Editors Choice: Open Access 2017: A Year of Stand-Offs, Showdowns, and Funders’ Own Journals

This excerpt by Hilda Bastian originally appeared in the PLOS Blog Absolutely Maybe.

Cartoon about papers being too expensive for most people to read


This was the fifth year I tracked events in open access. Sifting through the mass of developments I collected along the way, a couple stood out.

The first is the showdown going on in Germany between the universities and Elsevier. Rolling into 2018 now, the German negotiators aim to hammer out a national access deal that’s sustainable and fair for readers and academic authors – or else pay no subscription at all.

They show no signs of backing down. At year’s end, about 200 academic institutions had cancelled their Elsevier subscriptions.

The second is the emergence of research funder journals/publishing platforms based on the f1000 research model. The Wellcome Trust were the first cab off this rank last year. The goals? More speed, less cost in getting accessible research results out to the world. The model is immediate release with comparatively low author charge, post-publication open peer review, and indexing in PubMed and other bibliographic databases once an article passes enough peer review.[…]

Read the original.



Making the Internet a Better Place – an invite to the Wikipedia Day conference on Sunday 14 Jan 2018

This post was contributed by Ann Matsuuchi, Instructional Technology/Systems Librarian, LaGuardia Community  College.

2017, Ace Hotel, New York
There will be cake!

On Sunday, January 14, the NYC Wikipedia+free culture community will celebrate its annual mini conference and celebration. At this event last January, Tim Wu spoke with Noam Cohen, from the New York Times, and Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, on a thought provoking panel about the state of the internet and journalism. This year, confirmed speakers so far include Jessie Daniels, who will take part in a discussion on online harassment, and Jason Scott, from the Internet Archive.

There will be a number of students, librarians, and faculty from the CUNY universe participating and presenting on classroom and archival Wikipedia projects, including those from LaGuardia Community College, Baruch, and Macauley Honors College.

Please stop by for some or all of this year’s Wikipedia Day! It is free and open to all. There will be cake.

Wikipedia Day NYC 2018:

The Road to OA

Happy New Year

from the Open @ CUNY Team!


If you’re looking to add more open access (OA) to your publishing endeavors in 2018, you can probably accomplish that in more than one way. While it’s great to publish your scholarship in an OA journal, don’t think that’s the only road to OA. If you have to take another road, I think that’s ok too. I took the secondary road to OA myself.


For my very first attempt at publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, I wanted to respond to a call for papers that perfectly matched an article I just started writing. But before I submitted my proposal—being the OA advocate that I am—I looked at how I could squeeze some OA from a journal that not only required a subscription to access its print or electronic version, it was embargoed in our online databases. I didn’t have access to any articles online for that journal until a year-and-a-half after they were published (and we didn’t have a print subscription). OA roadblock!


I did find a detour where the publisher gave authors the option of paying a few thousand dollars to make their articles freely available online (the hybrid OA road). So far, I was not feeling optimistic about the possibility of OA for me from this journal. Would I pass up this otherwise stellar opportunity if there were no OA options open to me?


Before I had to cross that bridge, I turned to the other main route to OA. If the journal itself wasn’t open access (the gold OA road), there was still the possibility of self-archiving in a repository (the green OA road) to investigate. Here road conditions turned favorable. The publisher allowed authors in my discipline to post the accepted manuscript (aka postprint) to an institutional repository—like CUNY Academic Works—without the embargo. Therefore, if I were to publish with this journal, I could submit the version of my article that had been through peer review (but not yet formatted for the issue) immediately upon publication. I could work with that.


I went on to submit my proposal and was accepted for the special issue (I told you it was a perfect fit). When my article is published, you can bet my postprint will be up in Academic Works and free for anyone to read not long after. My road to OA wasn’t the one I preferred, but I didn’t hesitate to take an alternate route. I will arrive at my destination in the end.