Daring to dream of Universal Open Access

Abstract:  This talk will discuss recent developments with an amalgamated model for open access based on library and funder support that holds out some promise for addressing the current need for universal open access. The talk will consider the calculus underlying the model; in relation to precursors (e.g., SCOAP3, OLH, Knowledge Unlatched, Gates’ Chronos) and its advantages of the model for researchers, libraries, funders, societies, and publishers. The talk will also take into account the global dimensions of such a model; it will report on current initiatives in implementing it in the social sciences while considering its implications for the sciences.

 

OPEN SCHOLARSHIP position statement from the Biochemical Society and Portland Press

“Currently: ? We publish two fully-OA journals, and one of these is currently sustained by article publishing charges (APC) at an article-by-article level; in addition, we publish five hybrid journals where authors may opt to pay an APC to have their article published OA. ? For titles on the hybrid model we avoid ‘double dipping’ (charging twice for the same articles) through two routes: APCs are discounted for corresponding authors based at subscribing institutions; in addition, subscription prices are set, each year, based on the number of paywalled articles in the preceding years to account for OA content published in hybrid titles. ? There are a variety of mechanisms employed by different publishers to avoid double-dipping. We are supportive of efforts to standardize and agree common principles around transparent pricing of hybrid journals that demonstrate, objectively, the avoidance of double dipping….

Looking ahead: ? We are seeking to transition our hybrid journals to full-OA in a way that supports researchers and keeps the Society financially viable. ? We strongly believe that the ability to publish research should not be linked to individual researchers’ ability to pay; we are enthusiastic about all opportunities to remove author-facing invoices from OA publishing. To enable a transition away from paywalls, we seek to offer as much APC-free OA as possible that will be supported though continuing and new partnerships with institutions, consortia and funders….

Can Open Access pay the bills? | Eldis

“For over 20 years, Eldis has provided free access to relevant, up-to-date and diverse research on global development issues. The Eldis database now includes summaries and links to over 60,000 full-text research and policy documents from a growing global network of several thousand research organisations and networks.  

Open Access has always been at the core of our values but through our long engagement in this area we are also well aware that Open Access isn’t free. For smaller research organisations, the costs required to build the technical capacity and maintain the systems required to adopt open access publishing methods can be difficult to meet. This in turn means that they might not benefit from the increased visibility and reach for their ideas that open access approaches potentially offer.  

For this reason, a large part of what we do has revolved around supporting smaller research producers to make their knowledge, visible and accessible to audiences online. 

But Eldis currently receives no core funding from any donors so continuing this support, maintaining our collection online, and keeping our services free for users, is a constant challenge for us too.  

Our solution is to offer bespoke, cost-effective products, alongside our free services, designed to help research projects and programmes to introduce their knowledge and evidence to the broad global audience of development practitioners, decision-makers and researchers that we have established over the years. …”

Decrypting the Big Deal Landscape: Follow-up of the 2019 EUA Big Deals Survey Report

“As of 2017, the European University Association (EUA) assembled a unique collection of ‘Big Deals’ data on agreements between scholarly publishers and (national) consortia of libraries, universities and research organisations. This was carried out in the light of mounting higher education institution concerns about the increasingly unsustainable cost of subscriptions to scholarly publications. In 2016, EUA committed to “establishing an evidence base about current agreements and on-going negotiations with publishers in collaboration with NRCs”.1 Subsequently, data collected by EUA has served as the basis for two reports released in 2018 and 2019, respectively.2 Big Deals now receive increased attention due to their potential to ‘flip’ entire segments of the scholarly publication market from closed to open access publications. Big deals have also been widely criticised for locking-in library budgets, due to constantly increasing subscription costs. The 2019 EUA Big Deals Survey Report surveyed covered 30 European countries and found that over €1 billion is spent on electronic resources each year, including at least €726 million spent on periodicals alone. Big Deals are said to limit competition and innovation in the scholarly publishing system3 and curb universities’ and consortia’s financial freedom to pursue other priorities. However, recently, several European negotiating consortia and scholarly publishers have concluded Big Deals that allow eligible authors to publish articles in open access formats in specific journals. Known as ‘transformative agreements’, these contracts are also supported as one way to comply with future funder requirements that will apply as of 2021 under Plan S.4 In a system that is largely defined by Big Deals, this report aims to inform the transition to open access debate, by providing additional insights and indicators on these agreements’ costs, publication volumes and timelines. This has been achieved by placing EUA Big Deals data into context….

Part 1 explains the methods used to obtain the underlying data as well as limitations and responsible use of the data. Part 2 links the publication outputs of journal articles and reviews to the large five publishers’ market share. It seeks to provide a bigger picture of the relation between subscription costs and publishing output. Part 3 sets out an analysis of the price-per-article for each country and publisher, calculated on the basis of subscription prices and publication volume. It provides European negotiators with comparative Big Deals price per article data in 26 countries. Part 4 takes a closer look at the timeline of Big Deal agreements collected by the EUA Big Deals Survey. It shows that the 2018-2020 period is crucial for negotiations with scholarly publishers (in terms of market volume). Negotiations that occur during this time may also be crucial for the further development of ‘transformative’ agreements and therefore compliance with Plan S requirements. Part 5 provides a brief summary of our main findings, contextualises them with current developments and provides policy recommendations….”

Decrypting the Big Deal Landscape: Follow-up of the 2019 EUA Big Deals Survey Report | EUA

by Lennart Stoy, Rita Morais and Lidia Borrell-Damián

Based on the data collected for the 2019 Big Deals Survey Report, this publication aims to deliver additional transparency of the dynamics of the scholarly publishing market by providing insights and indicators on the costs, publication volumes and timelines of Big Deal contracts. The report is part of EUA’s support to universities and consortia striving to create a transparent and sustainable open access publishing system, in particular in the context of Plan S.

This has been achieved by placing EUA Big Deals data into context. Specifically, this report uses aggregate data obtained from the Web of Science by Clarivate Analytics provided by the German Competence Center for Bibliometrics and correlates it with EUA data on Big Deals. The report uses data from 26 countries and contracts with the publishers Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, Wiley and American Chemical Society collected in late 2018.

Cambridge to trial crowdfunding open access book | Research Information

“Cambridge University Press (CUP) is launching a crowdfunding campaign to publish a book under the open access model.

CUP has teamed up with the book site Unbound to determine whether crowdfunding can support making selected titles open access – free to read online by anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world.

The move is a first for both partners – for CUP it’s the first time it has tried to crowdfund a book, while for Unbound it is the first time the company has worked with an academic publisher….”

Cambridge to trial crowdfunding open access book | Research Information

“Cambridge University Press (CUP) is launching a crowdfunding campaign to publish a book under the open access model.

CUP has teamed up with the book site Unbound to determine whether crowdfunding can support making selected titles open access – free to read online by anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world.

The move is a first for both partners – for CUP it’s the first time it has tried to crowdfund a book, while for Unbound it is the first time the company has worked with an academic publisher….”

Open Access monographs: Reflections from our recent symposium | Unlocking Research

“The symposium saw common themes emerging around issues with open access for monographs as the system currently stands, but also the potential benefits and possibilities that open access could open up into the future. There was consensus that open access needs to go forward as a shared enterprise with all stakeholders being equal players. Looking into the future there was also concern about the visibility of humanities research going forward when compared to the natural sciences and that humanities authors should strive to demonstrate the impact of their publishing activities. 

Many of the themes discussed in this symposium echoed the recommendations as well as concerns outlined in the Universities UK Open Access Monograph report which was published a few days after this symposium took place. The report emphasised that complex questions still remained around issues such as costs, scalability and business models, but it was positive to read statements that the ‘academic book occupies a very distinct space in scholarly research’ reinforcing the fact that monographs are fundamentally different in intention and in kind when compared with journals or fields of research, and that ‘academic book publishing is an international activity’, with whatever implications this entails, as discussed earlier. …”

Open Access monographs: Reflections from our recent symposium | Unlocking Research

“The symposium saw common themes emerging around issues with open access for monographs as the system currently stands, but also the potential benefits and possibilities that open access could open up into the future. There was consensus that open access needs to go forward as a shared enterprise with all stakeholders being equal players. Looking into the future there was also concern about the visibility of humanities research going forward when compared to the natural sciences and that humanities authors should strive to demonstrate the impact of their publishing activities. 

Many of the themes discussed in this symposium echoed the recommendations as well as concerns outlined in the Universities UK Open Access Monograph report which was published a few days after this symposium took place. The report emphasised that complex questions still remained around issues such as costs, scalability and business models, but it was positive to read statements that the ‘academic book occupies a very distinct space in scholarly research’ reinforcing the fact that monographs are fundamentally different in intention and in kind when compared with journals or fields of research, and that ‘academic book publishing is an international activity’, with whatever implications this entails, as discussed earlier. …”

Guest Post – The Future of Open Access Business Models:  APCs Are Not the Only Way – The Scholarly Kitchen

“While there is still life in the APC model, the overall view seems to be  that it is a transitional model which is in decline. What is certain is that if real progress is to be made towards OA without significant damage to publisher revenues (and in consequence academic publishing), greater collaboration will be necessary between major stakeholders. Transformative agreements underpinning such collaborations are the most promising business model to-date in the OA ecosystem; the SPA-OPS report’s accompanying toolkit includes an implementation model and specimen contract templates, and the hope and expectation is that societies will use this to offer transformative agreements from next year….”