Jen Sweezie &   Leslie Chan   Social Accounting  & Open Access Rethinking the value chain & what counts in scholarly commu...
Social Accounting & Open Access <ul><li>Brief introduction & overview </li></ul><ul><li>Funding models (old & new) </li></...
Bioline International A brief history & overview “ Scientific findings do not belong to a country but to the whole world …...
Bioline International - Mission <ul><li>Reduce the South-North knowledge gap </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a sustainable platf...
Bioline International - Journals Active journal participants graphed with Google maps
Bioline International Funding models (old & new) “ Bioline has contributed both to timely publication of articles from dev...
Previous Funding Models <ul><li>Pay “per-view” </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional subscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>University ...
Premise of new model <ul><li>Building a distributed support model </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation of different sustainability...
Bioline International Rethinking what counts &  how to fund OA initiatives “ The more successful open access becomes, the ...
…  Social Accounting <ul><li>Scholarly journals as “merit good” </li></ul><ul><li>Broadening the definition of “success” a...
…  Accounting for social impact <ul><ul><li>What counts as “input”, cost or investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What cou...
…  Bioline’s social impact Bioline has provided a very important and instant platform for journals like African Health Sci...
Bioline International Success so far… “ Too often we think of scientific knowledge and the developing countries in terms o...
Success so far: Founding Sponsors <ul><li>Open Society Institute (Information Program) </li></ul><ul><li>Science Commons <...
<ul><li>JISC Collections </li></ul><ul><li>OCUL </li></ul>Success so far: Consortial Members
Success so far: Members <ul><li>Grant MacEwan College </li></ul><ul><li>IDRC Library </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries & Cultura...
Success so far: Bioline usage Figure for 2009 includes usage up to July, 2009. Bioline went fully “open acess” in Jan. 2004.
Success so far: Bioline users Breakdown of Bioline Users by City Google Analytics – Sept. 13, 2009
Success so far: Bioline users Breakdown of Bioline Users by City Google Analytics – Sept. 13, 2009
Success so far: Journal Applications Rate of journals applying to Bioline by budget year
Bioline International Challenges & Opportunities “ Bioline… has been an invaluable resource for us. It is our hope that th...
Challenges & Opportunities <ul><li>Questions from potential supporters: </li></ul><ul><li>Why pay for Open Access? </li></...
The role of research libraries <ul><li>No longer just buyers of “content” </li></ul><ul><li>Partners in the creation of “m...
Conclusions <ul><li>There is a clear need for a different framework for accounting when it comes to open access, especiall...
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Open Access and Bioline International

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Using Bioline International as a case study, this paper examines the relationship between social accounting and Open Access, and argues for the need of rethinking the value chain and what counts in scholarly communication, particularly for journals from the developing world.

Paper delivered at the 1st Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing
(COASP) 14-16 September, 2009. Lund, Sweden. By Jen Booth, Project Coordinator and Leslie Chan, Director, Bioline International

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  • Preamble: 1. Supporting the principle of OA is easy, but how sustain OA in its many form is still an open question. This is one of the purposes of the conference. We certainly don’t have the answer, but we at Bioline International have embarked on an important experiment that may provide us with better clues. 1.1 This is also a great opportunity to engage the scholarly, library, and publishing communities about the need for collective action. Drawing from our experience with BI, we would like to raise some open questions, with the hope that you will help us chart our course forward. 1.2 In particular we would like to challenge institutions to work collectively to shoulder the cost of OA. 1.3 We would also like to call for an expanded view of OA and its benefits, thinking beyond the increased citation and return on investment. 1.4 OA has highly extended benefits in terms of social impact – lives saved because of medical literature made accessible, improved crop production because of shared techniques, better policy making because of access to pertinent evidence, improvement in education and training because of access to up-do-date resources. 1.5 In our attempt to garner funding for OA initiatives, we need to educate funders and policy makers about the social benefits of OA and the need to act collectively. But we need a framework to show why it is wise to invest in OA. 1.6 Traditional accounting model is inadequate for capturing these extended benefits (for example recent cost benefits analyses focus on return on investment, it is a framework based on simple input (money) and output (also measured in terms of money). This is inadequate because scholarly publications are essentially non-market output. 1.7 Social Accounting, which takes into account volunteer labour and other non-monetary input (symbolic support for example) and institutional support is a better framework for capturing the added value of OA scholarly publishing.
  • 1.8. We present a case study of why Bioline International and other OA initiatives are better understood through a social accounting approach, and why traditional thinking about scholarly journals as market commodities is misguided. 1.9 We think our analysis will have implications for how libraries and funders think about support for OA in the future.
  • Established in 1993 Currently hosts 70+ journals from 16+ countries in the developing world Open access to all participating journals Collaborative effort between Bioline Toronto (Canada) and the Reference Centre on Environmental Information (CRIA - Brazil) Not for Profit
  • 2.4. Bioline International is not regionally based nor supported by regional governments. It is a grass root initiative based on distributed support. 2.5. Mission of BI: to improve the visibility, usage and impact of journals from DCs; enhance knowledge through from South to North and from South to South; provide a sustainable platform for distributed dissemination; document the impact of OA (will return to this as this is the main crux of the presentation) 2.6. BI subject focus on health, environment and food security – issues that are highly relevant to regional development, but are often overlooked in m a instream journals. 2.7. All publishing partners are non-profit, some are institutional based, some are independent. They are funded by a variety of models. Some maintain print subscription, some receive revenue from advertising, many receive subsidies or grants from aids or donor agencies. While others are supported by university funding or through membership due. 2.8 Bioline does not charge publishing partners any fee. 2.9 Added value by Bioline: Added visibility through rich metadata, direct linking from large number of research libraries from around the world, stable and reliable platform based at CRIA (may have been out of service once or twice for short period over the last 16 years), promotion and publicity in international arenas, usage statistics,
  • 2.10 Other added values for participating partners include direct linking from major university library catalogues (particularly through library members) PubMed linkout in some cases (need more of these) Backup on U of T institutional repository OAI compliant system means better searching through specialized search engines.
  • 2.11 Past funding – pay-per-view, institutional subscriptions, University of Toronto, occasional grants, eg. INASP, OSI. Difficulties: Pay Per Use – with intent to channel profits back to the journals – but insufficient demand meant that administrative costs outweighed the actual money being brought in Institutional support – meant the journals were really only available to a few institutions who had funds to pay…
  • Why the new funding model? 3. Major operating costs of BI are in document conversion and management. 3.1 In the past these were shouldered primarily by the U of Toronto libraries as an experimental initiative. 3.2 The initiative is sufficiently mature and in need of further expansion and a distributed support model would be more appropriate. 3.3 Design of business plan supported by SPARCE and community volunteers. 3.4 Considered a variety of models: usage trigger, charging publishing partners, journal twining, sponsorship, membership 3.5 Decided on the membership model as the most likely to succeed and sustainable, as membership cost is low and funding would be spread over a large number of institutions. Also DOAJ is already using this model and has achieved reasonable success.
  • 3.6 An accounting framework influences how an organization defines success and values. 3.7 Traditional accounting focuses on maximizing shareholder value and on the financial bottom line. But the success of projects like Bioline can not be measured in economic terms (since we do not generate any revenue). We must measure instead the social impact across multiple dimensions: impacts on the authors, readers, publishers, and the broader scholarly communication environment, as well as the broader public and the policy environment
  • 3.8 What are the social and intellectual values that we contribute to the scholarly community, as well as the distributions of those benefits among the shareholders? 3.9 How do we account for non-monetary inputs? E.g. Volunteer time (various people including the director, many advisors, students), unpaid but critical technical infrastructure, space and facilities, professional development of volunteers and student training, community networking and collaboration (e.g. with eIFL net on Open Access in developing countries, with OSI on promoting the principles of OA, with SPARC in promoting alternative publishing models). - these all results in significant impact, but are not yet well captured.
  • NEED TO EDIT&gt;&gt;&gt;
  • 3.10 Drawback is the large number of institutions we have to deal with and all the administrative details. Consortial membership is easier to deal with, but may undermine potential membership fee (e.g. the large number of institutions included in JISC Collections). 3.11 The use of EBSCO has made support easier, as institutions could simply “s u bscribe ” to BI as if they were purchasing a conventional journal subscription
  • 4.3 Worldwide usage of BI includes 4.5 million full text download in 2008 and notice the upward trend over the past few years.
  • 4.4 5 of the top 10 cities with downloads are from the developing world, demonstrating that the one of the key missions of BI is met.
  • 4.4 5 of the top 10 cities with downloads are from the developing world, demonstrating that the one of the key missions of BI is met.
  • But since BI is Open Access, then why are we paying? 4. This is a common question we hear from libraries. The question belies the mindset of libraries as simply “p u rchaser of content ” , or in the electronic environment, simply licensees. They want to know if they are getting their money’s worth and whether there would be sufficient usage from their patrons to justify the subscriptions. 4.1 To support Bioline through a membership, however, means that libraries have to rethink their role as purchaser to that of producers and stewardship of scholarly outputs. 4. 2 Libraries also have to rethink their role in the broader global context: a membership means that they are not only supporting their own “p a trons ” , but potential users worldwide. When they support Bioline as a member, they are indeed acting locally, but thinking globally.
  • New kinds of “input” - collection development as strategic investment in merit good
  • 5. Scholarly publication is a form of public goods and cannot be measured in terms of market value. This is particularly true for journals from developing countries. 5.1 We need a framework that captures the social impact of scholarly publications, particularly from the developing world, and particular on their impact on local development. This is where social accounting plays a major role. 5.2 As we are living in a highly interconnected globalized world, we can no longer think in isolation and institutions cannot think in terms of their own self-interest. 5.3 This mean that local social impact will have subsequent global impact, much as green house gas emission in one part of the world will have eventual impact on global warming. 5.4 Scholarly communication is undergoing rapid change but funding models have not been keeping pace. 5.5 This is in part because we still think of scholarly publications as market based products rather than public goods that demand a different kind of social and public accounting. 5.2 Bioline’s mission is to enable that global public goods call scholarly publications to be “c o nsumed ” by a world-wide community. But without distributed support and collective action, we will not succeed. The success of our experiment depends on you, and we invite all of you to participate.
  • Open Access and Bioline International

    1. 1. Jen Sweezie & Leslie Chan Social Accounting & Open Access Rethinking the value chain & what counts in scholarly communication
    2. 2. Social Accounting & Open Access <ul><li>Brief introduction & overview </li></ul><ul><li>Funding models (old & new) </li></ul><ul><li>Rethinking what counts and how to fund OA initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Success so far </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges & Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Bioline International A brief history & overview “ Scientific findings do not belong to a country but to the whole world …” Hernan Riquelme, Editor Agricultura Técnica (Chile) July, 2008
    4. 4. Bioline International - Mission <ul><li>Reduce the South-North knowledge gap </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a sustainable platform for the dissemination of journal materials </li></ul><ul><li>Improve the visibility of developing world publications </li></ul>
    5. 5. Bioline International - Journals Active journal participants graphed with Google maps
    6. 6. Bioline International Funding models (old & new) “ Bioline has contributed both to timely publication of articles from developing countries and also to the sustainability of the journals concerned… Of course for Bioline International (and other similar Open Access services) to continue their work, they need financial support from philanthropic organizations and foundations and the private sector…” Joses M Kirigia July, 2008
    7. 7. Previous Funding Models <ul><li>Pay “per-view” </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional subscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>University of Toronto support </li></ul><ul><li>Occasional Grants </li></ul>
    8. 8. Premise of new model <ul><li>Building a distributed support model </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation of different sustainability models </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrating “added value” with new accounting framework </li></ul><ul><li>Creating new partnerships through sponsorship and membership support </li></ul>
    9. 9. Bioline International Rethinking what counts & how to fund OA initiatives “ The more successful open access becomes, the more irrelevant our traditional view of library budgets will be… It would be truly unfortunate if the open access movement passed librarians by because we were too busy worrying about the library's bottom line.”   Plutchak, T. Scott, Editor Embracing open access J Med Libr Assoc. 2004 January; 92(1): 1–3.
    10. 10. … Social Accounting <ul><li>Scholarly journals as “merit good” </li></ul><ul><li>Broadening the definition of “success” and “value” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional value: economic return </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarly value - reputation and citation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional value - public mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social value - equity, participation, diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political value - evidence based policy, transparency, accountability </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. … Accounting for social impact <ul><ul><li>What counts as “input”, cost or investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What counts as “output” or benefits and impact </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. … Bioline’s social impact Bioline has provided a very important and instant platform for journals like African Health Sciences to reach a very wide audience... While we are on Pubmed central, the availability has been problematic because for example only 3 of 4 issues are currently on PUBMED Central. Bioline does not require us to do expensive and laborious XML and other conversions. Bioline also provides us with regular feedback on access to African Health Sciences. To us interested in unrestricted access to knowledge and information generated by African scientists, Bioline has provided a very reliable, sustainable partner. We do value your service greatly knowing that even the remotest health worker with internet access can read our journal instantly free online. Keep it up! James K Tumwine, Founder Editor in Chief, African Health Sciences Makerere University, Uganda
    13. 13. Bioline International Success so far… “ Too often we think of scientific knowledge and the developing countries in terms of what “we” can do for “them”. We need to nurture the organizations and initiatives that challenge this limiting point of view, enriching the international scholarly community with important research and neglected perspectives from the developing world.”   Lynne Copeland, Dean of Library Services & University Librarian, Simon Fraser University Library, Canada.
    14. 14. Success so far: Founding Sponsors <ul><li>Open Society Institute (Information Program) </li></ul><ul><li>Science Commons </li></ul><ul><li>Simon Fraser University Library </li></ul><ul><li>University of Ottawa Library </li></ul><ul><li>University of Guelph Library </li></ul><ul><li>York University Library </li></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>JISC Collections </li></ul><ul><li>OCUL </li></ul>Success so far: Consortial Members
    16. 16. Success so far: Members <ul><li>Grant MacEwan College </li></ul><ul><li>IDRC Library </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries & Cultural Resources, U of Calgary </li></ul><ul><li>York University Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>U of Guelph Library </li></ul><ul><li>U of Manitoba Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>U of Ottawa Library </li></ul><ul><li>U of Victoria Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young U </li></ul><ul><li>Sterling Memorial Library, Yale U </li></ul><ul><li>Syracuse U Library </li></ul><ul><li>Albert B. Alkek Library, Texas State U </li></ul><ul><li>U of Iowa Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>U of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Penn State U Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Ghent U Library </li></ul><ul><li>Lund U Libraries, Sweden </li></ul><ul><li>Max Planck Digital Library </li></ul><ul><li>WHO Headquarters Library </li></ul><ul><li>Wellcome Library </li></ul><ul><li>Main Library, U of the West Indies </li></ul><ul><li>U of Hong Kong Libraries </li></ul>
    17. 17. Success so far: Bioline usage Figure for 2009 includes usage up to July, 2009. Bioline went fully “open acess” in Jan. 2004.
    18. 18. Success so far: Bioline users Breakdown of Bioline Users by City Google Analytics – Sept. 13, 2009
    19. 19. Success so far: Bioline users Breakdown of Bioline Users by City Google Analytics – Sept. 13, 2009
    20. 20. Success so far: Journal Applications Rate of journals applying to Bioline by budget year
    21. 21. Bioline International Challenges & Opportunities “ Bioline… has been an invaluable resource for us. It is our hope that this resource will be sustained into the future, and expanded to accommodate more desiring journals in our setting. …” Emmanuel A. Ameh, Assistant Editor Annals of African Medicine July, 2008
    22. 22. Challenges & Opportunities <ul><li>Questions from potential supporters: </li></ul><ul><li>Why pay for Open Access? </li></ul><ul><li>How is a membership different from a subscription? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s in it for “us”? </li></ul><ul><li>Why should “we” subsidize the “other”? </li></ul>
    23. 23. The role of research libraries <ul><li>No longer just buyers of “content” </li></ul><ul><li>Partners in the creation of “merit goods” </li></ul><ul><li>They are also “funders” of scholarship </li></ul><ul><li>Collection development as strategic investment </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting fee as “investment” and “symbolic capital” </li></ul>
    24. 24. Conclusions <ul><li>There is a clear need for a different framework for accounting when it comes to open access, especially when it comes to publications from the developing world </li></ul><ul><li>Also need to rethink “what to count”, and how we support what we value collectively. </li></ul>
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