. I spoke with him about this effort on CCC’s Beyond the Book podcast.

Publishers Putting Research & Information To Work Against COVID-19

“This is a moment for publishing not only to worry about what’s going to happen to its own business, but also to look at what publishing can do to help,” Anderson said. “What’s playing out here is another example of the international publishing business engaging in responses to the mushrooming coronavirus emergency.”

As one noteworthy example, Anderson cited the Novel Coronavirus Information Center for COVID-19, Elsevier’s free health and medical research on novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

“Elsevier has its own repository up and running, and is going ahead and contributing everything in that to PubMed Central,” he explained. “There are more than 19,500 articles, primarily from the journals Cell and The Lancet. It’s terrific to see.”

In addition, Anderson noted that Association of American Publishers CEO Maria Pallante issued a related statement on March 13. “In this urgent and serious environment, we are grateful to the many publishers who are doing their part to communicate valuable discoveries, analyses, and data as quickly as possible, including by making their copyrighted articles pertaining to the virus freely available for public use during this crisis, in both text and machine-readable formats,” AAP’s Pallante declared.

“I have to say the stories we’re doing right now on this are going through the ceiling in terms of readership,” Anderson observed. “Even for a situation as grave as this, it’s marvelous to see that people are curious, people are looking for the information. It’s good to see this level of curiosity. And I hope that means that they’re taking this situation very seriously.”

Read the full transcript here.

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Getting the Combination Right For Transformative Agreements Thu, 19 Mar 2020 15:49:18 +0000 Copyright Clearance Center brings together leaders from across Publishing to discuss the transition to Open Access

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Earlier this month, London Book Fair organizers announced cancellation of the 2020 program schedule for March 10-12. The news was disappointing, of course, though not unexpected at a time when the world is confronting the pandemic spread of COVID-19.

On Monday, CCC released a Beyond the Book podcast for “Getting the Combination Right For Transformative Agreements,” originally scheduled for the first day of London Book Fair 2020.

For the transition to Open Access to be sustainable over time, publishers are innovating to create frictionless, flexible, and scalable workflows for funders, institutions and researchers. Panelists Niamh O’Connor of PLOSSara Bosshart of IWA PublishingAdam Blow of Cambridge University Press and CCC’s Jennifer Goodrich shared with me insights on how they’ve adapted systems to support emerging needs under terms of Transformative Agreements.

Niamh O’Connor opened our discussion with an assessment of where PLOS fits in this time of transition and transformation.

“I think PLOS has always been at the forefront of [publishing] transition,” she said. “We are really proud to be a publisher that has made open access and open science a reality. What we see as the next step in open access is the transition to open science, and not just open access (OA).”

“We think we still have a lot to contribute,” O’Connor added. “There’s a huge amount of focus on how to transition subscription publishing models to an open access/open science culture. We want to make sure that those who have been publishing open access for a long time are part of that conversation. We want make sure that funding is available for those of us who are not transitioning, but just looking at ways that we can make sure that our journals are open for everybody.”

At IWA Publishing, the publishing branch of the International Water Association, Sara Bosshart is Open Access Publisher, where she is responsible for implementing a strategic transition towards open access. Originally a marine geologist, Sara began her career in publishing in 2013 at Frontiers, where she helped to launch a suite of new open access journals.

“We were one of the first smaller society publishers to start establishing transformative agreements. We started back in 2018, and we were really fortunate to get into contact with the KEMÖ Consortium in Austria and TU Delft and Wageningen University in the Netherlands,” Bosshart told me.

“They were very pro-OA and they were willing to work with a small society publisher right off the bat to develop models for which there were no precedents. We came out with was something we thought was both fair for us as a publisher, and also for the institutions, and was very transparent.”

For Cambridge University Press, Adam Blow, describes how “read-and-publish” agreements are essential for a sustainable transition to open access.

“That’s kind of the whole key, isn’t it?” he said. “Cambridge is very, very much on the side that at the current state of play, read-and-publish agreements are the best way for us at making gold open access happen for our list.

“Sustainable has to be sustainable for both parties. It’s about making sure that we get the revenues that we need as a not-for-profit academic press and support the communities that we represent around the world. And it’s about making sure that we don’t place unnecessary administrative or fiscal burdens on our customers.”

Pulling together these strands, my CCC colleague Jennifer Goodrich observed that 2020 marks a critical time.

“The arrival of January 1, 2020 and with it, the Horizon 2020 mandate, has added pressure to implement transformative agreements that publishers and their institution and consortia partners have been working on for some time,” she said.

“At CCC, we expedited some functionality in December, 2019, for RIghtsLink for Scientific Communications to be able to support certain kinds of transformative agreements,” Goodrich noted. “This is all about getting to open access more quickly and efficiently and in a sustainable and scalable way.”

Next Steps

Over the next several weeks, CCC will continue our series of virtual programming planned as London Book Fair presentations. For a complete schedule, please click here.

To learn more about CCC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.

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Diary of an R2R Workshop Wed, 18 Mar 2020 05:17:13 +0000 CCC’s Shannon Reville details her experiences at the Researcher 2 Reader Conference and what it means for the scholarly publishing ecosystem

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Approximately 50 people from all ends of the scholarly publishing ecosystem—librarians, funders, publishers and vendors—convened at four round tables at the Researcher to Reader conference to discuss the ever-hot topic of Transformative Agreements. Participants at each table brainstormed the issues, resolutions, and visions of the future for scholarly research, and I couldn’t help but reminisce of the days I sat at identical round tables in my school lunchroom. The electricity in the room was much the same; some peers with confidence and strong opinion leading the conversation, some quite tentative to say exactly what they think so as not to be ostracized from the others, and most everyone working to figure the right path forward as we learn the state of the world around us.

Looking back on my pages of notes, it only felt appropriate to document this session just as I would have a school lunch: in my diary. The current state of the OA ecosystem is, after all, akin to the confusion, pandering, and drama I once frantically poured into those journals.

Day 1, Session 1

As defined by the Efficiency and Standards for Article Changes Initiative (ESAC), Transformative Agreements are those “contracts negotiated between institutions (libraries, national and regional consortia) and publishers that transform the business model underlying scholarly journal publishing, moving from one based on toll access (subscription) to one in which publishers are remunerated a fair price for their open access publishing services.”

Our workshop discussions began with putting issues on the table and naming our fears. We answered the question, “What’s eating you about Transformative Agreements?”

Whether your role is as a researcher, publisher or institution, Transformative Agreements seem to be eating through every aspect of the scholarly publishing ecosystem – taking a bite out of time, funds, and business models.

The ongoing transition within scholarly publishing to an “open” ecosystem is definitely an ambitious objective – which is another way to say, “Help!” From open access publishing models to the broader notion of “open science,” stakeholders fear difficulties around every corner.

It’s reassuring, though, to see how we are all ready to admit that change to one part of the system has a ripple effect that leads to changes throughout the whole system. Ideas and suggestions from any one of us are inevitably countered with, “Yes, but what about…?” or, “OK, but that doesn’t work for [insert other stakeholder].”

Metadata (mainly, author affiliations) is not well collected and subsequently, the baseline reporting necessary to land some deals is not obtainable (or is quite incomplete).

Our workshop session could have gone on much longer than the time limit, I think!

Day 1, Session 2

Our afternoon exercise was to imagine “mash-up” solutions that incorporated best practices from across the stakeholder spectrum. These would be “new animals” with evolutionary features that incorporate adaptations to the new research and publishing environment.

The capacity for change to full Open Access (OA) is different for all stakeholders – whether commercial publishers with legacy business models; newer born-digital publishers; and society publishers for whom publishing is a means to an end, which is servicing members.

A commercial publisher working with legacy systems is expected to act just as quickly as one just spinning up or with a much smaller portfolio. It’s an unreasonable expectation, I’m beginning to realize.

There is room for all sorts of support here – helping institutions benchmark their progress against peers; providing tools for librarians to educate their non-OA team members/directors/provosts about the current OA climate; and OA training for campuses and libraries.

Day 2, Third and Final Session

Attendees were asked to prepare individual statements of what they each can do today to advance implementation of one or more best practices.

One table declared we need a cross-party platform able to process publication agreements, collect relevant data and other information, and issue compliance and financial reports to a variety of stakeholders.

In our two days together, our group reached consensus that collaboration among stakeholders should aim to relieve researchers of the administrative burden associated with Open Access compliance. When negotiating a Transformative Agreement, we recognized, the place to start is with the top level of an institution who can drive change throughout the entire organization.

And finally, we can only expect transparency from others when we advocate for it from ourselves.

Solutions Exist – Learn More

RightsLink is in use by dozens of the world’s leading publishers to manage APC workflows and a growing number of transformative agreements, creating a powerful RightsLink network effect that drives collaboration, partnership and innovation in the evolving scholarly publishing ecosystem. The value of the RightsLink network effect extends beyond publishers to thousands of authors, dozens of funders and over 100 institutions who trust RightsLink’s familiar user experience and flexible workflow.

To learn more or request a demonstration, please click here.

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