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February 2020 Newsletter

February 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

We can’t believe we’re looking down the barrel to March. 2020 has well and truly started with a very productive AOASG Strategic planning day at UNSW, our new host university, in Sydney. We came away from the day with some clear points of focus including ramping up our workshop series for member institutions, creating more shareable Open & FAIR resources, and working with policy makers. We will also continue our webinar series, starting in March with a discussion of plans for the year ahead.

The global coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the need for rapid open sharing of research data, publications and resources and advocacy for OA has become even more important.

We are participating in a couple of events in March that are open to all.
On Tues 17th March we will be at a workshop collocated with RDA in Melbourne in association with ARDC and COAR Addressing the challenges of building research repositories in the context of FAIR, Plan S & next generation repository techniques.
On 25th March in Sydney, we will participate in a Franklin Women event Research Sector of the Future

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

Call for radical change to how we see research value   
University of Sydney deputy vice-chancellor Duncan Ivison said a radical change in mindset about the value of academic contributions to research is needed to achieve an equally radical “opening up” of the scientific method.  In an interview with the Times Higher Ed website the chair of Australia’s Group of Eight (Go8) universities’ Research Committee said by signing the Sorbonne declaration on research data rights (in January) the Go8 had committed to developing appropriate recognition for researchers who made their data F.A.I.R

Australian Standard made Open Access for bushfire recovery
Standards Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Adrian O’Connell and Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology have announced a joint funding agreement for all Australians to access to a key building standard –  AS 3959:2018 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas.  Mr O’Connell saiod “when the scale of the disaster became apparent, I wanted to make sure that Standards Australia was directly contributing to the broader Australian response.” Read more.

Tohatoha on NZ Internet Charter
Late last year, Tohatoha chief Executive Mandy Henk participated in the Twitter panel discussion & podcast about the draft algorithm charter run by Internet NZ. The draft Algorithm charter commits government agencies to use algorithms in a fair, ethical, and transparent way.


What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally


General News

Canadian roadmap to open science launched
The Roadmap was launched by Canada’s chief science advisor with ten recommendations. The vision is “To make Canadian science open to all, maximizing benefits for the well-being, health and economy of our country” and the top recommendation is that “Canada should adopt an Open Science approach to federally funded scientific and research outputs.” Read more

Project to explore open access agreements in developing economies
Supported by Wellcome Trust, and led by Information Power, the new project will look at agreements between society publishers and library consortia in developing and transition economies. The European Respiratory Society, IWA Publishing, and The Company of Biologists – will work with EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) to explore whether and how OA agreements might be piloted to support a global transition to OA.   Read more.

White house call for feedback on Federally-funded research
The White House Science and Technology Policy Office and the National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Open Science have put out a Request for Information on public access to peer-reviewed scholarly publications, data and code resulting from federally funded research.

UKRI draft OA proposal open for consultation
Under a draft proposal UK Research and Innovation will require all not only journal articles, but scholarly monographs, book chapters and edited collections which acknowledge its funding to be make open access from January 2024. Read more. Make a submission to the review here.

EU Researchers call for Open
Researchers from the European Council of Doctoral Candidates, Eurodoc, the Marie Curie Alumni Association, and the Young Academy of Europe are calling on the European Commission to propose legislation ensuring that researchers always retain the right to share their publicly funded, peer-reviewed research findings. This could take form of a directive establishing the non-waivable legal right for researchers to share publicly funded peer-reviewed research findings without embargo periods or other restrictions. Read more.

Update on OA switchboard project
OASPA has provided an update on the OA switchboard project which aims to facilitate the fulfillment of OA strategies across business models, policies and agreements, by connecting systems and improving the information exchange between authors, publishers, funders and institutions.  Read more. 

New Open Access Agreements for US universities
Interview with Scott Delman of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) which has signed new open access (OA) publishing agreements with four major US universities. Read more. 

PLOS and the UC announce open access publishing agreement     
To be implemented this year the University of California Libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the article processing charge (APC) for all UC authors who choose to publish in a PLOS journal. Authors who do not have research funds available can request full funding of the article processing charge from the libraries. The pilot aims to show that an institutional participation model that leverages multiple funding sources, can enable a sustainable and inclusive path to full open access.  Interview with PLOS CEO about the agreement.
Reminder: to see a list of transformative agreements check out the ESAC registry, which includes the two agreements in Australia.

Support Open Library of Humanities – new offer!
Open Library of Humanities is now five years old. It is possible to support them as part of a consortium – see the OLH Open Consortial Offer

Mass resignations at Wiley journal
The entire editorial staff at Wiley’s European Law Journal has resigned after the publisher attempted to appoint new editors-in-chief without consulting the board of editors or the advisory board. The Times Higher education blog says the academics involved in the walkout were concerned about safeguarding their academic autonomy.  Read more.  Meanwhile, Wiley has announced a new three-year license with FinELib, a Finnish consortium of higher education and research institutions, that combines an open access and subscription agreement. 

TOP Factor alternative to JIF
The Center for Open Science has launched launches TOP Factor, an alternative to journal impact factor (JIF) to evaluate qualities of journals. TOP Factor assesses journal policies for the degree to which they promote core scholarly norms of transparency and reproducibility. It’s based primarily on the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines, a framework of eight standards that can improve transparency and reproducibility of research such as transparency of data, materials, code, and research design, preregistration, and replication.  Read more.

New initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication
The Helsinki Initiative calls for policy-makers, leaders, universities, research institutions, research funders, libraries, and researchers to promote multilingualism in scholarly communication. Read more

Candidates sought for next SCOSS funding cycle
Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) is searching for new potential candidates to help fund. SCOSS is requesting that the international community help identify non-profit services that help comprise essential Open Access or Open Science infrastructure, are of international significance and lack financial sustainability. Potential candidates interested in pursuing funding must fill out the SCOSS Expression of Interest by 5 p.m. CET, 11 March. Read more


Cookbook of data management 
An RDA project has published a “cookbook” of cases of good practice globally of engaging researchers in data management. The book is available open access.

SSTIR joins EC cloud
A Chinese data sharing platform has become the first outside of Europe to join the European Commission’s Open Science Cloud. Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Resources Center (SSTIR) is a research and development resource integration big data platform which support’ Shanghai’s push to become an innovation hub with global influence. Read more.

Plan S

Pilot to reveal publisher cost base  
A pilot project allowing libraries and funders to better understand research publishing costs, will run from now until the end of March.  Eight journal publishers have agreed to share details of their cost base.  Read more. It comes after a report on price transparency from Wellcome & UKRI  (see in Reports below).

Journal checker tool under development
A report commissioned by Jisc and funded by Science Europe on behalf of cOAlition S has been released to enhance the understanding of the data needed to identify publishing venues which support Plan S. The report, by Delta Think, entitled “Data Needed to Identify Plan S Compliance”, sheds light on the potential processes to support the development of a “journal checker tool”. Read more.  The full report and supporting data specification is available here


Public Knowledge Project of open source software for preprint servers
A new platform Open Preprint Systems (OPS) will be launched on Feb 28. The software was developed following a partnership with SciELO. Read more.

Preprint servers struggling to cover hosting costs 
A number of platforms are struggling to raise money to stay viable with volunteer-run INA-Rxiv, ArabiXiv, AfricArxiv and IndiaRxiv at risk of having to stop taking submissions due to increased costs to server hosts the non-profit Center for Open Science (COS).   Read more.


Three years of OA at the Met
In the three years of the program The Met’s artwork has reached 225 million annual views on Wikipedia. Read more.

Open access at the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian has a great site where you can search for over 2.8 million OA images and 3D models from their collection. For example, this coral, collected in 1905 in South Australia.



DOAJ Year in review
Highlights include links to 40 international events across the globe and the varied work of DOAJ Ambassadors. Read more. DOAJ has also announced four new ambassadors in Latin America, North America and Africa.

Open Access Price Transparency 
Funded by Wellcome Trust and UKRI on behalf of cOAlition S to engage with stakeholders to develop a framework for the transparent communication of Open Access (OA) prices and services. Read report here

SPARC Europe Annual Report
Highlights include a review of year-long efforts to keep up the pressure on EU legislators as the controversial Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market and associated amendments wound their way through the European Council; a summary of our campaigns to influence both the European Directive on Public Sector Information, so that access to all to majority-publicly funded research is safeguarded by law, and the new European funding programme law, Horizon Europe; and details of support for Plan S and Coalition S. Download report here.

Journal subscription expenditure in the UK 2017-2019
Data set of expenditure made available by Stuart Lawson (Editor of Journal of Radical Librarianship and UK editor for the E-LIS open access subject repository) using information gathered from FOI requests.

Recent writing & resources on OA 

Books & scholarly writing

Indicators of Open Access for universities:  Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, Rodrigo Costas and Thed N. van Leeuwen (Preprint)

First Directions for Using Gamification to Motivate for Open Access: Athanasios Mazarakis, Paula Bräuer

Developing a Research Data Policy Framework for All Journals and Publishers Iain Hrynaszkiewicz , Natasha Simons, Azhar Hussain, Rebecca Grant, Simon Goudie

What Collaboration Means to Us: Sharing Stories to Drive Open Scholarship Rachael Samberg, Anneliese Taylor

Blogs we’re reading

The risks of not sharing data are greater than the costs Times Higher Education blog

Open access journals get a boost from librarians—much to Elsevier’s dismay; ARSTechnica

Read-and-Publish Open Access deals are heightening global inequalities in access to publication  LSE Impact blog


Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing






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