Fall (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) has come early to Berkeley! Classes have been in full swing since August 22, and here at the Office of Scholarly Communication Services we’re staying busy as usual as we prepare to roll out workshops, events, projects, and other services this semester. We are especially excited about:
- Running another installment of our popular Pressbooks workshop to showcase how our openbooks.berkeley.edu publishing platform can be used to create your own textbook or digital project.
- Hosting a series of publishing workshops for graduate students, featuring sessions about copyright and your dissertation, revising your dissertation and navigating the publication process for your first book, and maximizing the impact of your scholarship.
- Hosting the Choosing Pathways to OA forum on behalf of the UC Libraries, in which library and consortia leaders and key academic stakeholders representing 80+ institutions, 27 states, and 4 Canadian provinces, will come together to work on action plans to advance a large-scale transition to Open Access.
If you’re new to campus, here’s a quick reminder of what the Office of Scholarly Communication Services can help you do:
- Understand copyright basics and what they mean when you’re in the classroom, putting material on bCourses, filing your thesis or dissertation, publishing an article or book, or doing text or data mining.
- Find low- or no-cost textbooks and other course materials
- Navigate the publishing process
- Get funding to publish your work open access
- And more!
Want to learn more?
This piece is cross-posted on the University of California Office of Scholarly Communication blog.
A Call to Action
On June 21, the University of California’s Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee (SLASIAC) issued a Call to Action in which they announced their intent to embark on a new phase of activity in journal negotiations focused on open access (OA) to research. The Call to Action appeared alongside discussion of another recently-released University of California document, the Declaration of Rights and Principles to Transform Scholarly Communication, put forth by our system-wide faculty senate library committee (UCOLASC) and intended to guide our libraries toward OA when negotiating with publishers.
There are twin challenges underlying SLASIAC’s Call to Action, and UCOLASC’s Declaration of Rights and Principles: On the one hand, determining how to maintain subscriptions to scholarly journals in a context of escalating subscription costs and shrinking collections budgets, and on the other, pursuing the moral imperative of achieving a truly open scholarly communication system in which the UC’s vast research output is available and accessible to the world. The UC libraries have been working to address these dual needs, and we wish to highlight here some of the efforts our libraries have undertaken in this regard — particularly those in which we are working in concert.
UC Libraries’ Pathways to Open Access
In February 2018, through the release of the Pathways to Open Access toolkit (“Pathways”), UC Libraries identified and analyzed the panoply of possible strategies for directing funds away from paywalled subscription models and toward OA publishing. Pathways takes an impartial approach to analyzing the menu of strategies in order to help each individual campus evaluate which option(s) best serve their goals as they work to shift funds away from subscriptions. It also considers implications for cooperative investment in the various strategies it sets forth.
The possible next steps suggested in Pathways are manifold, including:
- Identifying and engaging with disciplines for flipping their journals to OA
- Exploring memberships and crowd-funding
- Examining opportunities to leverage eScholarship as a publishing platform
- Exploring commitment to open scholarly publishing infrastructure
- Pursuing transitional offsetting agreements, in which current subscription spends help cover open article processing charges for hybrid journals—and potentially backing up offsetting negotiations with cancellations for publishers who refuse to engage
We have already announced intentions to pursue at least one collaborative experiment: to undertake a limited number of offsetting pilots—a transitional strategy to OA that caps institutional spending on a publisher’s subscription package while centrally administering and subsidizing the cost of hybrid article processing charges against a total agreed-upon spend—such that the net effect transitions spending away from subscriptions and toward OA article publication, without higher institutional costs.
Notably, the University of California libraries are aligned around common goals and approaches to achieving a transition to Open Access, but also are responsive to campus-specific needs and priorities. No matter which individual strategies our campuses pursue, we remain committed to the shared goal of collectively redirecting our funds away from subscriptions and toward open access publishing.
Taking the Pathways Journey
The University of California is not alone in the choices it faces with respect to accelerating a transition to open access. In ways both similar to and distinct from what we are experiencing, institutions and scholarly communities around the world are wrestling with their own questions and options as they envision what their pathways to OA might entail. North America has a particularly crucial role to play in the worldwide transition effort, given the size of its publishing output and amount of subscription revenue that it contributes. We do not believe any single actionable OA strategy would suit all North American institutions, let alone all author communities. Instead, we hope to leverage the Pathways toolkit to help authors, research libraries, and organizations make their own choices based on their own communities’ needs.
In acknowledgment of both the great potential for collaborative transformation, and the great divergence of perspectives and requirements for achieving such a transformation, the University of California Libraries are organizing a working forum to provide a dedicated time and space for North American library leaders and key academic stakeholders to use Pathways as a foundation to discuss and design what their own next steps toward open access might look like.
October’s working forum, aptly titled Choosing Pathways to Open Access, will be based on a design thinking model to cultivate discourse and a solutions-based approach. The goal is to facilitate participants’ abilities to understand and assess which OA strategies might be appropriate for repurposing spends at their own institutions, to engage participants in exploring insights shared by others about the implications of implementing those strategies, and to support participants in outlining or developing their own action plans for their institution or author community.
The forum, free of charge to attend, will not include presentations in the traditional sense, but instead will engage facilitators to help guide discussions on given OA publishing strategies. This overall information-sharing and discussion-centered format strives to achieve a balance between deeper engagement with OA strategies and meaningful opportunities to determine next steps—including through alignment or partnership with similarly-interested institutions or communities.
Choosing Pathways to OA aims to give voice to strategies within all OA approaches, with the understanding that each institution or author group might wish to support a range of strategies and approaches as appropriate for their communities and in alignment with their respective goals. While institutions and communities may settle on different investment strategies, the reflection and decision-making process are both crucial and timely.
Happy May, everyone! Now that the spring semester has drawn to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past few months and look ahead to the summer and fall. It’s been a busy time for the Office of Scholarly Communication Services. Here are some highlights.
Maria Gould (that’s me!) joined the Office of Scholarly Communication Services in January as the new Scholarly Communication and Copyright Librarian. Hello, all!
We launched openbooks.berkeley.edu, an exciting new platform – and the first of its kind in the US – to provide self-publishing services to the entire UC Berkeley campus for creation of online textbooks and other digital projects.
We released the Pathways to OA toolkit in collaboration with fellow UC libraries to analyze approaches and strategies toward achieving a large-scale transition to a more open and sustainable scholarly publishing system. To enable other institutions to make similar decisions responsive to their own needs, we’re chairing a working forum on the Berkeley campus in October to collaborate with North American libraries in transforming the scholarly publishing system.
We wrapped up the second semester of a multifaceted pilot program to make textbooks and other course materials more affordable for students. Stay tuned for our forthcoming report detailing the extensive student savings to date! We are pleased to announce that we’ll be running these services again in Fall 2018. If you’d like to save students money and develop innovative pedagogy, please complete this form to participate.
We funded dozens of Open Access publications by UC Berkeley authors through our BRII program.
We put on a scholarly publishing symposium for graduate students, and we offered numerous workshops and consultations for groups all around campus on a wide range of topics, including copyright and fair use, text and data mining, scientific publishing, open access, and more.
Over the summer and heading into the fall, we’ll be continuing to deepen and further develop our service offerings for campus in the areas of copyright guidance, publishing support, and course content affordability, among others.
Thank you for your engagement and support this semester! Please let us know how else we can serve you, and stay tuned for more to come throughout the year.
Publish Digital Books and Open Textbooks with Pressbooks
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 1:10 – 2:30 p.m. | Academic Innovation Studio, Dwinelle Hall 117 (Level D)
The workshop is open to all students, faculty, and staff. Feel free to come with a project idea in mind, and please bring a laptop if possible.
On February 20, the Office of Scholarly Communication Services is offering a hands-on workshop to introduce students, faculty, and staff to Pressbooks, a free, easy, and elegant self-publishing platform that anyone can use to create a digital book (or any other online resource) in minutes. This workshop is offered as part of the Library’s ongoing efforts to support and promote the creation and use of open and affordable course materials on campus (read more about our course affordability pilot programs, events, and workshops).
Do you have material you’ve been wanting to publish online, but aren’t sure how to get started or what tool to use? Come to our workshop to see Pressbooks in action and start working on your own project. By the end of the workshop, you can have a beautiful book published online! Working on a non-book project? You can also use Pressbooks to publish a chapter, white paper, toolkit, or other online resource.
Pressbooks is simple to use and infinitely flexible for a variety of projects, from creating a course textbook to publishing your own chapter- or module-length work. Quickly becoming the preferred tool for educators and writers publishing open books and other content, Pressbooks offers numerous features to support open access and accessibility.
Here are some highlights of what we like about Pressbooks and why we think the platform will be an exciting tool for students, faculty, and staff working on digital projects:
- Easy to use. No design or developer skills required. If you’ve ever used WordPress, you’ll feel right at home.
- Professional design. Choose from dozens of templates and themes that create professional-looking and customizable digital books.
- Immediate and continuous publishing. Publish in minutes, and make changes or edits easily as you go.
- Flexible licensing. License your work with any number of Creative Commons options. You can use the same license for the whole work or apply different licenses for different chapters or sections.
- Accessibility. Pressbooks features and outputs are designed to support accessibility. Pressbooks is committed to making its code and user interface comply with WCAG 2.0 (level AA) standards within 2018, and it is developing tools to help authors maximize the accessibility of published work.
- Collaboration. Give a co-author access to your project, and use Hypothes.is to add or enable annotations.
- Free! Anyone can create an account at no charge.
Come to the workshop on February 20 to try out this innovative platform and kickstart your digital project. In the meantime, if you’re curious about what Pressbooks publications look like, or what else the platform can do, check out how other institutions are using Pressbooks, browse the book examples created at eCampusOntario, and see an open module recently published at UC Berkeley. The Library will also soon have a campus portal just for UC Berkeley-affiliated books, where you can showcase your work and view others’ projects.
For more information, email email@example.com.