Call for Community Input: Researcher Bill of Rights and Principles

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There are exciting developments in the global push for sustainable Open Access models. As the ultimate benefactors of any transformation, research groups and academic committees on university campuses around the globe must continue to participate in these changes and to be a part of these dialogues.  

Articulating researcher-centric principles

One challenge throughout the move to Open Access has been how to create a forum that allows researchers to clearly articulate their perspective. 

Researchers and academic community groups continue to educate themselves on the complex, interconnected scholarly communications ecosystem, while others have already made clear public statements of the values they believe should be foundational to any discussion relating to the dissemination of scholarly work.  

When this has happened, it has become much-needed glue to bring campus and research communities together.  It has also offered the much-needed context for negotiators and policy makers to have at hand as they codify new business arrangements on the researchers’ behalf.  

Our Approach

Statements crafted by researchers have the ability to articulate what is expected of their representatives in contract negotiations and what are fundamental mechanisms to access their collective outputs.  

  • Our effort is specific to this challenge:
  • Focus on building statements from existing efforts
  • Craft outputs that help researchers learn about the complex ecosystem
  • Offer boilerplate text for future groups to use and customize to their context 
  • Keep all of our work focused on researchers

Our Draft

In our first stage, we collected existing documents and collaborated on our initial draft set of rights and principles. In the second phase, we distilled the existing documents into a set of core ideas.  We are now in our third phase and are ready to open our draft for review and comment by the community.  We would like this done through this Google Form by May 1, 2021.  Community Input

Article I. Researchers have the right to access scholarly works (and all supplemental content and data) immediately, freely, and openly. All scholarly work should be broadly and publicly disseminated.

Article II. The right to access scholarly work includes the right to discovery, use, and machine-readability of content and metadata without special licenses or restrictions, immediately, freely, and openly. This requires adherence to best practices for open content as well as open metadata.

Article III. The right to access and use scholarly work extends to previously published content. Researchers should have the right to regain copyrights of previously published work.  

Article IV. Future generations have the right to access published scholarly work (and all supplemental content and data), freely and openly. This requires long-term preservation of scholarly content in libraries and/or other independent repositories and infrastructures entities to preserve all content freely and independently. 

Article V. Researchers have the right to use an open license by default (i.e., CC-BY or CC0) so that they can present, post, and share all of their scholarly work. This requires all publishers to offer open licensing at the time of submission with no caveats or exemptions. 

Article VI. Researchers have the right to deposit any version of their scholarly works into public or institutional repositories without legal or technical barriers. This right should apply at the time of submission with no caveats or exemptions. 

Article VII. Researchers have the right to freely and openly access metrics and other metadata that are essential to interpreting the impact and context of scholarly works. This requires that all citations, usage, and other content interaction metrics with content are made immediately, freely, and openly available.

Article VIII. Contracts with publishers and other service providers should be fully transparent, free of any non-disclosure agreements, and posted in public so that they can be independently assessed by researchers and the general public.

Article IX. Researchers have the right to disseminate their work without financial barriers (article processing charges and other publishing fees) through established,  preferred dissemination channels for their community. This requires the establishment of equitable business models that prioritize reduction of financial hurdles based on researcher’s contexts, ability to pay, volunteer review/editorial services, etc.

Article X. Researchers, institutions, and libraries should prioritize relationships with academic publishers and other service providers that advance these basic rights. Researchers or libraries should never be required to waive any of these basic academic rights.

Get involved in our working group

We ask anyone with interest in this topic or from similar and/or related efforts to join us.  Learn more at https://www.force11.org/group/researcher-bill-rights-and-principles