Ways societies are transitioning subscription journals to OA: Interview with Mikael Laakso

“I’d say that the majority of the work that went into the report was a literature review. We were bringing together hundreds of different articles and reports about journals converting to OA. We used that from the outset to get an initial frame for understanding how, why, and when journals have converted to OA. We then approached a sample of stakeholders that we knew had interesting insights and experiences in observing and supporting these journal flips or conversions. We tried to cover most of the key areas that play a role in shaping the larger scholarly publishing landscape, so we got someone from the commercial publishing side, the research funder side, people who have been in positions in journals, and so on….

They are definitely rethinking economic models. For example, in Finland we’ve had an interesting proposal for a consortium model for funding society journals so that the flipped journals would be covered by the consortium of libraries or universities, but so far it’s been hard to get all libraries on board even though they all subscribe to opening science and they are all unified in the struggle against commercial publishers. It’s been difficult to kind of convince them that there needs to be a shift in their cost structure for supporting smaller society journals. I know that Canada is looking to do something similar, to have a consortium for flipping journals….

I personally do not think that author facing APCs are the future. That is not an effective use of time or money, and it puts many parts of the world and people at a disadvantage if they are not grant-funded or part of an academic institution….”

 

Cambridge University Press launches new model for scholarly publishing – STM Publishing News

Cambridge University Press has launched a new publishing model to provide an outlet for world-class research and writing that sits outside the traditional formats of book or journal article.

Work of between 50-120 pages will be published digitally and through print-on-demand as ‘Cambridge Elements’ – concise, peer-reviewed guides to key and current topics across all fields of study and research. These will be organised into focused series, edited by leading scholars….

There will also be Open Access options, in line with the Press’s commitment to help build a sustainable, responsible transition to a more open future for academic publishing….”

Editorial board of Journal of Informetrics resigns and launches new journal

Today, the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) announces the launch of the new journal Quantitative Science Studies (QSS), published by MIT Press. The editorial board of QSS consists of the members of the former editorial board of Journal of Informetrics (JOI), an Elsevier journal. The members of the editorial board of JOI, which include CWTS researchers Nees Jan van Eck, Anthony van Raan, and Paul Wouters, have unanimously resigned and have moved to QSS. An important reason for the resignation is Elsevier’s lack of support for the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC). Disagreements about journal ownership and open access policies have played a role as well….”

About the resignation of the Journal of Informetrics Editorial Board

“After several months of earnest attempts on our part, Elsevier was told on January 10 that the Editorial Board of our Journal of Informetrics (JOI) had decided to resign. Subsequently the board announced they will start a new journalQuantitative Science Studies (QSS). QSS is being launched with financial support from the MIT Libraries and the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB). More information on the board’s decision can be found in an announcement from the current Editor-in-Chief here. We wish the board well with their new venture.

Elsevier launched JOI in 2007 in collaboration with this scientific community, and it has since been consistently valued. After many years of strong collaboration, last year the board raised concerns with some of the journal’s policies. We responded to each of these concerns, explaining our position and making concrete proposals to attempt to bridge our differences and move forward together. These were outlined in a Letter to the Board in October 2018, the key points of which are included below….”

In the remainder of its statement, Elsevier responds to three points made by the resigning editors: (1) open citations, (2) open access, and (3) ownership. 

Plan T: Scrap APCs and Fund Open Access with Submission Fees – The Scholarly Kitchen

“APCs have the unfortunate feature that the authors pay for the assessment of all the other submissions that ended up being rejected. Manuscripts rejected from multiple OA journals thus contribute to the APCs of several different authors. Is it fair for authors of good articles to pay for the peer review of others’ lower quality work? Moreover, journals that do lots of peer review to find one acceptable article have higher APCs, as illustrated by the figure below….

Breaking down an APC and how it relates to submission numbers and acceptance rates suggests another way to cover publication costs: a submission fee of $350 and a publication fee of $850 would generate the same revenue as the current APCs at these journals. (This approach has been suggested before, see herehere, and here.)…

The introduction of submission fees also affects submission patterns, most notably by steering away articles with only slim chances of acceptance. This effect would change the calculations in the figure above: fewer low quality articles arrive, so acceptance rates rise and hence reduce income from submission fees. However, a drop in submissions also means a drop in costs, as those weak articles no longer need to be processed through the system….

A drop in submissions is not fatal for the submission fee math – even a 30% fall can be accommodated by raising the submission fee to $500, or by raising the submission fee to $400 and the publication fee to $1100. Journals would adjust their submission fees within some reasonable range depending on their brand perception, current levels of submissions, and a desire to remain competitive with other journals in the field. Journals with high fees may even be able to signal the higher quality of their review and publishing process.

Submission fees have other useful properties. First, they are ‘pay as you go’ for peer review: they penalize authors who submit low quality articles over and over to different journals, and reward those who prepare their work to a high standard and submit it to the most appropriate outlet.

Similarly, submission fees counteract the perverse incentives created when authors receive financial rewards for publishing in high impact journals, which is a major driver for inappropriate submissions. If they had to pay each time, would as many authors take a wild stab at getting their incremental work published in a top journal, then working their way, journal by journal, down the Impact Factor rankings until they reach an appropriate level?

Submission fees also bring peer review into line with lots of other services that cost money regardless of whether you succeed or fail, such as professional exams or even dental check-ups. Viewed through this lens, the ‘no win, no fee’ approach of APCs seems like an anomaly….”

Should authors pay to submit their papers? · john hawks weblog

“An article by Tim Vines in The Scholarly Kitchen looks at the pay-to-submit model of open access publication: “Plan T: Scrap APCs and Fund Open Access with Submission Fees”….

The article is worth considering. Articles cost money to publish. If we insist upon journal publication, that money needs to come from somewhere. I would be happy if my university subsidized submission of papers to open-access journals instead of subscriptions to closed-access journals.

However, I tend to agree with Richard Sever, who tweeted a link to the article and commented:

Plan U: just mandate preprint deposition and let a downstream ecosystem of overlays/journals with various business models evolve in response to community needs. Side benefit: speeding up science massively… “

Astronomy & Astrophysics signs transformative Open Access agreement with Max Planck Society

“Paris, France 18 December 2018. Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) the international Journal that publishes papers on all aspects of astronomy and astrophysics and one of the leading journals in its field, has signed a two-year transformative Open Access agreement with the Max Planck Society in Germany. Under this agreement, funds previously paid by the Max Planck Digital Library for subscriptions will, instead, be converted into a publishing fund, enabling corresponding authors from the Max Planck Institutes to publish their articles open access in A&A, and at the same time, granting access to the journal’s content to all Max Planck researchers.”

JCI – Free access to scientific publications: contrasting the JCI approach to Plan S

The JCI has made all of its research freely available to readers since 1996. As open access mandates from funders, such as Plan S, gain momentum, it’s worth revisiting how the JCI has created a durable publication model for free access to research and the benefits that society journals provide to the research community….”