Science family of journals announces change to open-access policy

In a step towards open access, the publisher of Science will start allowing some authors publishing in its high-profile subscription journals to share their accepted manuscripts openly online under liberal terms that mean anyone could reproduce or redistribute the work.

Grossmann, Brembs (2021) Current market rates for scholarly publishing services | F1000Research

Grossmann A and Brembs B. Current market rates for scholarly publishing services [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research 2021, 10:20 (

Abstract: For decades, the supra-inflation increase of subscription prices for scholarly journals has concerned scholarly institutions. After years of fruitless efforts to solve this “serials crisis”, open access has been proposed as the latest potential solution. However, the prices for open access publishing are also 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.

Achieving Open Access in Physics | News Releases | The Optical Society

“We as physics societies exist to ensure that physics delivers on its exceptional potential to benefit society. We recognise the important role of universal access to knowledge in achieving this goal and are therefore committed to making open access (OA) to physics research a reality. We welcome the increased policy momentum towards open science publishing but urge all stakeholders to ensure that the routes by which we achieve OA preserve the diversity, quality and financial sustainability of the peer-reviewed publishing upon which our research community depends.

Physics has long embraced open science and OA to research results. Physicists were among the first to share preprints via arXiv (1991), launch fully OA journals such as Optics Express (1997) and New Journal of Physics (1998), and implement innovative OA business models like SCOAP3 (2014). We continue to invest in launching high-quality OA journals, such as Physical Review X and Optica, and have established a range of transformative agreements1 with institutions to facilitate their transition to OA. Over the past decade, such proactive engagement has resulted in an average annual growth in OA physics articles of more than 25%, compared with an overall average annual growth in physics articles of around 2%2.

Whilst there has been considerable progress in creating fully OA physics journals, more than 85% of all physics articles continue to be published in hybrid journals3. Hybrid journals therefore still have an essential role to play in balancing the expansion of OA with preserving researchers’ freedom to publish in the most appropriate journal for their research. The ability of these journals to transition sustainably is challenged by the prospect of free and unrestricted distribution of accepted manuscripts without concomitant funding for the peer review and publication costs involved4. We are concerned that policies such as the proposed cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy would undermine the viability of high-quality hybrid journals and mean that many physics researchers no longer have an adequate range of options or freedom of choice in where they publish their work….”

Wiley Announces the Acquisition of Hindawi

“John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JWA) (NYSE:JWB) today announced the acquisition of Hindawi Limited, an innovator in open access (OA) publishing and one of the world’s fastest growing scientific research publishers, for a total purchase price of $298 million. The acquisition of Hindawi significantly increases Wiley’s position as a global leader in research by adding quality, scale and growth to the company’s open access publishing program.

Open access is a rapidly growing scholarly publishing model that allows peer-reviewed articles to be read and shared immediately, making important research broadly available. As a leader in open access publishing, Hindawi has played a critical role in advancing gold open access, an OA model in which validated articles are made immediately available for reading and re-use following the payment of a publication fee.

Hindawi, privately held and headquartered in London, has a robust portfolio of over 200 peer-reviewed scientific, technical, and medical journals, a highly efficient publishing platform, and a low-cost infrastructure. Wiley’s acquisition of Hindawi unlocks significant and profitable new growth by tapping deeper into the fast-growing OA market and by delivering innovative publishing services to researchers, societies, and institutions around the world. For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020, Hindawi is projected to generate approximately $40 million in revenue with year over year growth of 50%….”

Open access takes flight | Science

“In 2018, a group of mostly European funders sent shock waves through the world of scientific publishing by proposing an unprecedented rule: The scientists they funded would be required to make journal articles developed with their support immediately free to read when published.

The new requirement, which takes effect starting this month, seeks to upend decades of tradition in scientific publishing, whereby scientists publish their research in journals for free and publishers make money by charging universities and other institutions for subscriptions. Advocates of the new scheme, called Plan S (the “S” stands for the intended “shock” to the status quo), hope to destroy subscription paywalls and speed scientific progress by allowing findings to be shared more freely. It’s part of a larger shift in scientific communication that began more than 20 years ago and has recently picked up steam.

Scientists have several ways to comply with Plan S, including by paying publishers a fee to make an article freely available on a journal website, or depositing the article in a free public repository where anyone can download it. The mandate is the first by an international coalition of funders, which now includes 17 agencies and six foundations, including the Wellcome Trust and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, two of the world’s largest funders of biomedical research….”

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….”

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….”


BC Partners seeks to sell Springer Nature stake to itself | Financial Times

“Academic publishers have come under pressure to change a subscriptions-based business model to accommodate so-called open-access publishing, which breaks down paywalls and makes often publicly-funded scientific research free to read. Springer Nature had before its first attempted listing in 2018 warned investors that growing pushback against paywalls for publicly-funded research could hurt its revenues. But Frank Vrancken Peeters, the company’s chief executive, told the Financial Times earlier this year that open access publishing “works financially”. In October, the company reached a deal with a consortium of German libraries that bundled the right to read and publish open access under one agreement, the first ever to include its flagship Nature titles. Publishers have been wary of allowing free access to research published in its top journals, fearing it might dilute their value when deals are renegotiated with subscribers….”

Open post: The rise of immediate green OA undermines progress – OASPA

“The authors of this statement include representatives of the pioneers and early adopters of OA publishing. As individuals we have personally dedicated years, and in some cases decades, to building trusted OA publishing, even before most funders were ready to embrace it. Indeed, we have contributed to bringing on board many of the funders who today mandate OA. Some of us have worked within full OA publishing houses, some have moved from full OA to publishers with mixed models and some have worked from within the mixed model environment….

Open research seeks to accelerate progress, but green OA can never deliver on this promise of an easily accessible, navigable, and interconnected Open Research ecosystem. Instead, it confuses the scholarly record with multiple inferior versions of manuscripts. Do we want researchers to have to search through repositories for an earlier version of a manuscript, and then spend further valuable time seeking out accompanying data, or checking whether there have been post-publication corrections? Or would we rather that they have immediate access to the trusted and enhanced VOR on the publisher platform, with links to relevant data and other outputs? It sounds like a simple question, but if publishers, funders, and institutions choose to enable green OA as an ‘easy’ alternative to focusing our efforts and resources on driving a transition to immediate access to the VOR, we are condemning ourselves to falling short in achieving full open research at a time when there is evidence of real progress….”