CSU-CFA Collective Bargaining Agreement Recommendation

I’m copying and pasting part of the email I just sent to our CFA Bargaining Team to consider in their negotiations with the CSUCO.

… ask for strong financial support for Transformative Agreements and for the Article Processing Charges and Book Processing Charges that faculty, administrators, and students incur in their academic publishing.

Suggested text: “To support faculty and student publishing and make CSU research freely available to the taxpaying public, the CSU commits to pursue Transformative Agreements with publishers to discount and cover publishing costs up front in bulk. Within or apart from a Transformative Agreement, the CSU commits to cover up to $1000 for each Article Processing Charge invoiced to faculty or students who are corresponding authors on articles accepted for publication by peer-reviewed open access journals. The CSU additionally commits to cover up to $3000 for each Book Processing Charge invoiced to faculty or students for peer-reviewed books accepted for publication.”

Justification: the CSU Libraries spend $40-$50M annually to get faculty and students access to publications, but currently less than $80k annually as a system to cover APCs. The recent Transformative Agreement with Elsevier was a step in the right direction, but we need decisive action now to avoid wasting taxpayer money and to provide adequate funding to adjust to the fact that the majority of academic publishing is now open access. For example, most of Elsevier’s journal content is now open access thanks to major Transformative Agreements with numerous R1s, including the UCs, and even national consortia (Canada and much of Europe). It is an enormous waste of taxpayer money for Libraries to pay to access content when most of it is now available to read for free. The UC “multi-payer model” is the inspiration for this ask, which provides $1000 toward the APC for each article (both within and apart from Transformative Agreements), but leaves it up to faculty to find the rest of the funds (whether from grants, colleges, departments, professional development, etc.). Their philosophy is that “no faculty be left behind” and yet that “all faculty have skin in the game” in this approach. The CSUs need to take a similar path, but expand it to students and administrators as well. If the CSUCO opposes this ask, they will get serious egg on their face with California lawmakers, since our state is the most progressive in the country in requiring and funding open access research and publishing.