Leveraging Licensing to Increase Access

Authors: Michelle Polchow

Abstract: The Affordable Course Materials Initiative (ACMI) is a library-driven program established by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), designed to leverage existing library resources, encourage open educational resources (OER) content creation, identify cost-effective digital projects and modify existing license agreements in order to create reduced cost course materials for students, as an alternative to rising commercial textbook costs.  The faculty incentivized program encourages instructors to partner with the library to leverage free or low-cost resources, adjusting syllabi and assignments as needed.  ACMI’s two-year pilot resulted in convincing evidence that the service supported a broad and diverse range of campus disciplines, achieved substantial cost savings, served as a catalyst for community building with multiple stakeholders, and gained campus administration recognition with an ongoing commitment of financial support to permanently integrate the initiative as an ongoing component of library services.

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Citation: Polchow, Michelle. (2018). Breakout Session: Leveraging Licensing to Increase Access. Presented by Jennifer Chan, Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of California Los Angeles. Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, 2(1), 1–3.

Source: Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship

Steal this serial! A complete guide to launching your own overlay journal

Today’s post is a departure from our usual format. Here, we’ve opened up The Idealis’s toolbox for others who want to publish their own LIS overlay journal.

If you’ve ever wanted a better way to find high-quality, Open Access LIS research, this post is for you.

The Idealis is an open access ‘overlay journal’ that gathers high-quality scholarly communication-related research into one place, making it easy for those interested in the topic to find articles, white papers, and other research that’s been recommended by experts.

Though The Idealis focuses upon sharing scholarly communication research, the model we use can be borrowed to create an overlay journal about any topic in LIS and beyond: outreach librarianship, museum and archives, #critlib, and more!

We want to see OA LIS research flourish, so we’re opening up our virtual toolbox to the community, so others can start their own overlay journals for the topics that interest them.

In this post, I’ll lay out all the components of starting up your own overlay journal: how The Idealis is organized, the PressForward-powered workflow we use to get content onto the site and out into the hands of readers, the documentation we use to recruit, train, and recognize editors, and more!

Everything mentioned in this post is licensed for you to reuse and adapt, under a CC-BY license.

How The Idealis is organized

Overview

The Idealis’s ultimate function is one of a filter: sifting through all the available OA research on scholarly communication and choosing only the very best to publish. It’s a volunteer-run effort that’s headed up by a small team of Founding Editors and powered fortnight-to-fortnight by the expertise of a rotating cast of General Editors, who select the content that gets published on The Idealis. A modest grant from PressForward pays for our server space.

The publishing workflow looks like this:

  1. General Editors find content to publish on The Idealis, which they format into a blogpost and add as a draft to The Idealis’s WordPress-powered backend using the PressForward plugin;
  2. A Founding Editor reviews the draft post for formatting and scope, then schedules it in to be published, one per day, Monday through Friday each week;
  3. Once published on The Idealis, the recommended article is also sent out automatically via RSS, a Mailchimp listserv, and Twitter

Founding Editors

In addition to checking and scheduling content to be published, the Founding Editors coordinate the operations of The Idealis. We recruit and train General Editors and decide upon the strategy for growth and expansion of The Idealis’s platform and vision. We communicate primarily via Slack.

General Editors

The General Editors for The Idealis were identified for recruitment in an initial brainstorming session, during which the Founding Editors came up with a list of librarians who met a number of criteria that we believed would make an Editor qualified to identify great content for The Idealis.

General Editors’ role is to work independently during a two-week ‘editorial term’, setting aside at least one hour per week to ‘nominate’ (in the parlance of PressForward) at least three items for inclusion in The Idealis. The bar for participation has been intentionally set very low: we began The Idealis with the understanding that many librarians are short on time due to many other service commitments.

The Founding Editors communicate with each General Editor via email. Currently, there is no forum for General Editors to communicate with each other, though this has been requested by General Editors and is up for consideration.

How to publish your overlay journal

Training General Editors

Potential General Editors are first emailed an invitation to join The Idealis.

The ‘ask’ for Idealis General Editors is a bit different than an editorial or reviewer role in a traditional LIS journal. As such, an initial training is needed to set expectations. This training session (slides available here) outlines the purpose of The Idealis and how to add content to the site. We use Skype and occasionally Talky.io to run these videoconferenced training sessions.

After their training, General Editors are then emailed a follow-up set of instructions that point them to written documentation outlining the editorial workflow, and invited to sign up for their first two-week editorial term. A few days prior to the start of their editorial term, General Editors receive a reminder email.

For the full General Editor Onboarding and Orientation Process, check out these instructions.

How to find content to highlight

We encourage General Editors to use the following tools to find OA content to add to The Idealis:

  • RSS feeds for relevant OA journals or repositories like ArXiv
  • Twitter
  • JournalTOCs alerting service
  • Plugins like Unpaywall and OA Button, which help the user find OA versions of journal articles

Readers may also submit content to The Idealis for consideration using a form on the journal’s website. Submitted content is forwarded on to the current Editorial Term’s General Editors, for them to vet for inclusion in The Idealis.

Getting content onto the web: our technology stack

The Idealis is run using a locally-hosted WordPress installation and the PressForward plugin, as well as a free Mailchimp account that sends automated emails.

General Editors are instructed to use the PressForward bookmarklet, in particular, to capture content and draft a post for The Idealis. Here’s our illustrated guide to using the bookmarklet to nominate content. General Editors are asked to format the contents of posts using a particular format that includes essential metadata like author names, abstract, title, and a direct link to view the shared content.

Once content has been nominated by General Editors, the Founding Editor who is monitoring The Idealis for the current two-week Editorial Term (aka the Managing Editor) reviews the content for formatting and scope and then uses the Editorial Calendar plugin to schedule in the posts to appear at 7 AM Mountain time each weekday.

The timing of the scheduled posts is important, as The Idealis’s Mailchimp automation is set up to send out an email based on The Idealis’s RSS feed one hour later, at 8 AM Mountain time each day. Published content is automatically tweeted to The Idealis’s Twitter feed (@theidealis_sc) using WordPress’s built-in “Publicize” feature.

Finally, we use a customized version of the Sela WordPress theme to organize the site and ensure that General Editor names appear on their nominated posts, so they can receive recognition for the content they add to the journal.

There are a number of other details that go into publishing The Idealis. Please download our “Idealis in a box” documentation and visit The Idealis’s website to learn more about the ins and outs of our publishing workflow.

Challenges

There have been a number of challenges in organizing The Idealis in the year since launch.

The first, and probably biggest, is the challenge of running an all-volunteer journal. Even the Founding Editors sometimes found it difficult to set aside time for editorial tasks, and several times the journal experienced gaps in publishing. General Editors occasionally reported difficulty in finding even two hours over two weeks to complete their editorial tasks.

Given the demands on all Editors’ time, the Founding Editors struggled with the question of compensation for themselves and for General Editors. In theory, everyone should be paid for the time they contribute towards the journal. This is an area where professional societies might be contribute the most to ensuring the growth of a robust OA publishing culture within LIS, by providing editorial honoraria or the like. However, the struggle to find a sustainable and ethical business model for an Open Access publication is not a new one; it’s possible that there might be other avenues towards monetization of an Idealis-like journal. If so, we’d encourage others to share their approach, so the community might learn from it.

Two smaller challenges could easily be addressed by other journals seeking to replicate The Idealis’s approach.

First, there were occasionally debates and disagreements among the Founding Editors when considering content that General Editors had nominated, as some felt the content did not meet the (admittedly broad) definition of ‘scholarly communication’. This could easily be avoided by other overlay LIS journals, simply by offering more precise definitions for their preferred subject area of coverage.

Second, some General Editors offered feedback that they felt isolated during their Editorial Terms, and would have preferred to have direct communication with other General Editors to discuss things like scope and appropriateness of potential nominations. This could be easily addressed by setting up a Slack channel or Google Group for General Editors to have these discussions.

Go forth and publish!

We hope that by sharing our approach to publishing an overlay journal that others within LIS will start to build their own Open Access journals around the many varied areas of practice in librarianship. It’s both easier and more difficult than you may think. And it’s also more rewarding than you can imagine!

Resources

A Tale of Two Globes: Exploring the North/South Divide in Engagement with Open Educational Resources

Authors: Beatriz de los Arcos, Martin Weller

Abstract: In this chapter we consider what evidence exists of a divide between the Global North and Global South in terms of engagement with open educational resources (OER), understanding engagement as the production and sharing of educational materials online. We discuss whether identifying educators as contributors or consumers of OER can be empirically grounded, and advocate advancing internet access in developing countries to reach a global balance where sharing is key.

Citation: de los Arcos, Beatriz and Weller, Martin (2018). A Tale of Two Globes: Exploring the North/South Divide in Engagement with Open Educational Resources. In: Schöpfel, Joachim and Herb, Ulrich eds. Open Divide: Critical Studies on Open Access. Sacramento, CA: Litwin Books, pp. 147–155.

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Source: Open Research Online

Collectivity and collaboration: imagining new forms of communality to create resilience in scholar-led publishing

Author: Janneke Adema and Samuel A. Moore

Abstract: The Radical Open Access Collective (ROAC) is a community of scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other open access (OA) projects. The collective promotes a progressive vision for open access based on mutual alliances between the 45+ member presses and projects seeking to offer an alternative to commercial and legacy models of publishing. This article presents a case study of the collective, highlighting how it harnesses the strengths and organizational structures of not-for-profit, independent and scholar-led publishing communities by 1) further facilitating collective efforts through horizontal alliances, and by 2) enabling vertical forms of collaboration with other agencies and organizations within scholarly publishing. It provides a background to the origins of the ROAC, its members, its publishing models on display and its future plans, and highlights the importance of experimenting with and promoting new forms of communality in not-for-profit OA publishing.

Citation: Adema, J., & Moore, S. A. (2018). Collectivity and collaboration: imagining new forms of communality to create resilience in scholar-led publishing. Insights, 31, 3. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.399

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Source: Insights

Faculty Attitudes toward Open Access and Scholarly Communications: Disciplinary Differences on an Urban and Health Science Campus

Author: Odell, J., Palmer, K. & Dill, E.

Abstract: Access to scholarship in the health sciences has greatly increased in the last decade. The adoption of the 2008 U.S. National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy and the launch of successful open access journals in health sciences have done much to move the exchange of scholarship beyond the subscription-only model. One might assume, therefore, that scholars publishing in the health sciences would be more supportive of these changes. However, the results of this survey of attitudes on a campus with a large medical faculty show that health science respondents were uncertain of the value of recent changes in the scholarly communication system.

Citation: Odell, J., Palmer, K. & Dill, E., (2017). Faculty Attitudes toward Open Access and Scholarly Communications: Disciplinary Differences on an Urban and Health Science Campus. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2169

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Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Openness as Tool for Acceleration and Measurement: Reflections on Problem Representations Underpinning Open Access and Open Science

Author: Jutta Heider

Abstract: Increasingly open access emerges as an issue that researchers, universities, and various infrastructure providers, such as libraries and academic publishers, have to relate to. Commonly policies requiring open access are framed as expanding access to information and hence as being part of a democratization of society and knowledge production processes. However, there are also other aspects that are part of the way in which open access is commonly imagined in the various policy documents, declarations, and institutional demands that often go unnoticed. This essay wants to foreground some of these issues by asking the overarching question: “What is the problem that open access is seen to solve represented to be?” The paper will discuss how demands to open up access to research align also with an administrative enclosure and managerial processes of control and evaluation. It will show that while demands for free and open access to research publications – created or compiled in research processes funded by public money – are seen as contributing to the knowledge base for advancing society for a common good and in that sense framed as part of a liberating discourse, these demands are also expression of a shift of control of the science community to invisible research infrastructures and to an apparatus of administration as well as subscribing to an ideal of entrepreneurialism as well as continuing a problematic and much criticized understanding of Western science as universal.

Citation: Haider, J. (2017). “Openness as Tool for Acceleration and Measurement: Reflections on Problem Representations Underpinning Open Access and Open Science.” In U. Herb, & J. Schöpfel (Eds.), Open Divide?: Critical Studies on Open Access Sacramento, CA: Litwin Books.

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Public Libraries and Knowledge Politics

Author: Stuart Lawson

Abstract: [Preprint of a forthcoming book chapter] To complement contemporary discussions on open access, this chapter considers public libraries as one element of the longer history of access to scholarly knowledge. A historical perspective reveals that access to knowledge has undergone a long, slow process of change, related to social, technical, and political developments in printing, mass literacy, universities, and libraries. Until the advent of the digital technologies which enable the open access movement, public access to the scholarly record required physical access to printed works. Public libraries helped facilitate this, fulfilling a vital role in extending access to scholarship beyond the academy. Yet the complex power dynamics at play in the dissemination of ideas are visible in the creation of public libraries, through the role of philanthropy, Enlightenment notions of self-improvement, and the class politics of the Victorian era. Examining these origins reveals that current debates around the consequences of widening public access to scholarship – and how this expansion should be paid for – are nothing new. The liberal ideals underpinning librarianship in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are still present in the digital era, and exploring the biases and contradictions contained within public libraries’ history may give us pause when considering the political context of scholarly publishing today.

Citation: Lawson, S. (2018). Public Libraries and Knowledge Politics [Preprint]. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from http://eprints.rclis.org/32361/

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Source: Public Libraries and Knowledge Politics

Authorial and institutional stratification in open access publishing: the case of global health research

Authors: Kyle Siler, Stefanie Haustein, Elise Smith, Vincent Larivière, Juan Pablo Alperin

Abstract: Using a database of recent articles published in the field of Global Health research, we examine institutional sources of stratification in publishing access outcomes. Traditionally, the focus on inequality in scientific publishing has focused on prestige hierarchies in established print journals. This project examines stratification in contemporary publishing with a particular focus on subscription vs. various Open Access (OA) publishing options. Findings show that authors working at lower-ranked universities are more likely to publish in closed/paywalled outlets, and less likely to choose outlets that involve some sort of Article Processing Charge (APCs; gold or hybrid OA). We also analyze institutional differences and stratification in the APC costs paid in various journals. Authors affiliated with higher-ranked institutions, as well as hospitals and non-profit organizations pay relatively higher APCs for gold and hybrid OA publications. Results suggest that authors affiliated with high-ranked universities and well-funded institutions tend to have more resources to choose pay options with publishing. Our research suggests new professional hierarchies developing in contemporary publishing, where various OA publishing options are becoming increasingly prominent. Just as there is stratification in institutional representation between different types of publishing access, there is also inequality within access types.

Citation: Siler K, Haustein S, Smith E, Larivière V, Alperin JP. (2018) Authorial and institutional stratification in open access publishing: the case of global health research. PeerJ 6:e4269 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4269

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Funding community controlled open infrastructure for scholarly communication: The 2.5% commitment initiative

Authors: David W. Lewis, Lori Goetsch, Diane Graves, Mike Roy

Abstract: In August 2017, a short paper, “The 2.5% Commitment,” was distributed on several email lists.1 The paper proposed that every academic library should commit to invest 2.5% of its total budget to support the common infrastructure needed to create the open scholarly commons. Somewhat to our surprise, the paper and the ideas it contained have generated widespread discussions and interest.

Citation: Lewis, D., Goetsch, L., Graves, D., & Roy, M. (2018). Funding community controlled open infrastructure for scholarly communication: The 2.5% commitment initiative. College & Research Libraries News, 79(3), 133. https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.79.3.133

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Practicing What You Preach: Evaluating Access of Open Access Research

Author: Teresa Schultz

Abstract: The open access movement seeks to encourage all researchers to make their works openly available and free of paywalls so more people can access their knowledge. Yet some researchers who study open access (OA) continue to publish their work in paywalled journals and fail to make it open. This project set out to study just how many published research articles about OA fall into this category, how many are being made open (whether by being published in a gold OA or hybrid journal or through open deposit), and how library and information science authors compare to other disciplines researching this field. Because of the growth of tools available to help researchers find open versions of articles, this study also sought to compare how these new tools compare to Google Scholar in their ability to disseminating OA research. From a sample collected from Web of Science of articles published since 2010, the study found that although a majority of research articles about OA are open in some form, a little more than a quarter are not. A smaller rate of library science researchers made their work open compared to non-library science researchers. In looking at the copyright of these articles published in hybrid and open journals, authors were more likely to retain copyright ownership if they printed in an open journal compared to authors in hybrid journals. Articles were more likely to be published with a Creative Commons license if published in an open journal compared to those published in hybrid journals.

Citation: Schultz, Teresa, 2017. “Practicing What You Preach: Evaluating Access of Open Access Research”. LIS Scholarship Archive. July 28. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/YBDR8

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Source: LIS Scholarship Archive