Libraries and Open Journal Systems: Hosting and facilitating the creation of Open Access scholarship

acraft-photoThere is a growing availability of free tools and software for academic publishing. How might libraries leverage existing platforms? Anna R. Craft describes one experience of an academic library hosting locally-produced open access journals through Open Journals Systems (OJS). But even “free” software is not without costs in relation to time and expertise. Care should be taken in facilitating a supportive environment to meet an institution’s journal-hosting needs.

High prices to access scholarly research could drive developing country researchers to use pirate sites like SciHub

jonanthan_harleDeveloping countries are investing more in research and higher education and it should be no surprise that publishers are building commercial relationships to expand access and services. But prices are often still too high. Jonathan Harle argues now is a good time for the research community to reflect on what we can do to bring the cost of access down. If we don’t, we can’t be surprised when pirate alternatives like SciHub crop up.

Enabling authors to pay for open access – The Gold Open Access market and the role of an institutional central fund.

S-Pinfield-2014Having tracked and analysed the usage data of one university’s central open access fund over an eight year period, Stephen Pinfield shares findings from a detailed case study of the paid-for Gold Open Access market. Mandates, particularly if accompanied by funding, have played a very important role in encouraging uptake of Gold OA. Communication was a crucial factor in making potential users of the fund aware of its existence and in helping to change perceptions of OA in general.

How do students access the resources they need? Survey finds only one in five obtain all resources legally

laura czerniewiczLaura Czerniewicz presents an overview of findings from a study on the practices of university students accessing learning resources at a research-intensive university in South Africa. There is a grey zone in the access of resources that is now simply part of normal life in a new communication and information order. The students’ perspectives raise critical issues for new models of publishing, for digital literacies and for open scholarship.

Announcing OpenCon 2016: Catalyzing collective action for a more open scholarly system

whyopenEach year OpenCon brings together students and early career academic professionals from around the world to advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Nick Shockey and Joseph McArthur announce here the next OpenCon dates. In addition, Chris Hartgerink takes a look back at OpenCon 2015 and reflects on how the conference became the catalyst for a variety of deliberate actions around scholarly communication.

Are the ‘gatekeepers’ becoming censors? On editorial processes and the interests of the scholarly community

williamstclair_clip_image002_200x228Questions about the proper role of learned journals and of publishers are brought to the fore in a recent exchange over suggested edits to a book review. William St Clair shares his experience and the review in question and wonders whether some learned journals are becoming afraid to facilitate discussion of academic issues.

SAGE Open five years on: Lessons learned and future thoughts on open access in humanities and social sciences

dave rossSAGE Open is celebrating its 5th birthday. When SAGE Publishing launched SAGE Open in 2010, the humanities and social sciences were still grappling with how to approach open access (OA). Through its mega-journal, well over 1000 articles have now been published OA, and it is one of SAGE’s most-used journals. Dave Ross looks back at the journal’s growth and lessons learned.

Given frustrations with academic structures, how can we build a more human-centered open science?

alex-lancasterOpen science has finally hit the mainstream. Alex Lancaster looks at the emerging criticisms leveled against how we publish and disseminate science and argues it may be time to reframe the open science project. Rather than relying on instrumentalist language of “carrot-and-sticks” and “rewards-and-incentives” we should instead focus on the actual working conditions for scientists and the political economy in which they are embedded.

What it means to be Green: exploring publishers’ changing approaches to Green open access

elizabeth gaddDenise Troll CoveyThe number of publishers allowing some form of self-archiving has increased noticeably over the last decade or so. However, new research by Elizabeth Gadd and Denise Troll Covey shows that this increase is outstripped by the proliferation of restrictions that accompany self-archiving policies. In an environment where publishers may in fact be discouraging preferred models of open access, it’s time to redefine what it means to be Green.

The impact of article processing charges on libraries and what is being done to help

shamashFollowing significant growth in gold open access publishing, Katie Shamash looks at the available APC data and picks out some key insights. APCs are now an increasingly significant portion of institutions’ overall spend, with the quickly narrowing gap between gold open access APCs and those of hybrid journals representing an additional concern. Moreover, the administrative difficulties that can lead to underreporting of APC expenditure demonstrate the importance of opening up the data and promoting a fully transparent marketplace.

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