Category Archives: Publishers OA Policies

Free Public Screening of Film “Paywall: the Business of Scholarship” – Open Access Week 2018

Join us at the UVic Libraries Digital Scholarship Commons for a public screening of the documentary, “Paywall”. Everyone is welcome. There will be popcorn provided!

A public screening of the movie will be held on:

Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Time: 2-4:30pm.

Panel discussion to follow the movie until 4:30pm Panelists include:

  • Dr. Frank van Veggel, Chemistry
  • Dr. Chris Eagle, Math. & Stats.
  • Lisa Petrachenko, Associate University Librarian, Research & Collections
  • Maxwell Nicholson, Senior Economics Lab Instructor & Undergraduate student
  • Alyssa Arbuckle, Ph.D Candidate & Associate Director, ETCL

Where: UVic Libraries, Digital Scholarly Commons

Please register at

paywall movie poster

About the filmPaywall: The Business of Scholarship is a documentary which:

  • focuses on the need for open access to research and science
  • questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers
  • examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier, and
  • looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google.

Produced and directed by Jason Schmitt, Clarkson University, NY

The film is also available to stream for free here:



Bold OA push in Germany to change academic publishing

August 23, 2017 | Science

“Over the past 2 years, more than 150 German libraries, universities, and research institutes have formed a united front trying to force academic publishers into a new way of doing business. Instead of buying subscriptions to specific journals, consortium members want to pay publishers an annual lump sum that covers publication costs of all papers whose first authors are at German institutions. Those papers would be freely available around the world; meanwhile, German institutions would receive access to all the publishers’ online content.

Consortia of libraries and universities in the Netherlands, Finland, Austria, and the United Kingdom have all pushed for similar agreements, but have had to settle for less than they wanted. In the Netherlands, for example, Elsevier—the world’s biggest academic publisher—has agreed to make only 30% of Dutch-authored papers freely available by 2018, and only after a significant increase in the annual sum libraries pay.”

Read more about where the deal is stalled:

Ubiquity Press – Open Access Books Platform

Brian Hole from Ubiquity Press will be at the University of  Victoria on Friday to talk about models for publishing Open Access Monographs. Brian will give a presentation in McPherson Library, Room 219 from 10-11 this coming Friday August 7th. All are welcome. Feel free to share this message with others who may be interested in alternative book publishing models.


Ubiquity Press is a researcher-led publisher that spun out of University College London in 2012. We are 100% open access, with a fully professional publishing model that is nonetheless sufficiently low-cost to make OA publishing affordable in areas such as the humanities and the developing world. We also focus heavily on enabling the publishing of alternative research outputs such as data and software.

From 2014 we began offering our platform as a fully-rebranded solution for university presses and library publishing programmes. We offer all infrastructure plus a full stack of professional publishing services, so that operating a press becomes lower risk and much more sustainable. Each of the presses involved also becomes a member of the Ubiquity Partner Network, which provides peer support, shared resources and a say in the governance of Ubiquity itself.

Our model is sufficiently cost-efficient that many of our partner presses are able to experiment with innovative new business models. Examples are the Open Library of the Humanities, which sources its APCs through a library membership model, and the University of California Press’s journal Collabra, which is  paying peer reviewers.

Finally, we are also contributing to the community by releasing parts of our platform as open source software. The first product to be released will be Rua, our book management platform (an alternative to OMP), in September 2015. This will be followed in October by Toru, our desktop journal management product, especially designed for editors in developing countries to work in situations where they have limited access to the internet.


Lisa Goddard

Associate University Librarian

Digital Scholarship and Strategy

University of Victoria Libraries

South African institutions sign petition against Elsevier

Academic institutions and governmental agencies in South Africa have signed the Confederation of Open Access Repositories’ (COAR) petition against scholarly publishing giant Elsevier and its new sharing policy. They join a host of institutions from around the world. The full petition and signatories can be found here.

Robert Moropa from the University of Pretoria expressed concerns about increased embargoes on research saying: “[These] policies will have an impact of up to 25% of the materials that we upload to [our institutional] repository, meaning that 25% of [the university's] research outputs, in post-print version, will be embargoed for at least 12 months but could go as high as 36 months… This will influence our visibility, citations, rankings and the moral obligation we have to make research accessible to the general public that supported this research… by paying their taxes.”

Read the full article on the Mail and Guardian here.

Elsevier Modifies their Open Access Policies

In April, the publishing giant Elsevier modified its Open Access Policy. The Coalition for Open Access Repositories (COAR) responded less than enthusiastically, signing a joint statement with 127 other organizations, including the American Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries, against the policy.

Read more about it:

Yesterday, the Times Higher Education posted an interesting article suggesting the new policy has exposed some of the tensions between Gold and Green Open Access advocates.

If you have questions about how the changes will impact you or your research please contact the scholarly communications librarian, Inba Kehoe at

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications – UVic Libraries Support

March 17, 2015

The Tri-Agencies 9NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) recently launched their Open Access Policy on Publications. The objective of the policy is to improve access access to the results of agency funded research and to increase the dissemination and exchange of research results.

The University of Victoria Libraries is interested in supporting researchers’ compliance with the policy. The “compliance guide” outlines the different ways in which we are able to assist.

Academic Journals – Obsolete Technology?

Huff Post | Jason Scmitt | December 23, 2014

“The music business was killed by Napster; movie theaters were derailed by digital streaming; traditional magazines are in crisis mode–yet in this digital information wild west: academic journals and the publishers who own them are posting higher profits than nearly any sector of commerce.

Academic publisher Elsevier, which owns a majority of the prestigious academic journals, has higher operating profits than Apple. In 2013, Elsevier posted 39 percent profits, according to Heather Morrison, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Studies in contrast to the 37 percent profit that Apple displayed.”


For more see:

Lecture: John Willinsky, Open Access to Research and Scholarship

Title: What to Expect from the Coming Age of Open Access to Research and Scholarship

When: March 18 from 10:00–‐11:30 a.m.

Where: Room 210, Mearns Centre for Learning/McPherson Library

  • Coffee and refreshments will be served before the talk
  • The talk will be followed by questions and discussion

This talk will review the current state of open access initiatives in Canada and abroad, which in many ways signals a tipping point has been reached. It will examine the implications for scholarly publishing models, academic freedom, and research funding, as well as public impact and support. It will attempt to address where all this openness might be leading –‐–‐ with Open Access, Open Data, MOOCs –‐–‐ for the future of higher education, and what the risks and challenges are, as well as the opportunities, of this new age.

About the Speaker:
John Willinsky is Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford University and Professor (Part-‐Time) of Publishing Studies at Simon Fraser University, where he directs the Public Knowledge Project, which conducts research and develops scholarly publishing software intended to extend the reach and effectiveness of scholarly communication. His books include the Empire of Words: The Reign of the OED (Princeton, 1994); Learning to Divide the World: Education at Empire's End (Minnesota, 1998); Technologies of Knowing (Beacon 2000); and The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship (MIT Press, 2006).