Welcome to the Open Access Australasia website

March 2021 Newsletter

March 2021: 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

In 2020, open access  – and open science more generally – were key underpinnings of the huge scientific developments in the first year of the COVD-19 pandemic. In 2021 it will be critical to ensure that the advances in understanding and support for open initiatives are consolidated. Our first webinar reviewed 2020  – here are the links if you missed it – and earlier this month we had a strategy meeting to plan 2021, and the initiatives we will be rolling out this year.

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  

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

Upcoming webinar on Australian OA
OASPA has announced that their next webinar which will direct its focus Down Under, specifically considering how Australia is travelling towards an open agenda and what specific drivers are affecting progress.  Tuesday 23 March 7am AEST & 10am NZDT.  The webinar will be chaired by Dr Danny Kingsley (ANU Visiting Fellow), and the panel includes Professor Lucy Montgomery (Co-lead COKI),  Emeritus Professor Ian Chubb (former Australian Chief Scientist) & Martin Borchert (Chair AOASG). Register here.

CSIRO opens access to research 
CSIRO has made some key steps forward in supporting open access. CSIRO Acting Chief Scientist, Dr Sarah Pearce, says the organisation hopes to remove barriers and increase opportunities for its published research to make a difference in the world by moving to Open Access.  Dr Pearce says at a time when people are turning to science for answers, they’re proud to be making more of its published research openly available. Read More.

CAUL & CSIRO Publishing forge new transformative agreements
Australian and New Zealand researchers who publish in CSIRO journals can now publish research articles as open access through new transformative agreements between CSIRO Publishing and CAUL member institutions. Read more.

Progress on 2018 CARE principles for Indigenous Data
Last month, representatives of the Global Indigenous Data Alliance, the Equity for Indigenous Research and Innovation Coordinating Hub, the National Library of Australia and University of Sydney joined attendees from Australian and New Zealand institutions for a discussion session hosted by National and State Libraries Australia and the OCLC Research Library Partnership. The panelists shared updates and examples of their work, as well as lessons they’ve learned. Read more

Australia’s new Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, gave the keynote speech at the Research Support Community day on Open Research. Watch here

AOASG Director, Ginny Barbour is taking part in a series of online talks convened by the Center for Biomedical Research Transparency – the Biomedical Transparency Summit Series. Although at an unsocial time here live, the talks will be available online. Register here


What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally

General News

Publishers cry poor on UKRI policy impact
In the UK, the Publishers Association has released its report on the economic assessment of the impact of the UKRI’s Open Access Policy.  The report can be found here.  Here’s some analysis of the report from @martin_eve
points out inconsistencies in the report.

DOAB migrates to new open environment
OA book provider, the Directory of Open Access Books has migrated to the open source DSpace6 and will remain free of charge.  Read more. 

Jisc takes on new transitional agreements with Oxford Uni Press & BMJ
A 12-month pilot ‘publish and read’ agreement has been signed between the BMJ and Jisc.  The deal gives Jisc members full read access to the BMJ standard collection and allows member institution researchers to publish open access. Read more.  Jisc has also signed a read and publish deal with Oxford University Press.  Read more.

Wiley buys Hindawi
This purchase leading to yet more consolidation of publishing  raises a number of issues, In particular, how it might affect transformative agreements. Read more

OA subs plan for India
The Indian Government, in its draft Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, is proposing a ‘One Nation, One Subscription’ policy for scientific journals. It plans to buy bulk subscriptions of all important scientific journals across the world and provide them to everyone in India.   Read more. 

Open & good governance on LIS for societies
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has published a new statement about Open and Good Governance on the role of library and information services in improving the way societies are governed, both through optimal decision-making within government, and effective scrutiny and engagement by parliaments and wider populations.  Read more

MIT announces Direct to Open for OERs
The MIT Press has announced the launch of Direct to Open (D2O). A first-of-its-kind sustainable framework for open access monographs, D2O moves professional and scholarly books from a solely market-based, purchase model where individuals and libraries buy single eBooks, to a collaborative, library-supported open access model.

New agreement for Canadian researchers & PLOS
The Canadian Research Knowledge Network and PLOS have announced an agreement for network members to participate in  a new collective action publishing model from PLOS, enabling 19 participating institutions to publish fee-free in PLOS Medicine and PLOS Biology. Read more.  

PLOS makes deal with the Big Ten 
The Big Ten Academic Alliance (US colleges) is the largest consortium to participate in PLOS’ Community Action Publishing with a full three-year pilot.  PLOS has extended the benefits of this agreement to include most system, regional, and branch campuses of these universities.  Read more.

Jisc and Springer Nature extend UK Compact agreement
The agreement was extended by including Nature’s more prestigious academic journals. Read more.

Denmark & Elsevier sign an OA agreement
The agreement  includes immediate, free, read access to Danish research publications published with Elsevier, OA publishing without additional charges, and read access to the existing Elsevier portfolio. Read more.  

Ireland developing National Action plan to OA
Ireland has announced a new phase for Ireland’s National Open Research Forum marked by a revised structure and the beginning of a process to develop a National Action Plan that supports the National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment.  Read more.  

Prestigious Unis are OA leaders
An Academic Analytics Research Center study has found greater rates of authorship of open access research articles among scholars at more prestigious institutions with greater access to resources and job security. 

Twitter has permanently suspended Sci-Hub’s account. 
Read More. 

Facebook to remove false vaccine claims. Read more.

Plan S

2021 marks start of the OA requirement for research funded by cOAlition S 
This is a watershed year: Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. Read more

OA diamond report
COAlition S and Science Europe have announce the publication of an in-depth report and recommendations arising from a study of community-driven open access (OA) journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as “OA diamond journals”.

Key findings:
  1. A vast archipelago (estimated at 29,000) of relatively small journals exists and serves a wide range of communities
  2. OA diamond journals are on the road to full compliance with Plan S
  3. Scientific strengths and operational challenges exist in a mix of areas from legal structures to technical capabilities to editorial processes or funding models
  4. OA diamond journals largely depend on volunteers, universities and government to operate
Key recommendations:
  1. Streamline technical support
  2. Ensure compliance with Plan S
  3. Build capacity
  4. Increase effectiveness
  5. Sustain and invest in the future
Kick-start actions:
  1. Prepare an International Workshop and Symposium on OA diamond within 6 months to initiate a global conversation among different stakeholders
  2. Set up an OA diamond Funding Strategy within 1 year to implement funding recommendations
  3. Build the OA diamond Capacity Center within 2 years to support the implementation of recommendations

Repositories key links in the cOAlition S RRS 
Adoption of the Rights Retention Strategy gives authors the security that acceptance of their article for submission ensures that they can eventually make their work OA either via the Version of Record (VoR), or the author accepted manuscript (AAM), independently of the choice of venue (fully OA or subscription journal).  The RRS cuts through much of the confusion surrounding copyright transfer claims made by some publishers (see below).

Publishers oppose Rights Retention Strategy
A group of more than 50 academic publishers including Elsevier, Springer Nature & Wiley have signed a statement opposing the Plan S rights retention strategy, saying it challenges their ability to recoup the costs journals incur related to quality control and peer review  through subscriptions or article processing fees. The publishers are also worried about the provision to make the accepted manuscript version of their article immediately available under a CC licence.   Read more.



ORCID’s Annual Report  
Executive Director Chris Shillum said 2020 the COVID pandemic has brought renewed emphasis on the importance of scholarship and global cooperation. He hopes their work at ORCID has helped researchers find each other, trust each other, and work more rapidly together to solve critical problems. Download the report here. 

Association of Research Libraries
Released its annual report – read it here.



15,000 milestone for LibriVox
LibriVox is a free public domain repository for audiobooks which are made available by volunteers who read, proof listen and help out with with technology. The catalogue has almost 2000 projects in 43 languages.  Read more.   

10 years & 250,000+ OA images
More than 1/4 million nature images are freely available in the Biodiversity Heritage Library.  They’ve been working on this since 2011 – you can get involved here.

China-Aster and Fuchsia. Secret message: Caprice is a woman’s privilege. Osgood, Frances Sargent (editor). The Floral Offering, A Token of Friendship (1847). Art by J. Ackerman. Contributed in BHL from Chicago Botanic Garden, Lenhardt Library. Digitization sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).


Recent writing & resources on OA + COVID 

Why open science is critical to combating COVID-19: OECD Policy Responses to COVID-19 
COVID vaccines: the world’s medical regulators need access to open data
The global race to produce COVID vaccines is a chance for regulators and drug companies to create a more harmonized approvals process. 

Open science takes on the coronavirus pandemic Data sharing.
Open-source designs for medical equipment, and hobbyists are all being harnessed to combat COVID-19 
Can ‘Open Science’ speed up the search for a COVID-19 vaccine? 5 things you need to know
The UN is calling for authoritative scientific information and research to be made freely available, to accelerate research into an effective vaccine against the COVID-19 virus, help counter misinformation, and “unlock the full potential of science”.

Luck, foresight and science: How an unheralded team developed a COVID-19 vaccine in record time.
A long-form article on how previous research led to the vaccine by David Heath and Gus Garcia-Roberts

What we’re reading 

Persistent Identifiers Connect a Scholarly Record with Many Versions. By Cynthia Hudson-Vitale and Judy Ruttenberg for the Association of Research Libraries blog.

MLIS Alum (Ashley Farley from the Gates Foundation) is on a mission for Open Access By Doug Parry University of Washington Information School.

Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing

Society for Scholarly Publishing’s 43rd Annual Meeting
May 2021

Open Repositories 2021
June 7-10

LIBER 2021 Online Conference  
June 23-25


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.