image © Journal of Cell BiologyARL, along with almost 60 other organizations, joined in a letter opposing model licenses recently released by the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM). The letter’s signatories are calling for STM to recommend to its member publishers that they work within the Creative Commons framework instead of offering their own customized open access licenses, which increase confusion and decrease interoperability with existing open licenses.
image © Sharon Somero
On May 27, 2014, the Chronicle of Higher Education published a letter to the editor entitled, “Ebook Pricing Hikes Amount to Price-Gouging.” As a result of announced price increases that appear to be “an experiment in predatory pricing,” the Boston Library Consortium has pledged to address these increases by rewarding those publishers whose prices remain reasonable.
Orphans’ Home, Atchison, Kansas, 1911, image © Thiophene GuyOn March 10–11, 2014, the US Copyright Office convened roundtables on orphan works and mass digitization. Several participants attacked fair use and libraries, misstated the purpose of the copyright system in the United States, or inaccurately portrayed the activities of HathiTrust. An ARL Policy Notes blog post examines some of these misconceptions, or myths, cited at the roundtables and responds to these inaccuracies. An earlier ARL Policy Notes blog post recaps the roundtable discussions, which covered best practices, fair use, licensing solutions, and the issue of whether orphan works and mass digitization need to be treated separately.
image © diylibrarian“Unwrapping the Bundle: An Examination of Research Libraries and the ‘Big Deal’,” by Karla L. Strieb of the Ohio State University (OSU) and Julia C. Blixrud of ARL has been added to the OSU Knowledge Bank. The authors’ final version has been accepted for publication in portal: Libraries and the Academy. Based on the findings of a 2012 survey of ARL member libraries about journal bundles, this article compares results to earlier studies and examines the product structure, pricing models, and license terms.
Under the auspices of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the LIBLICENSE Model License for e-resources is undergoing a vigorous overhaul by a team of North American practitioners and experts. The model license has served as a negotiating framework and has been widely used by libraries and consortia for many years. An initial draft of the revised model license will be available in late spring 2014. Later in the year, the software that enables users to build their own agreements will be rewritten and released.
For more information, see the March 13, 2014, CRL news release, “North American Working Group to Revise Model License,” or contact
image © Université de MontréalOn January 14, the Université de Montréal (UdeM) libraries announced that they are cancelling their subscriptions to 1,142 of 1,510 periodicals in the Wiley Online Library at the end of the month. New issues of the cancelled titles will no longer be available online to the UdeM community, but access to earlier issues will be maintained. In a news release (English translation [PDF]), the libraries note that the cancellations are the result of several factors, including budget cuts imposed by the Québec government and annual subscription price increases between 3% and 6%.
image © CERN, credit Lucas TaylorUnder the leadership of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, partners in 24 countries are participating in the largest-scale global open access initiative ever built—SCOAP3. Involving an international collaboration of more than 1,000 libraries, library consortia, and research organizations, SCOAP3 will make it possible for a significant percentage of scientific articles in the field of high-energy physics to become open access at no cost for any author and with a reduction of subscription fees for libraries. Everyone will be able to read the articles, authors will retain copyright, and generous licenses will enable wide re-use of this information.
SCOAP3The SCOAP3 model is built on redirecting funds currently used to pay for subscriptions to participating journals to support their conversion to open access, as well as to cover article-processing fees in existing open access journals. Launch of SCOAP3 is scheduled for January 1, 2014, and confirmation of participation is requested by November 15, 2013. SCOAP3 costs institutions no more than they are paying now for the subscriptions and has, due to unprecedented global negotiations, driven reductions in publisher article-processing fees when SCOAP3 goes live and will ensure the granting of CC-BY licenses for the articles. For US libraries that have not yet confirmed their participation, information can be found on the LYRASIS website or by contacting
image © Matthew WhiteheadThe next SPARC Open Access Meeting, themed “Convergence,” will convene March 3–4, 2014, in Kansas City. The past year has seen growing momentum in the areas of open access, open data, and open educational resources. As the push for greater openness continues, these three fronts are converging in interesting and potentially transformative ways. Join us as leaders from the library community, academia, industry, student community, and other research avenues discuss how open access, open data, and open educational resources are intersecting, and the impact this convergence might have on research and discovery. The meeting is designed to emphasize collaborative actions that stakeholders can take to positively impact publishing, policy, digital repositories, author rights, and licensing.
ARL has published Research Library Issues (RLI) no. 282, which features articles on ARL library budgets over the past two years, subscriptions to journal collections from large publishers, and the impact of the changing roles of librarians on reference staffing. A pre-publication version of the article about journal bundles was released earlier this year.
The complete table of contents with links to the articles follows: