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December 2019 Newsletter

December 2019: 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


We can’t believe we’re less than a week away from the summer break.  While every year here at the AOASG is packed full of speaking engagements, meetings, workshops and other advocacy activities, this year, with the impact of Plan S becoming clearer, the firing up of institutions over million dollar access contracts, and the revelation to many about just how much public funding fills the big publishers coffers, it’s been a particularly interesting and engaged year. We’ve also grown and have welcomed three new member institutions including our newest member, Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University, to the AOASG.

We sincerely hope you all get a chance to spend time with loved ones and enjoy a safe and happy Christmas break.  We will be back on Jan 6th.

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

ALIA takes lead on UN’s SDGs
As part of its commitment to being an active force in the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, the Australian Library and Information Association has released a discussion paper, on the draft stretch targets for Australian libraries 2020-2030. Submissions in response to this discussion paper are welcome by 3 January 2020, and can be emailed to: advocacy@alia.org.au  Responses can also be given via the online survey

Data link to Impact:  ARDC
A study commissioned by the Australian Research Data Commons has identified clear public value delivered through research data, including life-saving treatments, more efficient business and government services, more effective environmental practices and improved educational outcomes. Findings from the research show that many of the positive benefits generated by research could only be developed with research data. Read the report.


What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally


General News

Global effort to sustain Open infrastructure
The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS), of which the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) is a member and which is supported by a number of Australian and New Zealand members, has launched its second funding cycle which will benefit three vital Open Science infrastructure service providers: the Directory of Open Access Books and Open Access Publishing in European Networks; the Public Knowledge Project; and OpenCitations. SCOSS is asking all academic institutions, their libraries, research institutes, funding organisations, governments, international organisations, learned societies and service providers to consider helping financially support one or more of these services for  three years. Read more about the call here

COAR LogoCOAR Strategy 2019-2021 and Work Plan 2020 published
Highlights include:
  • Develop the architecture and protocols to support distributed and scalable peer review on repository content
  • Launch a working group for national aggregators to share information and work together on common challenges
  • Establish the conditions for institutional repositories to be considered appropriate venues for deposit and preservation of research data
  • Undertake a campaign to improve the quality and interoperability of metadata and vocabularies in repositories
  • With a working group, develop recommendations related to the governance, sustainability and architecture for a responsive and comprehensive international repository directory, and work with the community to implement recommendations
  • Advocate for repository-friendly policies, and assist members in adopting good practices related to open access data and article repositories
  • With other stakeholders, prepare a white paper about why bibliodiversity is important and define an institutional strategy to promote investments in diverse scholarly communication services and infrastructure

OpenAIRE is 10 years old.OpenAIRE   
Some nice resources are here
Consolidated roadmap for a possible UNESCO Recommendation on open science
This is not new but is now being taken forward. Read more

Dutch universities and research funders move away from the impact factor
Dutch research institutes and funders have announced the development of new system of recognition and rewards that will move away from the impact factor. The Recommendation has five objectives: (i) Building capacity of stakeholders to create access, use, adapt and redistribute OER; (ii) Developing supportive policy; (iii) Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER; (iv) Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and (v) Facilitating international cooperation. By the end of 2019, all parties involved in this project pledge to have signed DORA.  

Elsevier signs with Swedes, French  & Carnegie 
Elsevier has announced a new Read & Publish agreement with the Bibsam Consortium which represents Sweden’s National Library, universities and research institutes. It means Swedish researchers will have access to the scientific publisher’s 2000 journals again. The agreements includes the open access publishing of all Swedish research articles. Couperin, the French academic consortium for higher education & research and Elsevier, have signed a new 4-year national license agreement to provide researchers at universities and research institutions across France with equal access to the publisher’s content provided through ScienceDirect. This deal with Elsevier was felt to be quite weak, in that it neither complies with Plan S, nor with French legislation on immediate access to research. Pennsylvania’s (and Adelaide’s) Carnegie Mellon University and Elsevier have also announced a new agreement. The deal means all principal investigators publishing in Elsevier journals will have the option of making their research immediately available to the public, at no additional cost.  It’s the first “read-and-publish” deal for a US university and follows 12 months of negotiations. Elsevier struck a similar deal with Norwegian universities earlier this year.  

In other Elsevier news, CEO Kumsal Bayazit was the keynote speaker at the November Charleston Library Conference who declared “Elsevier fully supports Open Access”.  Read more.

Traditional publishers launch initiative to “Get Full Text Research”
This has been announced by a small coalition of traditional publishers and appears aimed at taking readers only to publishers’s sites for content. This has raised a number of concerns and led to renewed calls for community led initiatives.

Wellcome Trust updates OA spend
From Oct 2017 to Sep 2018. the Wellcome Trust paid publication fees for 2,283 articles, with the total expenditure amounting to 6,399,380 € , with an average fee of 2,803 €.  See the picture (right)  of payment distribution by publisher. Read more. 

Invest in Open: Survey 
This will be a very important survey we would really encourage each institution to fill in. It comes from the Invest in Open Initiative. Survey.

WISE Gov Act in US
The Well-Informed, Scientific, and Efficient (WISE) Government Act has been introduced that will “prohibit non-disclosure clauses in federal agency contracts with journal publishers and provide an avenue for the government to systematically collect—and share—information on how much each agency is paying for subscriptions to these materials.
In another big win for open research in the US is the passage of 7 million in funding for Open Educational Resources in the huge Appropriations Bill  for Fiscal Year 2020.
And in an echo of actions and arguments from many years ago traditional publishers in the US have reacted with fury to rumours that there might be any discussions on immediate access to research publications.

Danes art collection goes online
National Gallery of Denmark opens up with more than 79,000 images of artworks going online.  Read More.

New CORE extension browser
CORE Discovery helps users find freely accessible copies of research papers that might be behind a paywall on the publisher’s website. Read more.  

New website for flipping to OA Books
TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)  has been launched to build a community of scholars, publishers, librarians, university administrators that increases access to humanities and social sciences scholarship.

Revamp of Europe PMC website
The site has intuitive search, better access to data, and enriched publications linked to protocols, reviews, and more.

Newly launched Research Organization Registry—ROR.
ROR describes itself as “a community-led project to develop an open, sustainable, usable, and unique identifier for every research organization in the world. Read more

Which countries are the biggest publishers of OA journals?
An analysis of DOAJ shows that fifty percent of the open access journals listed in DOAJ in 2019 are published in Europe, and the United Kingdom is the biggest publisher of OA journals in DOAJ. Read more


SPARC Roadmap for action
SPARC’s Roadmap to action calls for Academic Community Control of Data Infrastructure, and is intended to inform discussions of these issues on campus and to serve as a catalyst for taking considered action. Read more.
State of Open Data
The State of Open Data 2019 report has been released and is now the longest running longitudinal study examining attitudes and experiences of researchers working with open data – sharing it, reusing it, and redistributing it. This year’s survey received a record 8,500+ responses from the research community. While most trends are encouraging around the adoption and acceptance of open data, the research community is now demanding more enforcement of the mandates that have been adopted by many governments, funders, publishers and institutions around the world.

Plan S

cOAlition S consultation on transformative journals framework 
The Plan S guidelines note that cOAlition S will “consider developing a potential framework for ‘transformative journals’ where the share of Open Access content is gradually increased, where subscription costs are offset by income from payments for publishing services (to avoid double payments), and where the journal has a clear commitment to transition to full Open Access”.  A mandatory criteria for Transformative Journals has been released for feedback which you can provide via this survey by 6th Jan. Springer Nature published an open letter in response to the consultation on the transformative journals framework  and cOAlitionS have responded to that, rebutting the points raised.

Plan S will be supported by 10 funders in order to establish its office 



OA APC longitudinal survey 2019
The results of the 2019 OA APC longitudinal survey are presented here with an invitation to participate in an open peer review process of the underlying data and its documentation. Data & links here. 

US Federal research report
A new report from the US Government Accountability Office,  Federal Research: Additional Actions Needed to Improve
Public Access to Research 
has found 11 federal agencies are not doing proper enforcement of researcher compliance, including the giant National Institute of Heath. Read the full report or report highlights

MIT Task Force Final Report
The Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research has released its final recommendations. Read report.

Recent writing & resources on OA 


Books & scholarly writing

Open access potential and uptake in the context of Plan S – a partial gap analysis Leads: Bianca Kramer; Jeroen Bosman,
Researchers:  De Boer, Jan; Firet, Arja;  Fokken, Margriet; Van Gemert, Joost; Groenouwe, Marjan; Manten, Erika; Vreede, Barbara; Weijdema, Felix; Wiersma, Paulien

Comparing published scientific journal articles to their preprint versions Martin Klein, Peter Broadwell, Sharon E. Farb, Todd Grappone

OA:  Could defeat be snatched from the jaws of victory?  Richard Poynder

The Future of OA: A large-scale analysis projecting Open Access publication and readership Heather Piwowar, Jason Priem, Richard Orr

Mining and analysing invoice data from Elsevier relative to hybrid open access Najko Jahn

Monitoring agreements with Open Access elements: why article level metadata is important.  Mafalda Marques, Saskia Woutersen-Windhouwer, Arja Tuuliniemi

NGOs’ experiences of navigating the open access landscape – Nilam McGrath

Blogs we’re reading


Why engage with preprints? – PLOS blog

Reproductions of Public Domain Works Should Remain in the Public Domain – Creative Commons blog

China Strives to Catch Up on STM Publishing: An Interview with Dr. Zong-Ming Cheng and Dr. Xiaofeng Wang – Scholarly Kitchen

Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing


RDA 15th Plenary Meeting - Australia





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