Comprehensive strategy instead of competition - OA2020 at OPERAS Conference

At the end of last week, the first OPERAS Conference "Open Scholarly Communication in Europe. Addressing the Coordination Problem” took place in Athens. OPERAS is a European research infrastructure project for the promotion of open access and open science especially in the social sciences and humanities. The OA2020 initiative took part in form of the OA2020-DE project leader Dirk Pieper in the session "Flipping Journals or Changing the System? The Need for Coordination". The aim of the presentation was to show that OA2020 supports multiple ways of open access transformation, which is more than journal flipping and APCs, and at the same time to made clear that empirically relevant OA publishing in these areas takes place and APCs and offsetting are essential factors of the transformation.

Furthermore, Mr Pieper pointed out that OA2020 and FAIR OA as well as Jussieu Call are to be understood as complementary approaches of the open access transformation: their joint connection is, inter alia, in the withdrawal of budgets from the subscription system to redirect these funds into concrete open access transformation approaches (e.g., Fair OA, OLH, infrastructures such as DOAJ, repositories or OJS, offsetting, APCs, ebook OA projects, etc.). Therefore, the development of a common strategy is useful and necessary. OA2020-DE and DEAL support OA2020 thereby in Germany and beyond.

Big deals - Opportunities to strengthen the negotiation position

Recently, two publications have been published that look at the topic of "Big Deals" from different perspectives: In April 2018 the "EUA Big Deals Survey Report - The First Mapping of Major Scientific Publishing Contracts in Europe" and in May 2018 the post of Lindsay McKenzie in Inside Higher Ed "‘Big Deal’ Cancellations Gain Momentum".

The EUA Big Deals Survey Report looks at the current situation in Europe and in 2016 and 2017 questioned negotiators at universities in 28 different EU countries on the amount and terms of their three largest and most expensive contracts with scientific publishers. The answers were anonymised by country and publisher, but they still present a clear picture of the negotiation results that are often not made public. Collectively, the research institutions annually spend approximately €421 million on periodicals, e-books and databases. Of this sum, the vast majority (€384 million) is spent on periodicals and 65% of this expenditure goes to Elsevier.

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Open access and media acquisition: First transformation workshop of the National Contact Point Open Access in Bielefeld

"We need a complementary objective for the library media acquisition: it is no longer just about buying media and putting it on a shelf or licensing for a campus. It is increasingly a contribution from libraries, so that scientific literature can even be published in open access."

This is a key finding of the OA2020-DE transformation workshop for acquisition librarians, which took place on 19 and 20 April 2018 in Bielefeld. The workshop covered topics relevant to the open access transformation: "collecting cost and publication data at a university" and "alternative publication models for open access journals and open access monographs". The short introduction round at the beginning showed that the topic is gaining relevance not only for universities, but increasingly also for universities of applied sciences.

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