Austria agrees with Wiley on a national Open Access consortium

Dollar SymbolThe Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and Cooperation E-Medien Österreich (KEMÖ) have signed a three-year contract with the publishing house John Wiley and Sons Inc. that combines the use of Closed Access content and the publication of Open Access articles in Wiley outlets.

FWF-funded authors that

  1. are affiliated with one of the 22 participating KEMÖ members and
  2. are corresponding authors of a publication

can publish unlimited and free of charge Open Access articles in Wiley’s hybrid journals. The agreement applies to all articles accepted by Wiley in hybrid journals from 1 January 2018. Authorized authors are automatically identified and informed about the possibility of free Open Access publication.

A press release on the deal can be read here (in German language). On the website konsortien.at of you’ll find some more information on the agreement including a list of journals covered by it. It comprises 1,327 of 2,486 journals that Wiley publishes in total.

Accordingly, this agreement raises the same questions as the Elsevier consortium in Finland: How this list was negotiated could be interesting. Especially as a similar list of journals, which was compiled in a comparable deal with Elsevier in the Netherlands, is said not to have been loaded with high-quality journals… The financial conditions are also likely to be interesting, but nothing has been made public about them so far.

Graphic available in Public Domain from https://www.iconfinder.com/icons/134157/cashier_currency_dollar_money_icon

Samuel Moore on „Open/Access: Negotiations Between Openness and Access to Research“

Open Divide: Critical Studies on Open AccessAnother notice of an Open Access publication from the anthology „Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access„: Samuel Moore published his text „Open/Access: Negotiations Between Openness and Access to Research“ on the repository of the King’s College London under https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/openaccess(4d219d49-4f8e-4940-b3b9-f27f4afb72af).html.

Here is also the abstract of Samuel’s article: „Open access (OA) is a contested term with a complicated history and a variety of understandings. This rich history is routinely ignored by institutional, funder and governmental policies that instead enclose the concept and promote narrow approaches to OA. This paper presents a genealogy of the term open access, focusing on the separate histories that emphasise openness and reusability on the one hand, as borrowed from the open-source software and free culture movements, and accessibility on the other hand, as represented by proponents of institutional and subject repositories. From analysing its historical underpinnings and subsequent development, I argue that OA is best conceived as a boundary object, i.e. OA is less suitable as a policy object because boundary objects lose their use-value when ‘enclosed’ at a general level, but should instead be treated as a community-led, grassroots endeavour.“

The list of all articles in the anthology with links to texts available as Open Access publications can be found here.

Here is the bibliographic information on Open Divide:
Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access
Editors: Ulrich Herb and Joachim Schöpfel
Price: $35.00
Expected: Spring 2018
Publisher: Litwin Books
ISBN: 978-1-63400-029-1

Florence Piron on „Postcolonial Open Access“

Open Divide: Critical Studies on Open AccessAnother article from the anthology „Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access“ is online. Florence Piron published her contribution „Postcolonial Open Access“ available on the repository of the Université Laval under http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/16178.

Here is also the abstract of Florence’s article: „Is open access the solution to many of the problems faced in the Global South by postcolonial universities, lacking the resources and capacity to subscribe to expensive scientific journals? In this chapter, drawing on an action-research project in Haiti and in Francophone Africa, I argue that this is not the case. On the contrary, open access can become a tool of neocolonialism if it only gives students and academics better access to science from the North. I conclude with recommendations to make open access an instrument of emancipation and cognitive justice in Africa and Haiti.“

The list of all articles in the anthology with links to texts available as Open Access publications can be found here.

Here is the bibliographic information on Open Divide:
Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access
Editors: Ulrich Herb and Joachim Schöpfel
Price: $35.00
Expected: Spring 2018
Publisher: Litwin Books
ISBN: 978-1-63400-029-1

Elena Šimukovič on „Open Access, a New Kind of Emerging Knowledge Regime?“

Open Divide: Critical Studies on Open AccessFollowing Jutta Haider and Richard Poynder, Elena Šimukovič has now published her contribution to the anthology „Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access“ online.

Elena made her contribution worth reading „Open Access, a New Kind of Emerging Knowledge Regime?“ available on the repository of the University of Vienna under https://phaidra.univie.ac.at/view/o:653995.

Here is also the abstract of Elena’s article: „Open Access as a programmatic name for a new mode of dissemination of scholarly publications has been around since the turn of this millennium. However, a considerable accumulation of calls for a more rapid transition from journal subscription towards ‚full‘ Open Access system can be observed in the recent years. By looking at some of the beginning aspirations of the Open Access movement as well as proposed disruption scenarios this contribution aims at discussing some of less visible aspects in current debates and to give a glimpse at embedding this sort of initiatives in a conceptual framework by making use of the notion of an emerging ‚knowledge regime‘. “

The list of all articles in the anthology with links to texts available as Open Access publications can be found here.

Here is the bibliographic information on Open Divide:
Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access
Editors: Ulrich Herb and Joachim Schöpfel
Price: $35.00
Expected: Spring 2018
Publisher: Litwin Books
ISBN: 978-1-63400-029-1

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

As mentioned in this blog, Joachim Schöpfel and I will publish the anthology „Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access“ in Spring 2018. The book will not be published in Gold Open Access, but all authors retain the right to make their contribution openly available on a repository (or elsewhere).

Jutta Haider has published her contribution „Openness as Tool for Acceleration and Measurement: Reflections on Problem Representations Underpinning Open Access and Open Science“ on the reprository of Lund University https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/publication/070c067e-5675-455e-a4b2-81f82b6c75a7.

I recommend the text to all those who are interested in a reflection on Open Access. I have learned a lot from reading the article.

Here is also the abstract of Jutta’s contribution: „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.“

The list of all articles in the anthology with links to texts available as Open Access publications can be found here. Joachim Schöpfel and I encourage all authors to publish their texts Open Access and in this blog I will provide a list of links to theses full texts.

Here is the bibliographic information on Open Divide:
Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access
Editors: Ulrich Herb and Joachim Schöpfel
Price: $35.00
Expected: Spring 2018
Publisher: Litwin Books
ISBN: 978-1-63400-029-1

Webinar der Wikimedia Foundation zu Open Access am 31. Januar

Open Access buttons photo
Photo by h_pampel

Das Fellow-Programm Freies Wissen der Wikimedia Foundation veranstaltet am 31.01.2018 ein Webinar zu Open Access, weitere Informationen finden sich unter: https://blog.wikimedia.de/2018/01/15/fellow-programm-freies-wissen-webinar-zu-open-access-am-31-januar/.

Das Fellow-Programm geht zurück auf eine Initiative von  von Wikimedia Deutschland,  Stifterverband und VolkswagenStiftung. Ziel ist es, junge Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler bei der Nutzung und Anwendung von Open Science zu unterstützen. Das Webinar findet in der Zeit von 14:00 bis 16:00 Uhr statt und wird angeboten von der Freien Universität Berlin, genauer: Dr. Christina RiesenweberDr. Agnieszka Wenninger.

 

Richard Poynder’s Preface of „Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access“ is available online

As mentioned earlier in this blog, Joachim Schöpfel and I will publish the anthology „Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access“ in Spring 2018.  The book itself will not be published in Gold Open Access, but all authors retain the right to make their contribution openly available on a repository (or elsewhere).

Here is the bibliographic information on Open Divide:
Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access
Editors: Ulrich Herb and Joachim Schöpfel
Price: $35.00
Expected: Spring 2018
Publisher: Litwin Books
ISBN: 978-1-63400-029-1

Richard Poynder has already published his contribution, the preface to Open Divide, in his blog: https://poynder.blogspot.de/2018/01/preface-open-divide.html.

The list of all articles in the anthology with links to texts available as Open Access publications can be found here. Joachim Schöpfel and I encourage all authors to publish their texts Open Access and in this blog I will provide a list of links to theses full texts.

An important topic in Open Divide is the ongoing commercialisation of Open Access. In Germany, the DEAL project is trying to promote Open  Access and in particular to counteract this commercialisation by setting up Open Access consortia with major scientific publishers. However, it is sometimes feared that DEAL can intensify precisely this commercialization. Here are two hints that may be useful in this context:

Björn Brembs & Alex Holcombe (2017). Open access in Germany : the best DEAL is no deal with Elsevier. Times Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/open-access-germany-best-deal-no-deal

Ulrich Herb, „Ist Open Access an ein Ende gelangt? Ein Interview“. LIBREAS. Library Ideas, 32 (2017). http://libreas.eu/ausgabe32/herb/

Concentration in Commercial Open Access: Data from the University of Stockholm

Open Access buttons photo
Photo by h_pampel

Stockholm University Library  has monitored gold and hybrid publication charges (or Article Processing Charges APCs) for Open Access publishing at Stockholm University. The results are published on OpenAccess.se in a short posting  by Lisa Lovén and
Liisa Hänninen.

The University of Stockholm has spent 2.967.093 Swedish Krona (SEK) between January and August 2017 for APCs.  Of this total, 60% were paid for Hybrid Open Access APCs and 40% were paid for Gold Open Access APCs. The data show that these four publishers have received more than half of all paid APCs, 1.662.896 SEK:

  • Elsevier: 639.054 SEK
  • Wiley: 583.826 SEK
  • Frontiers: 234.672 SEK
  • Nature Publishing Group: 205.344 SEK
Illustration by Lisa Lovén and Liisa Hänninen, taken from http://openaccess.blogg.kb.se/2017/11/20/lisa-loven-apc-kartlaggning-su/#more-3935, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License

By the way, Springer ranks eleventh with 67.857 SEK, behind BioMed Central (74.535 SEK).

Lisa Lovén and Liisa Hänninen comment this as follows (translated by the author of this article): „The results reinforce the image that has been reported so far, both nationally and internationally, and show that the commercial approach of Elsevier and Wiley is top of the league, long before anyone else“

Similar concentration effects can also be found in Germany (see slides 9 to 13 of this presentation), where in 2016 49.59% of the APC payments reported by the OpenAPC project went to Springer Nature, Elsevier, and Wiley. If one considers frontiers as part of Springer Nature, the share increases to 55.5%.

 

 

Does the success of Sci-Hub and Guerilla Access prove that Open Access has failed?

open access buttons photo
Photo by h_pampel

Toby Green published an article dealing with new impulses for Open Access. The starting point is the success of Sci-Hub. First, he explains his key points:

  • „Sci-Hub has made nearly all articles freely available using a black open access model, leaving green and gold models in its dust“
  • „Why, after 20 years of effort, have green and gold open access not achieved more? Do we need ‘tae think again’?“
  • „If human nature is to postpone change for as long as possible, are green and gold open access fundamentally flawed?“
  • „Open and closed publishing models depend on bundle pricing paid by one stake-holder, the others getting a free ride. Is unbundling a fairer model?“
  • „If publishers changed course and unbundled their product, would this open a legal, fairer route to 100% open access and see off the pirates?“

He notes that the success of Sci-Hub and Guerilla Open Access proves that Open Access Gold and Green Open Access failed. According to Green, the unbundling known from aviation could strengthen Open Access: „In the traditional airline industry model, to get to B from A, one used to purchase a ticket, which covered the cost of a travel bundle: you were carried, fed, watered, entertained, and could take as much or as little baggage as you wanted. Today, led by low-cost airlines, the product has been unbundled: food, drinks, seat allocation, baggage, changing tickets, and even the way you pay are now being priced as extras to the core service of getting you to B from A.“

From the conclusion: „I suggest that we might be encouraged by the airline industry and unbundle the product. This would make all content free to read, answering the plea that the results of publicly funded research be available to the public, reveal the true values for the existing bundle’s component parts, and lead to a situation where each stakeholder has the choice to pay for the particular benefit they get from the scholarly communication process. This might prove to be a fairer, cheaper, more sustainable, and less controversial model in the long run.“

This is the bibliographical information for Toby Green’s article:

Green, T. (2017). We’ve failed: Pirate black open access is trumping green and gold and we must change our approach. Learned Publishing, 30(4). DOI:10.1002/leap.1116, http://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1116

Bundesverfassungsgericht muss die Zulässigkeit der Konstanzer Open-Access-Satzung klären

open access buttons photo
Photo by h_pampel

Vor knapp einem Jahr klagten Wissenschaftler der Universität Konstanz gegen die Open-Access-Satzung ihrer Hochschule. Seit der kürzlichen Beschlussfassung des Verwaltungsgerichtshofs Baden-Württemberg in Mannheim steht fest, dass der Konflikt nationale Reichweite hat.

Die Auseinandersetzung entzündete sich an der im Dezember 2015 erlassenen „Satzung zur Ausübung des wissenschaftlichen Zweitveröffentlichungsrechts“.  Diese Satzung bezieht sich auf §38 (4) des Urheberrechtsgesetzes (UrhG), in dem es heißt:

„Der Urheber eines wissenschaftlichen Beitrags, der im Rahmen einer mindestens zur Hälfte mit öffentlichen Mitteln geförderten Forschungstätigkeit entstanden und in einer periodisch mindestens zweimal jährlich erscheinenden Sammlung erschienen ist, hat auch dann, wenn er dem Verleger oder Herausgeber ein ausschließliches Nutzungsrecht eingeräumt hat, das Recht, den Beitrag nach Ablauf von zwölf Monaten seit der Erstveröffentlichung in der akzeptierten Manuskriptversion öffentlich zugänglich zu machen, soweit dies keinem gewerblichen Zweck dient.“ Sind diese Bedingungen erfüllt und, so die Satzung der Universität, „sind die wissenschaftlichen Beiträge im Rahmen der Dienstaufgaben entstanden, sind diese zwölf Monate nach Erstpublikation auf dem hochschuleigenen Repositorium öffentlich zugänglich zu machen.“

Die rechtliche Norm, auf der die Satzung beruht ist, ist jedoch nicht das UrhG, sondern §44 (6) des Landeshochschulgesetzes (LHG)  Baden-Württemberg, der die Hochschulen zum Erlass entsprechender Satzungen ermuntert:

„Die Hochschulen sollen die Angehörigen ihres wissenschaftlichen Personals durch Satzung verpflichten, das Recht auf nichtkommerzielle Zweitveröffentlichung nach einer Frist von einem Jahr nach Erstveröffentlichung für wissenschaftliche Beiträge wahrzunehmen, die im Rahmen der Dienstaufgaben entstanden und in einer periodisch mindestens zweimal jährlich erscheinenden Sammlung erschienen sind.“

Gegen die Vorgaben der Satzung erhoben siebzehn Wissenschaftler der Universität 2016 Normenkontrollklage beim Verwaltungsgerichtshof Mannheim, da sie darin einen Verstoß gegen das Grundrecht der Wissenschaftsfreiheit nach Artikel 5 Abs. 3 ausmachten.

Nun hat der Verwaltungsgerichtshof aufgrund der mündlichen Verhandlung vom 26. September beschlossen, das Verfahren über den Normenkontrollantrag gegen die Satzung der Universität Konstanz auszusetzen: Die Rechtsnorm des §44 Abs. 6 des LHG  sei eine Regelung des Urheberrechts – womit der Bund für eine diesbezügliche gesetzliche Klärung zuständig sei. Die Folge: Die Rechtswirksamkeit der Satzung, die auf Basis des Paragraphen erlassen wurde, hängt nach Ansicht des Verwaltungsgerichtshofs von der Verfassungskonformität der gesetzlichen Regelung im LHG ab – ob dies der Fall ist, muss vom Bundesverfassungsgericht geklärt werden. Der Verwaltungsgerichtshof formuliert seine Einschätzung folgendermaßen: „§ 44 Abs. 6 LHG ist nach der Überzeugung des 9. Senats mit dem Grundgesetz unvereinbar, weil dem Landesgesetzgeber insoweit die Gesetzgebungskompetenz gefehlt habe.“

Das Bundesverfassungsgericht wird nun in einem Zwischenverfahren prüfen, ob §44 Absatz 6 des LHG, der die Hochschulen dazu auffordert, ihre Wissenschaftlerinnen und  Wissenschaftler zur Wahrnehmung ihres Rechts auf nichtkommerzielle Zweitveröffentlichung zu  verpflichten, mit dem Grundgesetz vereinbar ist: Ist dies der Fall, stünde die Tür zu analogen Regelungen auch in anderen Ländern offen.