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Posts tagged open access
The National Plan Open Science has been presented, and the National Platform Open Science and website have been launched, as we had planned for, on 9 February 2017. It was great to have been able to play a part in this.
Perhaps the most difficult thing for me was finding the balance between being the neutral writer (because the Plan is a joint effort, and expresses the ambitions of the responsible coalitions, not mine) and the Librarian with an opinion (which I obviously have).
We have delivered fourteen concrete ambitions related to 100% open access for scientific publications (created via public funding) per 2020; optimal reuse of research data; implementing a broader view on the way research and researchers are assessed and rewarded; and promoting and supporting open science.
It was great that all Parties involved created responsible coalitions per ambition, and the collectivity that is needed for this, is perhaps one of the major achievements during the creation of this Plan. I said it before “I am, because we are”.
I like to share in this weblog just a few of the things that came along, but were too difficult to grasp at this moment, or were not big enough to make it into an ambition:
- Could we give credit to researchers who start new research based on existing research data (and thus stimulate reuse)?
- How could we stimulate researchers to cite data(sets) as part of their reference lists?
- What would it mean if we would say: “if we invest in science, it needs to be open science”?
- An event for researchers to present all available infrastructure and tools is one thing, but do not forget to involve administrators and managers, and also those working in HR, Finance and ICT.
- All articles submitted are first routed to the research library > here the open access policy of the journal selected is checked, taken care of the right sort of license, and the final version after publishing is stored in the institutional repository. Is that a crazy thought?
Take some time to read our National Plan, and have a look at our website. Let us know if you have ideas, comments, or would like to participate in the Platform. We need each other to make open science the new reality.
There are many people I could thank, but these are the most important ones: our wonderful writing team!
Another update in the writing process of the national plan open science for The Netherlands. The good news is that we have drafted our first version and discussed this with a group of stakeholders during a second creative session. Just wait a bit, and weeks will become days will become hours, and it will be a second that our plan reaches its audience.
It is not yet that second. I can tell a bit more, though, about our approach and steps.
We read, and talked, watched and listened, as I mentioned in my first weblog. Obviously the Council Conclusions and the Amsterdam Call for Action on open science form a strong basis. The first tuning of our findings took place on 7 December 2016, where we met with a group of twenty-some people in the Hive room at TU Delft Library. A wonderful report was made by Marina Noordegraaf. We found it important that we made a strong visual report, so that regardless of the result at the end, each step is worth the effort. Of course this session was, though an important one, only one of the many inputs to our plan. At this first session we took the scientific process as the central point, and all people present plotted their current and future actions on the several phases of the process.
This gave us valuable input – we could make overviews of both, i.e., of current and future actions. We used the time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to write down a 60% version of the plan. The plan starts of course with the definition and context of open science, and ends with what will happen next after finalizing the plan early February. The middle part is the most important part: there we show what The Netherlands are doing at this moment and what we will be doing the coming years to open up the scientific process.
On 11 January 2017 we had a second meeting, with more or less the same group. Here we took the future actions and discussed why they are needed (the problem) and what they will solve (the solution), who would be action holder and the estimated time line. We had an active discussion. We learned that people preferred to talk about ambitions instead of actions, and about a coalition instead of action holders. We are now in the middle of finalizing these ambitions with the stakeholders involved.
“No pressure, no diamonds”♥. Having three months in total for composing our national plan means that we have to make choices. Every choice is a direction, so it is good to make choices, and by doing so to make progress. One of the choices, of course upon consultation with our supervisor Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences, was to involve (semi-) public stakeholders only. The people attending our creative sessions were from higher education- and research institutes, their libraries, funding bodies, the national library, research data centres, ICT and research(ers) organisations. Besides these, we have spoken with (representatives from) private companies, their confederation (VNO-NCW), the international organisation of STM publishers, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), Business Europe and consulted several individuals (such as researchers, teachers and health care workers) to get inspiration or answers. However, the plans or ambitions of the latter group for open science will not be covered in our national plan. The plan is the start, though, of a process where other bodies and stakeholders need to be involved.
Talking about open science is talking about researchers, so how are they involved? In the Plan, the ambition is written down to organize a researcher-targeted conference on open science later in the year. For now we have (apart from the larger higher education- and research institutes) researchers involved via DJA (The Young Academy), PNN (“Promovendi” Network Netherlands) and we intend to get in touch with Postdoc.nl.
How open can you get?
Another choice is to decide when it is the best time to open up the result. Is that something you do right from the start, in the middle or at the end? We have chosen for a sort of compromise. The plan is not ours (us being the writing team), but theirs (them being the stakeholders involved). We want the actions, I mean ambitions, to be feasible and realistic, and showing too early what we are going to do, might have a negative effect if things mentioned have to be deleted after all. However, here at TU Delft we have just started our Year of Open, and for me Open is more than opening up the scientific process. It is also an attitude. It is about being honest, telling people what you are doing (and why), and motivating people to do the same.
So this is the compromise: if you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, you get an 80% version (in Dutch) of our draft plan (after 17 January 2017). We can send you an English version after 26 January 2017, that will be the 95% version. I cannot guarantee we will respond to all remarks / comments we receive, but at least there is a “shade of open”. The plan will be final and presented on 9 February 2017.
Making open science the default road. Making open science just science.
♥ Quote by Thomas Carlyle. At the end of each session, I used another quote from him: “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you will be able to see further”.
Published 15 January 2017; small edits 17 January 2017.
So here I am, starting to write the national plan on open science for The Netherlands. This seems to be a heavy task, with a deadline of early February 2017. And nothing on paper yet. Why do I have confidence that we will succeed?
- I am, because we are. The full quote is: “I am because WE are and, since we are, therefore I am.” A quote by John Mbiti, of which the short version was used at a “tile painting” workshop at Royal Delft (De Porceleyne Fles) we recently organized during our “Day out of the Library with all our personnel”. The assignment was to paint a quote that had a relation with the benefits of working together. I succeed, because we succeed. Not only is the writing process a team effort (with Hester Touwen, Anke Versteeg and Astrid van Wesenbeeck), we are not making up our own ideas. We read, listen, view, talk, get together, and – though our time is limited – aim to put the actions that The Netherlands is undertaking in relation to open science together. We do this in close connection with and under supervision of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences.
- “Beware of that demon called ‘Changing The World’.” A quote by Marty Rubin. We know the Council Conclusions on the transition towards an open science system, and of course the Amsterdam Call for Action (see here the blog I wrote about the Congress). Open science means that we open up the scientific process, as much as possible. This will further science and society. Economy and innovation may flourish by opening up the scientific process. For our plan we restrict ourselves to three lines, based on the goals as laid down in the Council conclusions, i.e., 100% open access for scientific publications (that were created via public funding) per 2020; optimal reuse of research data; and perhaps the most important of all, implementing a broader view on the way research and researchers are assessed and rewarded. We are aware that a lot is going on, both in and outside our country. It is impossible to mention everything, though we will incorporate a few initiatives in relation with these three lines, and we will be listening to the users from science and society. No we will not be changing the world by writing this plan, but we will be adding our practice, ideas and actions to reach our result: meaningful access to science and scientific processes.
- A plan is not the end; it is a beginning. In February we will have a national plan open science, and at the same time our Ministry will launch the national platform open science. In this way continuity is guaranteed, actions can be followed, new ones can be added, and changes can be made.
Let us support our researchers so that it is clear for them, on their bumpy road, what they can and cannot do, what tools they should be using (in what way), and how they can reach a destination that seems to be blocked. Making open science the default road. Making open science just science.
“Go as far as you can see.
When you get there
You’ll be able
to see farther”
Educate. Innovate. Create. After we transformed to a Library Learning Centre, several years ago, these were the words that we posted on our walls. I thought of them again during the two days of the Open Science Presidency Conference in Amsterdam. I am not going to repeat the words of the Dutch State Secretary Sander Dekker or European commissioner Carlos Moedas (though I am very pleased for the priority and attention that they give to open access to publications and sharing of research data). I would like to reflect on the session we organized on the second day, the break-out session on Innovation. The key items for this session were looking at successful new models for scholarly communication, and how new users can benefit from opening up science.
Under inspiring guidance (thank you David Bohmert), we listened to several speakers:
- Cees Leeuwis on responsible life sciences innovations for developing countries (referring to EVOCA, environmental virtual observatories for connective action). He would benefit if (grant) calls would be interdisciplinary and targeted, and he emphasized that we should open up the whole research process (do not focus entirely on research outputs).
- Lucia Malfent reported to us about the experiences with the citizen science project ‘Tell Us’ as a best practice of open innovation in science. She asked us to train scientists in applying methods of openness, and in the discussion afterwards we realized that citizens would also benefit if we would make open “what is already out there”. Should universities be funding citizen science?
- Jeroen Bosman and Bianca Kramer broadened our perspective with 101 innovations in scholarly communication. On 15 April 2016 they will open data of their survey amongst researchers. They presented their G-E-O model Good Efficient Open (as goals for science & scholarship). Focus for researchers is mainly on doing things efficiently. So we need to stimulate the open or good angle.
- Daniel Wyler brought it back to money: he talked about innovations in funding and funding innovation. He made it clear that new funding schemes encourage innovative research.
The talks were preceded by Vincent Lien, who set up an ePetition in the UK to call for free access to research journals for teachers in August 2014.
The results of our session, and of the conference, were captured in a Call for Action, that was published on 7 April 2016, both as a pdf to view the state-of-the-art on that day, and as a dynamic wiki, so that all participants and other stakeholders could add comments (possible until 14 April).
In our Innovation session we collected the ideas or improvements of our delegates in an innovative way (of course!). Everybody was invited to write these down on a postcard, and we connected them, to make a truly concerted action line. All actions have been processed in our own Trello board, including the tweets harvested via #innotrack.
We also wanted to showcase nice innovations in our sessions, but two hours is not that much. Marina Noordegraaf created a Tour d’Horizon. In this short movie we show three models in the developing landscape of Open Science: 1. APC funded journals; 2. distributed publishing roles with the overlay journal as one of the examples; and 3. building innovations around timely sharing smaller units of research outputs. We call for “research and innovation to take a long term perspective and not be trapped by the past”, quoting commissioner Moedas. If the Commission wants to make Europe open to innovation, open to science and open to the world, it must dare to choose new models for opening up research outputs and credit participatory and Open Science.
Wrapping up: a nice session, a good experience! Educate each other, Treasure innovations, and Be creative!
P.S. Talking about different approaches. On 7 April Leiden University launched a movie “On being a scientist“. Touching issues on plagiarism, publication pressure and integrity. Nice!
Anka Mulder, Vice President of Education and Operations at TU Delft, invited me to speak briefly about Open Science at our Open Education Seminar during Open Education Week 2016. I had only limited time so I could not really expand on the topic, but I think that it is really good to combine the two. We want to share our work or results to society, so that both economy and society-at-large can benefit. Open up your software, your research data & publications, your education and your campus. To move forward. To make science better. Of course open if possible, closed if necessary.
As I stated it all started over (far) more than a decade ago with lobbying for open access. Open access, a topic that goes hand in hand with libraries. TU Delft Library’s mission is to let knowledge flow freely, because students, teachers and researchers will become better when they use knowledge of others, and share their own (see also an older post “share to grow“). In The Netherlands things have gone rather “wild” lately in relation with open access to publications, and I think that has a reason.
The Netherlands are now seen as a forerunner, as guide towards open access. To my opinion this was due to two factors: enhancement & diversity. After the statement by our State Secretary, we joined efforts (VSNU, UKB and Surfmarket) in the negotiation teams, and we had them chaired by our Vice Chancellors. Three of them were directly involved and formed a front of our universities towards the publishers. A true enhancement with respect to the situation before where we had our negotiations without Board level involvement. When we discussed our conditions with the publishers, we made it explicit that we wanted to move to open access via the license deals, without us paying more money. We stuck to our principles, but we added diversity by accepting a variety of paces along the way.
Learning from experience is always wise. We will start at TU Delft as per 1 May 2016 to have all Delft authors to post their paper (final accepted version) in our institutional repository. We diversify, i.e., we follow the gold route as far as we manage to be successful in our license negotiations, we follow the green route where journals do not offer other open access solutions (or far too expensive ones) and we stimulate new initiatives. We enhance our Open Science umbrella by implementing Open Research as stepping stone to Open Science. We are setting up a data stewardship programme with our faculties supported by a multidisciplinary team (Library, ICT, Legal Services, Strategic Development) as part of our 2016 agenda. Understanding that for research data diversification means that we open them if possible, and close them if necessary and using a fair (findable accessible interoperable reusable) approach.
TU Delft is also a forerunner in Open Education. We started with OpenCourseware by providing free and open educational resources in 2007. Many other initiatives have arisen in the mean time, from free MOOCs, online masters to paid Professional Education. So also here, some content is open, some is closed. The bottomline is that we want to share. Or as Anka Mulder puts as tagline on her weblog: “Deliver World Class Education to Everyone”.
I attended the first two days of the IATUL conference 2015, on Strategic partnerships for access and discovery, on July 6 and 7, 2015. It has been a while that I visited an IATUL conference (the last time was in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2008), so it was nice that I was invited by TIB Hannover to give a keynote and be able to attend the meeting in Hannover, Germany.
IATUL celebrated its 60th anniversary, and last year the General Assembly had decided that members from other university libraries than technical ones are now also welcome to IATUL membership. Though of course at this conference there were still mainly representatives from technical libraries (which I like, perhaps because it potentially can provide a more focused flavour, though in the end we all have the same challenges of course). Let me mention a few observations I made during these first two days:
- The obvious topic of open access was immediately addressed on the first day by Martin Hofmann-Apitius, who gave a very explicit case and reason why publishers should allow automatic text mining and by doing so would save the lives of cancer patients. In the panel afterwards he said that he thought scientific youth has been spoiled by Google: “We should come back from the hype, and define what solid-based literature search means”.
José Cotta (from CONNECT, Directorate-General of the European Commission), the second keynote speaker, phrased open science as a “democratisation” of science, and explained that free flow of data is necessary for a digital single market. He divided open science as follows: E-infrastructures for open science; Open access to research results & processes; Evidence-based policy making (Global systems science); and Public engagement (citizen science, crowdsourcing). Cotta further referred to the blogpost Moedas and Oetinger jointly wrote, and ended with his statement that we need to “catalyse a change in culture”. (I had already heard the update on the pilot for research data Cotta gave.)
- Look out for the English translation of a public paper from ETH Zurich about the strategy for their collections (summary is already available). They identified the following four functions of scientific collections: Research; Teaching; Transfer of knowledge to the public; and Preservation of cultural heritage.
- Frank Seeliger (from Library TH Wildau, Germany) showed some nice visual presentations in the (digital or physical) library environment, or as he puts it: “making knowledge and science tangible”. They invite their professors to the library with this tagline: “Come to us to play”. Twice these two IATUL days a reference was made to the fluid library, i.e., the library can be where you want it. The tangible example at Wildau: every table in the library has an rfid reader, and when a book is put there, it can stay there, and be available (because it is localised).
- Simone Fühles-Ubach (Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Germany) explained a model for a library strategy, where the focus is on what the user wants to do instead of what they want. It is called the Openstrategies PRUB-model, because libraries run Projects to produce Results which customers and citizens Use to create Benefits.
- Wolf-Tilo Balke made it clear that libraries can (or should) connect information science and computer science, and combine this with their knowledge of the subject domain. He believes that this is necessary because otherwise people are lost in the information overflow, and “taking something out of the collection is the same as putting something on the 2nd page of Google”.
- I have made notes to take a better look at WorldWideScience.org who presented themselves as “a global science gateway comprised of national and international scientific databases and portals”. I must also investigate the impressive overview of research support services Hester Mountifield (University of Auckland, New Zealand) provided in her talk called “Through power of collaboration. How we increased our impact by helping researchers to increase theirs”. And I should have a better look at the circle (slide 20 in the linked pdf at this page) of the (physical) library functions Brian Irwin showed in his joint talk with Sharon L. Bostick.
So enough to get back to when I am in Delft. I did like the meeting and the talks with the attendees I had. The organisation was very “light”, which made it pleasantly informal, and there was also a lot of diversity in the topics, (perhaps some more focus in the total programme would have made it even better).
I have already given some attention to my own keynote via slideshare and twitter, but I would like to repeat very briefly what I feel is important for us librarians. We know why we find open access important, because we want everybody to have easy access to research findings. We should work together to reach this goal, and be Flexible, Assertive, Innovative and Realistic while doing this. If you want to know more, just reach out (and I’ll be there;-).
While we are implementing (hopefully more and more) open access deals in The Netherlands (e.g. with Springer) there is one thought that crossed my mind. For quite some time funding agencies support the open access publication of scientific articles. This is of course what we want, because we want knowledge to flow and our economy to grow. However … is all the extra funding in open access publications a sensible way forward? The reason I am asking this is because of the upcoming offset deals. We (institutes, libraries) have put money in the publishing system in the old days for access, for reading (and of course for more services the publishers offered alongside in the digital age). We have created a movement to (try to) change to a system where we (will) pay for the publication production part, and reading or access is “for free”. There is a lot to read about the total cost of publishing, and how open access will cost us much more than we pay for “closed” access right now.
And where does or will the extra money we need come from? From the funding agents, research grants, other faculty budget, or perhaps the government (the latter is not the case in The Netherlands). We are creating complexity in the world of publishing, we are finding ways to fund open access, where it perhaps could be as simple as it used to be. Apart from member or personal subscriptions, the major proportion of costs for the reading access came from the institutional (library) budgets. There was no budget for this from funding agencies; if you wanted extra content, not covered by the “big deals”, you needed to arrange this with your librarian, and publishers marketed their content via their libraries and via the researchers (“ask your library to …”). So why are we changing this? If a library or consortium wants to have an open access arrangement for or alongside the subscribed content, you cannot “use” this extra money in the system. If I refer again to the Springer deal the money paid is (we accept that in this transition period) mainly for opening up our articles in hybrid journals, and it is not possible to fund this (what I do understand). However, we all know this extra money is there and exists, and we cannot ignore this during our negotiations. And this creates complexity.
Let there just be one budget for publishing (and for the sake of simplicity I leave out the surcharges that might be paid by the authors out of their own research budget, also in the old days), and have no, I say no, extra funding for open access. Too bad. Not because I am not in favour of Open Access. But because I am.
A few afterthoughts (and of course do not consider this blogpost as a well-thought-of and reviewed article, I am just writing it in the train):
- This total publishing budget should be the university’s. The library can keep it, but we need to make sure that authors understand what costs are involved in publishing.
- We need all stakeholders to make the transition happen, as I stated earlier, there is a true choice to decide to make progress in open access.
- We need to take care that open access is not adding a barrier for people to be able to publish (resesarchers who are not connected with research institutes that can afford this – though we had the same problem with subscriptions of course).
- In the transition phase funders can stimulate open access, but I think that funding apc’s is not the way to do this.
- The complexity is perhaps more created by traditional publishers that do not want to change models due to an uncertain future. We know that there are upcoming successful open access publishers with a changed business model.
I attended APE2015 for 75%, i.e., I missed the second afternoon, the sessions I attended got of course my full attention. My report touches upon some highlights, for full coverage, please check the recordings or slides that will be put online later.
Open access as a means, not a goal
Quite some presentations made of course reference to open access, starting off with Martin Grötschel, incoming President of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, who stated that “everything should be available at your fingertips” and that “openness is the best possible way to foster high quality science”. And ending (well at least for me) with Jan Velterop, as independent Advocate and Advisor on open access and open science: “The goal is optimal dissemination of knowledge”. He referred to the term “lamp post research”, because with the publication overload researchers might only be looking where the light is (but not necessarily where the key is). I come back to that later. Celina Ramjoué, Head of Sector, Open Access to Scientific Publications and Data, European Commission, talked about Open Science. She also emphasized the importance of free circulation of knowledge, and explained the actions of her department by four issues, i.e., 1. e-infrastructures (big data); 2. evidence-based policy making; 3. open access to research results and processes; and 4. citizen engagement .
The dotcoms-to-watch session Eefke Smit was chairing carried the title “sharing is multiplying”, which also nicely catches the goal of open access in it, resembling our library’s vision that “if you share, you grow”. For circulation of samples, Olivier Acher (www.sampleofscience.net) wants to connect scientists creating samples with scientists who can use them. Descriptions are put in journal Sample of Science, and each disseminated sample becomes a citable item. I did remember readcube.com, but I did not realize that there were the launching partner of the shareable, read-only articles that Nature Publishing Group has on its website and that can be used for sharing peer to peer and media referral as Nicko Goncharov (Digital Science) talked about. David Sommer (Kudos): was back from last year, and after their launch in April 2014 they have 29000 author registrations. Authors can explain, enrich, share and measure what happens with their articles. New is an institutional partnership and proof that enriched articles are read and cited more.
From knowledge maps to knowledge vault
Hans Uszkoreit, Professor of Computational Linguistics, Saarland University at Saarbrücken, referred to the highest level of offering information resources, with new structured knowledge. Uskoreit, Jan Velterop and David Wade referred to knowledge maps or graphs. How these are already the basis of current Google or Bing services, and how they can be improved or sharpened by adding other “more closed” content. As Velterop put it: “Make sure that we at least get access to meaningful stuff in the articles. The more we have, the sharper the knowledge picture.” Wade is Director Scholarly Communication at Microsoft Research. He had some advice for the (mainly publishers) audience: “get crawled and indexed, get a sitemaps.xml, and mark up your content”. Interestingly he showed us that Microsoft is using these knowledge maps “behind the screen”, and that a new feature of Word is a direct reference to Word online (a sort of extended autosuggest), and you can also search for online pictures (with CC-BY licenses) in Powerpoint or search for data via an online search in Excel.
Making it happen, reaching our goal
Obviously if you want something, you should try to get there, and there might be more ways to reach your goal than you can think of yourself. In The Netherlands we have just reached an agreement with Springer. At APE Veronika Spinka (Open Access Manager) showed us how Springer is working on automating the process of identification and verification of author/institution for the apc’s deposit. Richard Wynne, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Aries Systems Corporation, explained that we really should leave metadata and business rules separate from each other, as was the case with the subscription model. Strikingly I thought was the author landing page Jake Kelleher (Senior Director of Licensing and Business Development, Copyright Clearance Center) showed us, where an author (or institute) can see what the agreed fee to be paid is, consisting of an apc and all sorts of surcharges (for supplementary data, colour and CC-BY license).
Ramjoué made reference to a possibility the EU now created where apc’s are also applicable for two years after a project has ended (in relation with FP7).
Frederick Dylla (see also last year) updated us on CHORUS: they now have 100 plus signatories and it is growing. CHORUS builds on existing infrastructure, and consists of a landing page (popular term, I must say!) for public access on the publisher’s site and progress can be followed via a live dashboard. In the US they chose the green road, and CHORUS is the publisher’s solution. For the library side of it, there is SHARE (working together, with CHORUS, e.g. on identifiers), the shared access research ecosystem.
(I need to) Come back to this later, or remember these phrases!
- Research pad (convert all open content to ePub format)
- Utopiadocs.com (I already heard about it, but should check it again, about “resurrecting knowledge”)
- Corona, your personal digital research assistant (Microsoft)
- Uszkoreit : “Owners of the texts do not own the facts”
- Dirk Pieper referring to an open access clearing centre to pay for apc’s and a landing page for their authors/publications
- Phil Archer (W3C): “a book is a broken, dead thing for youngsters.” “Semantics matters, otherwise machines cannot read it efficient, if models are different, again you make it difficult for machines”
- Kent Anderson about what peer review is about: “Is this new, done well, important? First, best or last?”, and provoking the publishers: “Investing in peer review is investing in your core function”
- Velterop: “You don’t get answers, but hints”
- Follow what happens in the CC-BY discussion, is it true that authors need to pay more in this license? Should we add ND to this?
It has been a while … one of the reasons that I lack time to write a blogpost is that I am (roughly) spending 2 full days per week on Open Access meetings, discussions and issues, next to the normal day-to-day business. All that work can be tracked down to the letter that our State Secretary Sander Dekker issued just over one year ago, in The Netherlands (English version).
The reason to take time to write now is that I just spent a day and a half in London, at the PASTEUR4OA meeting, where the Key Nodes of the Member States of the EU gathered, to discuss how they can work together to promote open access policy alignment in Europe. The idea is that we will form a network of expert centres that will help each other and work as a national liaison to the policy makers, for advice, exchange and implementation. I will not expand too much on this project or meeting, because results will of course be shared via the project website.
One deliverable of the project is an overview of current policies including a check whether they are compliant with the H2020 recommendation and an analysis what elements in these policies are the most effective ones. Perhaps most striking effective element was (and Bernard Rentier was present to explain this) in the mandate at the University of Liège. As Rentier phrased it: “Only publications in our repository are taken into account for internal evaluation”.
We could not leave the meeting without knowing what H2020 says on Open Access. To recap:
– Open access is mandatory for peer-reviewed publications
– Green open access is the “must”
– Grant holders are allowed to pay in gold open access
– Monographs are not mentioned, and
– Open data pilots are encouraged.
PASTEUR4OA will also be organizing policy meetings in the five EU regions they have created, two per region, one will focus on funding bodies, and one will focus on (research) institutional managers.
One of the advantages of spending some time with a rather small group of people involved in a common theme, is that you may encounter new people or new insights. There is also a disadvantage of having a common theme and a small group, and that is that people all know each other, and will not be able to find new insights or meet new people. At least for me that was, fortunately, not the case.
At the evening of our dinner, I ended up talking with Keith Jeffery and Melanie Imming. Keith asked me what I “had with Open Access”. And it struck me that – strangely – the question surprised me and I had to think a bit about this. Yes, of course there are the obvious arguments that a research institution is doing all the work (writing, reviewing and/or editing) and needs “quite a bit of” money to get access to their own work, and that this access is often limited to only a selected group that is able to pay for access. But what about me, why do I spend so much time on the Open Access issue?
I can explain this by referring to what our own rector Karel Luyben from Delft is saying: “..TU Delft is dedicated in making a significant contribution to finding responsible solutions to societal problems, at both a national and international level. Our mission is to deliver Science to Society. Open Science is an important way to spread our mission around the world.”
As TU Delft Library we are convinced that you (as researcher, student, teacher, but perhaps that this is a generic rule) will perform better if you use knowledge created by others and share your own. So knowledge should flow freely. Of course there are some prerequisites to be able to do this, e.g. the protection of intellectual property (dealt with in the creative commons licenses) or a sustainable infrastructure (via publishers, or via institutional repositories).
Anyway, that brings me to the other reason Open Access is a big chapter for me and my library director colleagues in The Netherlands. We are implementing what our State Secretary asked us to do last year:
“The agreements in 2014 should be based on the premise that publishers will make all their journals open access or that they are prepared to negotiate arrangements to offset article publishing charges with licensing fees in order to avoid double payment. Researchers should continue to have worldwide access to research publications.”
And so that is what we are committed to do, see the recent press releases on the negotiations with Elsevier and Springer. And we will need to make sure, together with the VSNU, that we keep things manageable, sustainable, and most preferably accessible for our researchers. Exciting times!
Reporting on the ALPSP international conference, 10-12 September 2014.
While I am at this (learned society) publishers’ congress, our Board of Directors have sent on September 11 a message to all employees at TU Delft announcing that the way forward is open access. Open access so that contributions to science are spread, read and re-used. In the Netherlands, State Secretary Dekker recently expressed his views on the transition of Dutch academic publications to Open Access, which he hopes to achieve within five years in 60% of the cases.
A few days in London, that’s what you think. However, the ALPSP meeting is based in a hotel (Park Inn) at Heathrow, so the only thing you see (and hear) is the airport.
Keynote opener was Amy Brand from Digital Science. She presented an overview of the products (a lot fall under Digital Science) that help taking away pains from the researchers. “Pain is the mother of invention”. Products or services I had not heard of before were: Sparrho, Sciencescape and Uberresearch.
A bit about libraries
The first day (being only the afternoon) held (after the keynote) two things. A library panel (I think that those were the only librarians, apart from me, present) and the presentations of the Innovation Award (winner to be announced Thursday September 11). Surprise surprise, I liked the library panel. The topic was about whether we (librarians / publishers) were competitors or customers. Jill Taylor-Roe asked us to recalibrate the collaboration. Would it be better together? Graham Stone tried to tickle the audience (as you will understand mainly publishers) by explaining that repositories actually help in impact. “It is not about stealing. We have paid, we link and drive usage”. At his university (Huddersfield) they now have their own Press, and publish their undergraduate journal with severe peer reviewing. As Jill also pointed out, Graham said that libraries and publishers are both contributors (not competitors) to advance science. The really important people are the authors, not the librarians or the publishers.
Seven nominations for the Innovation Awards, 5 minutes each. Wow! I liked (but information might not be complete;-) BioRXiv , initiated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, as I understand a good filter to proceed to journal publications. Another success was presented by Frontiers from Open Science platform, where open access journals are being (openly) peer reviewed, with top scientists as Editors, and maximising impact for authors. They even started a Frontiers for young minds! With an Editorial board of kids. Last one I mention is Edifix (from Inera), where inaccurate references are something from the past.
Impact and relevance
A panel opened the next day, but it was lively enough to attend. I especially appreciated the contributions from David Smith (IET) and chair Toby Green (OECD). Take a look at OECD’s Freemium Access publishing, more or lest the differentiated access Amy Brand presented the day before. It is a mixture of free (just reading) and premium (paying, for downloads or usage). With David I had a nice chat afterwards, where we discussed the typical behaviour of engineers i.e. IET noted having a very low percentage of mobile traffic on their platform. I spoke also with the panellist from Thieme who claimed that open access would leave libraries without a job. What we see in Delft is that we advise in the publication route and start to administer apc’s, so I did not agree with his observation.
Melinda Kenneway opened an interesting session on metrics. I had heard Mike Taylor from Elsevier at the APE, but his story this time was different, he advocated the use of multiple or mixed metrics, not bibliometrics or altmetrics, but choosing the right answers based on the questions of the customers. We also had the joy of listening to Euan Adie, founder of Altmetric. He defines altmetrics as everything in metrics that is not citations, resulting in a broader view of impact. An idea that popped up in my head when he talked was whether we (as librarians) should be starting to tweet much more about the Delft publications, as part of our workflow.
In the afternoon presentations on “cracking the discovery code” were scheduled. where EBSCO, Sage and Graham Stone (again, see day before) talked. Graham’s university was the first Summon client in the UK (2009). I liked the way he referred to the discovery system as a tool that is “levelling the playing field, giving every journal a fair chance” and warned us, librarians, to avoid the desire making minilibrarians out of our users. I also made a note to look at the TERMS – top 14 deal breaks when licensing electronic resources, that he cocreated, so I will definitely get back to his presentation.
Fiona Murphy chaired the final session of the day on big data. There was in that session not much new for me, though it struck me that the underlying message was that we should be careful. We should not make confusing correlations, will need human interaction to structure the data, and need to make authors aware how to correctly cite data. I learned from my neighbor, one of the nominees for the Innovation Award from Inera, that 20% of the provided data citations have incorrect doi’s. We can of course also have fun, e.g. with the autocomplete text Google makes (why is UK so … cold).
Text mine or yours or …
On Friday morning we had our final sessions. Both were interesting. Gemma Hersh from Elsevier explained their Text and Datamining policy and went through the criticism received, via a.o. LIBER. They have changed a few things since, e.g. users are not asked anymore to provide a project description when they register for mining. The fact that registration is needed however will not be changed, according to Hersh. CrossRef is now working on a cross publisher solution. The talk by researcher Lars Juhl Jensen (here is his blog) nicely touched upon some of these issues. Jensen gave a wonderful talk about what text and data mining is all about, and that researchers like himself just want to be able “to take it, mine it and make it publicly available”. Furter reading about this (and other) sessions at the alpsp blog.
The final session had open access as topic. Chair Wim van der Stelt from Springer tried to bring some different angles to the discussion. We had people from Wiley, Royal Society and BMC talking about flipping your subscription journal, learning from starting an open access journal and having the dialogue with your customer, respectively. I liked the contribution by Jackie Jones (Wiley). She gave the Wiley criteria to flip or not to flip. Obviously parameters such as rejection rate, submission level, funder behaviour and proven open access success in the discipline are relevant in this decision. Phil Hurst (The Royal Society) mentioned that they only would be launching open access journals. He referred to the SPARC page, that summarizes why open access is a big benefit. I did not really get an answer when asking when the time would come that the default for launching a new journal would be open access, realizing that large publishers also could drive the change and influence behaviour. Well, I wrote earlier about that of course! Though we all agreed at the congress that our authors and researchers are the most important stakeholders, perhaps some other stakeholders might influence the direction publishers are taking;-)