Update and reminder of Gates Foundation's Open Access Policy with respect to peer-reviewed publications from grants

  • JKMakowka
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Update and reminder of Gates Foundation's Open Access Policy with respect to peer-reviewed publications from grants

Link to announcement on Creative Commons: creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/44365

Personally I think this is great news and more funders should require this (especially those funded from tax-payers money).

Krischan Makowka
Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
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  • muench
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Re: Gates foundation mandates open-access (CC-by) for all its funded research!

Dear Kris,

Thanks for posting this. I also find this very exciting news. I already knew they were moving into that direction but it's good to have a formal announcement on this now.

The announcement was here on the Gates Foundation blog:
www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2014/11/Knowledge-is-Power

Knowledge is Power: Sharing Information Can Accelerate Global Health Impact

A paragraph from their blog:

But there is more we can and should do – particularly when it comes to sharing the research the foundation funds. That is why we are adopting an Open Access (OA) policy to enable the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded by the foundation, including any underlying data sets. This change will take place over a two-year period, and effective January 1, 2017, will require that all publications resulting from foundation funding, and all data underlying the published research, be available immediately upon publication. This will enable other researchers to access the latest evidence and draw on it to advance their own research. The policy applies not only to global health and development, but to our work across the foundation, including our efforts to improve education in the U.S.

In adopting this policy, we are joining a growing open access movement that includes the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust, and the Research Councils UK. Many prestigious peer-reviewed journals have also started adopting services that support open access.


I have recently been following how our medical colleagues are sharing knowledge (via my work with Wikipedia articles and via the HIFA Dgroup). They are way ahead of us. It seems to be standard practice now that authors pay a certain fee to make their peer-reviewed articles open access. Readers do not have to pay to read the articles. (and all the Ebola-related articles were apparently instantly made open access via a special agreement with the journals!)

It seems to be a no-brainer now that this works much better than the other way around, where the author paid nothing but all the readers had to pay.
Luckily, the fee for the authors to make their article open access is not that high, in the order of a few hundred Euros which is nothing when a research budget is 100,000 or millions of Euros.

So I hope that all researchers from the sanitation sector who publish in journals such as:
Water Research, Water, Science and Technology, IWA Journal of Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries, Water Lines and so forth do consider this move as well.

And the support that the BMGF has given this Forum via its co-funding since now two years also supports their global access policy (more about the co-funding is here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/139-gr...mit=12&start=12#9342 ) as the Forum provides such a great place for sharing.

So I see this as also a boost for our Forum!

I look forward to welcoming many new grantees (and other researchers) to this forum who can freely share information about their grants and their challenges here. Like this one from today:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/141-ot...designed-toilet-seat

However, despite the good news, I guess we will still have to be patient. From my experience with researchers, I have found that they sometimes do not wish to disclose too much before a paper has been published (and the publishing process is sometimes a bit lengthy, can be even one year or more!) or before a patent has been filed. That is understandable.

I guess there is nothing that can be done about that. Except perhaps for the researchers to share already some general things, concepts and ideas, without going too much into detail (for the details one has to wait for the paper or the patent)?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • CarlHensman
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Re: Gates foundation mandates open-access (CC-by) for all its funded research!

Elisabeth:

The Open Access Policy and associated links can be found here www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Gene...n/Open-Access-Policy

Also, just before the holidays I pointed out to the Libraries Team that we should not only have this policy in place for grants, but also investment contracts (i.e. program strategy contracts, not business operations contracts). That language has now been established and should be included from here on in (it's a little more complex due to the nature of a contract and it's products. Also if publication is deemed appropriate Foundation has to grant a license back to the contractor to allow them to publish).

Members of the Forum should also be aware that, while the legal language is included from January 2015 onwards to oblige Open Access publishing, I have established with the relevant internal Libraries team that any projects funded by the Foundation, prior to this new 2015 Open Access policy, can still request the Foundation fund costs of Open Access publishing, for work the Foundation has previously funded, that has not yet been published. Even on closed projects.

They are still ironing out all the procedures, but eventually the process will be completely handled by a third party.

If folks reading this would like to inquire about covering the costs of Open Access publishing for Foundation projects, have them contact their Program Officers at the Foundation. As this is just coming to fruition, if their Program Officers are not sure of what to do, just tell them in contact me internally and I'll walk them through the process.

Thanks to Kris for posting about this. It is something that I feel very strongly about and have fully supported those folks internally at the Foundation who have been pushing the new policy forward over the past couple of years.

Carl Hensman

(FYI - The Foundation is also looking at the best way they can distribute relevant collective reports from the Foundations inception. As you can imagine, this is a daunting task and there are many issues along the way, but I thought people would at least be interested to know that it is a goal of the Libraries Team)
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  • christoph
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Re: Gates foundation mandates open-access (CC-by) for all its funded research!

Hello, indeed that is very good news.
Let me try to understand a bit better.
a) Articles - free access to the articles - that is a great step.

b)

Data Underlying Published Research Results Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately. The foundation will require that data underlying the published research results be immediately accessible and open. This too is subject to the transition period and a 12-month embargo may be applied.


How does that work? I would find it most interesting, as it helps understand some finding or if you are wondering about data you can understand where the conclusion come from. But up to what extent? For instance: I did a research where my conclusions and publications where based on data which were gathered on a weakly basis - these data I used to come to conclusions. So I have to prepare the tables and organize it in a way somebody else can find the data? That can be a lot of additional work and how does that work for the underlying daily data which are united to a weakly number?
I think there is a lot to learn about how to organize this access. Or is it just the complete study and not all detailed data which has to be made access to.

I can remember immediately a whole set of studies I read in SUSANA, I really would have appreciated if I had acces to the underlying data.

On the other hand that means as well that - when I am developing a new technology - I would like to make my living with - I should not ask for a Grant by the Gates Foundation. Maybe there should be a way that I can change my grant into a loan when I feel that there is something I am not willing to share? To get more time to position myself on the market - for a small enterprise that is crucial sometimes. I don´t have anything against somebody making money on a good idea and often you need seed money to get forward (a lot of these toilet ideas maybe?)

Regards

Christoph
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  • caetano
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Re: Gates foundation mandates open-access (CC-by) for all its funded research!

In many open access journals that require data to be openly available such as PLoS ONE, for example, the underlying data is what you used to draw your conclusions on. Thus, my interpretation would be that if you (Christoph) used weekly averages to run your statistical analyses and based your conclusions on those numbers, then that is what should be reported or made available (not your daily readings). Many times this is done as supplementary tables that are not part of the manuscript, but that someone can easily access through a database or the online version of the article.
That said, I don't think there is a requirement that you have to publish. So, you could always maintain the secrecy of your innovation that way (by simply not publishing). However, I guess this kind of goes against the spirit of sharing information (and all other disadvantages of not publishing good research); particularly if you are receiving funding from the foundation such as BMGF.

Caetano
Université Laval
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  • ben
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Re: Gates foundation mandates open-access (CC-by) for all its funded research!

Dear all,

What about sharing a 2D-3D library (sketch-up / CAD) of all the models of latrines / sanitation infrastructures we all developped through the years. It's one thing to have a publication but it's much easier to adapt if you already have the drawing file.

Just a suggestion for the forum, I'd have a couple of things to put in.

I support 100% the creative common approach ! Funny though all this money comes from the fiercest patent protection strategy world has ever known. Great move however.

Best,

Ben
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Re: Gates foundation mandates open-access (CC-by) for all its funded research!

There are two different terms:

One is "free access" which means anyone can view your content as you host it on the web. But they cannot legally use / build upon it without your explicit permission. It also means we cannot add this sort of content to Wikipedia.

The second is "open access" which means that others can build upon your content / adapt your content as they wish as long as they attribute you.

The Gates Foundation has mandated the latter which is why this is such a powerful move. I love Ben's suggestion of sharing 2-D and 3-D images of latrines / sanitation infrastructure. I would love to add these to Wikipedia and an open license would allow me to do so :-)

James

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www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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  • muench
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Re: Gates foundation mandates open-access (CC-by) for all its funded research!

Thanks, James. Further information about the difference between free access and open access (for journal articles, for example) is available here on the forum:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/166-de...ree-access-explained

About making drawings available, I have opened a separate thread on that ( see here ) so that this thread can remain focussed on open access policies by BMGF or other funders.

Very interesting thread. Thanks, Carl, for providing insights into the process at the Gates Foundation that led to this important step. If you want to distribute any reports from the Foundation dealing with WSH (water, sanitation, hygiene), then they can be placed in the SuSanA library.

I was told that your move to open access for all research that you fund is one of the most far-reaching open access policies any funder has ever announced. It is really great and I hope many taxpayer-funded institutions who fund research, e.g. in Germany, will follow suit so that after a while it becomes the norm. It will be interesting to see how this process pans out.

Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • AParker
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Re: Gates foundation mandates open-access (CC-by) for all its funded research!

This is indeed good news. Here in the UK we have been working under the Research Councils Open Access policy for a little while now, and it works well. Basically, we apply to our library for funds to cover the open access publishing charge. I did this recently for Chris Rose's "poo review" which I will share on this forum as soon as I receive the typeset version!

One useful resource is the Sherpa/Romeo database, which collates all journal's copyright policies:

www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/search.php

It tells you what kind of Open Access policy they have. And also if it's possible to share earlier versions of the article, e.g. some journals let you share the pre-typeset version on your institution's repository.

Alison Parker
www.nanomembranetoilet.org
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www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/comm...-and-sanitation.html
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  • muench
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Re: Update and reminder of Gates Foundation's Open Access Policy with respect to peer-reviewed publications from grants

I thought it's useful to post an update about the Gates Foundation's Open Access Policy which I think is really great.

See here:

www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Gene...n/Open-Access-Policy

It starts with:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to information sharing and transparency. We believe that published research resulting from our funding should be promptly and broadly disseminated. We have adopted an Open Access policy that enables the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded, in whole or in part, by the foundation, including any underlying data sets.


It continues with:

+++++++
Our Open Access policy contains the following elements:

Publications Are Discoverable and Accessible Online. Publications will be deposited in a specified repository(s) with proper tagging of metadata.

Publication Will Be On “Open Access” Terms. All publications shall be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License (CC BY 4.0) or an equivalent license. This will permit all users of the publication to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and transform and build upon the material, including for any purpose (including commercial) without further permission or fees being required.

Foundation Will Pay Necessary Fees. The foundation would pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect publication on these terms.

Publications Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately. All publications shall be available immediately upon their publication, without any embargo period. An embargo period is the period during which the publisher will require a subscription or the payment of a fee to gain access to the publication. We are, however, providing a transition period of up to two years from the effective date of the policy (or until January 1, 2017). During the transition period, the foundation will allow publications in journals that provide up to a 12-month embargo period.

Data Underlying Published Research Results Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately. The foundation will require that data underlying the published research results be immediately accessible and open. This too is subject to the transition period and a 12-month embargo may be applied.

++++++++++

There is also an open access FAQ sheet (frequently asked questions):
www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Gene...Access-Policy/Page-2

I like this part:

Why does the policy require publication under a Creative Commons Attribution Generic License (CC BY 4.0) or equivalent license?

As stated in the policy, a CC BY license permits unrestricted reuse of the publication to transform and build upon the research. For further perspective on copyright, see Why Full Open Access Matters by Michael W. Carroll, Professor of Law at American University ( journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id...journal.pbio.1001210 ).


+++++++++

I wonder how current or future grantees of the BMGF feel about this? Whether they happily endorse this or not? Could it even stop some researchers from going for grants by the BMGF because they don't want to be bound by this open access policy?

Note that all this does not mean that grantees cannot protect IP and e.g. go for patents. We saw this mentioned e.g. by Alison Parker here in her post on 18 January (make sure you go to Page 5 if the link doesn't take you there): forum.susana.org/forum/categories/105-pr...it=12&start=48#16594

The open access policy applies specifically to peer-reviewed papers.

I think this is all great. For example, it makes it much easier to use content from open access journal papers in respective Wikipedia articles, and therefore helps to disseminate knowledge better and faster.

Perhaps some of the BMGF grantees could comment in this thread whether this open access policy has impacted on the way they publish research results?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: Update and reminder of Gates Foundation's Open Access Policy with respect to peer-reviewed publications from grants

Here is an interesting interview with Ashley Farley who works at the Gates Foundation on Open Access
(she says in the interview "This encompasses internal and external communications, advocacy of our policy, and working with our grantees to make their research open access. We’ve recently joined the newly launched Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) to work with other research funders worldwide to adopt mandates like ours.")

Ashley Farley of the Gates Foundation: “Knowledge should be a public good.”

blog.scienceopen.com/2017/01/ashley-farl...ld-be-a-public-good/

I copy here one section:

What are the greatest barriers to open science for researchers, and how can we overcome these?

These are the barriers I see that the entire Open Science community can work on overcoming:

  1. Academic advancement – I think it’s critical that there is a shift in focus from where researchers publish to how they influence their discipline. Openness should be lauded.
  2. Funding and research focus – I hope to see a shift from research needing to be ground-breaking to also supporting reproducibility studies.
  3. Curation – As openness is embraced and with the current deluge of information, curation and discoverability is very important. As a librarian, I want to see tools that curate the entire body of knowledge to help everyone find the information they need to stay up-to-date and aid in discoverability.

If you wonder why is Elisabeth so fussed about open access publishing? Well, I came across this issue through my work as a Wikipedian: when an article is open access then we can easily take content from it and build it into a Wikipedia article (always citing the source of course). When it is not, then it's harder. That's just one example why open access publishing is useful for the greater good.

Regards,
Elisabeth

More about Wikipedia & sanitation editing: forum.susana.org/component/kunena/198-wikipedia-and-other-wikis
More about why open access is different and better than free access: forum.susana.org/component/kunena/166-de...licies-cc-by-licence

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  • CGenevaux
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Re: Update and reminder of Gates Foundation's Open Access Policy with respect to peer-reviewed publications from grants

Hello,

Regarding open access, this website can be of interest for researchers : http://dissem.in/

It helps researchers to know if their publications are freely available or could be shared (I think it works only with researchers registered in the ORCID repository but that makes already quite a big database). The website is available in English and French.

Best wishes,
Colette
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