Session 10

Session 10: Ongoing Open Access: challenges and solutions

Friday 8 July – 9:00 – 10:30

Chair: Émilie Barthet, Bourgogne Libraries Services, Dijon, France

10.1 Lessons Learned From University of Lausanne’s 360-degree OA Strategy and Collaboration with ChronosHub, Rocio Micaela Crespo Quesada, University of Lausanne, Ida Sofie Reher, ChronosHub, Denmark, Martin Jagerhorn, ChronosHub, Denmark

Open Access is changing the research ecosystem as the ways for accessing, publishing, and managing research results are transforming. This gives rise to new challenges and encourages new questions, especially for researchers who must navigate through the rapidly evolving landscape. 
 
Here, at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), we are met with these challenges on a daily basis. The administrative workload is heavy, and our researchers feel overwhelmed. What does a CC-BY license mean, is this a predatory journal, how can I pay for this article? 
 
As a highly research-intensive institution, committed to driving Open Science and Open Access, we concluded that we need an OA strategy that caters for all types of Open Access. A solution was much needed to ensure more seamless workflows for the researchers and ease the administrative processes. We also needed to do something about the enormous APC expenditure that came on top of our subscriptions. 
 
As such, in 2021, we embarked on a collaborative journey with ChronosHub which is a platform that fully aligns with our 360-degree OA strategy. Together, we are working to establish a more effective management of UNIL’s OA funds (Gold OA), automate the monitoring of our OA agreements (Gold & Hybrid OA), facilitate repository deposits (Green OA), and guide our researchers through their end-to-end author journey. 
 
We have already come a long way, and this presentation will share our learnings and identified best practices for the different strands of our OA strategy. It will also highlight the remaining challenges and suggestions for community actions. 

10.2 E-lending in Europe: an intricated business, Giuseppe Vitiello, EBLIDA, The Netherlands

Why are there so many different models of e-lending in Europe? Is it possible to envisage a uniformity of practices and solutions in this disparate landscape? And what are the respective roles of public authorities and of public libraries in this field? 
 
Despite the progressive development of the e-book offer, libraries still encounter many difficulties in implementing e-lending. Those difficulties are of a variable nature – legal, technical, and financial. For some expert librarians, e-lending is mainly considered under a legal perspective, where the recognition of the derogatory status of digital library transactions in relation to copyright laws legitimises open access practices through customary fair use. 
 
A valuable approach, this methodology has nevertheless some limits: in the European copyright system judges do not have the same latitude in interpreting the law as in the Anglo-Saxon system, where the right of access to digital publications is based on fair use. On the other hand, the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (in the case opposing the Dutch Library Association to the Leenrecht Foundation, case C-174/15) made an important step towards the development of e-lending in libraries. The CJEU ruled that library lending of e-books is analogue to the lending of printed books, under certain conditions. 
 
Any legal reflection around e-lending should therefore revolve about two principles: on the one hand, the principle of free access to information which is essential for the functioning of libraries, and on the other hand the principle of appropriate remuneration to authors. This balance is what EBLIDA calls: sustainable copyright. 
 
Merely legal considerations, however, are analytically limited and do not help find appropriate solutions to the problem raised in libraries. The institutional background and the economic environment surrounding e-lending include the number of transactions of e-books in libraries, the content of the policy of public powers, the nature of the e-book trade (e.g. the popularity of e-books among young people), the practices linked to e-book acquisitions in libraries and the quality of publishers-libraries interrelation. All these factors are determinant in the structure of an e-book economy. 
 
This holistic approach – legal, economic, institutional – has often been neglected in professional library circles as well as in sectorial studies. The EBLIDA survey on e-lending in the context of the book economy, whose results will be known in Spring 2022, has the general objective to lay the foundation of a “sustainable copyright” in public libraries through the examination of three particular aspects: 
 
– The dependence of the e-book library trade and library acquisitions on national economic factors, legal constraints and institutional requirements (number of users, percentage of publications available in a digital format, purchasing power of libraries, the role of intermediate layers negotiating with publishers on behalf of libraries); 
– The role played by national public authorities in the choice of an e-lending model; 
– The potential strength of a networked system where the library demand is aggregated, with an active e-book cultural policy carried out by libraries. 

10.3 Community-building in action: The Open Access Books Network, Agata Malgorzata Morka, Lucy Barnes, Tom Mosterd, SPARC Europe, Netherlands

This talk will focus on the Open Access Books Network, an international community that brings together researchers, publishers, librarians, and anyone else interested in open access books. Launched in September 2020 and coordinated by representatives of DOAB/OAPEN, OPERAS, SPARC Europe, and ScholarLed, the OABN has quickly grown to include over 300 members. We stage talks and workshops, share knowledge and best practices, and bust myths about open access books—and all this during a global pandemic, when community exchange has been challenged as never before and the vulnerabilities of closed systems of knowledge-sharing have been starkly exposed. 
 
This paper will present an overview of the activities of the OABN, sharing the techniques we used to create a strong and enthusiastic community built around the idea of openness, and the strategies with which we have aimed to narrow the gap between researchers and the OA books community at large. As well as fostering a thriving digital hub on Humanities Commons and an extended community on social media, we have organised opportunities to share and learn from each others’ experiences using digital events, workshops, and video resources, including: 
 
1) the OA Books Workout series where researchers share their creative open book publishing stories in live, recorded, and written formats; 
 
2) a mythbusting resource where experts address common myths and challenges related to open access publishing frequently faced by researchers; 
 
3) talks from scholar-publishers, such as Jeff Pooley of mediastudies.press and from the team at COPIM, who are building infrastructure to support small-scale, academic-led OA publishing; 
 
4) and our most significant series so far Voices from the OA Books Community, which gathered 476 registrants in total to explore different aspects of policy for OA books. We heard from researchers, publishers, funders, OA policymakers, librarians, and infrastructure providers from all over the world to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different policy outcomes for OA books from a broad range of perspectives. SPARC Europe synthesised these discussions and we took the results to cOAlition S, who have subsequently recognised the OABN as “an open forum for community input during the implementation process” of their recommendations for OA books. This series proved that the research community can come together to help shape the future of OA books, and that a community like the OABN can be a powerful way to make that happen. 
 
The OABN brings together the OA books community at large, including researchers in their respective roles as book authors, publishers or simply OA enthusiasts. By sharing the growth of the Open Access Books Network from an idea discussed between colleagues to a thriving community-based network, we hope to inspire others at LIBER to develop similar Communities of Practice that bring researchers together in groups related to their own interests and ambitions for the future of scholarly communication. 

Lighting talk:

Have we got an electronic leg to stand on? Highly specialized research libraries and their electronic offerings post-Covid, Juergen Warmbrunn, Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Germany

The paper will highlight a challenge that highly specialized research libraries especially in the humanities in Germany have encountered for some time but which has become more pronounced and more potentially threatening during the Covid crisis: The difficulty of providing access to electronic publications (both e-journals and e-books) on a comparable level to the large university libraries but without similar financial and personnel resources.

While researchers in the humanities have long seemed to be satisfied with having access to traditional printed library holdings if the libraries were well-equipped and could also easily provide missing materials through interlibrary loan or document delivery the Covid crisis with its partial or total closure of on-site library facilities has shown that access to electronic materials is needed to complement the offerings of even such very research-friendly libraries often valued especially for their relative seclusion and the opportunity for undisturbed academic work they offer.

This has in turn led to demands for increasing the electronic offerings of such libraries. When trying to fulfill these demands, however, librarians often encounter multiple difficulties: Specialized research libraries which do not belong to university library systems often cannot participate in local or regional consortia and even when their partner libraries would be willing to provide them with access to their electronic resources the existing licenses either do not allow this at all or would lead to often extra-proportional price increases that cannot be shouldered by the smaller special libraries. To complicate matters even more most of the packages of electronic publications on offer are too general for highly specialized libraries in the humanities meaning that they would acquire too much bycatch when subscribing to such packages. After shortly summarizing this problematic situation the paper will discuss some possibilities of coping with this challenge and discussing in which way traditional humanistic research libraries could acquire one or more “electronic legs to stand on” without losing the qualities and advantages for in-depth research that they as more traditional libraries offer. 

 

 

 

51st LIBER Annual Conference