Guest Post: An Open Letter from the Former HAU Staff 7 – Footnotes

“We do not want people to think that HAU [Journal of Ethnographic Theory] failed because it was unviable as an Open Access model. HAU failed because of the misconduct of one key individual and because senior staff and colleagues did nothing to stop him, effectively enabling his misconduct and abuse….HAU is now a new kind of project. It is no longer OA and it belongs to the University of Chicago Press….

GDC [Giovanni Da Col] failed to consult the EAB [External Advisory Board] on key decisions affecting HAU and its future direction. Of most concern to us is his decision to ask authors, after their manuscripts have been accepted to HAU, to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs). This was a major policy change that deeply affected the principle of Open Access with which HAU began, and yet the EAB was in no way consulted. GDC took it upon himself to decide that HAU would no longer be Open Access and consulted no one before implementing this new policy direction….”



EU set to snub hybrid open-access journals

“The EU’s 2021-27 R&D programme will not pay for articles to be published in hybrid open-access journals under proposals published by the European Commission.

Horizon Europe will pay article processing charges only “for purely open-access publishing venues (i.e. not ‘hybrid’ journals)” under Commission proposals published on 7 June. The current programme Horizon 2020 does support hybrid journals. The change would be controversial as it could prevent researchers from publishing in their first-choice locations….

A Commission source told Research Europe that the Commission is dropping its support for hybrid journals in part because they “do not currently appear to support a transition towards full open-access publishing models”. The source added that national funders are better placed to negotiate with publishers on the offsetting of subscription fees in hybrid models….

The Commission’s move will force researchers funded by Horizon Europe to publish either in fully open-access journals or through the green model if they want the programme to foot the bill.

Steven Inchcoombe, chief publishing officer at Springer Nature, said the decision was “likely to decrease open-access publication overall and risk a significant regression in open-access uptake” because hybrid journals “play an important role in aiding the transition to open access”. Springer Nature reported last month that it published about 3,900 articles with UK-based corresponding authors in its hybrid journals in 2017, compared with about 4,450 articles in its fully open-access journals….”


Free Journal Network

“The purpose of this site is to promote scholarly journals run according to the Fair Open Access model (roughly, journals that are controlled by the scholarly community, and have no financial barriers to readers and authors – see the Fair Open Access Principles for full details). Such journals have a long history. Many are of high procedural quality, but  are less well known than commercial journals of similar or lower quality.

One main aim of this site is to help such journals to coordinate their efforts to accelerate the creation of a journal ecosystem that will out-compete the commercially controlled journals. Such efforts are complementary to the work of discipline-based organizations such as LingOAMathOAPsyOA, and the overarching FOAA, that focus primarily on converting commercially controlled subscription journals to Fair Open Access….”

Fair Open Access Alliance

“The mission of the foundation is

a. to promote and support initiatives concerning (Fair) Open Access publications in the broadest sense;

b. to acquire resources and financially sustain (Fair) Open Access publications;

c. to support foundations financially and otherwise in various disciplines (xxxOA’s) that pursue the same goals;

d. to expand the Open Library of Humanities to other disciplines.

e. to propagate and promote the principles of Fair Open Access over all disciplines of science. “

Libraries Face a Future of Open Access – The Scholarly Kitchen

“When librarians prepare for a negotiation, they now routinely reach for the muscle. At least that’s how I read the news about the Swedish library consortium and its dealings with Elsevier. If you have been too preoccupied with the Royal Wedding to pay attention to news coming out of the world of STM publishing, you can get a good backgrounder here. Briefly, the Swedish consortium attempted to dictate terms to Elsevier, terms that Elsevier would not accept. The result is that Elsevier’s contract will be cancelled, meaning that there will be no authorized access to Elsevier content for the consortium users.

I have written previously about how the current landscape looks to publishers. In every negotiation, publishers are mindful that their ability to control access to their publications is compromised by unauthorized access from such sites as Sci-Hub and ResearchGate. How can Elsevier or any publisher shut off the Swedes or the Germans when Alexandra Elbakyan is waiting in the anteroom? Librarians have learned to reach for the muscle and now confidently demand terms that no publisher can or will accept. This raises the obvious question of whether librarians knowingly and actively seek the support of copyright pirates; or perhaps librarians simply are going about their business in their usual upbeat way, working diligently to make the world a better place, and the critical involvement of the shady characters is neither sought nor recognized. My own view has changed. I think the cynicism quotient in academic libraries, measured against other organizations and institutions, is very low. This is not, after all, Wall Street or, lord help us, the telecommunications business. But, like the populist governments that have now been installed in a number of Western democracies, the party of cynicism has taken control of some leading library organizations. Thus a nod to the likes of Luca Brasi no longer seems out of line. Having grown up in New Jersey, I have some qualms about what it means for anyone to form an alliance with unsavory characters. What do you do when they ask for a favor in return?

So it’s about time to consider what happens if the libraries win. By “win” I mean they refuse deals with publishers and turn their constituencies over to unauthorized sites. This will save them huge amounts of money, of course, money that they would surely like to put to other uses. Publishing is an ecosystem, however, and a significant change in one element can ripple across the entire field. If Sci-Hub becomes the default place to go for full-text content, what else will change?


KU Leuven supports a fair approach to scholarly publishing – Open Access Belgium

“KU Leuven launches the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access, enabling the publication of scholarly books and articles in a way that is cost-effective, puts academics back in charge and benefits the public at large. For many years now, opposition against a commercial approach towards scholarly publishing has been growing stronger and stronger. The for-profit model leads to publications which are prohibitively expensive, either for the reader or for the researcher, and typically puts commercial partners in control of the dissemination of scholarly work since researchers have to transfer critical aspects of their author’s rights in order to get published. Alternatives such as Green Open Access (whereby researchers make an archival copy of their publication freely available to all), in most fields, do not challenge the traditional commercial publication model enough. Therefore, another alternative is on the rise, namely Fair Open Access. Publications in Fair Open Access are immediately freely available to all, are produced according to cost-effective (rather than commercial) principles and guarantee full control of researchers over the entire publication process. KU Leuven has been supporting Green Open Access for many years already, and now intensifies its efforts to maximize scholarly exchange, collaboration and innovation by creating the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access, administered by KU Leuven Libraries. This fund provides financial support for the production costs of books published by Leuven University Press as well as articles in selected journals, on the condition that these journals are published according to the Fair Open Access model and maintain the highest academic standards. More information and application forms can be found here.”

Guest Post: From Supermarkets to Marketplaces – The Evolution of the Open Access Ecosystem – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Sven Fund. Sven is the Managing Director of Knowledge Unlatched and founder of fullstopp, a digital consulting agency serving publishers, libraries, and intermediaries. From 2008 to 2015, Sven was the CEO of Berlin-based publisher De Gruyter. Prior to that he served in different functions from Managing Director to Executive Board member at what is now Springer Nature. He is a lecturer at Humboldt University in Berlin.

Open access (OA) is undergoing yet another metamorphosis. So far, the space has been dominated by author-pays (via Article Processing Charges – APCs) models, both hybrid and “pure”. And while funders like Wellcome and the German Research Foundation are reviewing their policies – many of them a decade old by now – it is becoming ever clearer that APCs will not be the future of OA, at least not uniquely. With their normative approach of flipping traditional acquisition budgets, Ralf Schimmer, Kai Geschuhn and Andreas Vogler have been advocating in principle that which is now becoming reality: i.e. that in order to really shake up the academic publishing market, other transactional models are necessary….

To make OA really work, libraries have to cooperate and co-spend in order to shift the market-shaping from publishers to themselves. Publishers are structured like supermarkets: They operate as global consortia around their own products, generating demand, shouldering financial risk and investments and in the process generating profit. As long as libraries or other agents are not prepared to supersede this role with a better structure, the underlying problem will remain….”

Why the term ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC) is misleading – Green Tea and Velociraptors

“The term ‘article processing charge’, or APC, is ubiquitous in discussions about Open Access. It refers to the author-facing charge levied by many publishers in order to make an article freely available on their website. Now, putting aside the fact that this system actively discriminates against less-wealthy authors and institutes, I think that the term APC itself is incredibly misleading. Furthermore, I believe that this misdirection occurs in favour of publishers, to the detriment of all other parties. Hopefully in this post, I can explain why, and offer a potential solution to it.”

REF open-access requirement for books ‘worth the outlay’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

As preparations for the 2021 research excellence framework continue apace, UK-based academics could be forgiven for pushing the 2027 assessment to the back of their minds for now.

However, one specific element of the plans for the REF after next has been triggering lively debate in recent weeks: the proposed extension of open-access requirements for submitted outputs to include long-form scholarly works and monographs.