Roundtable: Commercialization of academic publishing

 

THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF ACADEMIC PUBLISHING: OPPORTUNITY OR THREAT?

Dear members,

As part of Keeping Education Public Week, APUO will be hosting a roundtable on Monday March 6th, 2017 from 12-12:50pm at Tabaret 083.

The commercialization of academic research has been the subject of intense debate within scientific communities. In the past few years, an increasing number of academic societies have signed publishing agreements with large publishing houses such as the “Big 5”: Reed-Elsevier, Wiley, Routledge-Taylor and Francis, SAGE and Springer. On the one hand, these companies have a global reach that brings research communities closer together. On the other hand, they have been criticized for their pricing practices and high profit margins, which drive up the price of information and make academic publishing less accessible to students and faculty. As a result of these industry trends, university libraries, such as our uOttawa library, have found it increasingly difficult to maintain their collections. In this roundtable, speakers from the University of Ottawa will share their experiences and debate alternatives.

COME CHAT WITH US!
Where: TBT 083, University of Ottawa
When: Monday, March 6th, 2017 at noon – lunch will be served.

Please RSVP here to reserve your lunch!

 

This message was sent to APUO members on February 28, 2017. To see the original message click here.

Open letter to the attention of Mr. Jacques Frémont: reverse the cuts

(sent by email)

 

Open letter to the attention of Mr. Jacques Frémont,

 

Mr. Jacques Frémont

President

Office of the President

University of Ottawa

550 Cumberland, room 212

Ottawa, Ontario

 

November 21, 2016

 

Dear Mr. Frémont,

 

I’m writing to you on behalf of APUO, which represents 1260 professors and librarians at the University of Ottawa. We wish to share with you our concern facing the proposed library cuts at the University, in particular those affecting our journal subscriptions. Although we understand that the mandate of the Board of Governors is to provide strategic direction to the University, it is our duty to inform you when we consider that these orientations directly threaten the core mission of our institution, which is education and research. Indeed, the $1,593,312 cuts to the library directly undermine this core mission.

 

As you know, on October 13, 2016, the Faculty Council of Social Sciences adopted a resolution stating that the administration reaffirms its Destination 2020 commitment to support the quality of our programs, of our teaching, of our research and of the student experience and that to this end 1) the Board of Governors reverses the cuts announced to the acquisition budget of the library; 2) that if the Board of Governors considers necessary to reduce the budget in the same amount of $1,593,312 that the cut affects exclusively the three budget categories previously mentioned which, according to the 2016-2017 budget, make up a total of close to $96 million.

 

We share this point of view: Destination 2020 has committed to supporting advanced research and providing the University with a world class library; the budget cuts to the library cannot be made without causing severe harm to research and teaching activities; the university administration has high costs in honorariums and contractual services, in travel and other expenses. In light of this information, we request that you consider other avenues to reduce the budget of the administration instead of cutting the library’s acquisitions budget, which would go directly against our strategic plan and the purpose of academic institutions such as ours which is, according to Destination 2020, “a world class research university.”

 

Moreover, it is our stance that the Board of Governors has a broad responsibility towards the student experience. The cuts that have been announced will affect our students’ access to cutting-edge research, despite yearly increases to their tuition fees. In addition, our graduate students will be directly affected in their capacity to produce high level research.

 

The proposed cuts are a source of serious worry for students, faculty, librarians, members of the Senate, as well as your colleagues at the Board of Governors. The University of Ottawa enjoys a reputation that attracts some of the best students and professors from around the world. Library cuts are a hard blow to the University’s reputation, its national and international rankings, as well as its capacity to attract and retain the best professors and students. In other words, these cuts are costly in the short, middle and long term. We are convinced that the budget challenges we are currently facing can be resolved without compromising the primary purpose of our university or the reputation we have all worked so hard to build with our best efforts.

 

We are aware that the announcement of these cuts is taking place within the broader context of the commercialisation of knowledge and increased pricing that affects all academic institutions. In particular, Canadian universities are threatened by the exploitation of major publishing houses. As a member of the Group of Canadian Research Universities, these trends affect us but we also have a capacity to influence the course of events. In this situation, it is more important than ever that universities take the lead in defending access to knowledge. It is important that our entire university community be involved in seeking innovative and long term solutions that preserve – and even expand – access to higher knowledge. To this end, we invite you to work with us in seeking such solutions, in collaboration with Canadian and international partners. Our community could demonstrate its leadership and, in several respects, “defy the conventional.”

 

In the context of a budget of over a billion dollars, library cuts of under $2 million represent less than 3% of the administration’s budget. Historically, university budgets have fluctuated up to 3% in accordance with the University’s needs. Considering the lasting harmful effects of these cuts, we respectfully ask you, Mr. Frémont, to reverse the cuts and work with us on short, medium and long term solutions to the challenges of increased costs to subscriptions that libraries face.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Jennifer Dekker

President, APUO

http://www.apuo.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Letter-M.-Fr%C3%A9mont_library-cuts.pdf

PRESS RELEASE: University of Ottawa library on the chopping block: rally to stop the cuts!

PRESS RELEASE

 

OTTAWA – University of Ottawa library on the chopping block: rally to stop the cuts!

#SaveUOLibrary2016

 

November 30, 2016

 

For immediate release

 

 

The University of Ottawa is planning to cut almost $2 million from the library budget of 2016-2017.

 

The proposed cuts are a source of serious worry for students, faculty, librarians, university staff, members of the Senate, and members of the University Board of Governors. In the context of rising tuition fees, library cuts are a hard blow to students who rely on library materials to complete assignments, as well as to faculty who require up to date research materials to teach and conduct research.

 

The proposed cuts not only undermine the primary mission of the university as an educational institution, but fail to resolve broader challenges of balancing budget shortfalls without compromising the quality of education.

 

The announcement of these cuts is taking place within the broader context of the commercialisation of knowledge and increased pricing that affects all academic institutions. In particular, Canadian universities are threatened by price-gouging of major publishing houses.

 

The cuts of up to $2 million represent less than 3% of the administration’s billion dollar budget. Historically, university budgets have fluctuated up to 3% in accordance with the University’s needs. A petition of over 3500 signatures is calling on the university administration to reverse the cuts. The Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science as well as the Senate of the university have passed motions to reverse the cuts.

 

Members from seven campus based unions representing students, faculty, librarians and staff will be protesting the cuts and calling on the administration to make the right decision and reverse these cuts, which will compromise the quality of education and have a negative impact on our ability to maintain research excellence at the University of Ottawa.

 

Budget are about priorities. In searching for solutions, the university administration must prioritize the quality of education and our ability to pursue research in the public interest.

 

Student, staff and faculty associations on campus are organizing a rally to stop the cuts on Wednesday, November 30, noon, in front of Morisset Library.

 

Supported by APUO, GSAÉD, CUPE 2626, APTPUO, SFUO, SSUO, SEIU local 2.

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For more information please contact Maria-Hélèna Pacelli, Communications Officer apuoco@uottawa.ca or (613) 230-3659.

press-release-library-rally-nov-30-en-final-with-logos

Rally to stop the library cuts!

 


To all APUO members,

The University of Ottawa is planning to cut almost $2 million from the library budget. This is a serious concern for students, faculty and the University of Ottawa community.

Members from seven campus based unions representing students, faculty and staff will be protesting the cuts and calling on the administration to reverse this decision.

Please find enclosed a printable version of the “Save the library” poster.

What: Rally to stop the library cuts!
When: Wednesday, November 30, noon
Where: Student square, in front of the Morisset Library – followed by a march to Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa.

Please find enclosed an open letter from APUO to University of Ottawa President Jacques Frémont demanding that the cuts be reversed.

This message was sent to APUO members on November 24, 2016. To see the original message click here.

Library access – Response from the University President

Dear Professor Rouillard

Thank you for taking the time to write and for sharing your concerns about the temporary loss of access to the library’s electronic collection recently experienced by the university community.

I recognize the importance of uninterrupted access to library systems.  Following the receipt of your letter, I contacted Leslie Weir, University Librarian. Please find her response below.

Sincerely,

Allan Rock

================================================================

From: Leslie Weir
Sent: October-29-12 4:23 PM
To: Allan Rock
Cc: Alastair Mullin
Subject: RE: Loss of access to e-documents

Dear Allan,

I am writing in response to the letter you received from Professor Christian Rouillard, President, APUO regarding the temporary loss of access to the Library’s electronic collection and the disruption that it caused.

As a result of this incident, the Library is currently conducting an in-depth examination of this occurrence in collaboration with CCS. We are working to identify strategies that can be put in place to ensure this type of interruption does not happen in future.

Since removing the extended troubleshooting support in the Library in 2010, there has been only one other major incident which happened during a power failure over the Christmas break. This said, more than 70% of the Library’s collection budget is now directed to electronic resources; convenient and uninterrupted access to these resources is clearly a critical component of meeting the information needs of students and faculty. Please note however that the implementation of identified solutions may have financial implications. If this is indeed the case, the Library will submit a request through the customary budget process.

Please be assured that uninterrupted access to library systems is a critical component of our mandate. We are committed to meeting the information needs of students and faculty and will take all possible steps to ensure that essential resources are available when required.

Sincerely,

Leslie