Alternate Publishing Model? – Your Say

“Did you know that the STM (Scientific, Technical and Medical) scholarly publishing industry was worth US$25 700 000 000 globally in 2017 [1]? Have you heard about an enormous profit of above 30% [2] made by most commercial publishers? Roughly calculating, it will give us around US$7 700 000 000 that could have been spent on research instead. Therefore, it should not be surprising that scientists around the world have been concerned about this matter for years. One quickly realizes that the system of scientific publishing is flawed, but is there a way to improve it?…

Scientist are generally aware of the crisis in academic publishing, but not everyone sees the simple solution: the abrupt discontinuation of feeding commercial publishers with both money and content. Plan X posits that scientific articles are published directly by universities. Such a move will force every university to establish their own publishing department. Even if it would cost them more than the sum they spend on the access to private publishers’ portfolio, it will finally provide the publishing system with unlimited access and evolution. The most important point is that the principles of the publishing system will not change, only the publishing bodies will. Therefore, the peer review[4] process will not change, but it will become as strict as the university would like it to be. One can quickly realize what would happen with the Impact factor (IF)[5]. IF will directly describe the university’s competitiveness. However, there is one requirement for this system to work. All the scientists have to publish only within their own affiliated university. It would additionally solve another issue – the pressure on publishing in high IF journals. Many granting agencies already require using papers citations as a measurement of one’s scientific success. However, this is just a tip of the iceberg of all improvements, which Plan X will bring….”

PLOS and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network Announce Community Action Publishing Deal – The Official PLOS Blog

“The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and the Public Library of Science (PLOS) today announced an agreement for CRKN members to participate in PLOS’ Community Action Publishing (CAP) program, a new collective action publishing model from PLOS, enabling 19 participating CRKN institutions to publish fee-free in PLOS Medicine and PLOS Biology. This model shifts publishing costs from authors to research institutions based on prior publishing history as affiliated with corresponding and contributing authors. The group collectively contributes to the shared cost recovery target and any surplus revenue collected by PLOS is redistributed to members….”

PLOS and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network Announce Community Action Publishing Deal – The Official PLOS Blog

“The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and the Public Library of Science (PLOS) today announced an agreement for CRKN members to participate in PLOS’ Community Action Publishing (CAP) program, a new collective action publishing model from PLOS, enabling 19 participating CRKN institutions to publish fee-free in PLOS Medicine and PLOS Biology. This model shifts publishing costs from authors to research institutions based on prior publishing history as affiliated with corresponding and contributing authors. The group collectively contributes to the shared cost recovery target and any surplus revenue collected by PLOS is redistributed to members….”

“It’s hard to explain why this is taking so long” – scilog

When it comes into force at the beginning of 2021, the Open Access initiative “Plan S” is poised to help opening up and improving academic publishing. Ulrich Pöschl, a chemist and Open Access advocate of the first hour, explains why free access to research results is important and how an up-to-date academic publishing system can work.

Wellcome’s support for Transformative Arrangements – 2021 to 2024

“Transformative Arrangements are strategies which encourage subscription publishers to transition to full and immediate Open Access and where fees are charged for providing publishing services rather than subscription fees for reading.

These approaches include Transformative Agreements and Transformative Journals as well as other open access publishing initiatives.

This document provides guidance for organisations in receipt of open access block grant funding when using Wellcome funds to support Transformative Arrangements for the period January 2021 – December 2024. This Guidance will be kept under review and may be updated from time to time….

By definition, TAs are transitional in nature….

Transformative Journals (TJ) are subscription/hybrid journals that are committed to transitioning to fully OA journals. Transformative Journals must gradually increase the share of Open Access content and offset subscription income from payments for publishing services thereby avoiding double payments….

Open Access Book Publishing 2020-2024 – Research and Markets

“In today’s global market, it’s more important than ever to understand the evolution of academic publishing. Rely on the Open Access Book Publishing 2020-2024 to build your strategy in this emerging market for this year and beyond.

This report explains the origins of the open access movement, gives a timeline for its development, but most importantly, Simba Information quantifies open access book publishing as a market segment. Simba used the information it gathered through primary and secondary research to develop a financial outlook for open access book publishing with market projections through 2024. This research was conducted in conjunction with a larger study of the overall market for scholarly and professional publishing. Open Access Book Publishing 2020-2024 contains separate chapters covering the market, notable publishers and programs, and issues and forecast that include:

Exclusive analysis of market size and structure
Title growth metrics
Open access book publishing by discipline
A look at key geographic markets that are pushing the development of open access books
Exclusive market projections to 2024 and more.

Publishers and investment professionals can trust Open Access Book Publishing 2020-2024 to provide the inside intelligence needed to evaluate growth potential, understand trends affecting the industry, and size up the competition. Examples of some of the issues discussed include:

The continued evolution of open access
The impact of open access in social science and humanities vs. scientific, technical and medical
Prevailing business models and experiments
Open access mandates spread to books
Opportunity for monographs and conference proceedings
Emerging markets fertile ground for open access….”

A model Open Access journal for researchers, practitioners and patients | Plan S

“Having worked to promote openness of research findings for some considerable time, it’s great to come across examples that illustrate why you’re making all the effort. The Journal of Patient Experience (published by the Association for Patient Experience/SAGE) uses a publication model that demonstrates an excellent use case for openness. This journal describes itself as: Giving voice to our patients and our providers, the Journal of Patient Experience (JPE) is an open access, peer-reviewed journal which focuses on presenting advances and applications that impact the patient experience….”

Billion-Dollar Book Companies Are Ripping Off Public Schools | The New Republic

“Over the past decade, Silicon Valley’s tech behemoths have discreetly and methodically tightened their grip on American schools, and the pandemic has given them license to squeeze even tighter. By 2017, tens of millions of students were already using Google Chromebooks and apps for reading, writing, and turning in their work. Google Classroom now has more than 100 million users worldwide—nearly seven times the number reported in The New York Times three years ago. When we emerge from the pandemic, schools will be even more reliant on such systems. Industry is bolting an adamantine layer of technology onto the world’s classrooms, in what amounts to a stealth form of privatization….

But in practice, this convenience comes at a staggering cost. Billion-dollar companies like Follett and EBSCO are renting e-books to schools each year, rather than selling them permanent copies. By locking school districts into contracts that turn them into captive consumers, corporate tech providers are draining public education budgets that don’t have a penny to spare….

So why not shop around for a better deal? She can’t. Just as you can’t use ­iPhone apps on your Android phone, a school district’s choice of software providers locks administrators into a tangled web of agreements, training, and financial and organizational investments that publishers exploit to their advantage. California requires providers to sign a privacy agreement promising not to sell student data, further limiting options, Woodcock said, because not all providers are willing to sign….

Woodcock proposes what is surely a fair deal: Schools should be able to purchase e-books outright, rather than having to rent them. “I buy it, I own it. It doesn’t go away.”

Another obvious way to relieve the pressure on schools would be to expand the use of free public resources like the Internet Archive’s Open Library, which lends e-books on traditional library terms (you can’t download books from the Open Library; you can only borrow and read them). Early in the pandemic, the Open Library made waves by creating a temporary resource, the National Emergency Library, dropping restrictions on the number of people who could access a given title simultaneously. With bookstores, libraries, and schools closed all over the world, Internet Archive staff reasoned, students needed emergency access to books.

The suit seeks to destroy the Open Library altogether. But what publishers truly want is the end of ownership. If they win, books will someday become like movies on Netflix—something that schools, and all of us, will have to keep paying for forever….”

 

Transformative Agreements, Funders and the Publishing Ecosystem: a Lack of Focus on Equity – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As I watch how the open publishing landscape is evolving, I worry that we are approaching a new status quo and need to step back for a moment, and consider the impact on the ecosystem of funders, institutions, societies, publishers and academics (in their roles as both authors and readers).

I worry that in seeking openness, we are serving a blow to equity. It is a reality that in a time of a COVID-19 pandemic, institutions are suffering financially. Indeed, all participants of the research ecosystem are suffering. In this post I argue that funders, be they national or private, should consider directly funding their field through funding societies and institutions, with a focus on equitable distribution of funds across scholarly communities. Such an approach would temper the impact of the new status quo — the inexorable rise of the transformative agreement, which systematically disadvantages scholars at less wealthy institutions….”

Gobsmacked

“You have to hand it to Springer Nature: they really are trying. Beset, as are all publishers with traditional business models, with challenges concerning open access (OA) from libraries, funders, and authors, SN is attempting to win the prize for Most Cooperative Publisher. This is not purely a recent development; Springer acquired OA pioneer BioMed Central way back in 2008 (it did not merge with the Nature Publishing Group until 2015). It has negotiated numerous “transformative” agreements with various national consortia and funding bodies and appears to have even come to terms with cOAlition S, a populist, authoritarian organization that is attempting to foment a worldwide revolution. (We note in passing that we are always a bit skeptical about organizations that fail to capitalize the first letter of a proper noun.) Until now, however, SN was not working to transform the models of its top-tier journals, usually holding the journals in its Nature portfolio out of comprehensive OA agreements. But that has started to change as evidenced by the announcements of both a new transformative deal with Max Planck and a new OA program whereby authors (or the funders of their work) can now pay to publish (Gold OA) in Nature and certain other journals in the Nature-branded portfolio. Whether this program proves to be successful (and whether the transformative deal with Max Planck proves extensible to other organizations) or not is a critical test of the ability of the company, and the industry at large, to accommodate the growing demands of funders and (mostly European) consortia with the prestige economy of academic research, where Nature sits at the very apex….

It is not only cOAlition S that SN must make happy, alas. Of primary concern to the management, not to mention the owners, is liquidity: how can some portion of the SN asset be converted into cash? SN has tried and failed, tried and failed again to go public. Part of the reason is that the OA business looks to investors like a model that is not ultimately as remunerative as the subscription model it is replacing. Convincing investors that they have figured out an OA long game is therefore essential. If investors do not believe in the strategy, SN may never fetch the price its current owners hope for (and that their creditors demand). What makes this complicated is that investors in Frankfurt and on Wall Street sit on one side of SN’s aspirations and on the other sits a community-anchored movement, many of whose members are characteristically suspicious of capitalism. …”