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


Boost Your Scholarly Publishing Skills During Open Access Week, Oct. 23-27

Open Access Connects - OA Week logo

 

Open Access connects your scholarship to the world, and helps you gain global readership. For the week of Oct. 23-27, the UC Berkeley Library is highlighting these connections.

You can attend five exciting workshops and panels that bridge real-world scholarly publishing skills with the connectedness that open access offers.

 

What’s Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of scholarship. Often, OA scholarship is also free of accompanying copyright or licensing reuse restrictions, promoting further innovation. OA removes barriers between readers and scholarly publications—connecting readers to information, and scholars to emerging scholarship and other authors with whom they can collaborate, or whose work they can test, innovate with, and expand upon.

 

Open Access Week @ UC Berkeley

OA Week 2017 is a global effort to bring attention to the connections that OA makes possible. At UC Berkeley, the University Library—with participation from partners like the Graduate DivisionCalifornia Digital LibraryCenter for Teaching & Learning and more—has put together engaging programming demonstrating OA’s connections in action. We hope to see you at the events, where you can continue to build your scholarly publishing skills.

 

Schedule

Refreshments provided at all events, and attendance enters you into raffle for prizes! To find out more about each event, please visit our Scholarly Communication Events page.

 

Monday, Oct. 23
Copyright and Your Dissertation
1-2:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall
Register http://bit.ly/1023copyright
From the beginning of the writing process to submitting and publishing your dissertation or thesis, we will walk you through a useful workflow for addressing copyright and other legal considerations.

 

Tuesday, Oct. 24
First Books & Publishing Your Dissertation

2-3:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall
Register http://bit.ly/1024publishing
Hear from expert panelists about what happens once you submit your dissertation, how to shape your dissertation’s impact, and how to go about publishing your first book.

 

Wednesday, Oct. 25
Increasing and Monitoring Scholarly Impact

10-11:30 a.m. | 309 Sproul Hall
Register http://bit.ly/1025impact
Discover strategies and tips for preparing and promoting your scholarship, and the best ways to monitor and increase your citations and success. You’ll also learn how to: understand metrics, select and use scholarly networking tools, choose reputable open access journals and publishing options, and participate in open access article and book funding opportunities.

 

Thursday, Oct. 26
Understanding the (Changing) Realm of Peer Review

1-2:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall
Register http://bit.ly/1026understandpeer
Are you publishing an article or reviewing someone else’s work? Panelists demystify the peer review process, what’s expected of you and what you’ll experience, and how the world of peer review is evolving with new models that foster transparency and impact.

 

Friday, Oct. 27
Making Textbooks and Course Readers Affordable

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Wurster Hall, Environmental Design Library
Register http://bit.ly/1027ACC
Do you wonder how to make your assigned readings more affordable, and how much time and effort you’d need to invest? The University Library and Center for Teaching and Learning have partnered in an innovative pilot program to reduce course content expenses and incentivize the creation of high quality, free, and open course materials. In this panel event, you’ll hear from participating faculty and lecturers who will discuss their experiences and provide practical tips from the leading edge of course content affordability.

 

We hope to see you there!

Questions? E-mail schol-comm@berkeley.edu, or check out our Scholarly Communication Services website.

 


Academic Council Affirms Commitment to Open Access Efforts like OA2020

By letter to University of California President Janet Napolitano, the Academic Council has enthusiastically endorsed and affirmed university-wide commitments to make UC research and scholarship as freely and openly available as possible.

The letter of the Academic Council, which advises the UC President on behalf of the Assembly, updates President Napolitano on various campus efforts to fulfill the University’s mission of providing long-term societal benefits through transmitting advanced knowledge. As the Council notes, one way that the University has been working to achieve its mission is through implementation of the 2013 Open Access policy, pursuant to which UC scholars widely disseminate their scholarship by making copies available open access (OA). OA promotes free, immediate access to research articles and the rights to use these articles to advance knowledge worldwide.

“As the nation’s largest public research institution and a source of two percent of the world’s research literature,” explains Jim Chalfant, Academic Council Chair, “the University of California is uniquely positioned to further this goal for the benefit of people all over the world who currently do not have access to the vast majority of scholarly research articles.”

Indeed, since the adoption of the 2013 OA policy, the ten UC campuses have made important progress toward increasing both the dissemination and impact of UC scholarship while reducing barriers to readership.

One way in which the Berkeley campus has contributed to a more open scholarly landscape is by engaging in open access initiatives such as OA2020, noted in particular in the Council’s letter. OA2020 is an international movement, led by the Max Planck Digital Library in Munich, to convert the entire corpus of scholarly journal literature to open access by the year 2020. The OA2020 movement intends to accomplish this “flipping” by encouraging institutions to convert resources currently spent on journal subscriptions into funds that support sustainable OA business models. Berkeley signed the OA2020 Expression of Interest in March 2017 along with UC Davis and UCSF.

In affirming UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UCSF’s participation in OA2020 and similar initiatives, the Academic Council avows OA2020’s alignment with both the 2013 OA policy and the UC’s mission to conduct research in the public interest and serve society. Accordingly, both the Council and the Academic Senate’s Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication “support all efforts by UC campuses to promote open access to scholarly research, both in the service of the University’s Open Access mission and in the service of similarly-oriented global missions such as OA2020.”

To learn more about why UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UCSF signed the OA2020 Expression of interest, please see our joint statement, Why OA2020? (attached as Appendix C to the Academic Council’s letter), or our website, OA2020.us.

To discover more about the many initiatives in which the UC Berkeley Library engages to advance progress toward sustainable open access publishing, please see our Scholarly Communication Services page about our Open Access Initiatives.

We warmly welcome opportunities to talk more about these efforts, so please feel free to reach out to us: schol-comm@berkeley.edu.


UC Berkeley Open Access Authors: We’re Celebrating You!

BRII & Brie Author Recognition Event Invitation
Click to RSVP for the BRII & Brie Author Recognition Event

Join faculty, students, and colleagues for wine and cheese as the UC Berkeley community recognizes and discusses UCB open access papers at the BRII & Brie Author Recognition Event (open to all) being held in Morrison Library on Feb. 22, 2017 from 5:00-6:30 p.m.

We’re Celebrating Because You’ve Published For Impact

You’re over the moon because your new paper has just been accepted to a high-impact journal that is published open access—free, digital, and available to anyone online. You chose this journal because open access (OA) publishing can promote increased readership by lowering access barriers, and can spur innovation through fewer restrictions on use.

But suddenly you’re faced with a quandary: There’s a steep fee to make all this happen—an “article processing charge” (APC), typically somewhere between $650-$3,500, that authors are asked to provide to publishers for OA publication in lieu of typical print-subscription fees paid for by libraries. You want people to read and cite your scholarship, and you hope to advance knowledge by enabling maximal use of your scholarly output. But how can you finance and participate in this new scholarly publishing landscape?

One option is to deposit a copy of the article you submitted into a repository, in keeping with the UC system’s OA policy. (For more on the OA policy, see the UCOP Office of Scholarly Communication’s helpful guide.) To that end, UC scholars and staff can deposit pre-print copies of their publications in eScholarship (the repository created by California Digital Library), or can choose a discipline-specific repository like arXiv or the new Humanities Commons.

Depositing preprints and making them available at no cost to the public in this fashion can have remarkable impacts for building knowledge and augmenting your academic reputation. Yet, there is still one other parameter of an APC-based OA publishing system that remains to be addressed: covering the APC, itself. What can you do when an esteemed open access journal like BMC Biology asks you to provide $2,785 to publish your accepted paper in their online journal? Maybe you have grant funds to cover this APC, but maybe you don’t, and maybe you don’t have a grant at all.

What’s The Solution?

UC Berkeley’s Library can help, and we’re about to start celebrating that. The Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) makes APC funding available to UC Berkeley authors (current faculty members, post-docs, students, researchers) and publishers (campus Centers, Organized Research Units, and Departments) to make your publications free to all readers immediately upon publication—thereby also helping to increase the impact of your scholarship.

Started in 2008, BRII has provided around $400,000 of funding for several hundred articles and publications across numerous discipline areas. In a 2016 paper, authors Teplitzky and Phillips reported that 89% of responding BRII recipients agreed that the availability of BRII to help pay the APC or open access fee for their article affected their decision about where to publish, and 44% had not published an open access article prior to the one funded by BRII. Most respondents (82%) believed their article had a greater impact overall because it was OA.

Let’s Celebrate UC Berkeley Scholarship!

So, it’s high time to recognize the scholarship of BRII-funded authors, and raise awareness about available BRII funding. That’s exactly what the Library will be doing with the BRII & Brie Author Recognition Event (open to all) being held in Morrison Library on Feb. 22, 2017 from 5:00-6:30 p.m.

You can hear remarks from University Librarian Jeff MacKie-Mason and BRII-funded faculty members about their scholarship, and the impact of BRII and open access. There will also be a lightning round of paper discussions by attending BRII recipients, so you can learn more about the OA scholarship being created here at UC Berkeley. BRII-funded works will also be displayed, so if you already are a BRII recipient, please RSVP by January 20 to have your work shown at the event.

We hope you’ll join us to celebrate your colleagues in an evening of learning and author recognition. If you know little about OA or BRII, but aspire to publish, please join us to find out more about this important funding program. RSVP here!


Connect Your Scholarship: Open Access Week 2016

Open Access Week 2016

Open Access connects your scholarship to the world, and for the week of Oct. 24-28, the UC Berkeley Library is highlighting these connections with five exciting workshops and panels.

What’s Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of scholarship. Often, OA scholarship is also free of accompanying copyright or licensing reuse restrictions, promoting further innovation. OA removes barriers between readers and scholarly publications—connecting readers to information, and scholars to emerging scholarship and other authors with whom they can collaborate, or whose work they can test, innovate with, and expand upon.

Open Access Week @ UC Berkeley

OA Week 2016 is a global effort to bring attention to the connections that OA makes possible. At UC Berkeley, the University Library—with participation from partners like the D-Lab, California Digital Library, DH@Berkeley, and more—has put together engaging programming demonstrating OA’s connections in action. We hope to see you there.

Schedule

To register for these events and find out more, please visit our OA Week 2016 guide.

  • Digital Humanities for Tomorrow
    2-4 pm, Monday October 24, Doe Library 303
  • Copyright and Your Dissertation
    4-5 pm, Monday October 24, Sproul Hall 309
  • Publishing Your Dissertation
    2-3 pm, Tuesday October 25, Sproul Hall 309
  • Increase and Track Your Scholarly Impact
    2-3 pm, Thursday October 27, Sproul Hall 309
  • Current Topics in Data Publishing
    2-3 pm, Friday October 28, Doe Library 190

You can also talk to a Library expert from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Oct. 24-28 at:

  • North Gate Hall (Mon., Tue.)
  • Kroeber Hall (Wed.–Fri.)

Event attendance and table visits earn raffle tickets for a prize drawing on October 28!

Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Library, and organized by the Library’s Scholarly Communication Expertise Group. Contact Library Scholarly Communication Officer, Rachael Samberg (rsamberg@berkeley.edu), with questions.


Q & A with New Scholarly Communications Officer

The Library’s new Scholarly Communications Officer, Rachael Samberg, offered this overview of her work recently. Rachael joined us in late June and came from Stanford Law School’s library, where she was head of reference & instructional services and lecturer in law. Her recent presentation in the Library is available at Slide Share.

What inspires you about this new position?

The system of scholarly communication—through which research and other scholarly writings and output is created, evaluated, disseminated, and preserved—has been around for centuries, but it’s going through incredible changes now at every stage of its lifecycle. There are so many exciting opportunities and roles for the Library in helping to support and shepherd these changes—whether we are talking about promoting discoverability and recognition of our scholars’ research and writing, helping to shape funding models that will sustain scholarly communication as open and accessible for use and re-use, making data and text more available for research and analysis, disseminating and preserving emerging types of scholarly communication (like data sets, visualizations, and code), and beyond.

The UC System performs nearly one-tenth of all the academic research and development conducted in the United States, and produces approximately one-twelfth of all U.S. research publications. So, the Library’s ability to bring added visibility and provide lifecycle support for UC Berkeley scholars’ research and publishing can thus have tremendous global impact, and potentially help us shape national and international policies and practices in scholarly publishing.

What particular challenges do we face?

How do we make sure that our scholars have research and published materials available for review, use, and reuse in writing, teaching, and learning? How do we ensure that scholars can discover the information they need, and have their work discovered by others to increase their impact and promote idea exchange?

UC Berkeley is no exception to progressive constraints resulting from the fact that the books, periodicals and journals in which research findings are published (and that scholars and students need to access) are expensive and often available only through increasingly out-of-reach subscription fees. This also is a large, multi-disciplinary campus. Needs and preferences vary across disciplines—everything from how important scholars feel open access is to maximizing their scholarly impact and communicating findings, to what type of Library support researchers need for finding, using, and preserving their output. There likely will not be solutions that universally satisfy all of our scholars’ needs—so the challenges lie in being adaptive and responsive to individuals and programs, and creating tailored support and outreach across an expansive campus.

Yet, the so-called challenges are also the great fun of it! It will be immensely satisfying to help build responsive and nuanced policies to support use and access of research and collections, and promote visibility and discoverability of UC Berkeley’s scholarly output. And, besides, who doesn’t love a good, thorny copyright or licensing question in the process?

What are your priorities over the next 6-9 months?

The Library is a service organization, and support for scholarly communication will be a suite of services, too, covering scholars’ needs in research, publication, teaching, and access and use issues for library collections. I’m working on developing the program plan now, and the priorities will be to:

  • Create a website outlining services, and brimming with helpful guidance materials for researchers on all aspects of the scholarly publishing lifecycle.
  • Help develop policy and provide education regarding permissions and licensing questions for research and library collections, and use of intellectual property in one’s research, scholarship, and course materials.
  • Create and provide tailored training materials and workshops for students and faculty.
  • Provide training and updates on scholarly communication issues for library staff. (We are all scholarly communication service providers at the Library!)
  • Work towards making more educational resources open and affordable for students.
  • Foster campus engagement around open access publishing, and the UC OA policy.
  • Engage in strategic planning and analysis to help shape the scholarly communication field more broadly, to help benefit the UC Berkeley community and beyond.

Whew! There’s a lot going on even in the short term. These priorities necessitate a significant amount of outreach and intake, so you’ll likely see me running around campus to meet with people and offer workshops and support.

Post contributed by:
Damaris Moore
Library Communications Office


Open Access highlight: SF homeless youth

Man with backpack hat viewing street scene

Researchers from the School of Public Health conducted a 6-year study of increased mortality rates among homeless youth in San Francisco. Their research was recently published in PeerJ, an Open Access, biological and medical sciences journal.

A recent issue of the Berkeleyan, the UC Berkeley campus newsletter, highlights the study, “Six-year mortality in a street-recruited cohort of homeless youth in San Francisco, California,” by Colette L. Auerswald, Jessica Lin and Andrea Parriott.

Committed to rapid review and fast publication of research results, PeerJ has an innovative publishing model that charges authors a membership fee rather than charging subscription fees to readers.

Because the UC Berkeley Library has an institutional membership, when a paper by a Berkeley author is accepted for publication in PeerJ, the Berkeley Library will automatically pay the cost of a Basic Membership for each Berkeley author. That membership allows authors to publish one PeerJ article every year, for life, for free.

Funding PeerJ author memberships is an example of the Library’s commitment to Open Access and increasing the impact of UC Berkeley researchers for the benefit of all.


Post contributed by Margaret Phillips, Education Librarian, Gender & Women’s Studies Librarian & Elliott Smith, Emerging Technologies Librarian, Bioscience and Natural Resources Library