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Ljubljana Conference on Open Access and Licensing of Toll Access Journals
The Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport hosted the conference on best practices of managing open access to publications and research data and on toll access to publications, with a view of enabling open science. The event took place on 1 October 2015 and was attended by approximately 130 participants in the hall as well as by 596 spectators of the video streaming. The presentations are available at event webpage and the video at Arnes Video portal.
The welcome address was delivered by the State Secretary for Science Dr Tomaž Boh. Adoption of the national strategy of open access to scientific publications and research data in Slovenia 2015–2020 in September 2015 is the first important step in the series of steps that need to be well considered and agreed upon. The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport supports open access and proactive approach to it. Open access is part of the European Research Area. In accordance with the directions of the European Commission the goal is open science. International exchange of good practices is necessary, Slovenian scientific communities are integrated into European and global communities.
The organizers (the Central Technological Library of the University of Ljubljana, Scientific Knowledge Services AG, the National and University Library, the University of Maribor Library) invited renowned experts on open access and licensing of toll access (affiliated with SPARC Europe/DOAJ, Jisc Collections, UCL/LERU and LIBER) as well as the academic publishers.
First the representatives of the three libraries (Miro Pušnik, Dunja Legat and Alenka Kavčič-Čolić) presented the Slovenian infrastructure for open access and open science that is composed of the national bibliographic system and services COBISS.SI, where the union catalogue records are used in the national CRIS (i.e., SICRIS), the academic research network ARNES, the national information portal openaccess.si, and the Open Science Slovenia portal, harvesting metadata from the Slovenian repositories and other digital archives (e.g., Social Science Data Archives, VideoLectures.NET, Digital Library of Slovenia …).
Lars Bjørnshauge, SPARC Europe/DOAJ, expressed the need to change the unsustainable scholarly communication system in ways that it can serve science, societies and people. Open access is still not the default. The transformation to open has to encompass open access journals (and monographs), research funder and institutional policies and mandates, and research evaluation and rewards systems. The Directory of Open Access Journals contributes by implementing the stronger criteria for inclusion. Lars conveyed the breaking news on the initiative Think. Check. Submit., which is a simple checklist for researchers to assess credentials of scientific journals in order to identify trusted journals.
Liam Earney, Jisc Collections, explained the Jisc's work on offsetting agreements (i.e., the combined cost of Article Processing Charges and subscriptions in hybrid journals). The local offsetting pilots run through a variety of schemes. The challenges include complicated policy environment in the United Kingdom, extra spend is happening now, but only one negotiation cycle is needed for journal agreements. If hybrid journal publishers refuse offsetting agreements, then it is advisable to increase support for the green route. Regarding sustainability, offsetting is an administrative burden that requires new systems, workflows and different data.
Carolyn Alderson, Jisc Collections, presented the organization and activities of Jisc Collections for trusted negotiation and licensing services to the consortium members. Annual procurement of electronic resources includes planning, negotiation, promotion and post-promotion, efficiencies report and satisfaction survey. Jisc Collections uses model licenses for all their agreements. Jisc Collections is moving away from historical print spend as the basis of the pricing for a journal agreement to a Jisc banded approach. Negotiations for journal renewals are highly complex. Jisc Collections is also focusing on total cost of ownership and implementation of offsetting schemes (as earlier presented by Liam Earney).
Paul Ayris, UCL/LERU, spoke of the importance of the (open) research data. League of European Research Universities (LERU) prepared the roadmap for research data. The key messages are that each LERU university needs a Research Data Management Strategy, researchers should have Research Data Management Plans, LERU universities need to bring stakeholders together, benefits of open data for sharing and re-use should be advocated and explored, new role of Data Scientist is emerging. The new LEARN Horizon 2020 project will scale up LERU roadmap to be a global roadmap. LIBER has produced Ten recommendations on how to get started in research data management and eleven research data management case studies.
Susan Reilly, LIBER, presented the building blocks for open science, which are open access and open research data, but also advocacy, incentives, infrastructure, skills and training, policy and legislation. The European Commission has mandated open access to European projects results and is carrying out the open research data pilot. The Commissioners speak about open science, working to launch the Open Science Cloud. The Council of Europe agrees and is looking into the development of Open Science Agenda. As we produce more and more data, physical and local support will become increasingly important.
All the invited academic publishers decided to participate at the event except Elsevier. Representatives of the Royal Society of Chemistry, BioOne, Taylor & Francis, Springer Nature, BMJ, Wiley, and Oxford University Press presented their open access options, which typically are the publication of open access and hybrid journals. For the latter, the Article Processing Charges are paid to obtain free access for the readers and different Creative Commons licenses whereby the authors retain the material copyright and grant extensive re-use rights. Self-archiving in the repositories is also a typical option, but, unfortunately, with embargoes that are too long for the open science in the European Research Area.
In addition to these possibilities, Springer is also piloting Springer Compact where Article Processing Charges are offset against the toll access license. Open access to articles of authors from collaborating institutions and toll access to the publisher's journals for eligible users from these organizations are handled in one contract. The ongoing pilots are with the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and two other partners.
Thomson Reuters presented the indexing of open access journals in the Web of Science. The latter is compatible with the OpenAIRE Guidelines.
The event was a very welcome platform for exchanging the visions, goals, experiences and practices of different open access stakeholders. A lot still has to be done to enable the researchers in the European Research Area to practise open science and responsible research and innovation while carrying out the research with public funding of the European Commission and the EU Member States national funders.
Photo Credits: Gašper Lešnik