Joint CAUL-AOASG Election Statement: Developing a strategic approach to open scholarship in Australia

Australia needs a national strategy for open scholarship.

We are at a stalemate in improving access to scholarly research because of the tension between the needs of research institutions, which want to disseminate their research outputs as widely as possible, and commercial publishers, who dominate academic publishing, and who primarily serve the needs of their shareholders.

Australian universities alone pay more than $280 million each year for access to academic research publications, yet that access is limited to only those who work in universities. In the 2018 Excellence for Research Australia (ERA) exercise universities reported that only 32% of articles submitted for ERA evaluation are openly available.

The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG), which are led by experts in access to knowledge, have been advocating for many years for open scholarship: making the outputs of publicly-funded Australian research openly available in alignment with the F.A.I.R. (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles to ensure that anyone can find, read, use and reuse research outputs.

Widening access to academic research increases opportunities for collaboration among researchers[1] and industry, especially internationally; increases the pace of discovery[2]; increases the trust of the public and their engagement with research; and supports a stronger evidence base for the development of policy[3].

Over the past ten years Australia has gone from being a world leader in widening access to research outputs, mainly through the establishment of a national set of institutional repositories, to lagging behind international initiatives in open scholarship policies and practices.

Plan S, a relatively new initiative, initially from a European-led coalition but now global in scope, intends to make research from coalition partners open by 2020. Plan S offers the opportunity to catalyse a discussion on how Australia can match the rest of the world — a discussion that would involve Australian researchers, research funders, industry partners, government and academic publishers.

A re-invigorated commitment to open scholarship will help ensure that Australian researchers can continue to collaborate with international colleagues, access international funding programs, and contribute to major global projects.

To achieve these goals, Australia needs a national strategy for open scholarship.

In its 2018 inquiry into the Australian Government Funding Arrangements for non-NHMRC Research, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training recommended “that the Australian Government develop a more strategic approach to Australia’s open scholarship environment”. CAUL and AOASG supported this recommendation[4].

It is now time to implement that approach through the establishment of a cross-sectoral body charged with developing and implementing, within three years, a national action plan for open scholarship – a plan that would include recommendations on changes to the policy and funding framework for Australian higher education. Open scholarship should also be included in the terms of reference for any post-election reviews or inquiries on Australian higher education and research.

Achieving fair and open access to Australian research outputs would be a realistic and significant accomplishment for a new or re-appointed Minister after the election, and a priority for government. CAUL and the AOASG are ready to offer their experience, expertise and knowledge to the goal of open scholarship.

More information on open scholarship, the F.A.I.R. principles, and CAUL and AOASG can be found in our joint background briefing.

[1] http://opensourcemalaria.org/

[2] https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/guidance/open-access-policy

[3] https://apo.org.au/

[4] https://www.caul.edu.au/sites/default/files/documents/media/open-scholarship2018joint-statement.pdf

caul aoasg

Media release: Joint statement by CAUL/AOASG on Plan S

11th February – The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) have made a joint response to the Plan S implementation guidelines welcoming the plan’s aspiration to move toward immediate full open access.

Plan S is an initiative for achieving full and immediate open access to research publications by 2020. The plan is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders coordinated by Science Europe.

The response by CAUL and AOASG recommends that if the plan is to be successful the implementation guidelines need to pay particular attention to repository based Green Open Access (OA), the cost of OA infrastructure, incentives for OA and the consultation process going forward.

Specifically:

  1. Support for repository based Green OA as a viable route to Plan S compliance is essential if countries such as Australia and New Zealand that rely on repositories for OA are to reach a position where Plan S could be adopted by their funding agencies.
  2. There needs to be a fuller, more nuanced discussion and broader recognition of the global cost of the infrastructure required for a diverse OA publishing landscape, especially in developing countries.
  3. There needs to be careful consideration of the effects of Plan S on early career researchers and support for incentives that support open research.
  4. Now that Plan S is being adopted, continued global consultation on its implementation through a formal mechanism will be essential to ensure that the move toward immediate full open access under Plan S is transparent and inclusive.

‘The AOASG and CAUL are pleased to support Plan S,’ said Martin Borchert, Chair of the AOASG. ‘International developments in open access will drive greater adoption in Australia and New Zealand, where OA is predominantly facilitated by our network of institutional repositories.’

Jill Benn, Deputy President of CAUL, said: ‘Improving access to research publications and data is one of the most significant changes in the global scholarly communications landscape. Wider access to research across the world enables us to solve the world’s greatest challenges.’

Australia has been a world leader in the development and use of institutional repositories, but progress has slipped over the past few years.

‘Through our strong experience in creating open research infrastructure, Australian university libraries are well positioned to help advance the important role that repositories play in achieving Green Open Access, but this will require dedicated attention from institutions and funders,’ said Jill Benn.

CAUL and the AOASG look forward to collaborating internationally on the next steps of Plan S.

CAUL AOASG PLAN S Response

End

For comment:

Jill Benn, Deputy President of CAUL, caul@caul.edu.au, (02) 6125 2990 &

Virginia Barbour, Director AOASG, eo@aoasg.org.au 07 3138 0623

About CAUL

CAUL is the peak leadership organisation for university libraries in Australia. CAUL members are the University Librarians or equivalent of the 39 institutions that have representation on Universities Australia. CAUL makes a significant contribution to higher education strategy, policy and outcomes through a commitment to a shared purpose: To transform how people experience knowledge – how it can be discovered, used and shared.

About AOASG

The AOASG is a coalition supported by seventeen universities in Australia and eight in New Zealand; Creative Commons Australia and Tohatoha, New Zealand are affiliate members. AOASG works to make Australasian research Open and FAIR and to promote innovation in all areas of scholarly communications.

Support Academic Publishing Day on February 7th

Academic-Led Publishing Day is a global digital event to foster discussions about how members of the scholarly community can develop and support academic-led publishing initiatives. Academic-Led publishing refers to scholarly publishing initiatives wherein one or more academic organisations control decisions pertaining to copyright, distribution, and publishing infrastructure.

Its aim is to create an open dialogue about academic-led publishing programs and funding models – both current and potential – and to raise awareness about the roles and capabilities of different stakeholders in this space.

Many Australian and New Zealand Universities publish journals under these principles, for example Queensland University of Technology’s eJournals and Auckland University of Technology’s Tuwhera.

How to get involved

Join the Public Forum for scholarly publishing reform towards Fair Open Access

Follow updates from the Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) and volunteer to help tag relevant news items. Click “About” at the top of the page to learn how to get involved!

Show public support for Fair Open Access Principles

Learn how to launch and support academic-led journals.

Sign public statement against author-facing charges by journals

Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) is hosting a free webinar on February 7th at 3pm GMT – while it’s not a sleep friendly time for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere – presenters include world experts at the forefront of publishing initiatives that promote Open Access and Open Scholarship at institutions:

Paul Ayris – Chief Executive UCL Press

Kathleen Shearer –  Executive Director of Confederation of Open Access Repositories

Charles Watkinson – Director, University of Michigan Press).

Catriona MacCallum Director of Open Science, Hindawi

Claire Redhead – Executive Director, OASPA (will chair the discussion).

Full details and information on how to register for the webinar can be found here.

#ALPubDay

Imagine a World where Everyone Added One More Reference to Wikipedia

The AOASG is a big supporter of Wikipedia.  As one of the world’s largest open access initiatives why wouldn’t we?  We want to make it even better and you can help by taking part in #1lib1ref which kicks off today and runs until 5 February.  While the campaign is targeted at librarians we think everyone who cares about open access should have a go!

 

Here’s how you can help in five easy steps, thanks to the Wikipedia Library 

  1. Find an article that needs a citation. There are many ways to do this. Here are some strategies.
  2. Find a reliable source that can support that article
  3. Add a citation using Wikipedia Style. Click here to learn about adding citations and editing Wikipedia
  4. Add the project hashtag #1lib1ref in the Wikipedia Edit Summary
  5. Share your edit on social media and learn more about libraries and WikipediaGrab a userbox for your user page if you’re into that sort of thing.

Joint AOASG and CAUL statement on the Importance of Open Scholarship

CAUL and the AOASG have released a joint statement about the importance of Open Scholarship. The statement responds to recommendations in the Australian Government Funding Arrangements for non-NHMRC Research report released by the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training in November 2018.

Though this inquiry was primarily on funding, both AOASG and CAUL discussed OA in their submissions to the inquiry: AOASG put in two submissions and Virginia Barbour, AOASG Director, gave evidence at a hearing.

The committee noted the information given by CAUL and AOASG  on scholarly publishing and supported the AOASG recommendation for a national approach to open scholarship, putting it as Recommendation 12:

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government develop a more strategic approach to Australia’s open scholarship environment.

They noted the following in the body of the report:

5.17 While there are moves internationally and locally within Australia to shift to open scholarship, Australia lacks a national coordinated approach. In its submission, the AOASG sets out a proposal to establish a national coordinating body, funded for five years, to oversee the development of a strategic approach to open scholarship in Australia. It suggests that such a body could either be situated within an existing government agency or be constituted separately. The Committee supports these recommendations.

A joint press release from CAUL and AOASG is below.

caul aoasg

Joint statement on the Importance of Open Scholarship

29th November – The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) are delighted to see that the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training committee’s report into Australian Government Funding Arrangements for non-NHMRC Research recognises the importance of open scholarship and the need for a strategic approach to it.

Importantly, the report makes a specific recommendation (Recommendation 12) that the Australian Government develops a more strategic approach to Australia’s open scholarship environment. CAUL and the AOASG welcome this initiative and are ready to work with the Australian Government to achieve a coherent approach for open scholarship in Australia.

Both the CAUL and AOASG submissions to the committee highlighted the significant costs, inefficiencies and lack of transparency associated with research publication in subscription journals.

CAUL reported that Australian university libraries spent approximately $282 million on access to subscription journals in 2017 alone, and that to make their work available to those who do not have access to those subscriptions, researchers often must pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) which can range from $1500 – $8,000 per article.

The AOASG asserted that Australia lacks a national coordinated approach to open scholarship and set out a proposal to establish a national coordinating body, funded for five years, to oversee the development of a strategic approach to open scholarship in Australia. This recommendation was supported by the committee.

‘CAUL applauds the recommendation to develop a more strategic approach to Australia’s open scholarship environment. Government-led initiatives across other jurisdictions have provided the impetus and imperative to develop open scholarship policy, practice and infrastructure for the economic and social benefit of their nations. This review, and the subsequent recommendations, positions Australian scholarship and research outputs as strategic assets; assets that should be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable, and importantly open to all who have an interest and stake in leveraging the nation’s publicly funded research’ said Margie Jantti, President of CAUL.

‘There is a global ecosystem emerging of open scholarship which will undoubtedly lead to improvements in how research is done and communicated. Taking a strategic approach now to the development of open scholarship will position Australia well to support regional initiatives as well as to coordinate with and respond to relevant global initiatives, such as the European Plan S, and will accelerate the development of the infrastructure needed to support open scholarship in Australia’s research system’ said Virginia Barbour, Director of the AOASG.

See: Commonwealth, Australian Government Funding Arrangements for non-NHMRC Research: Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training, (2018).

Download a PDF of the joint statement

End

For comment:

Margie Jantti, CAUL President caul@caul.edu.au, (02) 6125 2990 &
Virginia Barbour, Director AOASG eo@aoasg.org.au

About CAUL
CAUL is the peak leadership organisation for university libraries in Australia. CAUL members are the University Librarians or equivalent of the 39 institutions that have representation on Universities Australia. CAUL makes a significant contribution to higher education strategy, policy and outcomes through a commitment to a shared purpose: To transform how people experience knowledge – how it can be discovered, used and shared.

About AOASG
The AOASG is supported by fifteen universities in Australia and eight in New Zealand; Creative Commons Australia and Tohatoha, New Zealand are affiliate members. AOASG works to make Australasian research Open and FAIR and to promote innovation in all areas of scholarly communications.

 

 

 

OA week 2018 – Designing for Equity

 

Today marks the kickoff of OA week, Now in its 10th year, it’s an opportunity to raise awareness, celebrate and reflect on everything that’s going on in OA.

OA Week poster 8_5x11_2ndoriginal

Since OA week started the OA landscape has got much more complex. Now there are a range of models of OA for research articles: green (repository-based); gold (journal-based); bronze (which is not really OA at all but just free to read); hybrid OA (supposed to be transitional but as the most expensive way to fund OA is  consuming the biggest proportion of  article processing charges (APCs) paid by some funders); and even illegal, black OA. Universities support OA through their OA presses and journal publishing. There are new OA models for monographs  and books and increasingly the expectation of more open data. Layered on top of this are other changes to publishing with more open expectations for peer review in some fields and emerging new models such as preprints.

What underpins all of this is the need to build a robust, well supported infrastructure that encompasses a variety of models in order to ensure that not only can everyone benefit from OA, but that everyone can participate more equitably in  contributing to knowledge, a theme summed up in this delightful gif from Mark Hooper.

Mark-Hooper-OA18.gif

 

Key elements of infrastructure

FAIR genericHence the theme of this years OA week is so timely. “Designing the Equitable Foundations of Open Knowledge” explicitly recognises that there is no one model of open scholarship that will work for all. In order to have a truly equitable system, the foundations have to be purposefully designed. There is a role for serendipity and evolution but assuming all that we need will just arise ad hoc risks leaving out key parts of the system. One part of the infrastructure are the elements that identify and link people and research outputs and we have highlighted the need for these and other key items – such as Creative Commons licenses – in this OA week bookmark which you are welcome to share under a CC-BY license.

Welcoming new AOASG members

OA week is always a week of new announcements on OA and we will be featuring many of these throughout the week. As a first one, we are especially delighted to welcome three new members to the AOASG this week – University of the Sunshine Coast, Flinders University and The University of Notre Dame. We very much look forward to working with them alongside our current members: Charles Sturt, Curtin, Griffith, Macquarie, Melbourne, Newcastle, QUT, UNSW, UWA, Victoria, and the CONZUL group of university libraries in New Zealand. Widening our group’s membership gives us the opportunity to represent and support a wider part of the sector.

On our 2018 OA week page we have  gathered together in one place many diverse activities this week across Australia and New Zealand. Keep in touch to let us know how your OA  activities go this week and if you’d like to find out more about membership of AOASG  or our many activities, let us know.

 

Funder-based open publishing platforms: what they are and why they’re happening

Thomas Ingraham

Thomas Ingraham

By Thomas Ingraham

Historically, funders had no reason to get involved with publishing: they were experts at funding research, publishers were experts at publishing research – why venture into a role that is already well-serviced by established professionals?

However, since the advent of online publishing and the open access movement, and the subsequent realization of potentially widespread irreproducibility and publication bias in the scholarly literature, the interests of funders are growing increasingly at odds with conventional scholarly publishing.

Funders (like ARC & NHMRC) are mandated to ensure maximum impact is achieved from the projects they fund. This means:

  • Making research open access for reuse by anyone; not blocked by unaffordable paywalls.
  • Ensuring new findings can be rapidly translated into new research or practical applications; not delayed by months or years due to lengthy embargo periods, or unnecessarily cumbersome peer review and production systems.
  • Guaranteeing all valid work they fund is available for reuse, including data, code and negative results; not leaving these outputs to languish on a hard drive where no one can use it due to a novelty-obsessed editorial system or a data-shy research culture.

Further, funders want publishing to be as rigorous and transparent as possible, to ensure the system’s accountability and so build academic and public trust in the published literature, after it took a knock during the reproducibility crisis.

Several funders have implemented policies encouraging open access and data sharing but feel the progress has been too slow and the wider publishing system too resistant to change. There is also the issue of the cost effectiveness of current immediate open access options. Most are expensive and funders are worried costs could escalate further, especially for prestige and hybrid journals.

Some funders felt they couldn’t simply wait for the publishing system to realign itself with these goals; they need to get actively involved in kick-starting a better way of disseminating research.

So, in late 2016, Wellcome became the first funder to decisively move into the publishing game with the launch of Wellcome Open Research. Other major philanthropic and public funders have since launched their own open publishing platforms, namely: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Health Research Board Ireland, and most recently AMRC (a consortium of 24 UK-based biomedical charities). Earlier this year, the European Commission put out a tender to create its own platform, which would make it the biggest funder by far to move into this space.

Current funder-based publishing platforms

Current funder-based publishing platforms

The platforms allow a funder’s grantees (and their collaborators) to openly share any research they think is fit to publish, along with any dependent raw data and code, within a few days of submission; referees openly review the work and if they deem it scientifically sound, the work is indexed. Articles can be updated if and when necessary.

The platform development and publishing work is contracted to an independent publisher, partially to make use of their expertise, partially to avoid potential funder conflicts of interest influencing editorial decisions. Currently, F1000Research is the sole provider of these platforms, but this may well change after the European Commission announces the results of its tender. However, the platform is owned by the funder and operates under its name; the latter is important as this endorsement helps ease their grantee’s minds, knowing anything they publish on the platform will be considered eligible for evaluations.

Funder publishing platforms are a still a very new development, and there are issues that need to be navigated carefully. These include but are not limited to preventing funder-editorial conflicts of interest; how smaller funders can get involved; who pays in joint-funder collaborations; avoiding vendor lock-in; and arranging long term governance of the platforms. These issues all look to be resolvable, and it will be exciting to see how much these platforms might disrupt the publishing ecosystem over the next few years.

Tom Ingraham is Scholarly Communications Officer at the University of Queensland. He was formerly an Associate Editor and Publisher at F1000Research, spending six years at the company from its inception in 2012 until early 2018 managing several of its publishing initiatives and community-based article collections.

SCOSS hits half-million Euro funding mark

SCOSS_NewPieceGreat news to hear that funding for SCOSS (Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science) has raised half a million Euros in funding.

This is an important new initiative whereby libraries and other users of open infrastructure can directly contribute to supporting it.  As the press release notes “The initiative, which intends to provide a framework for libraries, policymakers and other stakeholders to collectively fund and stabilize a vital infrastructure of freely available open science services, selected the Directory of Open Access Journals and SHERPA/RoMEO as beneficiaries of this pilot call for community funding.”

In Australia and New Zealand more than 64 percent of all universities have pledged funding via the Council of Australian University Libraries (CAUL consortium).

Read the full press release here.

https://sparceurope.org/global-sustainability-coalition-for-open-science-scoss-hits-half-million-euro-funding-mark/

Creative Commons Aotearoa is now Tohatoha

This blog post has been reproduced with permission from Tohatoha Chief Executive Mandy Henk

Wendy Henk

We have so much exciting news to share with you all! New projects, new people, a new website rolling out soon – it’s been a whirlwind year behind the scenes.

But first, you’re probably wondering why we decided to change our name and logo. Tohatoha is the Māori word for ‘share’ – and that’s what we are about; sharing information so that every single New Zealander has access to knowledge and stories — whether they get that access through the Internet, in their local library, or by listening to the elders of their communities.

We want a world where New Zealand leads by ensuring universal access to research, education and culture — one where Aotearoa builds a fair and equitable information system. ‘Tohatoha’, as a name, communicates both the primacy of sharing and embraces our uniquely Kiwi identity.

Our new logo, designed for us by Mohawk Media, takes the globally recognised symbol for New Zealand – the kiwi bird – and combines it with the iconic, cultural image

for Kiwi ingenuity, Number-8 fencing wire. The DIY ethic embedded in our origins as part of Internet mash-up culture, entwined with our national symbol, gives us a recognisable visual identity both here and overseas. Alongside this, the new tagline – supporting Kiwis to, create, share and innovate – encapsulates our work and our mission.
To be clear, we will still continue to support the New Zealand chapter of Creative Commons, but our work will be broader than simply supporting the Creative Commons licenses. We will still do that work when and as needed, but as the range of threats to information sharing in the digital and analogue worlds grows, so we also need to grow and evolve. That’s what this repositioning is about – adapting to a changing environment so that we can realise our vision.

Our new structure is also about sharing power. As an organisation we have our roots in the open movement – open source, open access, open data – and we fiercely support openness. But there is still so much work to be done to bring marginalised voices to the centre and make space for new voices across the spectrum of New Zealand society.

Building a movement focused on sharing that doesn’t explicitly seek out and welcome diverse communities – rural communities, Māori communities, migrant communities – is a movement destined to seek the wrong things for the wrong reasons. For us, openness is a strategy; the goal is a more equitable system for sharing knowledge – and you can’t build a more equitable system without welcoming new voices and sharing power with new communities.

I look forward to hearing from you as we begin this new part of our journey. Change is scary and so to do it right we need your engagement, your voice, and your support. There is so much work to be done in this space, so let’s do it together and do it right.

Mandy Henk, Chief Executive, Tohatoha