Cost estimates of an open access mandate for monographs in the UK’s third Research Excellence Framework

The recent ‘Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework’ (REF) in the UK contains an annex that signals the extension of the open access mandate to monographs. In the service of promoting discussion, rather than prescribing a forward route, this article estimates the costs of implementing such a mandate based on REF 2014 volume, taking the criteria signalled in the annex, and identifies funding sources that could support it. We estimate that to publish 75% of anticipated monographic submission output for the next REF would require approximately £96m investment over the census period. This is equivalent to £19.2m per year. Academic library budgets as they are currently apportioned would not support this cost. However, these sums are but a fraction of the total quality-related funding, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council budgets. We close with a series of provocative suggestions for how the mandate could be implemented. 

Green Open Access: An Imperfect Standard – Politics, Distilled

“In my last post on the lack of accessibility of Gold Open Access for early career researchers (ECRs), I mentioned that in my opinion Green Open Access was a very imperfect solution – in fact, hardly a solution at all.  I expand here on why that is the case, and why a focus on green OA presents new challenges for publication practices which compound the – already many – challenges of moving towards a greater accessibility of research. Not all OA initiatives are equal.  Green Open Access, by far the commonest kind, refers to the depositing of a non-final version of the published manuscript into a research repository – generally either an institutional repository (managed by the university with which the researcher is affiliated), a subject-specific repository (such as ArXiv/SocArXiv), an academic networking website such as, ResearchGate, or Mendeley, or a personal website.  Various publishers have rules on what version can be posted where and when, with the most common being that accepted manuscripts (after peer-review, but before proofreading and typesetting) can be made public in repositories after an embargo period, while the “version of record” – the published version – may not be shared publicly for free.  The published article remains accessible only with paid access (with publishers either explicitly authorizing (SAGE) or tacitly tolerating the private sharing of full articles.”

Sharing the work of sharing Harvard’s research

“In early 2016, the Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) launched a pilot project to recruit help from around the university to deposit faculty-authored articles in DASH, Harvard’s open-access repository. This project has the full support of the Harvard Library.  In January of this year, the project emerged from the pilot phase, and was officially renamed the Distributed DASH Deposits program, or D3. All Harvard schools have made a start with D3, and the next goal is to scale up.”

Open Access is for life and not just for compliance – Medically speaking…

“In deciding where to publish our research, we have to consider why we do research. While some of us would probably undertake research for the intellectual challenge or excitement of discovery alone, for many of us it is important that our research will impact society in some way. This may be from contributing to the advance of our scientific discipline, or through the use of our research by the public, policymakers or industry. For all of these to come to pass, there is a basic premise that our publications can be found and accessed by those who can make use of the information they contain. Hence one of the key decisions around choice of where to publish is to think of the audience that reads the journal, and whether to make your paper Open Access.”

The Good News: You Can Download Hawking’s PhD For Free; The Bad News: It Took 50 Years To Make It Happen | Techdirt

“Techdirt has been writing about the (slow but steady) rise of open access for a decade. That’s as long as the Annual International Open Access Week has been running. Cambridge University came up with quite a striking way to join in the celebrations: Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis, ‘Properties of expanding universes’, has been made freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world, after being made accessible via the University of Cambridge’s Open Access repository, Apollo. The 1966 doctoral thesis by the world’s most recognisable scientist is the most requested item in Apollo with the catalogue record alone attracting hundreds of views per month. In just the past few months, the University has received hundreds of requests from readers wishing to download Professor Hawking’s thesis in full. The idea has been quite a hit — literally, since the demand for Hawking’s thesis was so great on Monday, that it hit the Apollo server hard enough to take it offline for a while. The Guardian reported:”

Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Bill to Overhaul Federal Research Grant System | American Institute of Physics

“On Oct. 18, Paul introduced the “BASIC Research Act,” which would make several changes to peer review processes and would broaden public access requirements for grant applications and research results….In addition, the bill incorporates almost all of the “Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act” …”

Are the open access related rules that apply to ERC grantee any different from those that apply to researchers funded under the rest of Horizon 2020? | ERC: European Research Council

“An overview of the open access related rules for ERC funded researchers can be found on the ERC website. Note that Article 29.2 of the ERC Model Grant Agreement is slightly different from the corresponding article in the general Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement. Details on the application of the article to ERC grants can be found in the ERC specific part of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement.”

Act Now to Pass the FASTR Act – SPARC

“Below are ways in which you can help pass FASTR and spread the word about the positive effects this legislation will have on research, the academic community, entrepreneuers, students, and the general public. Now is the time to reach out to your Members of Congress and tell them at they should support FASTR!”

Open access research | Revista Pesquisa Fapesp

“Brazil stands out on the international landscape when it comes to open access, a movement launched in the early 2000s with the aim of making scientific output freely available online. According to data compiled by Spanish research group Scimago, 33.5% of the Brazilian articles indexed in the Scopus database in 2016 were published in journals whose content is free to read online as soon as it is published, under a model known as the “golden road.” This is the largest proportion among the 15 nations with the highest volume of scientific output recorded on Scopus. Brazil is also top of the list of nations with the highest number of open access scientific journals (see charts).”

Open Access in Konstanz | Friedrichshafen | SWR Aktuell |

from Google tranlate: “The Administrative Court in Mannheim is concerned on Tuesday with a complaint by professors of the University of Konstanz. The question is whether and when research should be made available free of charge.”