[Irtalk] Fwd: [SCHOLCOMM] regarding the OA and CC-BY tangents

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Tue Feb 3 00:19:22 SAST 2015


*Hilton Gibson*
Ubuntu Linux Systems Administrator
JS Gericke Library
Room 1025C
Stellenbosch University
Private Bag X5036
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 808 4100 | Cell: +27 84 646 4758

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Glenn Hampson <ghampson at nationalscience.org>
Date: 2 February 2015 at 21:06
Subject: [SCHOLCOMM] regarding the OA and CC-BY tangents
To: scholcomm at lists.ala.org, SCISIP at listserv.nsf.gov, SCITSLIST at list.nih.gov,
hlib-nw at u.washington.edu, RESADM-L at lists.healthresearch.org,
osi at onlinegroups.net, asr at onlinegroups.net
Cc: Klaus Graf <klausgraf at googlemail.com>, Joseph Esposito <
espositoj at gmail.com>, William Gunn <william.gunn at mendeley.com>, Sandy
Thatcher <sgt3 at psu.edu>

Hi Everyone (and sorry for the cross-postings),

Regarding the OA and CC-BY tangents this conversation has moved into, it
might be helpful to take a look at the latest draft of this document being
produced by the Open Science Initiative (OSI) working group---attached, and
also downloadable at
I’ve pasted an excerpt below from a chapter entitled “A Crossroads” which
goes into the current diversity of perspectives in OA and CC-BY.

This document isn’t official yet---it’s being fine-tuned by contributors as
we speak---but you are welcome to review it from a high level to get a
sense of the many different perspectives on this matter. Your feedback is
also most welcome.

Between early October and mid-January, a good many folks from a variety of
stakeholder communities---open access, scholarly libraries, research
management, team science, publishing, and others---participated in a
side-conversation to figure out what OA really means to these different
groups. This conversation eventually morphed into a broader discussion of
scholarly publishing reform. Participants included (listed in no particular
order here and not implying that any these individuals endorse the
conclusions from this paper) Rick Anderson, Joyce Ogburn, Michael Eisen,
Jean-Claude Guedon, Richard Poynder, Domique Bambini, David Wojick, William
Gunn, Dee Magnoni, Joshua Rosenbloom, Kathleen Shearer, Mel DeSart, and
many others---114 in all.

What are the problems with the current system of scholarly publishing? What
are the different perspectives on these problems? What are some possible
solutions? What should our goals and our guiding objectives be regarding
improving access to research information? Should we even bother worrying
about this issue (is the current state of affairs adequate)? What would a
future with more open science look like? What might a future without more
open science look like? How do we get from where we are now to where we
need to be, considering there are so many competing interests and
entrenched positions? Why might it be important to act now?

The OSI working group discussed these issues and many others at length. The
group also made these three important recommendations (the first two being
majority viewpoints):

   1. *Convene an annual series of high-level conferences* between all key
   stakeholders over the next 10 years to discuss, implement, adjust, and
   track major reforms to the scholarly publishing system. The first
   conference is currently being planned for early 2016. The delegate list
   will be an invited group of 200 decision-makers representing every major
   stakeholder group in scholarly publishing, participating with the
   understanding that they will try to reach an agreement on the future of
   scholarly publishing and will then work to help implement this agreement.
   The United Nations will be backing these conferences (through UNESCO) and
   will help mobilize broad and ongoing international support, participation,
   and funding. Very broad participation from US stakeholders—publishers,
   authors, federal agencies, companies who use research, institutions that
   produce research, and more—is critical to getting this effort up and
   running. While scientific research is certainly a global interest and
   enterprise, the US is the largest single producer and consumer of this
   research information, so without strong US participation, global adoption
   will be difficult to achieve.
   2. *Find answers to key questions related to reform*, as detailed in the
   summary document. What do we really mean by “publishing” today? Are
   self-archiving mandates practical? Are impact factors accurate? Do
   embargoes serve the public interest? Are there better ways to conduct peer
   review? Why isn’t open access growing faster? These and many other
   questions have been identified in this report as starting points for
   3. *Investigate the possibility of constructing the world’s first
   all-scholarship repository (ASR)*. Our initial discussion regarding this
   repository is included in Annex 4. Conversations are currently ongoing on
   this matter. The Department of Energy has authorized the Los Alamos
   National Laboratory (LANL) to build the prototype ASR. We are currently
   preparing a briefing paper for the White House Office of Science and
   Technology Policy so they can align upcoming federal compliance efforts
   with this repository. A number of OSI working group members feel that
   creating the world’s first all-scholarship repository will need to be a
   precursor to truly comprehensive journal reform, and creating it the right
   way may end up having a greater impact on science discovery than anything
   ever attempted to date.

As we push forward with this initiative, the OSI group will need the
following kinds of help: Broad buy-in and participation from research
agencies, companies and institutions; more input and perspective from
publishers, research institutions, government agencies, the public, and
other stakeholders; subject matter expertise (such as programming, database
construction, user interface design, customer experience, and so on),
hardware/hosting support, data integration support, conference support
(facility support, logistics, etc.); outreach/PR expertise; and finally,
backing by policymakers and major funders. Building this support base will
be the only way to achieve effective and long-term sustainable reform.

This initiative already has a broad range of stakeholder support, but as we
move forward we want to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table and
also make it clear that we’re not just spinning our wheels to produce
another white paper for discussion. OSI, nSCI, UNESCO, LANL, and others
have committed to undertake an effort to actually shape the future of how
we as a society value, share and use science. Care to join us?

*“A Crossroads” (chapter excerpt from the OSI Working Paper, in progress,
Mapping the Future of Scholarly Publishing)*

With the proliferation of ideas, models, opinions and needs, scientific
publishing—and by extension, open access—is at a crossroads today.  This
crossroads can be described as a nexus of four different perceptions about
what open access is and is not.

·         *The moral imperative*. Not everyone agrees that society has a
moral imperative to share knowledge, or at least to share it freely,
immediately, and without copyright restrictions. There are those who
contend that research paid for by governments belongs to the people, and
others who contend that the marketplace of ideas and innovation simply
wouldn’t function without secrecy and the right to protect ownership and

·         *Public versus open.* The essential difference between “public”
access and “open” access is that in the public access model, authors or
publishers retain copyright, which means that the liberal reuse of content
can be limited (or at least not as rich and instantaneous as in open
access). Some advocates for freer information are seemingly content to
simply have more public access to information available regardless of
price, license type, or timing.

·         *Who are the stakeholders in this conversation?* Where are the
disagreements about OA occurring? A general observation from our working
group (not backed up by survey data of broader opinions) is that there is
little disagreement inside the core of the OA movement. Peter Suber notes
that “the OA movement has been at this crossroads, or has contained these
intramural disagreements, for at least 10 years,” and William Gunn, the
Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley, agrees that “there’s also a general
consensus view that is held by pretty much all the major thought leaders
and that serves the majority.” However, it is the position of most in the
OSI working group that OA perspectives and policies among the broad array
of OA stakeholders are fragmenting now more than ever, and that a
widespread understanding and agreement between the stakeholders in
scholarly publishing is needed as soon as possible before this
fragmentation produces undesirable outcomes for OA (or even regression due
to confusion and disagreement), before more opportunities for discovery are
missed, more articles get locked away behind paywalls, and new access
models take shape that could ultimately deepen the information access rift
between upper-tier economies and the rest of the world.

·         *Where are we going?* Different stakeholders in the publishing
reform conversation have clearly different goals and perceptions, and these
differences are sowing confusion, inaction, and even hostility toward more
cooperation and collaboration between researchers and publishers to develop
workable and mutually beneficial solutions. The differences of opinion
about the goals of OA are numerous, and range from questions about whether
Creative Commons licensing is required, to what the pace of reform should
be, to whether the end goals of open access include the elimination of
subscription journals—the scorched earth model—or the fertile garden model
of creating a world of more information that will provide vast new
opportunities for many.

With regard to the public versus private disagreements, David Wojick,
formerly a senior consultant with the Department of Energy’s Office of
Scientific and Technical Information, describes that from a policy
perspective, a “bifurcation…has certainly occurred at the national policy
level, with the UK (and EU) going for open access and the US choosing
public access. Moreover the OA movement seems to be largely silent on this
pending policy schism. So…some urgency is called for, lest public access
become the default solution.”

Joyce Ogburn agrees with Suber that this crossroads isn’t necessarily an
impasse—that there are various avenues and options available regarding
licenses, formats, and so on—but also agrees with Wojick that public access
may be emerging as the settling point for the moment—that “this is as far
as OA can be pushed right now under the current circumstances.” Ogburn also
describes the efforts to pass the US medical research public access law of
2008 that ended up creating the NIH PubMed repository. “I can attest to how
hard it was to get public access,” says Ogburn. “It took a lot of time,
alliances, and compromises to achieve this step. Pushing for total OA was
not feasible at that time.” Adds Wojick, “There is a very real danger that
US public access is not just a small step, rather it is the last step. Once
established, US policy will be very hard to change and it is a potential
model for other countries.”

Not everyone agrees whether this bifurcation is real or imagined, permanent
or temporary, acceptable or not acceptable. William Gunn and Jean-Claude
Guédon, a long-time scholarly publishing expert and professor at the
University of Montreal, suggest that this split, if it exists, exists only
among those who are trying to implement open access policies and not within
the OA advocacy community itself. Further, Guédon is confident that the
emerging public access model is only a way station on the path to full open
access, and that in the meantime, having some public access is at least
better than having no access.

Rick Anderson agrees that it would be an exaggeration to say that there is
a “split” or “bifurcation” in the OA community, but that there is certainly
a diversity of beliefs in that community as to what constitute suitable
goals for reform of scholarly communication. Some groups and individuals
see public access as an acceptable end goal, while other see it only as a
step in the process towards OA; some see some role in the future for
nonprofit scholarly toll-access publishing, while others believe that
anything less than universal OA would constitute failure. Some are willing
to accept embargoes as a permanent feature of the OA landscape, while
others are not; some hold strongly to the view that OA is not OA unless it
includes CC BY licensing (or the functional equivalent thereof), while
others strongly oppose mandatory CC BY while still considering themselves
supporters of OA.

Wojick expresses reservations about whether the 2013 White House Office of
Science and Technology Policy directive mandating public access is also a
stopping point on the way to open access or simply an end in itself. “The
OSTP public access program just extends the long existing NIH model to the
rest of the funding agencies, so in a way it is a step sideways not
forward. Once a program like this is established it is very hard to change,
plus it can become a model for others. I have been surprised at the lack of
objection to the OSTP public access program from the OA community.“ Wojick,
who was part of the interagency work group that led to this OSTP directive,
concludes that there is “no Federal sentiment that this public access
policy is just a stopping point on the way to full OA.”

Anderson notes that this public access stopping point has not been limited
to government agencies. “Every library that provides an institutional
repository that does not require CC-BY licensing is also offering what
amounts to a public access solution, rather than a fully OA solution. I’m
not aware of any library that has plans eventually to require
BOAI-compliant licensing of the papers placed in its repository.” Guédon
suggests that library policies are being shaped more by the fact that they
have archives filled with copyrighted materials than by a reluctance to
embrace OA.

This CC-BY licensing issue is one of the larger issues in the “Where are we
going?” split. Some feel that open access doesn’t necessarily need to be
tied to Creative Commons licensing to function well. Others feel that
Creative Commons licensing is a core requirement of open access and that
real OA can’t happen without it.

The CC-BY question is only one point of confusion and disagreement. Another
is that different institutions, fields and organizations who are advocating
for more open access—such as SPARC, ACRL, the Alliance for Taxpayer Access,
Create Change, the IFLA Open Access Taskforce, OASIS, the OASPA, the Open
Data Foundation, Public Knowledge, PLoS, and the Right to Research
Coalition, and others—have different end goals in mind, which therefore
makes working together toward solutions problematic.

On the one side are those who firmly believe the goal of open access is to
eliminate subscription journals and that subscriptions are intrinsically
incompatible with universal access. On the other side are those who say the
goal of open access is simply to make information more accessible to
researchers, not eliminate subscription journals. And somewhere in the
middle are those who say this isn’t about open access at all but how
journals and scholarly societies (who publish many journals) will adapt to
change and whether we will end up seeing a net gain for science as a result.

“If there is/was a consensus” between these groups, says scholarly
publishing expert and journalist Richard Poynder, “I suspect it is
beginning to weaken as the practicalities of implementing open access come
more sharply into focus.” Furthermore, he says, “many of the views espoused
by OA advocates may not be representative of the larger research community.
As such, the larger research community might reasonably ask: ‘Why should we
accept that you know best and do what you say?’”

This disagreement has created more acrimony than necessary, with those who
see open access as being inherently hostile to pay models of access either
rallying to the defense of subscription journals (or requiring more proof
that open access works), or hastening to bid journals adieu. The reality is
that at some point this issue became owned by the public, and in doing so,
perceptions splintered and this splintering has meant that not everyone who
wants more open access feels the same way about the goals of OA, or even
the meaning. There are now many “owners” of this issue and they are
speaking with different voices, so there is a lot of misunderstanding (or
more accurately, different understandings), mistrust, confusion, and
sub-optimal efforts.

Indeed, notes Anderson, “all of these entities are not, in fact, getting
behind the same thing. The NIH and NSF have gotten behind public access,
not OA. SPARC sees embargoes as something that should be allowed for now
(as a compromise measure during what it believes is a period of transition
to universal OA), but says that embargoes are not acceptable in the long
run. By contrast, the latest revision of the RCUK mandate provides
structurally for embargoes of various lengths. Wellcome allows embargoes as
well, and does not require CC-BY (though it encourages it), whereas RCUK
does require CC-BY. And then, of course, there are thought leaders like
Robert Darnton who explicitly disagree with other thought leaders who take
the position that universal OA is the only acceptable future outcome for
scholarly communication. None of this is to mention the wide diversity of
thought and opinion that exists within the global community of scholars,
whose work is the lifeblood of the scholarly communication system.”

At least part of what the OSI working group is hoping to accomplish by
publishing this paper and coordinating future conferences on this issue is
to air these different perspectives and lay the groundwork for a better,
common understanding so we can all come together and move forward toward
more effective, more workable solutions.

Finally, with regard to the timing of reforms, Anderson suggests that three
broad categories of perspective have emerged in OA circles:

·         Universal OA Now: All scholarship should be available on an OA
basis and without embargoes, and we need to achieve this reality
immediately or as soon as possible.

·         Universal OA Eventually: All scholarship should be available on
an OA basis and without embargoes, but it’s okay if we get there
incrementally over time.

·         Blended Solution Indefinitely: We should always work to expand
the public’s access to scholarship, but it’s okay if some embargoes, some
traditional copyright restrictions, and/or some varieties of toll access
remain a feature of the landscape indefinitely.

These categories seem to exist even where all are in agreement that OA
means free public access plus the equivalent of CC-BY licensing. However,
it’s also true that despite the fact that the OA definitions offered
earlier have been widely accepted, not everyone who thinks of him- or
herself as working for OA is working from the same understanding of what
“open access” means. So in fact there are also multiple subcategories of
perspective on this issue.

A fourth broad category of perspective—and not an insignificant one—is “No
Significant Change Is Needed.” For many, the current system seems to be
serving their needs just fine, or they are skeptical of or disinterested in
OA. Those who hold this view aren’t included in the schema above, which is
intended to address categories of orientation within the OA movement. The
OA attitude surveys included in Annex 6 suggest that about half of all
researchers fall into this “neutral” category, including economist Joshua
Rosenbloom. “Philosophically,” says Rosenbloom, “I think I can see the
appeal of full OA, but practically I am not convinced that it is in fact
feasible or that imposing it would indeed be desirable. Can we do better
than the current system given the massive changes in technology that have
taken place in the last two decades? Certainly. But I would prefer to look
for a solution that explicitly articulates and seeks to promote all the
goals of scholarly communication, and recognizes that there may in fact be
trade-offs across them, rather than pursuing a single-minded focus on open

*Glenn Hampson*

*Executive Director*

*National Science Communication Institute (nSCI)*

2320 N 137th Street | Seattle, WA 98133

(206) 417-3607 | ghampson at nationalscience.org | nationalscience.org

PLEASE NOTE: This message, including any attachments, may include
privileged, confidential and/or inside information. Any distribution or use
of this communication by anyone other than the intended recipient(s) is
strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you are not the intended
recipient, please notify the sender by replying to this message and then
delete it from your system.

*From:* William Gunn [mailto:william.gunn at mendeley.com]
*Sent:* Monday, February 02, 2015 8:01 AM
*To:* Sandy Thatcher
*Cc:* Klaus Graf; Joseph Esposito; scholcomm at lists.ala.org
*Subject:* [SCHOLCOMM] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Question about
publishers' responses to negotiation, author addenda

I guess fundamentally I really am more focused on OA in STEM fields, where
I think the need is most pressing. A lot of work has gone into educating
researchers, policymakers, and the public about what OA means, and the BB
definition was used for this, so I feel like it's an erosion of the gains
made in STEM policy to muddy the waters again with the slightly different
needs of the humanities.

So right now we have OA = BBB definition, CC-BY, etc. We also have public
access, which is more focused on taxpayer access, and the field is open for
the humanities to create their own term to describe their slightly
different needs.

William Gunn | Head of Academic Outreach, Mendeley | @mrgunn
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/william-gunn | (650) 614-1749

On Sat, Jan 31, 2015 at 9:02 AM, Sandy Thatcher <sgt3 at psu.edu> wrote:

How likely is it that once a translation of a work is done, others will be
incentivized to re-translate it--especially if we are talking about a book
rather than just an article? Who is going to pay a translator to do the job
if a translation already exists in the market? And why is a scholar going
to spend time re-translating a work that already exists in translation,
when translation is not given much academic weight for career advancement
anyway?  I think Klaus is far too optimistic about the possibilities for

Sandy Thatcher

At 4:46 PM +0100 1/31/15, Klaus Graf wrote:

I cannot see the argument. There ARE translations of philosophical texts
after the death of the author and before ending of the copyright term. Will
rights holder really care that the translation is the best in all possible
worlds? Or should we generally trust in the ability of scholars to make
appropriate translations?

Translations are important as

http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/1022392768/ (with comment in English)

today has shown. CC-BY allows more than one translation. If one is bad make
another! In the actual commercial regime this isn't possible.

Klaus Graf

2015-01-31 16:26 GMT+01:00 Joseph Esposito <espositoj at gmail.com>:

I don't happen to believe that any of the CC licenses are useful, so can't
take Sandy's side here, but he is making an important point about
humanities texts.  Translation of a scientific article is one thing; the
article is intended to communicate underlying information.  But in the
humanities often the text itself is the research, not a representation of
it.  Many of the tools of the OA movement are blunt.  We will survive this,
but I beg anyone arguing for universal use of CC-BY licenses to open a work
of philosophy and think hard about what it would mean to translate it into
another language.  Or is someone arguing that even humanities authors
should work exclusively in English???

Joe Esposito

On Sat, Jan 31, 2015 at 10:18 AM, Klaus Graf <klausgraf at googlemail.com>

Only full libre Open Access (i.e. CC-BY) is true Open Access according the
BBB definition.

Read my opinion piece against Mr. Thatcher at

Graf, K, Thatcher, S. (2012). Point & Counterpoint: Is CC BY the Best Open
Access License?.Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication
1(1):eP1043. http://dx.doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1043

Klaus Graf

2015-01-31 16:07 GMT+01:00 Sandy Thatcher <sgt3 at psu.edu>:

At 9:38 AM -0800 1/30/15, William Gunn wrote:

I have had many folks from the humanities/monograph side of things tell me
it's not right for them and they often cite things like wanting to preclude
the possibility of anyone using it commercially. I might argue that this
isn't the best career move, but it's their choice to make.

Has anyone expressed concern about wanting to have some control over how
their work gets translated? Or maybe they're just not aware that they are
giving up this control entirely by going with just CC BY.

Of course, choosing something other than CC-BY does mean that the work is
freely available (for some value of free), but it's not Open Access.

Well, there are those like me who question whether CC BY should completely
define what counts as OA. Peter Suber distinguishes between libre and
gratis OA, but still calls both OA.

William Gunn | Head of Academic Outreach, Mendeley | @mrgunn
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/william-gunn | (650) 614-1749

On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 8:02 AM, Rick Anderson <rick.anderson at utah.edu>

So people can use it and be happy with it (mostly journal publishing
authors) and it can also not be the right thing for some other people
(mostly monograph/UP publishing authors). Same with CC-BY licensing, too,

William, I'm curious - under what circumstances would you consider CC-BY
licensing not to be the right thing for an author? (I agree with you on
this, but I'm kind of surprised to hear you say it.)


Rick Anderson

Assoc. Dean for Scholarly Resources & Collections

Marriott Library, University of Utah

Desk: (801) 587-9989

Cell: (801) 721-1687

rick.anderson at utah.edu


Sanford G. Thatcher
8201 Edgewater Drive
Frisco, TX  75034-5514
e-mail: sgt3 at psu.edu
Phone: (214) 705-1939

"If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying."-John Ruskin (1865)

"The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can
write know anything."-Walter Bagehot (1853)


Joseph J. Esposito
Processed Media
espositoj at gmail.com
+Joseph Esposito


Sanford G. Thatcher
8201 Edgewater Drive
Frisco, TX  75034-5514
e-mail: sgt3 at psu.edu
Phone: (214) 705-1939

"If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying."-John Ruskin (1865)

"The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can
write know anything."-Walter Bagehot (1853)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.lib.sun.ac.za/pipermail/irtalk/attachments/20150203/0b916986/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the IRTalk mailing list