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April 2020 Newsletter

April 2020: what’s in this issue

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

Join us for our #2 webinar on April 28th where AOASG Executive Committee Chair, Martin Borchert, in his role as Chair of the SCOSS Board, and Angus Cook, CAUL Content Procurement Manager, will co-present the case for the continued support of the SCOSS crowd funding initiative. The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS), an initiative of SPARC Europe, works to facilitate crowd funding to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the world’s Open Science infrastructure upon which we have come to depend. You can register here.

We’ve added a new section below to highlight some of the excellent OA resources being produced on dealing with COVID-19 and are compiling these on our website. We welcome suggestions for additions.

Get in touch if you’d like to join the AOASG as a member institution, suggest activities, or join our communities of practice.

OA moves quickly! For regular news updates, check out our Twitter account 

Contributions to the newsletter or the blog, especially notice of upcoming events, are welcome. Contact us here  


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

AOASG & CAUL statement on access to content during COVID-19
CAUL and AOASG have welcomed moves by commercial publishers to open up their content at this critical time, the necessity for this to happen at all demonstrates that open access to research should be the new norm. This statement outlines how critical it is that once the pandemic is over, publishers do not once again restrict access to COVID-19 content. This will be especially crucial in light of the economic challenges all sectors of society will be facing, including universities dealing with constrained scholarly content budgets. Read statement.

Australian Academy of Science article on open science and COVID-19
Ginny Barbour, AOASG Director & AOASG Chair, Martin Borchert, have written on why OA is important, not just now but for the long term: Open science: after the COVID-19 pandemic there can be no return to closed working. Read the paper here

ARC ORCID experience
Australian Research Council Branch Manager (Policy and Strategy) Kylie Emery talks about the benefits of ARC’s integration with ORCID and getting to the goal of “enter once, reuse often”  for research outputs in the application process.

APO gears up for COVID-19
Australia’s Analysis & Policy Observatory is supporting the global response by providing an increased focus on curating policy and research resources on COVID-19 and has created a new subject term dedicated to COVID-19, along with other related subjects such as pandemics, and respiratory and infectious diseases. 

CAUL compilation of open resources relevant to COVID-19
This compilation is updated regularly.


What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally


COVID-19: Commentary and Policy

UNESCO has convened a call for open science for pandemic related research.

Science Advisers, including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policyhave called for free Access to COVID-19 Research.  Read more.

IARLA has put out the IARLA Statement on Access to Digital Content for Education and Research during the Period of COVID-19 Response

COAR has published a call to support “bibliodiversity” – ie the the need to have a diverse, open ecosystem

LIBER  has put out a call for urgent copyright law action in the EU  to support distance Learning & research during the Coronavirus pandemic

IFLA has led the development of a letter to WIPO on Intellectual Property and COVID-19

France has outlined its response for OA to research at this time 

Creative Commons are part of a group of organisations promoting the Open COVID Pledge and Open COVID Licenses


COVID-19: New Resources

The United Nations has a page on its response to the pandemic and resources.   

Evidence AID is collecting together and curating and, in some cases, translating evidence about COVID-19

preLights is a new site maintained by a team of scientists who regularly review & highlight preprints, with a current focus on COV-19

SPARC Europe have put together a page of resources

CSIRO is compiling a list of research data resources relevant to Coronavirus 

General News

South African Universities’ approach to OA is reported here 

Malta is the latest country to put out its national approach to OA. 

Frontiers and The Norwegian Institute of Health have signed an OA publishing agreement.  Read more. 

Open Access Button‘s latest initiative from is shareyourpaper.org It allows researcher to find an OA copy of their paper that can be deposited in a repository and also will have  an API for library integrations 

Think Check Submit has added books to its set of resources

The Royal Library in Sweden is developing a national platform for open scientific journals.

Plan S

‘Diamond’ journal & platform study
cOAlition S has just published a call for a study containing an analysis and overview of collaborative non-commercial (aka “Diamond”) publishing journals and platforms. The study is financially supported by Science Europe.

New criterial for transformative journals
cOAlition S has published updated criteria for Transformative Journals.  These are not substantial changes, and it does seem clear any support for hybrid will have a hard end by 2024

These are the key changes (from the website)

  • “changed the threshold when a journal must flip to full Open Access from 50% of to 75% and removed the commitment to flip by December 2024. In making these changes, however, we have stressed that publishers must explicitly state their commitment to transition to full Open Access and that our support for this model (in terms of paying for publishing services in subscription journals) will cease at the end of 2024;
  • reduced the annual growth target for the proportion of content which must be published in Open Access from 8% to at least 5% in absolute terms and at least 15% in relative terms, year-on-year;

Other criteria which a Transformative Journal must adhere to include:

  • implementing transparent pricing for the OA content published under this model and ensure that institutions purchasing a subscription to a TJ will pay only for remaining subscription content and
  • agreeing to provide an annual public report to cOAlition S, reporting on progress and demonstrating compliance with the requirements for TJs. This report must provide information on the usage – including downloads, citations, altmetric data – of OA articles compared with the subscription content.”

Springer Nature has put out its response to Plan S and its support for the transformative journals guidelines


Spinger Nature report on ACPs 

A few key points from this report

  • APC funding is complex. Authors use a wide range of funding sources, often in combination.
  • Monitoring is a challenge as many APCs are still ‘in the wild’, particularly for fully OA journals.
  • To support the OA transition institutions need a more comprehensive view of APC funding sources.
  • Authors’ use of funds from outside of the library budget (other institutional funds or from research funders) demonstrates the opportunity for publisher OA agreements to consolidate multiple sources, as has been the case for some existing Springer Nature agreements.

Recent writing & resources on OA 


What we’re reading

Without stronger academic governance, Covid-19 will concentrate the corporate control of academic publishing Sam Moore – LSE Impact Blog

Ten simple rules for innovative dissemination of research Tony Ross-Hellauer and colleagues – PLOS Computational Biology

Cancelling with the world’s largest scholarly publisher: lessons from the Swedish experience of having no access to Elsevier Lisa Olsson and colleagues – UKSG Insights

Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing

As you will be aware, many conferences have been postponed. We will let you know when they are back on track 


This is a great time to get in touch with (or even start!) local and online initiatives such as Hacky Hours. AERO has a list of resources here


Want more OA news?


We can’t cover everything here!  This is a curated list of items that caught our eye and/or which seem especially relevant to OA in this region. For daily updates the best source is the Open Access Tracking Project or if you prefer to be more selective, our Twitter account which has posts throughout each day.

The newsletter archive provides snapshots of key issues throughout the year. Other ways to keep in touch with discussions at AOASG include joining our community of practice calls or the listserve.

Follow us via twitter @openaccess_anz  or online at  http://aoasg.org.au