Large Hadron Collider exhibit comes to town: an Open Access success story

By Sandra Fry

The world’s greatest scientific collaboration comes to Brisbane, Australia today with the opening of the Hadron Collider exhibit at the Queensland Museum.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest, most powerful particle accelerator ever built, consisting of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets which sits in a tunnel 100 metres underground at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland.

The project was dubbed the biggest science experiment of all time, and has involved thousands of scientists funded by hundreds of universities and governments around the world.

One of the most significant outcomes of the collaboration has been the very deliberate focus on ensuring the findings are available freely and openly.  The sciences have been leading the movement towards Open Access (OA) and an increasing number of Australian research organisations including universities, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council policies have OA policies.  The Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) advocates on behalf of its member universities who are based in Australia and New Zealand and its affiliates to promote OA through collaboration and raising awareness.

One of the biggest discoveries to come from the LHC was in 2012 with the discovery of Higgs boson elementary particle – it was last remaining particle from the Standard Model of particle physics to be observed.  Australian Professor Geoffrey Taylor  (pictured below) is a director and chief investigator at the Centre of excellence in Particle Physics (CoEEP) at the University of Melbourne.  He was heavily involved in the Higgs boson discovery along with many other Australian scientists and said it came after decades of inquiry around across the globe.


“It was a very fundamental discovery, and it was a component of the Standard Model which was missing, but through this building of the Large Hadron Collider scope, its higher energies, higher intensities, we were capable of discovering the Hicks and we did.

“So that was a massive step forward for understanding the fundamental basis of the universe, and what particles are made of and what their basic interactions are.”

Professor Taylor said this LHC exhibition presents science on industrial scale, and that has benefits in the community.

“First of all it drives this collaboration for ventures in science and engineering, but on the other side of the coin, it involves major industrialisation and commercial involvement, and knowledge transfer.”

He said there is a large amount of technology which comes out of this research which is all publicly funded.

“Something like two or three times the turnover of what it would cost…. which I think it’s important for the public to know, it’s not just a drain … it generates growth.”

Much of the research being extracted from experiments using the LHC is made available around the globe via Open Access initiatives.

According to Dr Salvatore Mele, from CERN (pictured below), research in the field of physics has always been openly available.


“For more than half a century, researchers mailed each other hard copies of preprints, preliminary articles they had submitted for publication”  Dr Mele said, and now there are repositories like, all around the work hosting millions of  Open Access articles and preprints.

“Thanks to our Open Access initiative SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), most of the articles in the field are also Open Access in their final peer-reviewed published version.

Dr Mele said that by aligning the mission of researchers, libraries, funding agencies and publishers it is possible to remove access barriers.

“Just imagine if all medical research was available to any single medical worker anywhere in the world,” he said.

Dr Mele said the impact of these scientific discoveries being available freely and openly has enormous impact on the research community.

“We have a way to measure how often these ‘preprints’, preliminary articles in our field, cite each other. This means that by being openly and freely available,ideas can spread before being formally published: we see that these citations happen up to one year before the day in which articles are published.

“Open Access accelerates science!” he said.

“Another way to measure impact is how often scientific articles are downloaded. While you cannot be sure this means someone has read them and got an idea – that of course cannot happen if you do not read the articles. We have been amazed to see that journals that SCOAP3 has made openly accessible on publisher web sites are downloaded twice as much as before.”  Five Australian universities are part of the consortium that supports SCOAP3, including two in Queensland, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Griffith University, as well as ANU, The University of Melbourne and the University of Western Australia.

Dr Mele said the research community should not only share their work with peers in other disciplines, they should engage with libraries and funding agencies to support Open Access as part of the investment in research.

There is increasing pressure by funding agencies at national and international levels to embrace Open Access, Dr Mele said.

“Large charities, such as the Wellcome Trust and now the Gates Foundation, have been instrumental in moving this agenda and raise awareness in important areas in the life sciences and medical research, among others.

“In Europe, governments have agreed in the importance of Open Access in particular and Open Science in general: in May this year ministers of the European Union Member states concluded that Open Access should become the default for scientific publishing.

He said there are no negatives in making research open to everyone for free.

“In some fields there is hesitation about using them [open access journals], their reputation, and how to pay for them. In our field we see that research published in Open Access journals is downloaded twice as much as before, and by virtue of the fact that authors do not need to pay for this service, there are neither barriers nor hesitations,” Dr Mele said.

The Hadron Collider: Step Inside the World’s Greatest Experiment opens at the Queensland Museum & Sciencentre on December 9.

Authors Alliance chief reflects on NZ Writers Forum panel


Mike Wolfe

Earlier this year Executive Director of the Authors Alliance and Copyright Research Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, Michael Wolfe, visited Australia and New Zealand.  He is a vocal advocate for the retention of copyright to authors.  He reflects here on the ‘Copyright and Contracts’ panel discussion at the NZ National Writers Forum. 

When it comes to issues surrounding copyright and publishing contracts, there will always be healthy disagreement in the writing world. Authors, diverse as they are, will have different priorities and strategies, and it should not be any other way. This is the spirit with which my organisation, Authors Alliance, approaches its discussions, and very much what I expected from the “Copyright and Contracts” panel at the inaugural National Writers Forum in Auckland this September.

Within that paradigm, most of the discussion was just right. I could expect and respect Paula Browning’s calls for longer copyright terms and skepticism of US-style “fair use”; although I strongly disagree with her views on those points, authors and their advocates might reasonably hold such positions. And Joan Rosier-Jones was unquestionably right to call attention to and condemn predatory publisher practices that take advantage of authors’ aspirations and hope for recognition.

But what Sam Elworthy of Auckland University Press and Copyright Licensing New Zealand proffered as author-friendly advice moved beyond the realm of polite disagreement. Elworthy was tasked with presenting the publisher’s perspective on what authors should know about copyright and contract. He may have captured some publishers’ perspectives, but unfortunately his advice was not of the sort authors ought to know.

To start, Elworthy used his first tip—that authors should clear rights to included third-party works—to cast aspersions on the quality of Creative Commons-licensed works. This casual dismissal of an enormous collection of creative work and of its authors was saddening. At a celebration of writers and writing, why should a speaker feel the need to denigrate authors and the means by which they choose to make their works available? Especially when the assertion that these works are of inferior quality is, at best, poorly informed. To start, I would direct him to books by Authors Alliance members like Cory Doctorow, Robert Darnton, Don Herzog, James Boyle, and dozens of others. In New Zealand, Thom Sleigh’s novel Ad Lib was released under a CC licence and was a NZ Listener top 100 title. But this admonition should not be necessary—as a director of a university press, he must surely be aware of the significant amount of quality scholarship presently being released under Creative Commons licences. And it is hard to imagine that he has somehow missed (or dismissed?) the myriad CC-licensed books released by his colleagues at the university presses at Oxford, Yale, Amsterdam, Duke, California, MIT . . . the list goes on. It is similarly hard to imagine that he has forgotten that some of his press’ own authors choose to publish work under Creative Commons licences. Why, then, take this position?

Otherwise, Elworthy did tell an appealing story. Assign all your rights, he said, and licensing markets will ensure your work will be translated, excerpted, and distributed around the world. That licensing revenue—some of which will come back to you in royalties!—is what makes the creative world work, he said.

Personally, as the speaker who had just cautioned attendees to carefully guard their rights, and be cautious and strategic in signing them away, I was taken aback by the prescription. Like all the most convincing and persistent myths, Elworthy’s is built around a kernel of truth. Sometimes, a given publisher is well positioned to license global rights, and its motivation to sell and market work can redound to the author’s benefit. Most business-savvy authors will likely choose to license their rights piecemeal to better maximise their returns and know their partners, and those looking to maximise public reach will look to options like Creative Commons. But all the same, many authors, having examined their options and circumstances, might nevertheless reasonably decide that carefully assigning their entire copyright to their publisher is in their best interest.

But the potential downsides of authors signing away their copyright just because the publisher thinks they should are toxic. As global copyright terms continually creep upward (now standing at 50 years past the life of the author and climbing), authors signing away their rights make an increasingly weighty commitment. Assigning all rights to a publisher that is unable or unwilling to make full use of them can serve to keep work locked up beyond the public’s reach, often with little (or difficult) recourse for the author. This is not a decision to be made lightly, and certainly not as a matter of course.

And make no mistake: even the best and brightest publishers have a lousy track record of keeping work in print, much less preserved and accessible in the formats, venues, countries, and languages that an author might find important. Today, the scale of this lack of stewardship has left the vast majority of our 20th-century literary and scholarly heritage moldering away out of print and offline.

Fortunately, it is not at all difficult to have a publishing contract reserve certain rights to the author or return those rights that go unexploited. This is why at Authors Alliance we work to provide resources and advice to empower our members to avoid seeing their work’s availability suffer from a lack of publisher stewardship or the vagaries of the marketplace. Our efforts include information designed to help authors recover their rights to their older and out-of-print titles, and materials designed to help authors thinking about releasing their work on open terms, such as Creative Commons licences. When it comes to publishing agreements, we are working on a comprehensive guide to how authors can avoid the kinds of pitfalls that might put their work in purgatory. Frankly, this is the baseline of what authors deserve, publisher presentations to the contrary notwithstanding.

© Mike Wolfe 2016 CC BY

AOASG October Newsletter

21 October 2016: what’s in this month’s newsletter

Open Access Week

What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing in AU & NZ
What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally
Innovation in publishing models
Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing
OA week update
Recent writing & resources on OA

Comments on this month’s news and suggestions for inclusion in the next newsletter, planned for November, are always welcome.

Follow @openaccess_anz on twitter for daily updates.

Open Access Week 2016

Open Access week is October 24-28. There are many events globally including many in Australia and New Zealand – these are listed on our site and will be updated if we hear of more. The theme of the week is “Open in Action” and it is intended to be as inclusive as possible. See the SPARC portal for ideas.

AOASG will be tweeting throughout the week. Please let us know if you want us to highlight anything and please join us for a round up of the week at a tweetchat on Friday, 28 Oct 2016 2pm NZ; Noon AEDT; 11am AEST; 9 am AWST. All welcome. Tag tweetw with #openaccessanz

We also now have an Instagram account for any OA images to highlight. Please tag with  #openaccessanz

What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing in AU & NZ

AUT lauches Tuwhera: a new OA publishing platform
Tuwhera – meaning open in Te Reo Māori has two journals in its titles:  Pacific Journalism Review & Applied Finance Letters

ASIC company data should be open and free
The Australian government is planning to privatise the management of the Australian Securities and investments Commission database of companies.  In this artilcle  argues that this could be a potential damaging move against the government’s own open data policy.

New OA repository for ANU
Link Digital will work with the Australian National University on an innovative project called MDbox: The open access repository for molecular dynamics (MD) simulation data.

Open Library Foundation launched
A number of Australian libraries are taking part in projects being run out of the newly launched Open Library Foundation which has been established to promote open source projects for libraries and to foster and support contribution, distribution, and sustainability of the benefits of these projects.

Open access to weather data report
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) released Terms of Reference and a Request for Proposal (RfP)  for a report on open access to weather data.

How do researchers experience Open Access?
A research team at QUT is looking for Australian academic researchers who have used open access sources and content to develop an understanding of their information literacy experience.  If you would like to participate click on the above link.

What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally


Investigating OA monograph services: Final report 
A project to explore potential future services to support open access monograph publishing,
funded by Jisc Collections and conducted by Jisc Collections and OAPEN Foundation.

OA Publishing Policies in Science Europe Member Organisations
Key Results from Science Europe and Global Research Council Surveys

10,000 OA submissions
Ten thousand reasons to celebrate Open Access at Cambridge

OA journal eLife introduces $2,500 author fee
Bioscience journal eLife will charge a  publication fee from January 2017 to help cover the cost of its business.

Report:  OpenAIRE’s Experiments in Open Peer Review
Public report of the Open Peer Review Experiments hosted by OpenAIRE2020 and conducted by OpenScholar CIC, The Winnower, and OpenEdition.

What it means to be Green: exploring publishers’ changing approaches to Green open access
The number of publishers allowing some form of self-archiving has increased noticeably over the last decade or so.

Concordat on Open Research Data launched
Four of the UK’s leading research organisations have launched a concordat that proposes a series of clear and practical principles for working with research data.

Gold for Gold scheme to end 2017
Royal Society of Chemistry is adapting its approach to be in the best position to shape the future of open access publishing for the benefit of our community. With this in mind, it will bring its Gold for Gold pilot to an 2017.

Austrian Courts Uphold Creative Commons License Terms — For Now
15 years after the CC movement started the courts are still trying to bring legal clarity to the use of CC licenses.

Towards 100% OA
This is a spearhead project that the Netherlands, as President of the Council of Europe from January to July 2016, put on the agenda.

Milestone for OASPA
The Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association has announced that  the number of their members has now reached the 100 mark.
Clapping Hands Sign on Google Android 7.0

Open Library of Humanities and University of Wales Press partner to convert journal to full open access 
The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) has entered into a partnership with the University of Wales Press (UWP) to convert the International Journal of Welsh Writing in English into a full, gold open-access journal.

Why Wellcome has set publisher requirements for OA

Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at the Wellcome explains why they have taken this step.  Jisc supports Wellcome’s OA requirements for publishers noting that
“It is incredibly helpful to have a funder of Wellcome’s standing be so clear about its expectations in this area.  APCs already constitute a multi-million pound market, which makes it important that everyone is clear about what is being paid for.”

Cogent OA: Creative Commons, Copyright, Open Access Knowledge Base
What might copyright look like in the twenty-first century?

German research ministry demands OA
In a new policy announcement, all research funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research will have to be open access.

GeRDI to be model of a linked research data infrastructure
Nationwide project GeRDI is to set up a linked research data infrastructure as a German contribution to the European Open Science Cloud.

The European Commission Mandates Open Data from 2017
Horizon 2020 is an €80 billion fund for research from the European Commission. Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said in a statement that “as of the Work Programme 2017, the current Open Research Data Pilot will be extended to cover all thematic areas of Horizon 2020, making open research data the default setting.

Ireland explores Open Data benefits for Health
With the implementation of the Revised Public Sector Information Directive and the National Open Data Strategy in Ireland, more and more Irish government agencies are publishing Open Data. This has resulted in publishing over four thousand datasets on the Irish Open Data Portal.


Open Library Foundation Established
The Open Library Foundation has been established to promote open source projects for libraries and to foster and support contribution, distribution, and sustainability of the benefits of these projects.

CRL’s “Pivot” to Open Access
As of 2017, all digital materials hosted on the web by Centre for Research Libraries which derive from source materials in the public domain or for which CRL has secured the requisite rights and permissions, will be available without restriction.

Monthly MIT OA stats in an infographic

Rewarding open access scholarship in promotion and tenure Driving institutional change
Here the efforts of one institution, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), to reward OA scholarship in the P&T process are described.

Case law access project: Harvard Law today
Harvard is digitising nearly 40 million pages of case law so it  can be accessed online and for free.

Mastering OA metrics
Like their subscription-based counterparts, Open Access articles’ metadata is essential to measuring its impact in the academic world. This article is one of a series on new publishing issues.

OA boosts citation rates at UM
Open access papers attract up to a fifth more citations than those locked away in closed journals, a new study has found. Jim Ottaviani, librarian at the University of Michigan, looked at what happened when his institution made papers available through its repository and found that “an open access citation advantage as high as 19 per cent exists”.

65/100 most cited works paywalled
This article looked systematically look at the top one hundred cited papers of all time and found that 65% of these papers are not open. as they note “Stated another way, the world’s most important research is inaccessible from the majority of the world.”

Publishers Appeal GSU Copyright Case
Following their second district court loss in eight years of litigation, the publisher plaintiffs in Cambridge University Press vs. Patton (known commonly as the GSU e-reserves case) have again appealed the case.

Why academics are losing relevance?
A January 2015 Pew Research Center study found an alarming chasm between the views of scientists and the views of the public. This article in The Conversation discusses the issue and suggests some approaches.

And in other international news…

Open Access Journals Strategy in Algeria
The importance of Open Access (OA) was recently recognised by Algerian scientists, libraries and publishers.

Discriminating between Legitimate and Predatory Open Access Journals:
Report from the International Federation for Emergency Medicine Research Committee

Springer Nature seals strategic cooperation agreement with the NSFC
Springer Nature and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) have entered into a strategic cooperation framework agreement.

Open Access World Bank Publications on Entrepreneurship, Jobs, and Skills
These publications were compiled as a resource for participants at the 2016 Rotary Presidential Conference on Economic Development in Cape Town, South Africa.

OA in China:
China has committed to rapid growth in scientific research and development recently, and this is reflected in the solid evidence for a strongly developing open access research base. This Science Open blog discusses some of the issues.

Negotiating Openness:  Are participation and access enough?
Hugo Ferpozzi of the “Can OCS Meet Social Needs?” project  writes on how scientific knowledge is commonly expected to address social demands based on local problems, but the groups affected by these problems are not always capable of taking advantage of scientific knowledge outputs themselves.

Innovation in publishing models

New  Journals

Wellcome Open Research is  now open for submissions 
Wellcome Open Research, the Wellcome’s new publishing platform is now online. The platform, which was announced in July, aims to make research outputs available faster, and to support reproducibility and transparency.


Mistaking the symptom for the disease: preprints in biomedical science 
In this essay for the Winnower Yarden Katz notes that “Back in February, much significance was attributed to the fact that some biologists, including Nobel laureate Carol Greider, were posting their research articles directly on the web. Amy Harmon wrote about it for the New York Times and others looked for reasons why a culture of preprints—research published online before being submitted for peer-review—developed in physics, but not biology.” He concludes ” The hard work ahead will be to create a movement of scientists who value open science culture at their earliest stages in research, and to restructure incentives so that these scientists have a path for survival.”


Latin American Collections Now Available in Digital Repository
More than 500,000 books from the stacks of the Benson Latin American Collection, a trove of treasures related to Latin America, have been digitised and are now accessible online.

Ireland explores Open Data benefits for Health
With the implementation of the Revised Public Sector Information Directive and the National Open Data Strategy in Ireland, more and more Irish government agencies are publishing Open Data. This has resulted in publishing over four thousand datasets on the Irish Open Data Portal. 

COAR provided a brief report of the 2016 Chinese Institutional Repository Conference and  announced the launch of the new repository group in China, CHAIR

Time to re-think the institutional repository?
“Seventeen years ago 25 people gathered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to discuss ways in which the growing number of e-print servers and digital repositories could be made interoperable.” Richard Poynder raises some questions here, which were well rebutted by  others, including Kathleen Shearer Executive Director of  COAR.

Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing

The DARIAH Winter School “Open Data Citation for Social Science and Humanities” is set to take place in Prague on 24th-28th of October, 2016. Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Open Con will be on 12-14 November in Washington, DC, with satellite events hosted around the world.
New Zealand’s National Digital Forum Conference at Te Papa in Wellington will run from 21 -23  November 2016.

Open Repositories 2017 Conference  26-30 June 2017  Brisbane, Australia
OR2017 theme is:   Innovation | Knowledge | Repositories

Recent writing & resources on OA

Articles of interest

Sweet, Sweet Irony: 7 Papers That Should be Open Access But Aren’t 

Does publishing a book as Open Access affect print sales?

The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review

The Post-Embargo Open Access Citation Advantage: It Exists (Probably), It’s Modest (Usually), and the Rich Get Richer (of Course)

Open access and the transformation of academic publishing: A view from Cultural Anthropology

Open access and open science – a debate 

Managing an Open Access Fund: Tips from the Trenches and Questions for the Future

Hybrid open access—A longitudinal study

A study of institutional spending on open access publication fees in Germany

Open access journals in educational technology: Results of a
survey of experienced user

OA publishing of research data in the Humanities


Altmetrics for Librarians: 100+ tips, tricks, and examplesThis ebook provides the “nuts and bolts” needed to use altmetrics in a variety of library-land scenarios, including:

  • Making collection development decisions
  • Managing institutional repositories
  • Helping faculty assemble evidence for their tenure & promotion packets
  • Teaching workshops on altmetrics

Addition to Creating the 21st-Century Academic Library Series

Volume 9 of the series Creating the 21st-Century Academic Libraryis the first of two addressing the topic of open access in academic libraries and focuses on policy and infrastructure for libraries that wish to provide leadership on their campus in the transition to more open forms of scholarship.

New and Featured OA Journals

Want more OA news?

We can’t cover everything here! For daily email updates the best ways to keep up to date is the Open Access Tracking Project.

We Tweet throughout each day and our curated newsfeed on the website is updated regularly.

The newsletter archive provides snapshots of key issues throughout the year.

Author advocate champions OA licensing


Mike Wolfe: Executive Director  – Authors Alliance & Copyright Research Fellow – Berkley Centre for Law & Technology

Recently the Queensland University of Technology Library and Office of Research Ethics and Integrity ran targeted workshops on Authorship and Publication for authors and researchers.

The two half-day sessions comprised a step-by-step guide to getting your research published, from shortlisting journals to responding to peer review.

One of the highlights of the event was a workshop from US copyright attorney and executive director of the Authors Alliance Mike Wolfe.

Mr Wolfe is a vocal advocate for the retention of copyright to authors and urged all writers to protect their right to be named as the author of their work.

He said Open Access is increasingly becoming a more widely accepted practice in publishing and ensuring your work is available Open Access will ensure its longevity in the public realm.

“When publishers hold all rights to a work we have to question how long it will ultimately be made available and sadly, for better for worse most copyrighted works have a relatively short commercial life empirically, selling for a few years or less.

“There are a number of things that authors can do about this. Part of it is just negotiating their contracts in a smart and interesting way, taking advantage of institutional resources that can help make sure that your work is available regardless of what happens to its commercial life. The other is to have it widely available from the beginning so this is open access publishing.” he said.

Mr Wolfe raised the following questions for authors to ask in relation to accessibility:

  • If you have concerns about the short term availability of your work?
  • Who can read it today?
  • How can I get it to the most readers fastest?
  • And the long term availability, of whether it will remain accessible?
  • Available in print?
  • Is it still commercially viable?

He said Open Access solves these questions by removing the commercial liability aspect of the equation.

Mr Wolfe also provided workshop participants with insightful advice about entering into publishing contracts, and protecting authors’ rights to use their own content.

He outlined three rules for approaching a publishing contract:

  1. Read the contract
  2. Negotiate
  3. Keep a copy

He acknowledged that researchers and authors can be so thrilled to be offered a contract,  they often forget the basics necessary to protect them and their work.  He said the three rules above are “extremely easy not to do.”

“As an author what you should ask, as a writer, as an owner of copyright, when you are signing them away in the course of a publishing contact it’s important to understand who is able to read your work, where around the world and on what terms.  And ultimately how long it will remain accessible.

“Open Access publishing resolves both long and short term availability for creators, ” he said.

The Authors Alliance has produced the following handbooks which can be downloaded for free.

Understanding Open Access

Understanding Rights Reversion





AOASG September Newsletter

6th September, 2016:  What’s in this month’s newsletter

What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing in AU & NZ
What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally
Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing
OA week update
Recent writing & resources on OA

Comments on this month’s news and suggestions for inclusion in the next newsletter, planned for October, are always welcome.

Follow @openaccess_anz on twitter for daily updates.

Australia & New Zealand

AOASG is delighted to have formed affiliations with both Creative Commons  Australia and Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand.  We already work with Creative Commons  in a number of ways. Last year we collaborated with Creative Commons  Australia on the production of a resource “Know your rights” to explain what the licenses mean for users. Together, we run regular online meet ups in Australia and New Zealand thus supporting communities of practices in both places.

ORCID adoption in New Zealand
New Zealand is joining the wave of countries to support and adopt ORCID. On July 26 New Zealand’s peak bodies representing the scientific and research community, along with funding agencies, released a joint statement of principle supporting the adoption and use of ORCID identifiers across the research and science system.

Internet New Zealand and Creative Commons Aotearoa
Internet New Zealand has announced a renewed  partnership with Creative Commons Aotearoa which sees $50,000 of funding focused on education and research around Internet use and open access information. A focus will be on copyright and licensing of online content in primary and secondary schools.

Big Business rally’s against data sharing
Australia’s largest enterprises are lobbying against the possibility of new regulations governing the sharing of data, arguing they should be allowed to come up with such arrangements on their own.

New ALIA Open Access Hub
Called ALIA READ (Resources, Electronic and Archived Documents), it’s designed to be an open access hub for ALIA (Australian Libraries Information Association) generated information.



Breast Cancer Now – OA policy released
After  a recent reviewed of its OA policy, the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity group Breast Cancer Now will now support a Green OA model instead of a Gold OA model  due to cost and the rapidly evolving OA landscape.

Call for OA study tenders
The European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA) has published a call for tenders in relation to a study on open access to publications and research data management within ERC projects.

EU “link tax” concern
The “introduction in EU law of a related right covering online uses of news publications” is exactly what civil society groups like Save the Link are criticising as a link tax.

How to support OA journal Editors & Publishers
Raising visibility of their journals on the Web: Serbian journal editors take part in one of four popular edit-a-thons at which they created entries for their journals on Wikipedia.

Status of OA in Nordic countries
Nordic Open Access policies and guidelines that are harmonised in relation to each other could make research more visible with wider international impact.

LIBER’s New Open Access Working Group
The Association of Europe’s Research Libraries put together the Working Group on Open Access to further advance the shift towards openness.

National Library of Sweden signs deal for pre-paid OA

The National Library of Sweden has signed an agreement with Springer, which KTH royal Institute of Technology has joined. More than 1650 hybrid journals are included in the agreement.

eLife reveals publication costs
Life sciences journal spends just over £3,000 per article, and has challenged high-profile rivals to release details of their costs

Institutional spending on open access publication fees in Germany
This study contributes to the evolving empirical basis for funding these charges and examines how much German universities and resource organisations spent on open access publication fees.

ERU posts guidelines under Horizon 2020
Guidelines on the Implementation of Open Access to scientific publications and research data in projects supported by the European research Council under Horizon 2020.

Open access agreement for UK authors

Springer makes national agreement with UK institutions with access to more than 2,000 of Springer’s subscription journals, to allow all (participating institution) authors to publish open access in subscription journals that offer the Open Choice option.

New Infographic on Open Science target audiences and geographic reach
(Foster 2014-2016).


Elsevier patent shock
On August 30, the Patent Office issued U.S. Patent No. 9,430,468, titled; “Online peer review and method.” The owner of this patent is none other than Elsevier, the giant academic publisher.

Publisher charged with deceiving researchers
The US Federal Trade Commission has charged the publisher of hundreds of purported online academic journals with deceiving academics and researchers about the nature of its publications and hiding publication fees ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Publishers of fake journals charged in Beijing
And in another move, this time in China, a pay-to-publish chain of fake academic journals has been shut down and its operators now face charges.

NASA launches OA portal
NASA is the latest of the  US funding agencies to announce its policy on Access to Federally Funded Research – a list is maintained by SPARC. NASA’s is especially interesting, as it is to be delivered via a repository managed by PubMed Central, and is called “PubSpace”.  They note specifically “Papers available through publishers’ web sites do not fulfil the authors’ obligations under the NASA Public Access Policy.”

And in other international news…

6 new journals to join humanities library
The Open Library of Humanities platform has announced 6 new journals to join its library later this year.

Thomson Reuters blog on paying for OA APCs
A blog that discusses the Pay It Forward project from UC Davis and California Digital Library: Investigation of the Institutional Costs of Gold Open Access

De Gruyter Open author survey
Examination of the attitudes of academic authors around the world towards open access publishing, including their experiences.

Sci-Hub website causing major controversy
Sci-Hub is viewed by the publishing community and many authorities as a major pirate of copyright protected material while at the same time, seen by the global scientific research community, especially those located in less affluent nations, as an essential source of information. This blog takes a look at it from a legal standpoint.Open access papers always attract more citations
A study on citations by 1Science of 3.3 million papers indexed in Web of Science published between 2007 and 2009 found increased citations across all fields. In agriculture, for example, the average citations of OA papers was 35% higher than of non-OA papers.Going beyond impact factors
While the “publish or perish” culture in science won’t break bones, it does have a negative impact – the prevalence of scientific fraud. A view from an academic at the frontline of publishing


New open science Preprints
OSF have launched a new cross-archive search engine for Preprints in many different fields.More funding for biology preprint server

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s free, not-for-profit preprint service bioRxiv has received new financial support. BioRxiv hosts more than 5,500 manuscripts featuring the work of 23,500 scientists from more than 40 countries.

American Chemical Society to establish preprint server
The American Chemical Society has announced its intention to form ChemRxiv, a chemistry preprint server for the global chemistry community, proposed as a collaborative undertaking that will facilitate the open dissemination of important scientific findings.


SpaceNet Open Data debut
SpaceNet is a collaboration between DigitalGlobe, CosmiQ Works, and NVIDIA. Images are now freely available as a public data set on Amazon Web Services.

Indian Uni launches Open repository
NUV institutional digital repository has been created to collect, preserve and distribute the scholarly output of Navrachana UniversityPalestine Unis launch OA project
Four universities in Palestine will work with universities in Europe and EIFL to set up open access repositories that will open up their research to the world

Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing

Mike Wolfe of the Authors Alliance will be coming to Aotearoa for a few days this month. He’ll be speaking a variety of events, listed here.

InternetNZ has announced three NetHui events for 2016: Nelson on 13 October, South Auckland on 15 October, and Rotorua on 17 October.
OpenTrials to launch at Berlin World Health Summit
The launch of the OpenTrials project in which Open Knowledge is developing an open, online database of info about the world’s clinical research trials will take place at the ‘Fostering Open Science in Global Health’ workshop 10/10/16.

The DARIAH Winter School “Open Data Citation for Social Science and Humanities” is set to take place in Prague on 24th-28th of October, 2016. Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Open Con will be on 12-14 November in Washington, DC, with satellite events hosted around the world.

OASPA’s 8th Conference on OA Scholarly Publishing (COASP) will be on 21st & 22nd September, 2016. at Westin Arlington Gateway, Virginia.

New Zealand’s National Digital Forum Conference at Te Papa in Wellington will run from 21 -23  November 2016.

OA week 2016

The theme for this year’s 9th International Open Access Week, to be held October 24-30, is “Open in Action.”

We will be hosting a page at to highlight regional initiatives and will be featuring them in the newsletter next month. Please email with any you want added. You can also add events directly to the list of global OA week events which is here.

Recent writing & resources on OA

New OA book on OA

Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future published by Cambridge University Press, offers a background to open access and its specifics for the humanities disciplines, as well as setting out the economics and politics of the phenomenon. Preface by Peter Suber.

Dangerous predatory publishers threaten medical research

Measuring Altruistic Impact: A Model for Understanding the Social Justice of Open Access

Continuing Professional Education in Open Access  ̶  a French-German Survey

Literature Review on Shifting Journals to Open Access | Inside Higher Ed
A literature review on converting scholarly journals from subscription to open access has been published by the Harvard University Office for Scholarly Communication.

Updated GOAJ & Countries of OA World by Walt Crawford

EC Research & Innovation H2020 online manual
These guidelines clarify the rules on open access that cover beneficiaries in projects funded or co-funded under Horizon 2020.

CC Exploring open textbooks to improve education in Uganda
Open policy project – Institute for Open Leadership.

Want more OA news?

We can’t cover everything here! For daily email updates the best ways to keep up to date is the Open Access Tracking Project.

We Tweet throughout each day and our curated newsfeed on the website is updated regularly.

The newsletter archive provides snapshots of key issues throughout the year.

AOASG and Creative Commons Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

AOASG is delighted to have formed affiliations with both Creative Commons  Australia and  Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand.

Over the past year, the AOASG has changed its focus and its name from being purely Australian and focused on support (Australian Open Access Support Group) to being Australasian and with more of an emphasis on strategy (Australasian Open Access Strategy Group). As publishing changes globally, especially the move to a more open publishing world, the role of supporting infrastructure and standards such as licenses from Creative Commons becomes even more strategically important.


We already work with Creative Commons  in a number of ways. Last year we collaborated with Creative Commons  Australia on the production of a resource “Know your rights” to explain what the licenses mean for users. Together, we run regular online meet ups in Australia and New Zealand thus supporting communities of practices in both places.

creativecommonskiwi-300x278However, Creative Commons’ work in areas outside the remit of AOASG – such as the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums (GLAM) and schools  provides a welcome opportunity to reach out beyond the boundaries of traditional scholarly publishing. In return, we hope that the affiliation of Creative Commons  Australia and Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand with AOASG will reinforce the importance of licenses within the academic publishing community.

We look forward to more collaborations across the three organisations in future.


AOASG August 2016 newsletter

8 August 2016: what’s in this month’s newsletter

What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing in AU & NZ
What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally
Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing
OA week update
Recent writing & resources on OA

If it were possible, this past couple of months has seen even more of an acceleration of news and initiatives in Open Access. Below, we’ve highlighted some of major relevance. Comments on this month’s news and suggestions for inclusion in the next newsletter, planned for September, are always welcome.
In the meantime follow @openaccess_anz on twitter for daily updates.

What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally

General new initiatives

Support for abolition of subscriptions
Nearly two-thirds of UK researchers support the abolition of subscriptions and a move to open access, according to a major study commissioned by Jisc and Research Libraries UK.

Pre-payment agreements begin
The European Union FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot is now moving onto the pre-payment agreement implementation stage.

New Wellcome publishing venue
The Wellcome trust announced that starting later this year it was implementing a new way for their researchers to share their outputs. Wellcome Open Research will use services developed by F1000Research. Once articles pass transparent invited peer review, they’ll be indexed in major bibliographic databases, and deposited in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.

MUSE Open – a new OA platform
Johns Hopkins University was awarded a two-year $938,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop and deploy MUSE Open in Project MUSE, a unit of The Johns Hopkins University Press. MUSE Open is planned as an OA platform for monographs in the humanities and social sciences.

SocArXiv, and the Center for Open Science partner on new OA social science preprint server
A plan to develop a new preprint server which enables the sharing of data and code with the potential for post-publication review was recently released and signals an interesting new direction for COS

New eprint server for engineering
And in another development in preprints EngrXiv, a new free, open access, open source archive for engineering research and design was announced – also in partnership with COS.

And another preprint server – called Preprints – was announced – this time from a publisher, MDPI.

Canadian Government opens up
The Government of Canada has released a new plan for open government centering on openness and transparency.Section C focuses on making government data and information openly available without restriction on reuse.

Monitoring open access costs
Report from Jisc Scholarly Communications Analyst released on Article processing charges (APCs) and subscriptions. Key points include

  • The average APC has increased by 6% over the past two years, a rise well above the cost of inflation
  • Publishers’ APC costs are converging to a more uniform price range, although they still vary widely. Journals with low APCs are raising their prices, perhaps to avoid being perceived as low quality
  • APC expenditure is unevenly distributed between publishers, with the lion’s share of income distributed among a handful of major publishers.

Converting subscription journals to open access
Harvard Library published its report on converting subscription journals to open access. The report’s authors identified 15 journal-flipping scenarios: 10 that depend on article processing charges (APCs) and 5 that dispense with APCs. For each one they give examples, evidence, and their assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. The examples come from all scholarly niches by academic field, regions of the world, and economic strata. As well as the authors’s analysis 20 experts provided comments.

OA guidelines for Norway
Norway develops proposed national guidelines for open access.

ARL to open up SPEC kits
The Association of Research Libraries will open up access for all SPEC Kits on the ARL Digital Publications platform to all users by the end of August.
14M+ new books available to vision-impaired
More than 14 million digital books will soon be made available to blind and print-disabled users, thanks to a new collaboration involving the National Federation of the Blindand the HathiTrust Digital Library,

Open science statement signed
15 global organizations have endorsed statements to promote open science support for data citation, monitoring data sharing policies, and developing interlinking policy and infrastructure.  The meeting to discuss this was in 2015, but the full statement and list of signatories have just been released here.

Reports from meetings on open scholarship

2020 timeline for EU scientific articles
The video recording of Ralf Schimmer’s talk on “Initiatives for the Large-Scale Transition to Open Access”  at the LIBER Annual Conference 2016 in Helsinki is a good overview of the imperative for change in the publishing system, which is driving thinking in Europe on OA. This talk aligns with discussions at the Competitiveness Council  in Brussels in May, where the decision was made that all scientific publicly funded articles in Europe must be freely accessible and the data must be reusable, with a few exceptions, as of 2020.Dublin conference recordings on YouTube
Organizers of the 2016 Open Repositories Conference held in Dublin in June have made more than 40 selected video recordings of conference sessions available on YouTube. 


DCN becomes largest OA repository
The Digital Commons Network (DCN) was launched three years ago and has just surpassed  two million open access articles from more than 450 institutions making it the largest subject repository of open access scholarship available.First Open Repository in Myanmar
EIFL, in association with the University of Mandalay and the University of Yangon, launched the first open access repository in the country of Myanmar. A nice round up of the initiative is here

The IRUS-UK August newsletter highlighted a number of new case studies, which show how  IRUS-UK statistics are helping to promote Open Access awareness.

VARI Launched
London’s Victoria & Albert Museum has launched its research institute VARI and is making its publicly funded project outcomes from this available open access.

Book publishing

Knowledge Unlatched released its usage statistics of over 67,000 downloads in 180 countries with 20,000 page views

Data sharing

Concordat on Open Research Data launched
The Concordat on Open Research Data has been developed by a UK multi-stakeholder group and is a set of expectations of best practice reflecting the needs of the research community.

Clinical trial data sharing
Four articles in the  NEJM give contrasting views of data sharing in clinical trials. On the one hand US Senator Elizabeth Warren argues strongly for full data sharing; by contrast two groups of academics argue for limitations to be placed on data sharing.Open data creating apps
The Helsinki Region Infoshare service has opened the capital region’s data for everyone, and gives rise to apps and services making everyday life easier.

Want more OA news?

We can’t cover everything here! For daily email updates the best ways to keep up to date is the Open Access Tracking Project. Our Twitter account has posts throughout each day and our curated newsfeed on the website is updated daily.

The newsletter archive provides snapshots of key issues throughout the year.

Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing

The DARIAH Winter School “Open Data Citation for Social Science and Humanities” is set to take place in Prague on 24th-28th of October, 2016. Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Open Con will be on 12-14 November in Washington, DC, with satellite events hosted around the world. From the website Open Con describes itself as  “a platform for the next generation to learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information—from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data.”

OASPA’s 8th Conference on OA Scholarly Publishing (COASP) will be on 21st & 22nd September, 2016. at Westin Arlington Gateway, Virginia.

OA week 2016!

SPARC has announced that the theme for this year’s 9th International Open Access Week, to be held October 24-30, will be “Open in Action.” Details below.

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. This year’s Open Access Week will be held from October 24th through the 30th; however, those celebrating the week are encouraged to schedule local events whenever is most suitable during the year.

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

The list of global OA week events is here.

Recent writing & resources on OA

Designing a fair and sustainable system of academic publishing: P2P Foundation Blog

Preparing for the Research Excellence Framework: Examples of Open Access Good Practice across the United Kingdom: Research paper from The Serials Librarian

Given frustrations with academic structures, how can we build a more human-centered open science?   London School of Economics & Political Science: The Impact Blog

Open access: All human knowledge is there—so why can’t everybody access it? Great review by Glyn Moody on the history of OA and why we aren’t there yet.

AOASG response to Productivity Commission Issues Paper on Data Availability and Use

AOASG response to Productivity Commission Issues Paper on Data Availability and Use

Prepared by Dr Virginia Barbour, Executive Director, AOASG, on behalf of the AOASG; July 2016

The Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) [1] exists to advocate, collaborate, raise awareness and lead and build capacity for open access in Australia and New Zealand. The AOASG is supported by ten Australian and eight New Zealand Institutions.

General comments

The AOASG welcomes the Productivity Commission inquiry into data availability and use. The inquiry is timely both nationally and globally. We limit our response to the general sections and paragraphs 1 and 4 under the scope of the inquiry.

We especially note and agree that this inquiry should consider domestic and international best practices and the measures adopted internationally to encourage sharing and linking of both public and private data.

Specific comments

Page 3


Paragraph entitled:  Open Data

Open data has most usefully been characterised as having the four characteristics  denoted by the acronym: FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.[2] This terminology is more useful than the term “open”, which can be interpreted in many different ways. As the developers of the FAIR principles note: “FAIR Principles put specific emphasis on enhancing the ability of machines to automatically find and use the data, in addition to supporting its reuse by individuals.” The move to more open data is part of the drive for more open scholarship generally, that has been highlighted by a number of global initiatives recently including the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science, an initiative of the Dutch Government, during their chairing of the EU in Jan-June 2016.[3]

Page 4

Box 1 Paragraph entitled: Why does data matter?

Data are also critical in ensuring the reproducibility of the academic literature. Without data to back up published research findings, research is based on trust at best. There are many examples now of researchers being unable to reproduce previously published research findings and where the data behind published papers have been found to be unavailable or uninterpretable. Furthermore, there are many cases where lack of data availability has been linked to fraud in research and publishing.[4] There is now an increasing global consensus that in order to better ensure the integrity of research and to prevent research fraud and improve its investigation, researchers should be willing to make the data that underpins academic papers available. Such data should be in a format that allows their interrogation, provided that appropriate processes are in place to ensure the protection of sensitive data. The Australian National Data Service (ANDS)[5] has provided guidance on handling sensitive data, including those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.[6] As data become more open it is essential such guidance remains current.

As well as the principles noted above, there is also increasing infrastructure in place directed at increasing the sharing of these data.  National examples, with well-established policies, tools and processes in place include ANDS and its many tools including its portal, Research Data Australia.[7] International repositories for academic data include long established publicly supported ones such as GenBank[8] and non-profit and commercially used ones such as Dryad[9] and Figshare,[10] respectively. Many Australian institutions also have their own data repositories which are linked to Research Data Australia.

Page 8

Box 2 Paragraph entitled: Insufficient dataset linkage?

Poor, or absent, linkage between published research and the underlying data is one of the most important reasons leading to poor reproducibility in much of the academic literature, especially in some areas of science and medicine.[11]  It has also been well established that URLs cited in papers decay very dramatically after publication, having a half-life of at best 4.7 years after publication in one study[12]—which reinforces the need for the development of a secure culture of archiving, not merely linkage to temporary websites for example.

Page 9

Paragraph entitled: Benefits of increasing data availability and use

As noted above, one clear benefit of increasing data availability would be to increase the reliability of the published literature. This in turn leads to increased efficiency of research. The issue of lack of data leading to waste in research is mentioned in the campaign by the Reward Alliance, one of whose key recommendations is “Make publicly available the full protocols, analysis plans or sequence of analytical choices, and raw data for all designed and undertaken biomedical research”.[13]

Page 13

Paragraph entitled: More recently the Australian Government…

We very much welcome the Australian Government’s stated commitment to open data. Of particular importance is the requirement for a Creative Commons license,[14] which fulfils the “R” i.e. reusable part of a FAIR framework for data. Guidance will be required to ensure which license is the most appropriate one for specific contexts and recommendations on developing such guidance would be important in ensuring data is optimally re-useable.

Page 14

Question: What benefits would the community derive from increasing the availability and use of public sector data?

See comments above which relate to the reliability of the academic literature and increased efficiency that would accrue through better access to and reliability of data associated with publications. Of note, many academic journals also now recognise the importance of such data sharing including, for example, the PLOS journals.[15]

However, currently there are few accepted processes for citing data, though the Research Data Alliance[16] and Force11,[17] two international organisations, both have groups that have worked on citation practices.

One crucial element of improving data accessibility is to ensure that academics who generate the data for others to use are given appropriate credit for it. Systems to reward such behaviour need to be developed and supported by institutions and funders of research.


Page 22

Question: How should the costs associated with making more public sector data widely available be funded?

Page 22

Question: Is availability of skilled labour an issue in areas such as data science or other data‑specific occupations? Is there a role for government in improving the skills base in this area?

There is unquestionably a lack of comfort among many academics in the curation of data associated with their work. There is a need for skills in data management and analysis, especially of complex datasets, to be incorporated into the training of early career researchers. Programmes such as Data Carpentry[19] have been successful in peer to peer training of researchers, though clearly could be scaled up further.

[1] ‘Australasian Open Access Strategy Group’, Australasian Open Access Strategy Group <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[2] ‘Article Metrics – The FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship : Scientific Data’ <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[3] NL EU 2016, Amsterdam Call for Action on Open ScienceNL <;.

[4] ‘Cases | Committee on Publication Ethics: COPE’ <; [accessed 27 July 2016].

[5] ANDS, ‘Australian National Data Service’, ANDS <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[6] ANDS, ‘Ethics, Consent and Data Sharing’, ANDS <; [accessed 27 July 2016].

[7] ‘Research Data Australia’ <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[8] ‘GenBank Home’ <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[9] ‘ Dryad’ <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[10] ‘Figshare – Credit for All Your Research’ <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[11] John P. A. Ioannidis, ‘Why Most Clinical Research Is Not Useful’, PLOS Med, 13.6 (2016), e1002049 <;.

[12] P. Habibzadeh, ‘Decay of References to Web Sites in Articles Published in General Medical Journals: Mainstream vs Small Journals’, Applied Clinical Informatics, 4.4 (2013), 455–64 <;.

[13] ‘Key Recommendations | Research Waste’ <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[14] ‘Creative Commons Australia’, Creative Commons Australia <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[15] ‘PLOS Data Availability’ <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[16] ‘Research Data Alliance Data Citation Working Group’, RDA, 2013 <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[17] ‘Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles – FINAL | FORCE11’ <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

[18] Australian Government Department of Industry and Science, ‘Australian Scheme for Higher Education Repositories (ASHER) and the Implementation Assistance Program (IAP)’ <; [accessed 27 July 2016].

[19] ‘Data Carpentry’, Data Carpentry <; [accessed 18 July 2016].

Identifying publishing outlets that follow best practice

Andy Pleffer provides advice  on deciding where to publish, based on Macquarie University’s approach 

checklist-1402461_1920There are two sides to the proverbial open access coin. Heads: the open access movement has produced many high quality, peer-review publications designed to make research accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Tails: the adoption of quasi-open access models appeals to new publishers seeking to set up journals with little-to-no standards for quality—where publications are at best a waste of effort, and at worst damaging to your career.

Sarah Beaubien and Max Eckhard (Grand Valley State University) addressed this tension through their seminal piece on Open Access Journal Quality Indicators, which has subsequently been adopted and promulgated by many other US institutions. And rightfully so, as the article champions three principles that are crucial to identifying best practice approaches to publishing academic research:

  1. On each occasion you are looking to publish your research, each outlet you consider should be evaluated on its own merits.
  2. There is no single criterion that will always reliably indicate high or low quality.
  3. Informed decisions occur when a series of tried and trusted criteria cumulate to reveal either a net positive or negative result.

At Macquarie University, we determined that the overarching theme uniting these three principles is due diligence. By providing enough guiding information on concerns in the current publishing landscape, we aim to enable researchers in developing your own sense of quality and, ultimately, empowering you to become self-sufficient in critiquing potential outlets for your scholarly research.We aim for advice that  is:

  • focused on the big picture
  • simple to understand
  • adaptable to different contexts (or disciplines), and
  • experiential, in that its value builds through repeated application.

As a researcher, selecting appropriate venues is an investment in your own currency. When you have invested many months or years thoroughly researching and writing your scholarly work, the end goal should be to maximise the return on your investment: to gain exposure, engagement and influence with your research. The most successful investments are built on a wise strategy, and a wise research publication strategy is informed by a sound understanding of best practice.

We call this “strategic publishing”. Designed in consultation with academics and senior administrators, these guidelines address four key themes in best practice publishing: relevance, reputation, visibility and validity. In summary, your chosen outlet must be:

  • relevant to your field of research to guarantee it will target an appropriate audience
  • considered reputable to those in your research community
  • visible and easy to access for your research to be read, and
  • characterised by ethical and valid publishing practices.

Underpinned by evidence, this approach is characterised by investigating and responding to checklists of tried and trusted criteria in order to determine a net result—one that can be compared and contrasted across myriad outlets. Other great resources that resonate and harmonise with this method include the Think Check Submit checklist, the SHERPA/RoMEO database of copyright and self-archiving policies, and the joint peak body initiative on Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

Times change. Individual outlets and publishers come and go: some change hands; some change policies. Places are exchanged on editorial boards, while metrics and rankings designed to gauge quality publication outlets are only applicable to specified time periods.

Do not risk the currency of your research on complacency or guesswork. Have a well-defined publishing strategy, monitor its impact and adapt it as necessary. By doing your due diligence and associating your work with outlets that follow best practice approaches to publishing, you will be placing yourself in a much better position to grow the reach of your research.

Dr Andy Pleffer manages research data projects and develops resources for researchers at Macquarie University, Sydney.

Macquarie University is a member of AOASG.




AOASG response to Productivity Commission Intellectual Property Arrangements, Draft report

aoasgAOASG response to Productivity Commission Intellectual Property Arrangements, Draft report

Prepared by Dr Virginia Barbour, Executive Director, on behalf of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group, (AOASG), June 2, 2016

General comments

The AOASG ( welcomes the Productivity Commission report. We limit our response to Chapter 15: IP and Public Institutions, though we note the comment on p4 that “Open access repositories can further assist in the dissemination of ideas generated through publicly‑funded initiatives.”, which we agree with for all outputs of research.

We particularly welcome:

DRAFT Recommendation 15.1

“All Australian, and State and Territory Governments should implement an open access policy for publiclyfunded research

We also believe there is an opportunity with this report to bring some clarity to the issues surrounding copyright and license as applied to research outputs.

Specific comments

Page 401

Paragraph entitled “Key points”


The dissemination of research findings does not have to be limited by IP applied on the work that it reports.

We agree that journals remain an important mechanism of dissemination, but they are now just one part of a rapidly evolving ecosystem of publishing and the same issues apply to all outlets for dissemination of research, and which include not just research articles but also data, code, software, etc.

Copyright per se does not limit dissemination – it is the retention of copyright, coupled with restrictive licenses as applied by subscription publishers that limit dissemination. We feel it is essential to separate out these two issues.

Page 404

Paragraph beginning “The key relevant questions for this inquiry relate to:

  • where the IP system frustrates the achievement of the underlying goal for public funding
  • changes to the IP system that would accentuate the benefits of such public funding.


For scholarly publishing we already have the tools to hand to ensure that authors retain rights to and get credit for their work while allowing for maximum dissemination. The two tools required are proper application of copyright in conjunction with Creative Commons Licenses.

However, the current inconsistent and largely publisher-driven application of these tools does “frustrate the achievement of the underlying goal for public funding”.

This is to be expected when publishers are operating under a subscription model. In this situation the long term practice has been to require the transfer of copyright to journals, and also require that restrictive licenses agreements are signed.

However, restriction of author rights is not now limited to subscription publications.  For articles that are apparently open access, Elsevier, for example, requires that authors grant Elsevier an exclusive license ( to publish for article published under a CC BY license (intended to be the most liberal of the licenses). This is direct contradiction of both the spirit and the letter of the Creative Commons license (

Furthermore, a number of publishers are seeking to assert rights over earlier versions of articles, an area where they have no jurisdiction. Rights being asserted include requirements for citation of articles to which a preprint may relate This is an example of a meaningless and probably unenforceable requirement, but which may nonetheless have a stifling effect on authors seeking to share research before formal publication.

Page 405

Paragraph beginning “A major mechanism for diffusion of ideas is through academic journals”


The models of dissemination of scholarly outputs are changing very substantially and though journals remain at the core, as above we note that there are other important mechanisms now such as preprint servers, repositories (for data as well as for research manuscripts) etc. Despite the diverse array of outputs and their routes of dissemination the issue in relation to IP are largely the same.

  • Copyright needs to remain with the generators of the work (if work is not owned by the Government or is otherwise in the public domain);
  • Generators of work must be credited for that work;
  • Licenses applied to the work should maximize its discoverability, dissemination and reuse.

Copyright does not per se limit reuse, but it will do if coupled with restrictive licenses. For example, an author may retain copyright but grant an exclusive license to a journal which could then restrict reuse (see above); conversely an author may assign copyright to another body (e.g. their institution) but if that is coupled with a non-exclusive license that allows reuse, dissemination is not impeded.

We therefore suggest that the Commission separates out the issues of copyright and licenses and makes the following recommendations

  1. Authors (or their institutions) should retain copyright to research outputs.
  2. Outputs should be licensed under the most appropriate, usually the least restrictive, internationally accepted license from Creative Commons, preferably CC BY.
  3. Publisher-specific licenses, even supposedly “open access” ones such as those from Elsevier (, should not be supported as they lead to further confusion.
  4. These terms should apply to all research outputs wherever they are stored and wherever they are in the lifecycle of the research including but not limited to; preprint, author’s accepted manuscript, published article, data etc.

Page 406

Page beginning Copyright for publically funded research


We believe copyright over research articles should not be mixed up with IP rights over the subject of the research itself. In particular, copyright itself, whether held by authors or publishers, does not limit the visibility or accessibility or reusability of articles or associated data. What does limit accessibility and reusability is the license associated with those works (see above) and which was previously most commonly denoted as “All rights reserved”

With the technology now available to us, the role of copyright has changed. As Jan Velterop said in 2005, ( “copyright can [now] be used for what it is meant to in science, not to make the articles artificially scarce and in the process restrict their distribution, but instead, to ensure that their potential for maximum possible dissemination can be realised”

Page 407

Paragraph beginning “universities and some publishers”


The fact that universities are able to provide access to journals may be seamless, but it is at great cost. In fact the vast majority of research journals require a subscription. In 2014, Australian universities paid AUD 221 million (data from the Council of Australian University Librarians, CAUL) for access to electronic journals. While it is true that open access journals are increasing, currently they remain in the minority and the proportion of work that is fully open access is around 12-15%, though many more articles are free to access at some point.

Page 407

Paragraph beginning “Recognising that further incentives”


This is indeed a hugely active area of policy development globally. It is clear that there is a number of different approaches to open access, with some countries favouring it via journals primarily (e.g. the UK and most recently the Netherlands) and others such as the US and Australia approaching it via the route of repositories – usually institutional. What is currently unclear, however, is the copyright and license status of much of the material within institutional repositories and this has led to difficulties in promoting seamless dissemination via these venues.

Page 408

Paragraph beginning “A similar trend”


We agree that there is no one policy now covering all publicly funded research and we therefore support Recommendation 15.1 on page 409. We particularly welcome the insightful comment on page 409 that precedes it: “It is important when crafting policy in relation to open access to delineate exactly what is meant by the term” As noted above, the interchangeable use of phrases open access and free access, without clear indication of what these terms mean with regard to copyright and licenses has led to much confusion among authors in particular. We would urge caution therefore in the use of these terms, including in this recommendation. We do not recommend the development of different policies at national, state and territory levels. Rather, we believe the opportunity should be taken to craft one overarching policy that is applicable nationally.

Page 408

Paragraph beginning “encouragement of different ways”


We welcome the recognition that new models of publishing will need to be supported and that funds must be allocated for this purpose as the transition occurs. However, a fundamental aim of a transition to new publishing models must be that costs are lowered. Schimmer and colleagues ( have modelled this (via the “flipping” of journals from subscription to open access for three countries, including Germany. Whether this can be replicated elsewhere remains to be seen. It is not yet clear the flipping projects will reduce costs over a sustained period if pricing decisions remain in the hands of the established vendors. What will be crucially important is the encouragement of a diversity of publishing models from a variety of players, not just the five large publishers ( who currently dominate scholarly publishing.

Furthermore, such innovation and openness should be specifically rewarded – not just “treated neutrally” as on the bottom of page 408.