Open Access Must-Reads, October 2017

Together with the Association for Learned and Professional Publishing (ALPSP), Copyright Clearance Center is excited to share the Fall 2017 edition of the “Open Access Must-Reads” series – a thoughtfully curated selection of important articles from the past few months that expound upon “can’t miss” developments in the world of Open Access.

1) The Chronicle of Higher Education: Elsevier Embraces Data-Sharing Standards, in Step Toward Scientific Openness

The reach of the Transparency and Openness Promotion guidelines increased by over 50% when Elsevier committed its catalogue to the set of open standards. The guidelines will now be used by three of the world’s four largest scientific-journal publishers. Brian A. Nosek, co-founder and director of the Center for Open Science, counts this as a big “biggest affirmative step toward promoting data sharing across its entire journal portfolio.”

2) OA in European universities : Open Access: 2015-2016 EUA Survey results and Towards Full OA in 2020

The European University Association has issued two reports as output from the EUA Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science.
Open Access: 2015-2016 EUA Survey results reports on a survey which found that just over half of universities have an institutional policy on OA, with a further 23.6% in the process of developing one. However most of these are ‘encouragement’ policies and not mandates to deposit in the institutional repository. About a quarter of universities provide financial support for APCs.
Towards Full OA in 2020  provides recommendations for university leaders. It states that both Gold and Green routes to OA should be pursued, and that cost transparency is ‘non-negotiable requirement’. It states that greater awareness-raising about OA requirements and options is required, and that universities should develop policies to facilitate greater OA.

3) Australian government endorses OA

The Australian Federal Government recently confirmed its support of the recommendation for a national (and states and territories) OA policy in its response to the Australian Productivity Commission report on IP.
The recommendation (16.1) states that an OA policy should be implemented for all publicly funded research with a 12-month embargo period. The report also asks that the Australian government work to establish similar policies with the international agencies with which it collaborates.

4) Research Information: Finding a third way to open access

Rob Johnson advocates for walking a mile in each other’s shoes when it comes to the debate on open access. “The lack of communication between different open access stakeholders has big implications for authors. A recent study for Knowledge Exchange found that researchers in six European countries sometimes take more than an hour just to pay article processing charges (APCs).”

5) We’ve failed: Pirate black open access is trumping green and gold and we must change our approach

Sci-Hub has made nearly all articles freely available using a black open access model, leaving green and gold models in its dust.  Is there something structurally wrong with our approach to OA if, after twenty years, it has yet to reach sustainable ground in the industry? Toby Green answers this question and tackles the larger issue of what could be done to turn it around.


Author: Audrey McCulloch and Sue Kesner

Audrey McCulloch is the Chief Executive and Company Secretary of the Association for Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), and Sue Kesner is the Senior Director, Publisher Relations at Copyright Clearance Center. Sue represents CCC on the ALPSP North American Steering Committee. Sue and Audrey have been close friends and colleagues for more than five years.
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