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November 2020 Newsletter

November 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
As this crazy year slows down ahead of our Summer break we can reflect that one outcome from this pandemic is the universal realisation that the existing norms in academic publishing simply don’t serve us in a global emergency. Looking ahead we’re focussing on developing strategy where equity is fundamental, where stakeholders such as funders, researchers, universities, institutes and policy makers are united in the core values around the advancement of knowledge and researchers have the tools and support they need to do open research. 

On 4th December we are running an unconference session at the Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science (AIMOS) 2020 conference to discuss what could be part of an Australian National Strategy for Open Research. Details here

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

Value in OA research
Universities choosing openness in research over “flawed” ranking system are taking “calculated hit”: Campus Morning Mail’s Tim Winkler wrapped up the CMM-Twig Marketing ReMaking HE online conference. Notably Professor Brian Schmidt ANU’s Vice-Chancellor, “warned current rankings actively discouraged open approaches and weren’t always in the interests of a university seeking to serve the nation.” Read more. 

Towards a National Open Strategy
Over the past year, the need for an overarching national strategy in Australia for open research that aligns the many ongoing individual initiatives has become increasingly apparent. There are an increasing number of countries that have developed or are in the process of implementing such strategies. That’s why we, along with the Council of Australian University Libraries, facilitated two webinars in November 2020 to hear from those who have been through this process as well as from some of major Australian stakeholders: 

1. International perspectives on developing a national open research strategy where where heard from Dr Pirjo-Leena Forsström (IT Centre for Science, Finland), Dr Patricia Clarke (HRB Open Research, Ireland) and Professor Noorsaadah Abd. Rahman (University of Malaya) 

2.  Australian perspectives on developing a national open research strategy where we heard from
 Dr Cathy Foley, Chief Scientist, CSIRO and Australia’s next Chief Scientist, Professor Robyn Owens, Emeritus Professor, and former DVCR UWA Ryan Winn, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council of Learned Academies



October 2020 saw what’s been our most successful OA Week yet!  It was always going to be different with the restrictions around the COVID19 pandemic making face to face activities virtually impossible. However, due to the dedication and planning of our OA Week Steering Group – Emma McLean UNSW, Katya Henry QUT, Luqman Hayes AUT, Mary Filsell Flinders, Thomas Shafee La Trobe – along with AOASG staff, we presented 10 thought provoking events. These events involving five fantastic guest speakers, workshops and an indigenous voices panel, which across the week, drew in almost 1000 participants.   All events were recorded and are available on our website if you missed them.  


What’s new in OA & scholarly publishing globally

General News

UNESCO, WHO, CERN & UNHCHR appeal for open science
Through this appeal the leaders of these organisations called on the international community to take all necessary measures to enable universal access to scientific progress and its applications. As they note, the open science movement aims to make science more accessible, more transparent and thereby more effective. A crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the urgent need to strengthen scientific cooperation and ensure the fundamental right to universal access to scientific progress and its applications. “Open Science” is about free access to scientific publications, data and infrastructure, as well as open software, open educational resources and open technologies such as tests or vaccines. Open science also promotes trust in science, at a time when rumours and false information abound.

New pathway for OA journal preservation
The Directory of Open Access Journals, the CLOCKSS Archive, Internet ArchiveKeepers Registry/ISSN International Centre and Public Knowledge Project have agreed to partner to provide an alternative pathway for the preservation of small-scale, APC-free, Open Access journals. The joint initiative aims at offering an affordable archiving option to OA journals with no author fees (“diamond” OA) registered with DOAJ, as well as raising awareness among the editors and publishers of these journals about the importance of enrolling with a preservation solution. 

EU publishing service call for submissions
EU commission logoThe European Commission is preparing for the 2021 launch of Open Research Europe, the European Commission scientific publishing service, which will provide Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries with a venue to publish their results in full compliance with open access policies.  Read more.

OASPA founds new organisation for the OA Switchboard
The OA Switchboard initiative is a not-for-profit collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers to provide essential infrastructure, standards and back office services to achieve a breakthrough in the transformation of the market such that Open Access is supported as the predominant model of publication. Read more.

PLOS Community Action Publishing
A new plan to more equitably remove barriers to publication has been launched by science & medical publisher PLOS.  Community Action Publishing (CAP) aims to eliminate author APCs in order to make its most selective Open Access journals truly open to both read and to publish in. The plan will assist by covering journal costs, capping margins, and redistributing revenues beyond the target back to community members.

High price for Springer Nature OA option 
Springer has announced that from 2021 authors seeking to publish OA in Nature and the Nature research journals will will have to pay 9500 Euros (AUD$15,000+) to do so. This scheme was described in Nature itself as “a landmark open-access option“. While this scheme does support the Plan S transformative model the huge APC has been criticized as being likely to further drive inequity in publishing. Read More.

Springer Nature in transformative agreement with Max Planck
Springer Nature and the Max Planck Digital Library have agreed an approach to deliver the first ever transformative agreement for Nature and Nature-branded journals. The 4-year agreement for German institutions comes into effect next year. Read more.

USA Unis reject Elsevier model
University of Delaware is the latest to cancel its contract with Elsevier, partly due to the need to save money and in consideration of the publisher’s pricing model and inflexibility in negotiating. Purdue University has also cancelled its subscriptions with the publisher, moving to a one-year, title-by-title contract for 2021. Read more. 

Japanese UL Alliance OA goals in new deal with Elsevier
The Japanese Alliance of  University Library Consortia for E-Resources  and Elsevier, have  reached agreement on a new three-year proposal for subscription publishing with measures to support Japan’s open access (OA) goals, beginning in 2021 Read more

Plan S

Plan S Rights Retention strategy and the Journal Checker
The Rights Retention Strategy ensures researchers who have been funded by a cOAlition S Organisation will always be able to honour their funders’ Open Access policy. Researchers are required to give notice to publishers that the author accepted manuscript arising from their submission carries a CC BY licence, in accordance with their grant conditions.  In order to support researchers and others in understanding which journals are Plan S compliant cOAlition S has launched a beta version of a journal checker https://journalcheckertool.org/.  Read more.



The Academic response to COVID-19
Frontiers conducted a survey with editors, reviewers and authors in May & June 2020 and found the pandemic has had major positive impacts on attitudes towards open access and preprint publishing – showing particularly that HDR students are most likely to publish open access.  Read report.

Impact Report 2020: Centre for Open Science
Executive Director and Co-founder of the Centre for Open Science, Brian Nosek, says 2020 was a remarkable year for open science and their newly published impact report provides some highlights and sets the stage for an even better 2021. 

Preliminary UNESCO report on draft Open Science recommendation 
UNESCO’s preliminary report on the first draft of the Recommendation on Open Science has been sent to Ministers from member countries responsible for relations with UNESCO.  One highlight is that UNESCO considers that Open Science includes at least the following elements: 

•    Open access
•    Open data
•    Open Source/Software and Open Hardware
•    Open Science Infrastructures
•    Open Evaluation
•    Open Educational Resources
•    Open Engagement of Societal Actors
•    Openness to Diversity of Knowledge
•    Openness to Indigenous Knowledge Systems
•    Openness to all Scholarly Knowledge and Inquiry

A key principle is that “Scientific outputs should be as open as possible, and only as closed as necessary.  It makes recommendations for what member states need to do:
•    Promoting a common understanding of Open Science and diverse paths to Open Science
•    Developing an enabling policy environment for Open Science
•    Investing in Open Science infrastructures and services
•    Investing in capacity building for Open Science
•    Transforming scientific culture and aligning incentives for Open Science
•    Promoting innovative approaches for Open Science at different stages of the scientific process
•    Promoting international cooperation on Open Science


Open Science partnership in Africa
The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) and TCC Africa in collaboration with AfricArXiv have signed a partnership agreement focused on strengthening capacity and infrastructure for Open Science in Africa. Read more.

COAR has published its concerns with the requirements contained in the Data Repository Selection: Criteria that Matter, As the response notes “COAR agrees that it is important to encourage and support the adoption of best practices in repositories… but that there is a risk that if repository requirements are set very high or applied strictly, then only a few well-resourced repositories will be able to fully comply.” Read more

Recent writing & resources on OA 


What we’re reading

Building new bridges between research and policy during a national lockdown on LSE blog

A Lesson of the Pandemic: All Prints Should Be Preprints on Undark, by Marcus Banks

University of Surrey Questionnaire on Open Research Practices 2020 on PsyArXiv Preprints by Emily Farran, Lewis Jerrom, Alice Hamilton, Christine Daoutis

Panel offers look at open access in the COVID-19 era on Cornell Chronical

Upcoming events in OA & scholarly publishing

Second annual meeting of AIMOS, the Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-research and Open Science 

December 3-4


Joint Roadmap for Open Science Tools Conference
December 14-16


JROST 2020 Conference


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.