Welcome to the Open Access Australasia website

December 2020 Newsletter

December 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
2020 was the year when open, FAIR and equitable access to research became such a critical issue. We thank everyone who has worked so hard this year for Open Access – across the region and globally – and look forward to many fruitful collaborations next year.

It’s been such a long and difficult year for many and we’re looking forward to a holiday break. We know when we return in the new year, there will still be much advocacy work to be done with the research and wider community in order to consolidate the move towards full Open Access.

The AOASG office will be closed from Dec 23 – Jan 10 inclusive. We will be kicking off 2021 with a webinar rounding up 2020, followed by a series of lively webinars throughout the year and other activities. Highlights from this year, including all our 2020 webinar recordings as well as our OA week sessions, are available to view on our site.

Wishing all our members and readers the very best for a safe and restful Christmas and holiday season. 
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  

We regard this newsletter as key to our advocacy work and encourage you to share it widely and encourage colleagues to sign up.

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

Unconference session on a National Strategy
Earlier this month we ran an unconference session at the Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science (AIMOS) 2020 to discuss what could be part of an Australian National Strategy for Open Research. It was a lively session with many engaged participants. Watch & listen here

Griffith Open Research
Queensland’s Griffith University has released its Open Research Statement which includes an explicit commitment “to foster an Open Research culture within the University to help drive greater societal and economic impact from that research. Our research and scholarship will be accessible both within and beyond the academy so as to advance scientific knowledge and understanding, inform public debate, and provide access to the public who fund research through their taxes”.

page snapshot of share feature
Sneak preview of AUT’s sharing tool
Auckland University of Technology’s Library Online and Open Initiatives team will soon be implementing Share Your Paper, a tool developed by Open Access Button.  And AUT’s open publications hosting service Tuwhera is continuing to grow its OA offering, launching an Open Books service and four more titles. 

UWA publishing re-aligned & hybrid 
The University of Western Australia has instituted a new publishing model with some titles traditionally published & others published open access. The university says the new hybrid model for its publishing arm will be developed with oversight by a newly established Advisory Board. Publishing decisions will be supported by a robust process of editorial and peer review. Read more. 


What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally


General News

Plan for OA Community Investment Program 
The Open Access Community Investment Program has been launched in the US. It’s a community-funded open access publishing project developed by three organisations: LYRASIS; Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access; and Duke University Press with the goal of matching libraries, consortia, and other prospective scholarly publishing funders with non-profit publishers and journal editorial boards that are seeking financial investments to sustain or transition to open access publishing of journals or books. There is a Pilot program prospectus and you can read more about the program here.

Open Access Switchboard gets top support
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)Wellcome and Jisc are among the first organisations supporting the Open Access Switchboard. The new body aims to help the research community transition to full and immediate open access and simplify efforts to make open access the predominant model of publication of research. Led by OASPA, the OA Switchboard is a not-for-profit collaboration among funders, institutions, consortia and publishers to provide essential infrastructure, standards and back office services. Read more. 

Amazon in talks with DPLA for ebook access
Global ebook giant Amazon has confirmed to publishersweekly.com that it’s in talks with the Digital Public Library of America. At present Amazon don’t make any digital content available to libraries. 

Texas Uni Libraries form Coalition for publisher negotiations
Last year the 43 Academic Libraries across Texas created the Texas Library Coalition for United Action, hoping to change current publishing models and the relationships between academic institutions and publishers. The group’s been in negotiations with Elsevier this year and hopes to negotiate an improved and sustainable model for the dissemination of scholarship and to create a more balanced approach to faculty ownership of their scholarly work, as well as reducing costs immediately and ongoing by creating sustainable subscription models. Read more.

Congratulations to SPARC’s Heather Joseph 
In the US, Executive Director of SPARC and AOASG friend Heather Joseph has been named 2021 recipient of the Miles Conrad Award by the National Information Standards Organisation. Heather was our special guest at OA Week here in Oz in 2017. Read more

Funder obligations prompt OA change to Brain Pathology 
The journal made the change because of the moves by agencies & governments to make funding contingent on open access publication. It’s notable that APCs are US$3500; even having a letter to the editor published will cost you a hefty US$1750. See more.

New Open data policy for CERN
The four main Large Hadron Collider (LHC) collaborations (ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb) have unanimously endorsed a new open data policy for scientific experiments at the LHC. The policy commits to publicly releasing so-called level 3 scientific data, the type required to make scientific studies, collected by the LHC experiments. Data will start to be released approximately five years after collection, and the aim is for the full dataset to be publicly available by the close of the experiment concerned. Read more.

IReL, the nationally funded e-resource licensing consortium for Ireland, joins SCOAP3
Ireland now becomes the 44th country in the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3), the world’s largest disciplinary open access initiative. SCOAP3  is supported in Australia by seven universities. Read more

Major Physics-Related Professional Societies Support Open Access
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) and 15 other major physics-related professional societies, have released a statement on their commitment to open access for physics research. Read more

Plan S

Dutch Research Council commits to DOAJ 
The De Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek has agreed to support the Directory of Open Access Journals for another three years, offering sustainable funding for the organisation. It has also committed to introduce Plan S from January 1 next year.  Read more. 

New Plan S FAQs
Scholastica has compiled a new blog to answer the most common questions journal users are asking of publishers. Read more. 

US looking at changing Copyright Act
The US Senate Judiciary Committee’s Intellectual Property Panel is planning on updating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, with the goal of “modernising the legislation to better protect copyrighted content and defending fair use rights.” The Internet Archive responded to a call for feedback by encouraging the committee to keep things as they are. Read more.



Preprints in the Public Eye project
ASAPbio, with support from the Open Society Foundations, has launched the Preprints in the Public Eye project which aims to consolidate and expand on existing efforts to set best practice standards for reporting research posted as preprints.  Read more.  


Scopus adds 5.5 million OA records 
Elsevier’s abstract and citation database, Scopus has new Open Access filters collecting an additional 5.5 million articles.  The articles are being sourced from Unpaywall which harvests OA content from publishers and repositories. Read more

New multi-content repository launched by JISC
The new repository is Plan-S compliant and comes as a fully managed ‘software-as-a-service’ provision, hosted on a secure cloud platform. Jisc says it will store and share digital research output, and will allow institutions to meet all Plan-S mandatory requirements and other funder and publisher mandates for OA. It also includes a built in ‘FAIR checker’ Read more.

Research Assessment

DORA has re-launched its website with a refreshed set of resources, including a set of case studies and updated resources. See more
In a interesting move, Elsevier has announced that it has signed DORA – which has prompted discussion on twitter about whether this will actually lead to the publisher moving away from promoting journal level metrics.

Recent writing & resources on OA 


What we’ll be reading (over the holidays…)

Reimagining academic assessment: stories of innovation and change This series of case studies of universities and national consortia from DORA highlight the key elements of institutional change to improve academic career assessment

Transformative agreements: Do they pave the way to open access? by Ángel Borrego, Lluís Anglada & Ernest Abadal

Revealing the secrets of COVID-19: Analyzing the nation’s clinical data together This tremendous presentation at the JROST conference highlighted how critical open research and collaboration has been in combatting the pandemic

How Science Beat the Virus And what it lost in the process by Ed Yong in the Atlantic

Shepherding preprints through a pandemic by Theo Bloom (one of the founders of medRxIV) in the BMJ

How Prestige Journals Remain Elite, Exclusive And Exclusionary by Madhukar Pai in Forbes

Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing


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

SSP annual meeting

LIBER 2021 Online Conference  

June 23-25

LIBER conference logo

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.