MIT and Royal Society of Chemistry Sign First North American “Read and Publish” Agreement for Scholarly Articles | MIT Libraries News

“The MIT Libraries and the Royal Society of Chemistry have signed a groundbreaking license agreement that incorporates elements of a traditional subscription purchase and open access to scholarly articles. The experimental two-year agreement is seen as an important step on the path toward making more research freely and openly available to the world.

The new agreement combines traditional subscription-based access to Royal Society of Chemistry articles for the MIT community with immediate open access to MIT-authored articles, making them freely available to all audiences at the time of publication. It is the first of its kind among North American institutions….

In order to encourage this overall transition to open access, MIT and the Royal Society of Chemistry collaborated on significant new language in the agreement, signaling the Royal Society of Chemistry ’s commitment to a fully open access publishing model in the future. The agreement affirms that the current read and publish model is a “transitional business model whose aim is to provide a mechanism to shift over time to full open access.” Making this successful transition to full open access will require collaborations across universities.”

Frontiers and the National Library of Sweden sign Open Access Framework Agreement

In addition to a centralised invoicing process that covers the publishing fees (article processing charges), researchers at participating organisations benefit from a discount.  This is the first Nordic agreement of its kind and follows the Austrian Open Access framework publishing agreement between Frontiers, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the University of Vienna in late 2017.  The Agreement is open to all participating organisations of the Bibsam Consortium, which includes universities, university colleges and government-funded research institutions. Twenty organisations have already joined, including leading universities. All new participating organisations will benefit from the same terms and conditions, regardless of size or research output.

APA Creates Open Science and Methodology Chair to Deepen Commitment to Data Sharing, Transparency in Science

“The American Psychological Association has created an open science and methodology chair to work with its authors, reviewers, editors and publications board to understand and develop best practices for the evolving landscape of open science in psychological research. “APA is committed to promoting transparency and sound practice in psychological research,” said Rose Sokol-Chang, PhD, APA’s journals publisher. “We are enthusiastic about offering the psychology community another resource to bolster this work.” APA’s Publications and Communications Board approved the post and will issue an open call to recruit for it in early summer. The chair will initially work with a committee to help refine and extend the P&C Board policy for APA journals related to open science practices. APA Journals is committed to publishing transparent research, publishing replications and offering resources such as its Journal Article Reporting Standards for quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research design; open science badges; and an APA Journals data repository, in conjunction with the Center for Open Science. “APA recognizes the importance of sharing data to aid secondary discovery, increase efficiency in research discoveries and improve reproducibility in science,” said Sokol-Chang. Qualifications for the post are experience in open science practices, including data sharing, reproducibility and preregistration; editorial experience and familiarity with APA journals policy; experience with data management, research methodology and clinical trials; and having served on an institutional review board. Interested applicants can read more about the position online or by email. APA is the world’s largest nonprofit publisher of psychological science, setting standards for scholarship in the field. APA Publishing produces journals, books, videos, databases and educational products for researchers, practitioners, educators, students and the public. “

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.”

Springer Nature is committed to being a part of the open-access movement | by Steven Inchcoombe, chief publishing officer

“Institutions, research funding bodies and publishers must all work together to change the system in the interest of advancing research, says Steven Inchcoombe

As part of our recent IPO process, there was a regulatory requirement for Springer Nature to prepare a “prospectus”: a lengthy legal reference document intended for “qualified investors”. In the past week, some content from this 400-plus-page document has been taken out of context to make inaccurate and unfair comments about us, our plans and our business; and we want to set the record straight.

We have been accused of “paying lip service” to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). This is not true and is particularly upsetting for our colleagues who are proud to stand firmly behind DORA and who have been implementing the large-scale changes needed to fulfil our obligations. This has seen us stop using journal impact factors in isolation in our marketing (note: a prospectus is a legal document aimed at potential investors, not a marketing tool for authors or librarians). In fact, for more than 10 years, long before DORA, Nature editorials have expressed concerns about the overuse of impact factors and have set out the case for a greater variety of more suitable metrics for different purposes. We continue to see this need, and we will continue to offer our librarians, authors, readers, editors and partners other choices, especially those at article level.

We have been accused of “exploiting” impact factor to market our journals. We are not. At Springer Nature, we have increased the use of other journal-level and article-level metrics including article usage and altmetrics. This is clearly stated in the prospectus, which references the importance of other metrics such as views/downloads or mentions in social media. The fact, however, remains that authors do choose which journals to publish in partly based on their impact factors, which is why we had a duty to explain this. Indeed, their long history of being independently calculated and published means that they are an important reference point in a prospectus, which is a verifiable, fact-based document aimed at investors. In our author survey last year (completed by more than 70,000 authors from all disciplines and regions), a journal’s impact factor is one the top-four criteria when choosing where to submit their draft articles, alongside a journal’s reputation, relevance and quality of peer review, in that order.

Finally, it has been claimed that our only motivation for higher impact factors is to drive higher article-processing charges. This is also not true. Part of our commitment to developing the largest and most comprehensive range of open-access journals in the publishing industry includes a desire to have a range of community-based OA journals, sound science OA journals and selective OA journals. For example, we flipped Nature Communications many years ago to become fully OA to ensure that such a choice existed for authors, and it is now the highest-cited OA journal in the world, demonstrating its appeal to authors and readers alike….”


Europe’s open-access drive escalates as university stand-offs spread

“Sweden is latest country to hold out on journal subscriptions, while negotiators share tactics to broker new deals with publishers.

Bold efforts to push academic publishing towards an open-access model are gaining steam. Negotiators from libraries and university consortia across Europe are sharing tactics on how to broker new kinds of contracts that could see more articles appear outside paywalls. And inspired by the results of a stand-off in Germany, they increasingly declare that if they don’t like what publishers offer, they will refuse to pay for journal access at all. On 16 May, a Swedish consortium became the latest to say that it wouldn’t renew its contract, with publishing giant Elsevier. Under the new contracts, termed ‘read and publish’ deals, libraries still pay subscriptions for access to paywalled articles, but their researchers can also publish under open-access terms so that anyone can read their work for free. Advocates say such agreements could accelerate the progress of the open-access movement. Despite decades of campaigning for research papers to be published openly — on the grounds that the fruits of publicly funded research should be available for all to read — scholarly publishing’s dominant business model remains to publish articles behind paywalls and collect subscriptions from libraries (see ‘Growth of open access’). But if many large library consortia strike read-and-publish deals, the proportion of open-access articles could surge….”

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….”