Elsevier: Ever More Evil (aka Why Do Authors Boycott Elsevier?)

(Note: This post has been updated and expanded to match the post at the Graduate Center Library blog.)

You may have heard of the Cost of Knowledge, a site where researchers publicly express their upset with the business practices of the publisher Elsevier and commit not to contribute to Elsevier journals. As of today, 15,034 researchers have pledged to boycott Elsevier as an author, editor, and/or peer reviewer.

You might wonder: What has Elsevier has done to cause so many researchers to boycott them?

A primary complaint is their exorbitant product pricing — pricing that allows them to profit richly (with profit margins close to 40%) off nonprofit organizations such as academic libraries. (The Graduate Center Library pays dearly for its subscriptions to Elsevier’s Scopus database and ScienceDirect “big deal” journal package (which, yes, includes many essential journals but also includes many journals that are never used). So dearly that our other collection choices are severely constrained.)

Of course, as is the norm in scholarly publishing, Elsevier does not pay its authors — the creators of its journal content — for their work. So they’re reaping huge profits off free labor. And that brings us to another major complaint: their treatment of authors. Elsevier recently released a new article-sharing policy for authors, and it is not good for authors.

To their credit, sort of, they’ve corrected a horrifying problem with their earlier policy — namely, the bizarro policy of allowing authors at universities without open access policies to make their accepted manuscripts open access, but not authors at universities with such policies (i.e., “You retain the right to post if you wish but not if you must!”).

But…instead of introducing better terms across the board, Elsevier’s new policy imposes worse terms across the board. Specifically, their new policy imposes embargoes on ALL accepted author manuscripts, many of them 24- or 36-month embargoes, and some of them 48-month embargoes! This means that authors cannot broadly share (e.g., in CUNY Academic Works) their peer-reviewed manuscripts (we’re just talking about the final manuscript versions, not the publisher’s PDFs) until those very long embargo expires.

Needless to say, many researchers are very upset. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), and 21 other groups have released this statement of opposition:

On April 30, 2015, Elsevier announced a new sharing and hosting policy for Elsevier journal articles. This policy represents a significant obstacle to the dissemination and use of research knowledge, and creates unnecessary barriers for Elsevier published authors in complying with funders’ open access policies. In addition, the policy has been adopted without any evidence that immediate sharing of articles has a negative impact on publishers’ subscriptions.

Despite the claim by Elsevier that the policy advances sharing, it actually does the opposite. The policy imposes unacceptably long embargo periods of up to 48 months for some journals. It also requires authors to apply a “non-commercial and no derivative works” license for each article deposited into a repository, greatly inhibiting the re-use value of these articles. Any delay in the open availability of research articles curtails scientific progress and places unnecessary constraints on delivering the benefits of research back to the public.

Furthermore, the policy applies to “all articles previously published and those published in the future” making it even more punitive for both authors and institutions. This may also lead to articles that are currently available being suddenly embargoed and inaccessible to readers.

As organizations committed to the principle that access to information advances discovery, accelerates innovation and improves education, we support the adoption of policies and practices that enable the immediate, barrier free access to and reuse of scholarly articles. This policy is in direct conflict with the global trend towards open access and serves only to dilute the benefits of openly sharing research results.

We strongly urge Elsevier to reconsider this policy and we encourage other organizations and individuals to express their opinions.

If you are also upset by Elsevier’s new policy, you can add your name to the statement.

And if the new policy has made you reconsider your willingness to contribute to Elsevier publications, you may want to consider signing the Cost of Knowledge pledge.

Boycott_Elsevier_2

Image is © Michael Eisen, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

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Graduate Center Students Can Now Self-Submit to Academic Works!

(Déjà vu? This post originally appeared on the Graduate Center Library blog.)

Graduate Center students, we’re finally ready for you! You may now self-submit your scholarly and/or creative works to Academic Works, CUNY’s open access institutional repository! And by “works,” we mean just about any kind of scholarly or creative output: journal articles, book contributions, conference papers, slideshows, posters, datasets, reports, interviews, creative writing, musical compositions, images, etc.

Academic-Works-logo

Are you really allowed to make your journal articles open access? Yes, the vast majority of journals allow authors to make their articles (either the submitted version, the accepted (post-refereed) manuscript, or the publisher’s PDF) freely available online. Find out which journals allow what at SHERPA/RoMEO, which provides easy-to-read summaries of journals’ policies.

What’s in it for you? Why should you submit your works to Academic Works? Lots of reasons! Here are just a few:

  • Posting your work online helps you find the widest possible readership, and helps you share your work with potential employers, collaborators, etc.
  • Articles that are freely available online are cited more by other articles. (Learn more about the open access citation advantage.)
  • Materials in Academic Works are more discoverable by Google and Google Scholar.
  • Academic Works will send you monthly download statistics so you can better understand the impact of your work.
  • Unlike disciplinary repositories that only accept research articles (e.g., arXiv.org), Academic Works accepts any kind of scholarly or creative work.
  • If your publisher requires an embargo period before your work can be made open access, Academic Works can count down the embargo for you and automatically open the work up when the embargo expires.

Ready to go? Go straight to the Submit Research page, click Graduate Student Publications and Research, create an account (using your GC email address), and start submitting!  Or, if you’d like more information and step-by-step instructions, consult our Academic Works LibGuide first.

A few important notes:

  • Academic Works is only for completed works, not works in progress.
  • Only submit works that you have the right to share and make open access.
  • Do not submit your dissertation or thesis directly to Academic Works. See the library’s deposit procedures for information about that.

Questions? Contact AcademicWorks@gc.cuny.edu

Getting your work online a great summer project — happy uploading!

laptop-on-dock

Photo is © Giorgio Montersino, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license

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Demystifying Altmetrics & the Search for Quality

Making your work publicly accessible impacts how that work is read and used. Join the LACUNY Scholarly Communications Roundtable for a discussion about:

  • evaluating scholarly publication quality (from disciplinary considerations to predatory publishing),
  • assessing impact with traditional and altmetrics*, and
  • creating scholar/researcher profiles with services such as ORCID.

Thursday, May 7, 2015
2-4pm
Graduate Center Rm 9205
Snacks provided, RSVP: http://bit.ly/altmetrics-rsvp
Twitter hashtag: #cunyaltmetrics

Presenters:

Monica Berger is Electronic Resources and Technical Services Librarian at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. She is an Associate Professor and her scholarly and professional activities focus on scholarly communications and popular culture.

Marta Bladek
is Freshman and Instruction Services Librarian at John Jay College. A few years ago, with Kathleen Collins, she created a Faculty Research Resources libguide that introduced the JJ community to measures of scholarly impact, including altmetrics. In addition to maintaining the guide, Marta prepared workshops for JJ faculty and the college-wide Personnel Committee, published a Scholarly Communication column in the C&RL News, and wrote about Bibliometrics Services and the Academic Library for College and Undergraduate Libraries.

Margaret (Meg) Smith is the Physical Sciences Librarian at NYU. She has co-created a scholarly metrics research guide and workshop at NYU and teaches a variety of metrics- and data-related workshops at the CUNY Grad Center Library. She also teaches data librarianship for the Pratt Institute’s School of Information and Library Science.

*For background on altmetrics, visit ACRL’s Keeping up with . . . Altmetrics.

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Now Hiring: University Systems Librarian for Digital Initiatives

This job at CUNY’s Office of Library Services has several components, a key one of which is managing the technical aspects of Academic Works, CUNY’s new institutional repository.  The application deadline is June 1.


University Systems Librarian, Digital Initiatives
City University of New York

The Office of Library Services (OLS) at the Central Administrative Office of CUNY supports the libraries at the University’s 24 campuses to coordinate and enhance library services for students and faculty in partnership with campus librarians. OLS Library Systems team supports a large portfolio of enterprise library applications and services that support digital repository services, and discovery and access services, and collection management. Systems include Academic Works @ CUNY (Digital Commons Institutional Repository Service), the CUNY Catalog (Aleph integrated library system), CUNY OneSearch (Primo discovery system), SFX (link server and electronic journals discovery tool), EZProxy (remote authentication system), Coral (electronic resources management system), and others.

The Office seeks a University Systems Librarian specializing in Digital Initiatives to provide technical expertise and guidance for CUNY’s cloud-based Institutional Repository, digital collections and shared responsibility for CUNY’s discovery service.

Reporting to the University Director of Library Systems, the Digital Initiatives Librarian will focus on data, platform, and workflow integration and interoperability, metadata extraction, transformation, and reuse, analytics and reporting, search strategies and services, and problem diagnosis and resolution.

Key responsibilities include, but will not be limited to: managing the technical aspects of Academic Works @ CUNY; configuring CUNY digital collections as data sources and normalization rules to support associated encoding schemes (DC, EAD, provenance data, etc.) for discovery in OneSearch; implementing discovery web and X-services for external search service integrations, metadata harvesting and reuse, and user interface redesign and development; determining strategies for integration of thesauri and linked open data in search applications such as the CUNY Academic Works institutional repository and our discovery service.

See the full job description here. (If the direct link doesn’t work, go to http://cuny.jobs/ and search for Job ID 12894.)

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Knowledge Made Public: Open Access. Humanities. Social Sciences.

The Graduate Center Library is pleased to host a presentation on open access in the humanities and social sciences from Rebecca Kennison and Lisa Norberg of K|N Consultants. Kennison and Norberg will discuss the Open Access Network, a model for academic publishing based on revised partnerships between scholarly societies, academic libraries, and publishers. Martin Burke (The Graduate Center, CUNY), Jessie Daniels (The Graduate Center, CUNY), and Ken Wissoker (Duke University Press & The Graduate Center, CUNY) will respond, opening up lively conversation about the future of scholarly communication.

From K|N

We started the Open Access Network to help disciplines in the humanities and social sciences transition to an open access environment because we believe in the humanities, we believe in the social sciences, and we believe in scholarly societies and the university presses that support the work of humanists and social scientists. They all matter. We also believe the research and scholarship these scholars produce have broad societal value and deserve a wide audience. That matters, too. Please join us for a conversation on a transformative solution for sustainable OA publishing and archiving.

Tuesday, May 5th
2:30pm – 4:00pm
Room 9206
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016
RSVP requested

About the speakers

Rebecca Kennison, the K of K|N, is one of the two Principals at K|N Consultants. Prior to working full time at K|N, she was the founding director of the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, a division of the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, where for nearly 8 years she was responsible for developing programs to facilitate scholarly research and the communication of that research through technology solutions. Rebecca has worked primarily in the scholarly publishing industry, including production leadership roles at Cell Press, Blackwell Publishing (now Wiley-Blackwell), and the open-access publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS).

Lisa Norberg is a Principal at K|N Consultants, providing strategic and operational guidance via a range of consultation services to academic and research libraries, scholarly societies, and other organizations. She has over 20 years of experience in academic librarianship, having held positions at Barnard College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Penn State Harrisburg, and George Mason University. She is an adjunct faculty member at Pratt Institute’s School of Information and Library Science, where she teaches a course on strategic leadership. She is interested in organizational transformation in academic libraries, the evolving role of librarians in teaching and learning, and the libraries’ role in an open-access scholarly information ecosystem.

About the responders

Martin J. Burke is an Associate Professor of History and American Studies at the City University of New York. He earned an A.B. in History from the City College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Michigan. He has been an Exchange Fellow at the Institute for Irish Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast; a Fulbright Junior Lecturer at the University of Florence; and a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Galway. In addition, he has lectured at Helsinki University, the University of Verona and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. He has held research fellowships at the American Antiquarian Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, Notre Dame University and the New York Historical Society.

Jessie Daniels is Professor of Public Health, Sociology and Critical Psychology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center. An internationally recognized expert on Internet manifestations of racism, she is the author of two books about race and various forms of media, White Lies (Routledge, 1997) and Cyber Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), as well as dozens of peer-reviewed articles in journals such as New Media & Society, Gender & Society, American Journal of Public Health, and Women’s Studies Quarterly.She directs JustPublics@365, a project whose goal is to connect academics, journalists and activists in ways that foster transformation on issues of social justice.

Ken Wissoker is the Editorial Director of Duke University Press, acquiring books in across the humanities, arts, and social sciences. He’s especially known for lists in anthropology, cultural studies, race, post-colonial theory, feminism, queer theory, affect theory, science studies, popular music, and photography. He joined the Press as an Acquisitions Editor in 1991; became Editor-in-Chief in 1997; and was named Editorial Director in 2005. This fall, in addition to his duties at the Press, he became Director of Intellectual Publics at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He lectures and publishes widely on questions of interdisciplinarity and publishing.

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Graduate Center Research Impact: Pin Drops Keep Falling on My Map!

(Déjà vu? This is a very slight reworking of a post from the Graduate Center Library blog.)

Germany. India. England. France. Canada. Poland. Iran. Sweden. China. Turkey. Netherlands. Egypt. Russia. Japan. Those are just a few of the countries where researchers are downloading the works of Graduate Center students and faculty!

Graduate Center Academic Works, the Graduate Center’s new open access institutional repository, tells us more than we ever knew before about global interest in Graduate Center research. The repository is still small — as of today, it holds just 1,125 works, primarily dissertations and master’s theses, faculty articles and other faculty works, and technical reports from the Computer Science program. But its reach is already broad — those 1,125 works have been accessed 31,349 times…and counting! (See the 10 most downloaded items.)

And now we can all watch what’s being downloaded where by visiting the repository’s animated download map (also visible on the bottom of the main GC Academic Works page)!

Map showing some of the downloads from Academic Works on March 11, 2015

Map showing some of the downloads from Academic Works on March 11, 2015

Furthermore, anyone with one or more items in Academic Works receives monthly readership reports with information about how much their works have been accessed. It’s never been easier to track the popularity and impact of your work, or to reach audiences you otherwise wouldn’t have reached — largely through Google and Google Scholar searches.

Lots of East Coast downloads on March 11!

Lots of East Coast downloads on March 11!

GC-affiliated faculty, want to improve the readership and impact of your work? Submit your scholarly and creative works — articles, book contributions, conference presentations, slideshows, posters, data sets, etc. Submitting is as simple as completing a form — see the step-by-step instructions.

Want to raise the profile of your program? Talk to your colleagues about uploading their works as well! Or invite Jill Cirasella, Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication, to a meeting to give an explanation and demonstration of Academic Works.

Want to improve the visibility of your center or institute? Contact Jill Cirasella to inquire about creating an Academic Works section for your center or institute!

A download in Seychelles!

A download in Seychelles!

(Graduate Center students, we’re doing a phased launch and are not accepting student works other than dissertations and theses quite yet. But stay tuned because we will in the near future!)

Have questions? Not sure which publishers allow you to upload copies of your articles? Want to get some one-on-one instruction before you begin? Contact Jill Cirasella — she’s happy to help by email, over the phone, or in person.

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March Workshops at GC: Authors’ Rights and Why & How to Submit to Academic Works

This month, the Graduate Center Library is offering two workshops of potential interest to readers of Open Access @ CUNY:

You Know What You Write, But Do You Know Your Rights? Understanding and Protecting Your Rights as an Author
Tuesday, March 10 @ 2:30-4:00pm
Open to the GC and broader CUNY community: Click to RSVP

When you publish a journal article, you sign a copyright agreement. Do you know what you’re agreeing to when you sign it? Different journals have different policies: Some journals require you to relinquish your copyright. (You then have to ask permission or even pay to share your article with students and colleagues!) Some journals allow you to retain some rights (e.g., the right to post online). Some journals leave copyright in your hands. (You simply give the journal a non-exclusive license to publish the article.)

How can you find out a journal’s policy? How can you negotiate your contract to make the most of your rights as a scholar, researcher, and author? Come learn how to preserve your rights to reproduce, distribute, and display the work you create.

Led by Jill Cirasella, Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication at the Graduate Center. Open to students, faculty, staff, and anyone from the CUNY community who has questions about their rights as authors, open access publishing, or scholarly communication.

Can’t make it? Want a preview of what’s covered? See the materials from the previous authors’ rights event.

Grad Center Faculty Workshop: Why & How to Submit to Academic Works
Tuesday, March 17 @ 2:30-4:00pm
Open to GC and CUNY doctoral faculty and research assistants only: Click to RSVP

The Graduate Center recently launched Graduate Center Academic Works, an open access institutional repository that is the ideal way for faculty to make articles, book chapters, data, etc. available to their research community and the broader public. It’s also the perfect place to satisfy grant funders’ open access requirements!

You might wonder, “Are researchers allowed to make their scholarly journal articles freely available online?” Very often, the answer is yes: a majority of journal publishers allow self-archiving of this kind! (To find the policy of a specific publisher or journal, check SHERPA/RoMEO.)

This workshop will introduce faculty to Academic Works, present the many compelling reasons to post works there, and provide step-by-step instructions for uploading works.

(Graduate students, we apologize, but we’re not ready for you quite yet. We’re doing a phased launch, and the repository is currently only ready to accept faculty self-submissions. But it will be open to student self-submissions in the near future!)

Led by Jill Cirasella, Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication.

Can’t make it? Contact Jill at jcirasella@gc.cuny.edu for a one-on-one instruction to Academic Works.

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Introducing Megan Wacha, Your New Scholarly Communications Librarian!

megan cropped 2Open access advocates around CUNY are thrilled to announce the arrival (and extremely productive first few weeks) of Megan Wacha, CUNY’s new Scholarly Communications Librarian, based at the Office of Library Services. While many CUNY librarians have long engaged, both formally and informally, with open access, repositories, and other scholarly communications topics, Megan is CUNY’s first librarian dedicated entirely to scholarly communications, and I know I speak for many when I say we’re eager — nay, ravenous — for her expertise, collaboration, and leadership.

Megan will be engaged with a wide variety of scholarly communications conversations, but her initial focus will be developing and managing CUNY’s new institutional repository, Academic Works. She will also co-chair OLS’s brand new Scholarly Communications Committee. And, of course, she’ll be a frequent blogger right here at Open Access @ CUNY.

Before coming to CUNY, Megan was Research and Instruction Librarian for the Performing Arts at Barnard College, where she led outreach on scholarly communications topics, served on the advisory committee to Columbia’s institutional repository (Academic Commons), provided guidance on fair use and copyright issues, trained editors of an open access undergraduate journal, and helped support various digital projects. She is also an active Wikipedian — her Wikipedia efforts include working to increase contributions by and about women and people from other marginalized groups. (And we can’t leave out the fact that she won Knowledge Unlatched’s open access meme competition!)

Many of you have already met Megan, but if you haven’t, you are welcome to reach out to her at megan.wacha@cuny.edu.

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Handouts from “Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask . . . About CUNY’s New Institutional Repository Platform”

Maybe you weren’t able to attend last Friday’s workshop “Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask . . . About CUNY’s New Institutional Repository Platform.” Or maybe you attended but lost the handouts on the subway or in the snow. Either way, here are the handouts distributed and discussed at the event:

Please take a look, share with your colleagues (and Chief Librarians!) and let us know if you have any questions!

download-map

Download Map for Graduate Center Academic Works : 1,122 papers, 25,754 downloads, and counting!

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Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask . . . About CUNY’s New Institutional Repository Platform

The LACUNY Scholarly Communications Roundtable (SCRT) invites you to a presentation on Academic Works, CUNY’s new institutional repository, with speakers Megan Wacha and Jill Cirasella. Hear about exciting plans and progress made by CUNY’s new Scholarly Communications Librarian, and learn about the Graduate Center’s implementation of their local instance. Leave with ideas about how to rock your campus with Academic Works.

Friday, February 20
3pm-5pm
Graduate Center, Room 9205
RSVP requested by Thursday, February 12
Snacks provided

SPEAKER BIOS

Jill Cirasella is the Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication at the Graduate Center CUNY, where she leads numerous scholarly communications initiatives, including the GC’s new institutional repository, Academic Works. Jill is a vocal advocate of open access and seeks to promote understanding and adoption of open access at CUNY and beyond.

Megan Wacha is CUNY’s new Scholarly Communications Librarian. Prior to joining CUNY in January 2015, Megan was a research and instruction librarian at Barnard College, where she instigated for information access by promoting Columbia’s institutional repository, organizing Wikipedia edit-a-thons, among other activities.

For further information please contact the LACUNY SCRT co-chairs Jean Amaral (jamaral@bmcc.cuny.edu) and Karen Okamoto (kokamoto@jjay.cuny.edu).

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