Pathways to Open Access: Choices and Opportunities

This piece is cross-posted on the University of California Office of Scholarly Communication blog.

Birds-eye view of intersecting highways surrounded by trees
“Overpasses from above,” Edouard Ki, Unsplash

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.

Learn more


May 3: Lunch poems featuring student readings

The Morrison LibraryThursday, May 3
12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Morrison Library in Doe Library
Admission Free

One of the year’s liveliest events, the student reading includes winners of the following prizes: Academy of American Poets, Cook, Rosenberg, and Yang, as well as students nominated by Berkeley’s creative writing faculty, Lunch Poems volunteers, and representatives from student publications.


Movies @ Moffitt: Mankiller

Mankiller movie poster

A film by Valerie Red-Horse Mohl

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Doors @ 6:30pm, show @ 7:00pm
405 Moffitt Library
Free; open to UCB students only (UCB student ID required)

“This is the story of an American hero and legend, one who stands tall amongst the likes of Robert Kennedy, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King, Jr. — and yet few people know her name. Wilma Mankiller is someone who humbly defied the odds to fight injustice and give a voice to the voiceless. She overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation’s first female Principal Chief in 1985. MANKILLER examines the legacy of the formidable Wilma Mankiller and reunites the documentary team of Gale Anne Hurd and Valerie Red-Horse Mohl for their third and most powerful film.” — Good Docs website

Watch the trailer and visit the website.


FSM Café Event: Elephant’s Dream

Elephant's Dream
ELEPHANT’S DREAM
A film by Kristof Bilsen
Followed by discussion with the director/producer
Doe Library, Room 180 UC Berkeley
Monday, April 16, 2018 6-8p.m.

Set in war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Elephant’s Dream is a breathtaking documentary that captures the daily lives of Congolese street-level civil servants in Kinshasa and Bas-Congo. Kristof Bilsen’s documentary is a long overdue testimony to the courage of the men and women who, against all odds, continue to build society and resilience.

Neglected by conventional portrayals of this vast country nested at the heart of sub-Saharan Africa, these stories reveal the complexities, ambiguities, and challenges of living in a postcolonial nation marked by widespread conflict, political crises and economic collapse. Taking Henriette, the post office counter clerk, Simon, the train station officer and Lieutenant, the chief fire fighter out of international oblivion, this documentary successfully achieves the feat of taking its viewers far beyond the habitual clichés and into the tough path of a self-reflexive voyage.

This event is free, open to the public, and all are invited to participate. For more information: contact fsmprograms@lists.berkeley.edu

Sponsored by the University Library’s Free Speech Movement (FSM) Educational Programs Committee, the UC Berkeley Department of Geography, and the UC Berkeley Center for African Studies.

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact us — ideally at least two weeks prior to the event: fsmprograms@lists.berkeley.edu, 510-768-7618.


April 5: Lunch Poems featuring Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder

Thursday, April 5
12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Morrison Library in Doe Library
Admission Free

Matthew Zapruder is the author most recently of Sun Bear and Why Poetry, a book of prose about poetry. An Associate Professor in the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College of California, he is also Editor at Large at Wave Books, and from 2016-7 was Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine. He lives in Oakland, CA.


April Library Tours

Library Tours

Every Monday and Friday in April
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

April is a month when students and families visit campus, trying to decide if Cal will be their future home. If you are are visiting campus, you are encouraged to come see the the Library.

Tours of the historic Doe Library, underground Main stacks, and newly renovated Moffitt Undergraduate Library are given every Monday and Friday in April. They start on the north steps of the Doe Library. You are encouraged to sign up using this form as space is limited.


Movies @ Moffitt: Ovarian Psycos

Ovarian Psycos

A film by Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-Lavalle

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Doors @ 6:30pm, show @ 7:00pm
405 Moffitt Library
Free; open to UCB students only (UCB student ID required)

Riding at night through streets deemed dangerous in Eastside Los Angeles, the Ovarian Psycos use their bicycles to confront the violence in their lives… The film Ovarian Psycos rides along with the Ovas, exploring the impact of the group’s activism, born of feminist ideals, indigenous understanding and an urban/-hood mentality, on neighborhood women and communities as they confront injustice, racism, and violence, and take back their streets one ride at a time.

View the trailer and visit the website.


Event: Bancroft Roundtable: California’s Place in Anti-Slavery Litigation on the Eve of the Civil War

The second Bancroft Library Roundtable talk of the spring semester will take place in the Lewis-Latimer Room of The Faculty Club at noon on Thursday, March 15. Alexandra Havrylyshyn, J.D. and Ph.D. candidate in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at UC Berkeley and Bancroft Library Study Award recipient, will present “California’s Place in Anti-Slavery Litigation on the Eve of the Civil War.”

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Between 1846 and 1851 New Orleans trial judge John McHenry ruled in favor of nearly twenty enslaved petitioners who sought freedom on the basis of having touched free soil. These rulings directly contravened Louisiana state legislation, but McHenry reasoned that they were in keeping with higher sources of law: constitutional, federal, and international. He migrated to California, and his personal and legal papers are now preserved in The Bancroft Library. Havrylyshyn’s presentation will explore McHenry’s political identification and the ways that anti-slavery litigation influenced California before the start of the Civil War.

We hope to see you there.

José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez and Kathi Neal

Bancroft Library Staff


Event: Opening of Library Exhibit ” “Vida y Resistencia en el Territorio Mapuche, Chile”

flier for event This Friday, March 9, the Library will open an exhibit co-sponsored by the CLAS working group, the Wallmapu Support Committee. “Vida y Resistencia en el Territorio Mapuche, Chile” (Life and Resistance in the Mapuche Territory) can be viewed on the 3rd floor of Moffitt Library from March 9 – June 30, 2018.

The opening event is scheduled Friday from 5 pm – 6:30 pm in 303 Doe Library. There will be a short musical performance and some presentations by Chilean and Mapuche community members from the Bay Area.


March 10 FSM event: Free Speech, Civility, and Democratic Engagement

Free Speech, Civility, and Democratic Engagement

Free Speech Movement Café
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
Saturday, March 10, 2018 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Presented by the Class of ’68 and the Center on Civility and Democratic Engagement at the Goldman School of Public Policy

“CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?”
Breaching ideological echo chambers and the role of civility. A unique opportunity for students and the Cal community to engage in small group discussions with members of the Class of ’68.

10:00 a.m. Breakfast — alumni and students gather
10:25 a.m. Welcome and introductions
10:40 a.m. CENTER ON CIVILITY AND DEMOCRATIC ENGAGEMENT

  • Goldman School of Public Policy, Dean Henry Brady
  • Mission and activities of the Center,
  • Dan Lindheim ’68, faculty director; Larry Rosenthal, program director
11:30 a.m. STUDENT AND ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT

  • Small Group Discussion: Breaching ideological echo chambers and the role of civility
12:20 p.m. CENTER SPONSORED STUDENTS IN ACTION

  • Undergraduate student Viviana Morales ’18, UCDC internship
  • Goldman School of Public Policy graduate student Rawan Elhalaby, Advanced Policy Analysis Project
12:50 p.m. Class of ’68 5oth reunion and Class of ’18 involvement
Wrap-up
1:00 p.m. Adjourn

This event is free, open to the public, and all are invited to participate. Sponsored by the University Library’s Free Speech Movement (FSM) Café

Programs Committee. For more information: contact fsmprograms@lists.berkeley.edu.

The Library attempts to o er programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact us prior to the event: fsmprograms@lists.berkeley.edu, 510-768-7618.