Turning FAIR into reality: Review – Hill – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

  • Implementation of FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) offers significant return on investment (ROI) but requires major changes in research culture, incentives, and substantial funding, and implementation is hindered by the need to coordinate across European Union’s member states.
  • FAIR is constituted by data objects and a wider technical and data ecosystem.
  • Publishers’ role is broad but prescribed in this report – although there may be business opportunities.
  • While the continued validity of non?open data is acknowledged, the report recognizes that ROI is maximized where data are both FAIR and open….”

Exploring the Concept of Open Access Journals: Its Types and Features with an Emphasis on Identification of Active OA Journals Indexed by Scopus Database: Library & Information Science Book Chapter | IGI Global

Abstract:  The chapter focuses on the exploration and elucidation of the open access concept, with the main emphasis on open access journals, their types and features, etc. Similarly, the thrust was also given to acquaint the audience with the open access journal publishers, in order to aware them about the availability of open access literature and the opportunities where open access research can be published by the authors or scientists. In order to give some practical flavors to the readers of this study, the focus of the study was also made towards gauging the active open access journals indexed by the Scopus database. Moreover, particular emphasis was given to check the distribution of active open access journals indexed by it in the fields of life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences, and health sciences. The purpose was to ease the users to search and use the open access journal literature as per the subject taste.

Publishers fail to stem tide of illicit ResearchGate uploads | Times Higher Education (THE)

Publishers say that tens of thousands of copyright-infringing research papers are still being uploaded to the online academic network ResearchGate every month, making it easier for universities to ditch their journal subscription contacts because so many articles are now available for free.

Since October 2017, the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, which includes Wiley, Elsevier and Oxford University Press, have tried to pressure ResearchGate into taking down what they say are millions of copyrighted articles on the platform, including launching legal action in the US and Germany.

But their latest report shows that since then, close to 1 million copyright-infringing articles have been uploaded to ResearchGate, an average of 58,000 a month….”

Half-life is half the story | Unlocking Research

This week the STM Frankfurt Conference was told that a shift away from gold Open Access towards green would mean some publishers would not be ‘viable’ according to a story in The Bookseller. The argument was that support for green OA in the US and China would mean some publishers will collapse and the community will ‘regret it’.

It is not surprising that the publishing industry is worried about a move away from gold OA policies. They have proved extraordinarily lucrative in the UK with Wiley and Elsevier each pocketing an extra £2 million thanks to the RCUK block grant funds to support the RCUK policy on Open Access.

But let’s get something straight. There is no evidence that permitting researchers to make a copy of their work available in a repository results in journal subscriptions being cancelled. None.

The September 2013 UK Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Fifth Report: Open Access stated “There is no available evidence base to indicate that short or even zero embargoes cause cancellation of subscriptions”. In 2012 the Committee for Economic Development Digital Connections Council in The Future of Taxpayer-Funded Research: Who Will Control Access to the Results? concluded that “No persuasive evidence exists that greater public access as provided by the NIH policy has substantially harmed subscription-supported STM publishers over the last four years or threatens the sustainability of their journals”…”

Guest Post: Do Authors Have Any Power Over Publishers? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“A goal of open access is a reduction in barriers to knowledge for no additional cost. In fact, the Budapest Open Access Initiative envisioned an open access world could be achieved at lower cost than traditional publishing. More recently, the University of California’s Pay it Forward project relies on the idea that authors will exercise their market power to put downward pressure on article processing charges (APCs). But as a scientist, my evaluation criteria are predominately centered around ‘more papers in higher ranking journals’. I am doubtful that authors have ever had much market power and, to the extent that we do, I have no expectation we will be using it to push down fees….

To the extent that authors have the power of choice in the scholarly publishing market, we are not using it to drive down APCs. In a recent study, I found no evidence that journals that increase or introduce an APC lose business in terms of article volume. In fact, tracking APCs at major commercial publishers from 2012-2018showed that higher APCs tended to predict higher article volumes – consistent with how the majority of open access papers are published in a minority of fee-charging journals.

To the extent that authors have an incentive to try and save money on APCs, it is probably trivial when compared with the imperative to publish more papers in higher ranking journals. No librarian is ever going to care more about my career than I do, so while a librarian might balk at a $3,000 subscription to the Journal of Neuroscience, I would happily spend $6,000 in research funds to put an elite journal title on my CV. As publishers are happy to point out, publishing costs are around 1% of research expenditure, so it doesn’t make much difference to a project’s overall costs if we take the more expensive option….”

Assessing the size of the affordability problem in scholarly publishing [PeerJ Preprints]

Abstract:  For many decades, the hyperinflation of subscription prices for scholarly journals have concerned scholarly institutions. After years of fruitless efforts to solve this “serials crisis”, open access has been proposed as the latest potential solution. However, also the prices for open access publishing are high and are rising well beyond inflation. What has been missing from the public discussion so far is a quantitative approach to determine the actual costs of efficiently publishing a scholarly article using state-of-the-art technologies, such that informed decisions can be made as to appropriate price levels. Here we provide a granular, step-by-step calculation of the costs associated with publishing primary research articles, from submission, through peer-review, to publication, indexing and archiving. We find that these costs range from less than US$200 per article in modern, large scale publishing platforms using post-publication peer-review, to about US$1,000 per article in prestigious journals with rejection rates exceeding 90%. The publication costs for a representative scholarly article today come to lie at around US$400. We discuss the additional non-publication items that make up the difference between publication costs and final price.

ScholarLed to Pilot Major International OA Publishing Project

ScholarLed – comprising Mattering Pressmeson pressOpen Book PublishersOpen Humanities Press, and punctum books – was founded in 2018 as a collective of non-profit, open access book publishers in the Humanities and Social Sciences who share a commitment to opening up scholarly research to diverse readerships, resisting the marketization of academic knowledge production, and working collaboratively rather than in competition. This includes developing systems and practices that allow presses to provide each other with forms of mutual support, ranging from pooled expertise to shared on- and offline infrastructures. Collectively, we are seeking powerful, practical ways for small-scale, scholar-led open access presses to grow and flourish in a publishing landscape that is changing rapidly. We believe publicly-funded research should be openly available to a global readership, without technical or economic barriers. ScholarLed is concerned to build infrastructure for smaller-scale OA book publishers that would prioritise the needs of the creative research community and the values of public research institutions against those for-profit entities who seek to privatise (and also homogenize) knowledge….”

Increasing open access publications serves publishers’ commercial interests

Publishing for free is great, but when journals start charging researchers fees, they don’t lose business. A new journal might introduce a fee after a free introductory period. For example, when eLife introduced a US$2,500 publication fee in 2017, it still published more articles in 2017 and 2018 than it had in 2016. Similarly, Royal Society Open Scienceintroduced a US$1,260 fee in 2018 and continued to grow….

I then looked at the four biggest commercial open-access publishers that relied on publication fees: BMC, Frontiers, MDPI and Hindawi. I tracked 319 of their journals, their listed prices and the number of research articles they published between 2012 and 2018. I fed this data into a statistical model and it showed academics preferred to publish in more expensive journals.

The two publishers who raised their prices the most, Frontiers and MDPI, also saw the most growth in the average number of articles in each journal….”

Nine routes towards Plan S compliance – UPDATED

by Jeroen Bosman & Bianca Kramer

Changes in Plan S compliant options as of May 31, 2019

On May 31, cOAlition-S, the group of funders responsible for Plan S, published the updated Plan S principles and implementation guidance, addressing feedback received during the public consultation period.  Based on these details we updated our scheme of nine routes towards compliance.

The information in the principles and guidance document involves some changes and additional details compared to the draft implementation guidance that was made public on November 27, 2018:

  • the option for cOAlition-S members to approve the use of the CC BY-ND license for individual articles
  • addition of transformative model agreements and transformative journals to the options for transformative arrangements that allow hybrid journals to be compliant
  • specification that funders can (but are not obliged to) financially contribute to transformative arrangements, up until 2024
  • removal of the requirement for transformative agreements to include a scenario for  subsequent full transformation to OA

Some of these  changes effect the compliant routes available. We hence made adaptations to the scheme and the list of routes. For each of the routes the scheme shows examples (please treat them as such), assessments of effects on various stakeholders and on overall cost and also whether the route aligns with expected changes in the evaluation system.

Other changes in the principles and implementation guidance do not have a direct effect on the possible routes, but do have the potential to  influence their feasibility and effects. These include the postponement of the formal commencement point of Plan S with one year to January 1 2021,  the relaxation of some of the requirements for repositories, requirements for transparency  of costs and prices, the stipulation that funders will only financially support transformative agreements after 1 of January 2021 where they adhere to the ESAC Guidelines and the elevation to the 10 principles of the commitment to revise evaluation criteria.