Moving from Colonialism and Paternalism to Equity and Cooperation in Scholarly Communication

Authors: Josh Bolick, Ada Emmett, Marc Greenberg, Town Peterson, Brian Rosenblum

Abstract: An idealist might believe that communications among scholars represent open, clear, reasoned debate, and that all involved will share certain base values. While we realize that significant barriers, such as to women and people of color, have long existed, one might wish that equality would be on the list of such shared values… that is, one would like to believe that all scholars have the same range of opportunities open to them, regardless of their race, country of origin, economic status, or whatever, so that all of the relevant data and the best minds might be brought to bear on solving problems of interest to science and scholarship. One might wish that–whatever the details might be–all scholars would share the idea of equality as an underlying and overarching assumption. Here we examine this idea of equality in scholarly communication via the example of a recent exchange about open access in the Journal of Wildlife Management.

Citation: Bolick, Josh, Ada Emmett, Marc Greenberg, Town Peterson, and Brian Rosenblum. Moving from Colonialism and Paternalism to Equity and Cooperation in Scholarly Communication.” OAnarchy [blog] (April 20, 2017).

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Passing a Campus Open Access Policy

Author: Chealsye Bowley

Abstract: On March 31, Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) Faculty Senate passed an Open Access policy! The Open Access Archiving Policy ensures that future scholarly articles authored by FGCU faculty will be made freely available to the public by requiring faculty to deposit copies of their accepted manuscripts in the university’s repository, DigitalFGCU.

As Scholarly Communication Librarian, I worked with my supervisor, library administration, the university’s Provost, and Faculty Senate to write and pass the policy. Typically in the United States, Open Access policies are passed through the Faculty Senate as a faculty level policy rather than a “university policy” that requires a different approval process. Policies are usually proposed to a Faculty Senate team or committee, such as Faculty Affairs, and then proceeds to Faculty Senate for voting.

Although each institution will be different, in this blog post I’ll share some of the key decisions and learnings that allowed our team at FGCU to pass an Open Access Policy quickly.

Citation: Bowley, C. “Passing a Campus Open Access Policy.” OpenCon2017 Blog, May 05, 2017, www.opencon2017.org/passing_a_campus_open_access_policy.

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Source: OpenCon2017 Blog

 

Looking into Pandora’s Box: The Content of Sci-Hub and its Usage

Author: Bastian Greshake

Abstract: Despite the growth of Open Access, potentially illegally circumventing paywalls to access scholarly publications is becoming a more mainstream phenomenon. The web service Sci-Hub is amongst the biggest facilitators of this, offering free access to around 62 million publications. So far it is not well studied how and why its users are accessing publications through Sci-Hub. By utilizing the recently released corpus of Sci-Hub and comparing it to the data of  ~28 million downloads done through the service, this study tries to address some of these questions. The comparative analysis shows that both the usage and complete corpus is largely made up of recently published articles, with users disproportionately favoring newer articles and 35% of downloaded articles being published after 2013. These results hint that embargo periods before publications become Open Access are frequently circumnavigated using Guerilla Open Access approaches like Sci-Hub. On a journal level, the downloads show a bias towards some scholarly disciplines, especially Chemistry, suggesting increased barriers to access for these. Comparing the use and corpus on a publisher level, it becomes clear that only 11% of publishers are highly requested in comparison to the baseline frequency, while 45% of all publishers are significantly less accessed than expected. Despite this, the oligopoly of publishers is even more remarkable on the level of content consumption, with 80% of all downloads being published through only 9 publishers. All of this suggests that Sci-Hub is used by different populations and for a number of different reasons, and that there is still a lack of access to the published scientific record. A further analysis of these openly available data resources will undoubtedly be valuable for the investigation of academic publishing.

Citation:  Greshake B.Looking into Pandora’s Box: The Content of Sci-Hub and its Usage.” F1000Research 2017, 6:541. (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11366.1) .

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Managing an Open Access Fund: Tips from the Trenches and Questions for the Future

Authors: Heidi Zuniga, Lilian Hoffecker

Abstract: The authors describe the process and results of an ongoing Open Access Fund program at the Health Sciences Library of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  The fund has helped students and other early career researchers pay for the article processing charge or APC to publish their articles in an OA journal since 2013.  In the three years since, the fund has paid the APC for 39 applicants with a total expenditure of $37,576.  Most applicants were students as intended, however the fund supported a surprisingly large number of medical residents and junior faculty.  Individuals associated with the School of Medicine overwhelmingly represented the awardees compared to other units, and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals were the most common journal they published in.  While acknowledging the undeniable benefit of the fund to the awardees, the authors also pose challenging questions about the future role of libraries in subsidizing open access journals.

Citation: Zuniga, Heidi, & Lilian Hoffecker. “Managing an Open Access Fund: Tips from the Trenches and Questions for the Future.” Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship 1.1 (2016). DOI: 10.17161/jcel.v1i1.5920.

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