Leveraging the License: Part I

The Scholarly Communication Department attended several orientations and events for new faculty over the last few weeks. During these events, I have had the privilege of chatting informally with a faculty members about IU Bloomington’s new Open Access Policy. Faculty have a lot of questions about how the policy works, what kinds of scholarship the policy applies to, and author processing charges (or APCs).

The question that has been most difficult to explain quickly and effectively in these informal conversations has been about how faculty can “leverage” or utilize the license established by the Open Access policy when negotiating with potential publishers. This post will explain in more detail what “leveraging the license” means and clarify when in the publishing process faculty should attempt to negotiate. This post on leveraging the OA policy license is part one of a two-part series. The second post will explore the OA policy license in more detail, particularly when it concerns utilizing third-party content.

Our new Open Scholarship website includes a detailed FAQ that answers common questions faculty have about the OA policy. One of the questions listed is, “Will I have to negotiate my copyright transfer with my journal publishers?” Our answer is no. The policy maintains faculty agency and empowers them to make the best decision for their research. Faculty can always embargo their article to comply with their selected journal’s policies or opt out of the OA policy for a specific article.

However, we note that in many cases, it is in the faculty member’s best interest to negotiate. Moreover, the license that IUB OA Policy establishes can support faculty efforts to retain their copyright. Under the question about negotiating copyright transfers we state, “The policy operates automatically to give IUScholarWorks a license in any scholarly articles faculty members complete after its adoption… communicate this policy to your publisher and add to any copyright license (or assignment for scholarly articles) an addendum stating that the agreement is subject to this prior license. That way, you will avoid agreeing to give the publisher rights that are inconsistent with the prior license to IUScholarWorks that permits open-access distribution.”

What does this mean in practice? How do you begin to start a conversation with a publisher that has a restrictive publishing agreement? When should you mention the IUB OA Policy and subsequent license? We have created a flowchart to answer these questions:

Open access policy workflow

Flowchart created by Jamie Wittenberg

After your manuscript is complete, you should identify a journal that offers the readership and audience that you are most interested in. If this is an open access journal, once your article is accepted and published you have complied with the OA policy! If this is a closed journal, you will need to determine if your publishing agreement allows self-archiving (or posting an open version of your article in a repository). The Scholarly Communication department is always happy to help faculty review their publishing agreements. If the publishing agreement allows you to share a version of your work, preferably the publisher’s final version (after peer review with typesetting), then you will submit that version to the institutional repository. Archiving the author’s final manuscript will nevertheless meet the OA policy’s requirement. If the journal does not allow self-archiving, it’s time to consider negotiating.

Negotiating with a publisher is both personal and contextual. Your decision to negotiate may be impacted by your level of comfort, goals, co-authors, and the importance of the publication venue. Is this the only venue that makes sense for your article? Does this journal have impressive metrics or important readership? Or are there other publication venues that might accept the article? Is it non-negotiable to you that others have access to your article, regardless of library affiliation or socio-economic status? Asking these questions can help you decide if publisher negotiation is in your best interest. In general, many publishers are familiar with open access policies so starting a conversation about the publishing agreement is not harmful and can help clarify how or if you should continue to negotiate.

After you have reviewed the publishing agreement and you’ve decided that you would like to negotiate, you can contact our Copyright Program Librarian and lawyer, Naz Pantaloni, for guidance. In addition to having expertise in copyright, Naz has worked with several scholars to retain their author rights and is familiar with strategies for negotiating with publishers. Naz will either assist you with preparing an addendum to present to the journal or help you construct a response that includes information about the IUB Open Access policy. One addendum template that Naz might help you utilize comes from the Big 10 Academic Alliance (formerly CIC). An example of a response to a publisher in order to start the negotiation process is found on our Open Scholarship Q&A:

“[Journal] acknowledges that [Author] retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript, upon acceptance for [Journal] publication or thereafter, for compliance with the Indiana University Open Access Policy and for public archiving in IUScholarWorks as soon as possible after publication by [Journal].”

If you cannot come to an understanding with your publisher and need to sign over the exclusive rights to your work, you must complete the opt out process.

In a previous post, I wrote about the spectrum of openness that exists and the Scholarly Communication Department’s goal of supporting all manifestations of open. It is worth stating that the IUB Open Access policy is about making content open and available to readers everywhere. But it is also true the OA policy is about author rights. When authors retain their rights, including the right to reproduce, distribute, display, and make derivative works of their scholarship, they retain the life of their work. I have consulted with many faculty members (and graduate students) that need to interlibrary loan their own work because they don’t have access to it. I’ve worked with numerous faculty that wish they would have retained at least some of their rights so that they could make their work available to their students or share it more broadly. In addition to resources like our copyright program and publishing resources, the OA policy provides a mechanism for faculty to find their seat at the negotiation table. I’m excited for what this means for the research profile of IU Bloomington.

New Resource to Support Open Scholarship

The Scholarly Communication Department recently launched a new Open Scholarship website. The site serves as a central hub for researchers interested in open access, open data, and/or open publishing. The site is particularly useful for finding information about how faculty can comply with the recently-approved IUB Open Access Policy. The Open Access Policy will provide a mechanism for faculty to assert their rights as authors, enabling them to share their scholarship more widely and increasing readership and engagement of IU-faculty work.

The launch of our open scholarship site begs the question, “what is open scholarship?” More pointedly, what qualifies as “scholarship” and how “open” does that output need to be? We think that our site presents a definite answer. We believe that the term scholarship should be inclusive of all of the ways that scholars communicate: through journal articles and books but also through sharing their research data, making visible their learning objects and teaching materials, and even creating new and innovative publications to fill a distinct gap in a body of literature. The new site illustrates that we as the Scholarly Communication Department support scholarship in all of its modes and formats, formal and informal.

Similarly, while open is a core value and essential principle of our work, we recognize that there is an entire spectrum of openness. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) recently collaboratively authored a “How Open Is It?” spectrum, which helps illustrate this point.

They break open down to reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, automatic posting, and machine readability. For each, they note the spectrum of open to closed that can exist, which illustrates just how complex and contextual open is. For example, there might be an “open” article that is accessible to readers, but the author wasn’t able to retain all rights to the article and it isn’t in a format that is machine readable. Or, alternatively, an author might retain their copyright and make their work their open but only with strict and limited reuse permissions. The Scholarly Communication Department’s goal is to support all manifestations of openness, regardless of where researchers fall on this spectrum.

Our new website showcases the many services and resources our department offers to facilitate open scholarship. In addition to managing IUScholarWorks and providing faculty a space to make their work open, we provide one-on-one consultations to researchers interested in a variety of topics including advocating for their author rights, evaluating their impact, crafting a data management plan, or starting or making open a journal. We work collaboratively with other library and campus units, including the Indiana University Press, Digital Collections Services, and UITS, to assist researchers with digital scholarship, publishing ventures, and data storage. We look forward to continuing to enhance and develop our suite of services to better support the IU research community.

We’re interested in your feedback! Please send questions and comments about the new Open Scholarship website to iusw@indiana.edu

The Scholarly Communication Department would like to thank the Discovery and User Experience Department, specifically Matt Fitzwater and Courtney McDonald, for their assistance and expertise throughout the development of this site.

The Office of Scholarly Publishing Welcomes Newest Version of Open Journal Systems

The IU Office of Scholarly Publishing is working on a lot of exciting projects this summer. One of those projects is planning its rollout of Open Journal Systems (OJS) 3. The Public Knowledge Project announced the release of OJS 3 last summer and they have been continually updating and improving the open source journals publishing software since the upgrade. The latest version of OJS offers more robust functionality and several new features, making it a major enhancement to the platform we currently provide to over 30 journals. We hope to migrate all of our journals to OJS 3 by spring 2018.

We believe that the new upgrade will make editors’ work more straightforward and will streamline the editorial processes from article submission through final publication. In addition to offering a more flexible interface for customizing each journal’s homepage, OJS 3 enables editors to easily tailor the editorial workflow to their journal’s specific needs and processes. OJS 3 was developed after extensive usability testing with both authors and editors and, as a result, the new system provides more flexible permissions and less restrictive author registration requirements.

OJS 3 will also include a plugin gallery, with new and updated plugins to improve our assessment of journals and DOI registration process. One of the most exciting plugins that OJS 3 will offer is Open Typesetting Stack (OTS). OTS will enable editors to publish their journals in full-text HTML as well as PDF. The plugin will make each journal’s born-digital content more readily accessible to all readers while enhancing the archiving and preservation of its content. We are excited about this new functionality, as it will enable us to integrate multimedia, 3D objects, and other innovative forms of scholarship into our publications.

We recognize that our editors will need personalized support as they learn to use and customize OJS 3 to fit their editorial needs. We plan to meet with each journal individually before next spring to discuss the migration timeline in depth and provide each editorial team with one-on-one training. We are committed to making sure that all content is migrated correctly and efficiently. In addition, we plan to customize PKP’s extensive documentation to our specific OJS instance and our editors’ needs.

The Public Knowledge Project has created an OJS 3 demonstration journal for your perusal. We encourage you to explore OJS 3 in more depth and send any questions you may have about the migration or the new platform to iusw@indiana.edu. If you aren’t one of our current editors but are still interested in launching or moving a journal to the new OJS platform, please contact us. The Office of Scholarly Publishing is excited to work with editors on this important update.

Studies in Digital Heritage Publishes First Issue

The Scholarly Communication Department is excited to share that the first issue of Studies in Digital Heritage (SDH) has been published. SDH is an innovative, interdisciplinary journal that highlights the role that digital technology plays in furthering cultural heritage research. SDH is a peer-reviewed, open access publication supported by our Office of Scholarly Publishing.

SDH provides a tangible example of how the OSP partnership has come to fruition. In addition to the Press offering SDH copyediting, print-on-demand, and promotion alongside IU Press scholarly journals, the Scholarly Communication Department is publishing SDH in both PDF and HTML. This investment makes the innovative and unique features of SDH possible, particularly the integration of embedded, interactive 3D models.

As co-editor-in-chief Bernie Frischer writes in his welcome to new readers,

SDH is here to serve the needs of the international community of Digital Heritage professionals and to do so with Open Access, no Article Processing Charge (APC), and no sacrifice in standards with respect to style, layout, and scientific substance.

Like Professor Frischer, we believe that access is compatible with rigor and innovation. In addition to the full text of SDH being open, the OSP partnership will increase the discoverability of its articles to readers interested in this area. OSP journals are currently indexed by Serial Solutions to promote and include SDH content in other library catalogs.

Founded in 2012, the Office of Scholarly Publishing is a partnership between the Indiana University Libraries and the IU Press, aimed at utilizing expertise from both communities to provide outstanding publishing services and support. In 2016, the OSP started offering expanded services to select campus journals.

SDH exemplifies the evolution of scholarly communication by supporting open, multi-modal, cross-disciplinary, and collaborative research.