Tag Archives: judy ruttenberg

Report from AAU-APLU Workshop on Accelerating Access to Research Data

*This is a guest blog post by Mary Lee Kennedy, Executive Director of ARL; Judy RuttenbergProgram Director for Strategic Initiatives; and Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, Head Digital Scholarship and Data Services, Penn State University Libraries*

Over the past two days we participated in the AAU-APLU workshop on Accelerating Access to Research Data, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Eighteen of the thirty teams were ARL institutions from Canada and the United States.

This workshop followed directly from the November 2017 AAU-APLU Public Access Working Group Report and Recommendations, and was further informed by the National Academies recommendations in their 2018 consensus report, Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research.  For those who attended the Association meeting, you will remember the update from Alexa McCray, Chair of the National Academies report, and Kacy Redd, Assistant Vice President, Science & Mathematics Education Policy from APLU who staffed the AAU-APLU working group.

This workshop was a pivotal experience at a time in which governmental agencies in the US, Canada, and the EU are focusing on open science, and when many institutions are figuring out how to apply and influence policies, practices and infrastructure. Thirty institutional teams, some of whose members had never worked together before, grappled with the above mentioned report recommendations with a commitment to a set of next steps. Most teams included someone from the research office, IT/high performance or academic computing, and the library, while some included provosts and faculty.

The NSF, NIH, Department of Energy, National Institute on Standards and Technology, the Department of Defense, OSTP, and National Academies actively participated. Alexa McCray and Sarah Nusser (chair of the AAU-APLU Public Access Working Group) set the context upfront: agencies, institutions, and institutional teams including their libraries need to collaboratively design researcher-centered data services and support; RDM is an integral part of good study design; and research data is a valuable institutional asset.

With this context in mind, the teams got to work, with many conversations, and commitments to work together on specific tasks back at their institutions, and to continue to work together as a whole.  I know we all look forward to the workshop report and decisive next steps. In the meantime, please find below a sample of identified priorities and an initial set of next steps for ARL, as well as steps to consider in your institutions.  

Institutional Priorities for Public Access to Research Data

A number of themes emerged when institutions shared their priorities for accelerating public access to research data. A sample of these included:

  • Facilitating low-barrier, seamless support and services for public access to data at the institutional-level through:
    • Establishment of local “one stop services” for research support services, including data management and sharing stakeholder groups to coordinate faculty-centered research data services;
    • Development of training and workshops for public access to data and open science practices, specifically focused on graduate students.
  • Collecting and then mining data management plans (DMP’s) of funded research to:
    • Plan for the deposit and curation of research data;
    • Work with faculty members earlier in the research process to facilitate good data management practices.
    • Identify high value data.
  • Leveraging existing partnerships, cross-institutional collaborations, resources, and tools to extend capabilities for research data services, such as the:

Initial Considerations on Community Next Steps

With our greatest impact being at the intersection between institutional, research and learning community, and public policy communities, ARL will work with:

  • Our colleagues at AAU and APLU, including
    • Articulating a vision, a strategy, and a direction for accelerating public access to data, and
    • Collaborating to scope, and as appropriate participate in, additional workshops for the university and agency communities.
  • Our Advocacy and Public Policy Committee and Research Communications and Collections Working Group to seek ways to influence federal data management policies by representing the needs, capacity, and role of the research library.
  • National agencies, associations, and our ARL Academy (as appropriate) to support the membership in developing open science and open scholarship fluency—particularly as it relates to methods, tools, and data management practices across the institution, and with other research communities.
  • Scholarly and professional societies as potential partners in articulating disciplinary expectations around research data quality, value, and retention.

What can you do as an ARL member?

Please reach out to Mary Lee or Judy to discuss the workshop and its outcomes. ARL member directors James Hilton, Erik Mitchell, and Steve Mandeville-Gamble were also present, along with 15 additional ARL institutions, many of whom included library staff on their teams.

The workshop provided a structured and focused opportunity for institution-based teams to meet and begin to map their assets—technology, policy, people, and other—as well as their challenges. Many institutional teams pledged to continue meeting. If you were not able to attend, you could circulate the agenda to your institutional colleagues (in the research office, in IT, in high performance or academic computing, and other) and encourage discussion along the same lines.

The workshop organizers at AAU and APLU are considering site visits beginning in early 2019 to include institutions that were not able to participate in the workshop. If this advances into a plan, please watch for an announcement of that opportunity.

This was a very engaging workshop, concluding with commitments on concrete deliverables.  It sets an optimistic tone for the path ahead.

ARL Celebrates Open Access Week with Commitment to Open Scholarship

*This is a guest blog post by Judy Ruttenberg, ARL program director for strategic initiatives.*

ARL’s mission is to catalyze the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. In celebration of Open Access Week 2018, “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge,” we’re sharing ARL’s programmatic priorities in supporting open scholarship in the coming year.

With a new focus area around open scholarship, ARL aims to shift the balance of library strategy, staffing, and budgets in favor of open content and what we are calling academy-owned infrastructure (also known as scholar-owned or scholar-led). The Association is looking at initiatives in support of this big bet in order to support member libraries in:

  • Increasing their purchasing and investment power to support the full range of their collections and research priorities
  • Making informed decisions about where to invest in new forms of open content and infrastructure based on shared criteria and local interests
  • Partnering in the research enterprise within their institutions in a range of activities from data curation and management to publishing

The past several years have seen a decisive global trend among funding bodies, government agencies, and research communities to accelerate scholarly discovery and improve its effectiveness through open practices (such as data sharing and large-scale collaboration) and digital technology. At the same time, some scholarly communities are pushing for greater experimentation and transparency in peer review (ASAPBio), sharing preprints (arXiv, bioRXiv, and many others), and deploying open annotation (hypothes.is) that show a glimpse of what the future of scholarly communication could look like post-journal formats—accessible, dynamic, and networked. Research libraries are positioned to lead in this transformation when deeply engaged in research and scholarly communities and when a shared understanding and commitment exists to collectively steward the full scholarly record. ARL is positioned to  broker a shared agenda with scholarly and learned societies and communities, along with academic leadership and US federal agencies, and partners in Canada, the EU, Australia, and the UK in support of equitable and open knowledge.

More recently, US research library leaders participated in crafting the recommendations of the AAU-APLU Public Access Working Group and the National Academies Open Science by Design, consensus report.  As an Association, ARL looks forward to working with the membership, partners, and stakeholder communities on implementing their recommendations. Our colleagues in Canada provided similar feedback through Portage to the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy and CARL will be a key partner in these initiatives.

By strengthening open research practices, policies, and standards, we strengthen libraries’ ability to support local research, scholarship, and collections priorities of all kinds in order to meet their missions.

Documentary “Paywall: The Business of Scholarship” Premieres in Washington, DC

*This is a guest blog post by Judy Ruttenberg, ARL program director for strategic initiatives.*
*Updated September 11, 2018, with quotation from Geneva Henry.*

The documentary film Paywall: The Business of Scholarship made its global premiere in Washington, DC, on September 5, 2018, the same week that 11 European countries proclaimed that all their publicly funded research would be open access by 2020. Paywall producer and director Jason Schmitt and director of photography Russell Stone welcomed the DC audience, which comprised many of the scientists, publishers, and open access advocates featured in the 65-minute film. With minimal narration and expertly sequenced interviews, the film weaves together two principal stories: the exorbitant financial cost to access for-profit academic journals and the associated, incalculable human cost when doctors, patients, students, and would-be innovators all over the world hit paywalls that deny them access to the latest research.

Schmitt, an associate professor of media and communication at Clarkson University, told the DC audience that the film was made not for them but for their neighbors, friends, and colleagues who are not immersed in the world of academic publishing. To the uninitiated, the system makes little sense. The labor of writing articles is unpaid, as is much of the editing, peer review, and curation. Taxpayers fund most scientific research, whether done within government agencies, or through universities, and yet the results (until recently) have not been available to them. The top five academic publishers—which dominate the market—earn profit margins up to ten times that of top technology firms. While many of the film’s subjects acknowledged innovation and value within these publishing companies, Elsevier in particular, most were quick to say those contributions are outweighed by the costs to the scientific enterprise of excluding so many people from participating in it.

Some of Paywall’s most compelling interviews address the consequences of exclusion. Brian Nosek, executive director of the Center for Open Science (COS), described a meeting with a cohort of graduate students in Budapest who were all studying implicit cognition. Why so many students, in one sub-field? Because the papers are largely available on the open internet. Schmitt met with medical students and faculty in Africa and India who were unable to access the latest literature, and unable to contribute their own discoveries to it. Paywalls inhibit innovation because they minimize the chance that “the right person will be in the right place at the right time,” with respect to the literature, said Tom Callaway, from the open source software company Red Hat. And the audience laughed along with Sci-Hub creator Alexandra Elbakyan as, in a rare on-camera interview, she explained that Sci-Hub is targeting this exclusion by helping Elsevier fulfill its mission to make “uncommon knowledge common.”

Paywall is a celebration of the open access (OA) movement and its victories to level the playing field through preprint services like arXiv, and through policies mandating public access to government-funded research. The film is also a sober reflection on the OA movement’s progress, as for-profit academic publishers have both stalled and monetized open access while maintaining ever-increasing subscription revenue. The consortium of European national funders, called cOAlition S, announced their initiative this week with a set of principles addressing these exorbitant costs, including a cap on open access publication fees and a prohibition on publishing in hybrid journals (that charge a mix of subscription and open access fees). Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, emphasized in Paywall the critical importance of authors retaining copyrights in order for a large-scale open access system to function.

Geneva Henry, dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation at The George Washington University, also attended the premiere and offered this reflection:

Academic library leaders have been raising the concern for years about the unsustainable rate of inflation with online journals, particularly those supporting the sciences. We have shown our faculty and university leadership the solid data that demonstrates this problem, have cut journals each year to fit our budgets and have been met with criticism by the researchers, have provided information about open access and its advantages, and have received polite nods and smiles from everyone. But little has changed and the high-impact (high-cost) journals are still the ones that remain a priority for faculty publications. Paywall has the opportunity to present these audiences with perspectives from a wide variety of scholars and professionals who identify the issues we’ve been trying to communicate for so long. Its format as a film will enable broader distribution and hopefully be that communication vehicle for bringing this issue to the forefront of academic leadership. We’ve known for a long time that something needs to change and this film will hopefully serve as a catalyst for turning the tide on commercial publishing practices that limit the distribution of knowledge in our society. Perhaps librarians will now be viewed as the canaries in the coal mine rather than a bunch of chicken littles.

SPARC Europe, LIBER (the Association of European Research Libraries), and Research Libraries UK (RLUK) have all issued statements in support of cOAlition S. Peter Suber has also blogged about the plan.

Funded by a grant from the Open Society Foundations, Paywall will be screened by more than 175 universities this fall, and is available to stream under a CC BY 4.0 license at www.paywallthemovie.com. SPARC, a global coalition committed to making open the default for research and education, helped organize the DC premiere.

Designing Open Science in a Decentralized World

*This is a guest blog post by Judy Ruttenberg, ARL Program Director for Strategic Initiatives*

In my past and current roles as a program officer in a regional library consortium, and now at the Association of Research Libraries, I’ve had the privilege of visiting many libraries. I have observed that often, while explaining a (usually challenging) aspect of local culture or practice, librarians at research-intensive universities both public and private will characterize their campus as “highly decentralized.” The new consensus report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research,” recognizes that because institutions and the entire research enterprise is highly decentralized, so too must the stewardship of research assets be coordinated across key stakeholders. If we, the stewardship community, get this coordination right, researchers will be able to practice and reap the benefits of open science with the confidence that their scholarly contributions will be supported, rewarded, and discoverable in the future.

“Open Science by Design” provides a high-level roadmap for the stewardship community in which research libraries embody a unique combination of mission and professional expertise. Research libraries provide enduring and barrier-free access to knowledge for current and future generations. The open science/open scholarship movement has expanded the research community’s definition of knowledge assets worthy of curation for long-term use to include software, data, code, and more. By practicing scholarship openly, researchers not only create knowledge assets across the lifecycle—from hypothesis and study design to data collection and narrative publication—they also generate a digital paper trail that contributes to our collective understanding of research dynamics and workflow. Given the report’s observation that “commercial publishers have undertaken significant horizontal and vertical integration in recent years, … acquiring important pieces of the scholarly communications infrastructure, such as preprint servers, institutional repositories, and expanding data archiving, and analytics services associated with their journals,” (p 118) decentralization is actually a strength against consolidation and enclosure of that workflow.

If research institutions and funders embrace the NAS recommendations to encourage, support, and reward openness across the scholarly workflow, librarians can contribute both information science and archival expertise early and often throughout that workflow, as well as preserve research environments to enable the study of science itself. For example, the preprint communities hosted by the Center for Open Science’s OSF Preprints now have an integrated annotation layer in hypothes.is. Librarians are embedded in the leadership of many of these preprint services—and in many research projects themselves—and can advise on the stewardship aspects of peer review as the hypothes.is service is implemented. Librarians will also continue to work in long-standing coalitions to influence the information policy environment to support openness. This fall, ARL will produce a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to ensure that the subjects, products, and tools of scholarship will continue to be accessible despite evolving technology.

Decentralization, often presented as a barrier to coordination, is an advantage and a goal in the context of open scholarship, provided that the stakeholder community adheres to the report’s implementation principles of interoperability, including:

  • Researchers choosing open repositories for their preprints, publications, and data
  • Research funders ensuring that research products are available in repositories that allow for bulk transfer of digital objects
  • Requirement of unique, persistent identifiers for digital objects identified for long-term preservation
  • Greater attention and investment in metadata schemas for improved discovery
  • Participation of professional societies and research funders in the networking and federation of existing repositories for improved discovery.

The SHARE project team has worked with many different types of open repositories (data, institutional repositories, preprints, grant databases, etc.) on all of these issues, and the implementation of improved metadata schemas, persistent identifiers, and methods of bulk transfer are complex. What we’ve learned is that more decentralization, not less, is the answer. Rather than continuing the centralized harvest of metadata from many sources, the SHARE technical team is now developing easy to use tools for institutions and repositories to write their own harvesters to push out their metadata to the network and develop local frameworks for hosting the data they exchange with others. The Data Curation Network, also funded by the Sloan Foundation, is leveraging the decentralization of expertise across more than ten institutions to improve the treatment, discoverability, and use of data.

Research libraries will be critical partners within their institutions and within the research enterprise in the implementation of NAS’s open science principles, standards, and business arrangements. ARL looks forward to continuing existing partnerships and developing new ones to support Open Science by Design.

Drinking our own champagne: a toast to the success of LISSA!

*This is a guest blog post by Judy Ruttenberg,Program Director at the Association of Research Libraries and the co-director of SHARE. She serves on the SocArXiv Steering Committee and the OSF Preprints Advisory Board*

In early May, a group of information professionals and leaders announced the launch of the LIS Scholarship Archive, or LISSA. Co-directed by April Hathcock and Vicky Steeves (NYU Libraries), LISSA joins a growing list of scholarly communities building open “preprint” services in partnership with the Center for Open Science (COS) and using COS’s flagship product, the Open Science Framework (OSF), as a platform. LISSA’s mission is more expansive than open preprint publishing, however. It acknowledges that LIS professionals produce a wide range of scholarly materials worthy of preservation, open dissemination, and community evaluation. Here’s where the OSF is a terrific platform: when a paper is deposited in an OSF Preprints service, an OSF project is automatically created, with all the collaborative tools, versioning, storage, file-rendering, and other features supporting the scholarly life cycle.

That LISSA enters an active space—including a spate of arXiv descendants in social science, psychology, engineering, agriculture, paleontology and more—doesn’t diminish the unique opportunity that the library and archives community now has to “drink our own champagne” and embrace rapid, open publication, and retool tenure and promotion processes in our own organizations so that they recognize open scholarship deposited in LISSA.

Tenure and promotion committees within academic libraries will doubtless ask the same questions our colleagues throughout academia have asked us as librarians have advocated for open access: What is the role of peer evaluation and review in an OA model? How will I know the work is good work? What new metrics can I use to understand the impact of non-traditional publications? With the groundswell of interest in preprints across many disciplines, and an open source, public goods technology partner (COS) building the infrastructure, we in LIS organizations can work with LISSA (in parallel with other disciplines and services) to participate in building new, mission-aligned editorial and review processes that support this public good.

Having created a basic service—OSF Preprints—and its hosted, branded communities (SocArXiv, PsyArXiv, etc.), COS is now working on the critical features of moderation and evaluation, or peer review. You can see their public requirements and roadmap on the OSF Preprints page. To see this community infrastructure catch up to our policy and advocacy for open scholarship is incredibly exciting, and I hope academic libraries as individuals and as organizations see both opportunity in, and responsibility for, LISSA’s success by working through the hard issues of the moderation and evaluation of our own work.

So, a toast to LISSA! If you need a reviewer, you can find me at judy@arl.org.