Welcome to the Open Access Australasia website

March 2020 Newsletter

March 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

Open Access to research rarely becomes a topic for public discussion outside of emergencies. It’s been highlighted by previous epidemics such as that of Ebola, and mandated for World Health Organisation funded research since 2014. Now its importance is being recognised repeatedly during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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

Aust & NZ calls for open access on COVID-19
Australia and New Zealand are among 12 countries calling on scientific journals to make COVID-19 data freely available.  Government science advisers from around the world sent an open letter to publishers calling for the research to be made available through PubMed or the WHO COVID-19 database.  Read more.

Data behind public health decisions to be made open
The Australian Academy of Science has called for data underpinning COVID-19 decisions to be made public. In response, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer has indicated they will release the modelling.

Vendors making COVID-19 resources available
Council of Australian University Librarians has contacted all CAUL consortium vendors and asked them to supply details of paywalled content that they are making freely available during the COVID-19 crisis.  So far the response has been good. Read more. 

Recording and slides from #1 Webinar for 2020   
AOASG Executive Committee Chair, Martin Borchert and Director, Ginny Barbour presented our first webinar for 2020. 2019 was an extremely busy year for the AOASG with an extensive workshop and new member engagement program. Looking ahead, Martin outlined the group’s plans and priorities for 2020. See more


What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally

General News

F1000 the new EU publishing platform
The EU has awarded the contract for its new publishing platform to F1000.  F1000 (which Taylor and Francis recently bought) also run the Wellcome and Gates platforms. Read more.  

American Chemical Society signs OA agreement with MIT
Under the new agreement all ACS journal articles with MIT-affiliated corresponding authors will be made open access. The associated accepted manuscripts will be automatically deposited into MIT’s open access repository.  In addition, a number of the final published papers will also be made open on the ACS publishing platform. Read more.

UNESCO seeking consultation on Open Science
The organisation will hold a series of online and face to face consultations to support an open debate on Open Science awareness, understanding and policy development to feed into the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. Read more.

French support for Open infrastructure
SCOSS has secured substantial funding (€450,000) for open infrastructure from the French National Fund for Open Science to support OpenCitations, the Public Knowledge Project and the Directory of Open Access Books. Read more. NB Our April webinar will provide an update on SCOSS.

New API for CC
Creative Commons has launched a new API to allow for a custom CC Search.  Read more.

Publishing principles open for comment 
Educopia has published a set of principles on “the relationship between today’s varied scholarly publishing service providers and the academic values that we believe should guide their work.” These principles are open for comment in this white paper.  

Journal production & access survey
Scholastica is conducting a survey on The State of Journal Production and Access among scholarly societies, university presses, and university libraries that publish one or more journals independently. Read more. 


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

A group of US Library Copyright Specialists have put out a Public Statement on Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research.

The Wellcome has a list of publishers who are making COVID-19 research publications free and machine readable.
Interesting commentary in the EU’s science magazine on the importance of data sharing in COVID-19 Read more 

The Netherlands has a good page on making COVID-19 research open Read more

The OECD Secretariat, through the Digital Government and Data Unit, is calling for evidence on the release and use of Open Government Data (OGD) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more


24,000 papers are open & mineable. In the US, the Allen Institute for AI, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Microsoft, and the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health has produced this open, mine-able set of 24,000 papers on COVID-19. It was requested by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. The office has now issued a call to action to the Nation’s artificial intelligence experts to develop new text and data mining techniques that can help the science community answer high-priority scientific questions related to COVID19. 

There is also a resource  LitCovid – a curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus. It describes itself as “the most comprehensive resource on the subject, providing a central access to 1528 (and growing) relevant articles in PubMed.

medRxiv and bioRxiv have combined their COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 preprints in one site.

Our World in Data has created interactive charts. Have a look

Data scientists have created a dashboard using open source tools to track and visualize the spread of COVID-19.  Have a look.

Coronavirus Tech Handbook – a crowd-sourced resource for technologists building things related to the Coronavirus outbreak

Nextstrain – real time tracking of pathogen evolution.

ProQuest has partnered with more than 100 publishers to support libraries in providing unlimited access to Ebook Central holdings for all patrons – at no extra charge.

The Internet Archive has Announced a National Emergency Library to Provide Digitized Books to Students and the Public. See here

Plan S

Journal Checker tool   
Plan S organised a Q & A webinar for the development and maintenance of a Journal Checker Tool.  Read more.

Call for Study
cOAlition S  has announced a call for “an informed study containing an analysis and overview of collaborative non-commercial (aka “Diamond”) publishing journals and platforms. The study is financially supported by Science Europe. The objective is to identify ways to support publishing initiatives wishing to implement Diamond business models.” Read more


Call for 5% investment in data sharing 
Call for more funders to invest in the management of data with the aim of building capacity, to enable groups form around the world to collaborate and share good practices so that good data stewardship becomes the rule, not the exception. Read more.

Essay Competition
CODATA is running an Essay Competition: Open Data Challenges to Address Global and Societal Issues for  Early Career Researchers (ECR), defined as university undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate students or early career researchers within five years of completing their highest qualification.  Read more 


Faculty attitudes to OER
A new report on the impact of, and faculty attitudes to, open educational resources at US universities. Inflection Point: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2019, has found the market is at a turning point, with faculty awareness, adoption, and satisfaction with these materials continuing to grow, along with evidence that campus efforts to support OER continue to have a positive impact.


Recent writing & resources on OA 

Books & scholarly writing

Evaluating institutional open access performance: Sensitivity analysis.  Chun-Kai Huang, Cameron Neylon, Richard Hosking, Lucy Montgomery, Katie Wilson, Alkim Ozaygen and Chloe Brookes-Kenworthy

Blogs we’re reading

Will the Coronavirus kill off the ‘dinosaur’ world of academic publishing?:  South China Morning Post

Stuck at home? View cultural heritage collections online:  Open Objects blog

Quantifying the Impact of the New Chinese Policy:  The Scholarly Kitchen

Making sense of preprint versions:  Europe PMC

Now Is the Time for Open Access Policies—Here’s Why Creative Commons

Analyzing more than 1M citations to better understand scientific research on COVID-19 scite

Tweet for these times


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 



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