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May/June 2020 Newsletter

May/June 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

So much news – despite the world being in slow motion

As the cool weather sets in we are pleased to say we are making good progress on some of our strategic priorities for 2020.  Our newly formed practitioners working group is well on its way to delivering some new resources for the AOASG membership group.  
At the same time, OA developments both related to COVID-19 and more generally continue apace and we include a round up of some of the key news here. We know that this newsletter goes to a wide group, far beyond our membership – but all our activities are supported by our membership. So if you’re reading this newsletter and wondering if your university or institute is a member organisation just ask and if not, we’d be delighted to discuss membership with you. Contact us here for more information.
We’re planning two events later this month – one in association with CAUL and ARDC; and one with DORA. Details to follow.

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

Biodiversity Heritage Library Australia is 10 years old
This fantastic open access resource has more than 2400 volumes and 350,000 pages contributed by Australia’s museums, herbaria, royal societies, field naturalist clubs and government organisations. The  collection includes “The Naturalist’s Miscellany” vol. 1, which contains the first scientific description of a kangaroo (1790).
Browse the collection here.

Digital Inclusion in New Zealand
Twenty organisations are supporting Internet NZ’s five point plan calling for the government to create greater digital inclusion at the time of COVID-19 and beyond.  Read more

Sharing plan for Australian researchers
Australian BioCommons and QCIF are collaborating to establish and operate systems to enable sharing and improvement of draft genome annotations for Australian researchers. Read more.

Knowledge Unlatched pledging drive for Asia Pacific
Webinar for librarians who may be interested in supporting this Open Access initiative. Register here.

ARDC Open Platforms Call
The ARDC platforms program seeks to increase the number of researchers with access to platforms, both in terms of absolute number and in terms of diversity of disciplines. The 2020 Platforms Open Call will encourage interaction between new applicants and those projects that were successful in the 2019 open call, and will continue to encourage reuse of existing platforms, components, and approaches. Register here for a webinar on this call.

NHMRC Research Culture survey
The NHMRC has released the results of their survey of research culture in Australian NHMRC-funded institutions. There are a number of interesting results and it is noted that researchers, institutions and funders all have an important role to play in improving research quality. Specifically, it is recognised that one key opportunity to influence research culture or responsible research practices is in “encouraging open access publishing”. Read more here.


What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally


COVID-19: Commentary and Policy

Kiwis boost library funding 
The New Zealand Government has announced an extra $58.8 million in funding for New Zealand libraries which will assist the COVID-19 recovery process.The four-year initiative will help fund free internet access in all public libraries and provide other specialist library services. 

APO collecting COVID-19 policy
The Analysis & Policy Observatory APO is collating COVID related policy resources. 

Publishers suing Internet Archive
Four US publishers are suing the Internet Archive alleging it has infringed author copyright by offering more than a million scanned works to the public.  It follows the organisation’s announcement it established a National Emergency Library in response to the coronavirus outbreak to support “remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation” with free digital materials. Read more.

Will the pandemic permanently alter scientific publishing?
Nature commentary discusses the huge adoption of preprints and other innovations in publishing during the pandemic Read more 


COVID-19: Resources

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

Research Data Alliance community response to the global COVID-19 pandemic
The response includes RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines covering four research areas – clinical data, omics practices, epidemiology and social sciences. Read more.

General News

UNESCO survey
Last chance to provide feedback to UNESCO on open science. Survey here

DORA rethinking research assessment
A new briefing document providing five design principles to help universities and research institutions improve their research assessment policies and practices.  Read more.

OASPA collaboration program 
The OA Switchboard initiative is a collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers with the aim to facilitate the fulfilment of OA strategies across business models, policies and agreements, whilst providing a better experience for researchers/authors. The project in 2020 will explore how to collaboratively build an operational solution to tackle these problems, determine the technical requirements, and include a subsequent pilot phase.

Dutch deal favours OA
Dutch universities and research & funding organisations have announced a deal with with Elsevier. They claim this will make virtually all publication in Elsevier journals OA  (though the Lancet and Cell are excluded – others in these titles are included). This deal allows tracking of researcher activity by Elsevier systems. Read more.

DOAB & MUSE Partnership
A new partnership between the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) and Project MUSE will enhance the discoverability of the OA titles on MUSE and increase the number of publishers and OA books listed in DOAB.  Project MUSE is a trusted provider of digital humanities and social science content offering more than 60,000 books from over 100 presses including over 2,800 open access books. Publishers wanting their OA MUSE titles to be included in DOAB only need to apply to be listed in DOAB.

Responses to UKRI Review
Earlier this year United Kingdom Research and Innovation began a review into what should be the direction of Open Access in the UK. Many responses have been submitted, including from two publishers, F1000 Research Ltd and Taylor & Francis and from OASPA.

OA in the USA
The White House  Office of Science and Technology Policy consultation has now closed and the huge list of responses is now available online. The AOASG also responded to this consultation. Science has a round up of what might happen next. Read more.

Global grant IDs now in Europe PubMed Central
A pilot has been running for a while now and the results and future plans are discussed in this blog.

Frontiers announces substantial increases in APC charges
Heather Morrison has blogged extensively on this here. She notes that these increases come at a time when Frontiers is developing national agreements with a number of countries.

First Read and Publish deal for China
Oxford University Press and the National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Science have announced a new Read & Publish agreement said to be the first of its kind in mainland China. This is a  three-year deal covering 26 of the institutions of the Chinese Academy of Science. Read more.

Canadian OA policy template
Canadian Association of Research Libraries announced the release of its Institutional Open Access Policy Template for Canadian institutions. Read more

Plan S

Guidelines released on publisher price transparency
Plan S has released its guidelines on expectation for price transparency for publishers. From July 2022 only publishers who adhere to the newly approved Plan S price transparency frameworks will be eligible to access funds from cOAlition S members. Read more.

CAUL Roadmap
CAUL have published their Final Report on a Roadmap to Plan S for Australia Read more  


COAR Recommendations for Repositories and COVID-19
With over 5,000 repositories around the world providing open access to data, articles, pre-prints and other valuable products of research, the international repository network represents critical research infrastructure. A coordinated and interoperability approach across repositories will to ensure that COVID-19 resources are widely available and discoverable COAR is making the recommendations below: 

Read more.

RDA publishes TRUST principle for Repositories
The TRUST Principles (Transparency, Responsibility, User Focus, Sustainability, Technology) for digital repositories offer guidance for maintaining the trustworthiness of digital repositories, especially those responsible for the stewardship of research data. Read more


NIH Preprint Pilot 
In the US, the National Library of Medicine is this month launching a pilot project to test the viability of making preprints resulting from NIH-funded research available via PubMed Central.  The primary goal is to explore approaches to increasing the discoverability of early NIH research results. The trial will run for 12 months. Read more.

Preprinting a pandemic
A new preprint discusses how preprints have  become integral to the publication of research in the COVD-19 pandemic. Read more


Recent writing & resources on OA 


What we’re reading

Preprints in the Spotlight: Establishing best practices, building trust  Issue Brief by Oya Y.Rieger – Ithaka S+R
Preparing for Plan S: Answers to top journal publisher FAQs [Updated]  Scholastica Blog
Open access to collections is a no-brainer – it’s a clear-cut extension of any museum’s mission – Apollo Magazine – Douglas McCarthy & Andrea Wallace
Data and Inequity: Who’s Missing in Big Data? Collection of papers from the Data, Systems and Society Research Network (DSSRN) Symposium


Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing

Many conferences have been postponed. Some of those being held online are below

 OASPA Online Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing 2020
21 – Friday 25 September 2020

FORCE11 Scholarly Communications Institute
 August 3 – 13, 2020

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.