“We the undersigned American scientists, publishers, funders, patient advocates, librarians and members of the public endorse a national policy that would ensure that Americans are no longer denied access to the results of research their tax dollars paid for. We have read recent media reports that the executive branch is considering a zero embargo taxpayer access policy, and we are writing to express our strong support for such a move….”
“On behalf of the U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) and the Student PIRGs, nonpartisan organizations representing more than 83,000 citizen members and 600,000 college students nationwide, we write to express our strong support for updating U.S. federal policy to make the results of taxpayer-funded research immediately available for the public to freely access and fully use.
The U.S. government spends tens of billions of dollars annually on scientific research. As taxpayers, we invest in this research because advancing scientific progress benefits our economy, our quality of life, and our global competitiveness. However, under current policy, this research is often locked behind paywalls where most American taxpayers—including college students and our professors—cannot access it for at least a year after it is published.
Ensuring immediate access to the latest, cutting-edge research provides critical knowledge that we as students should be able to learn while and school and continue to access throughout our careers. Our education should be based on the latest, groundbreaking information and we should get access right away, not just when our campus can afford a journal subscription or after an embargo period expires. Making federally-funded research openly available to everyone—along with the data needed to validate the conclusions and any corresponding computer code—will significantly expand our access to the resources necessary for a complete, up-to-date education….”
“The Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI), a group of colleges, universities, and research institutions committed to making the results of their researchers accessible to the world, supports providing American taxpayers immediate, free access to the results of scientific research that is publicly funded and supported by Federal agencies. We strongly endorse updating existing U.S. policy to eliminate the current 12-month embargo period on articles that report on publicly funded research, as instituted by the Obama administration, and to ensure that they are made immediately available to the public….”
“For almost two decades, a battle has been raging over access to scholarly research. On the one side have been scholars, librarians, funders and others arguing that in an age of near-costless global communication, research findings and the data that underlie them should be shared freely and openly. On the other side have been publishers, led by Elsevier, a (very large) unit of under-the-radar London-based media giant RELX Plc,(2) fighting to maintain the remarkable profit margins that paywalled scholarly journals can provide.
That’s the simple version, at least — things have always been a little more complicated than that. But it was still jarring to observe this week in Berlin how much the battle lines have shifted.
An executive with Wiley, the third-largest academic journal publisher by revenue, got up in front of the room at the APE (which originally stood for Academic Publishing in Europe) 2020 conference to extol his company’s commitment to “open access, open data, open practices, open collaboration, open recognition and reward.” A counterpart from Springer Nature, the No. 2 publisher, proudly reeled off the paywall-free share of the papers published in Springer journals by researchers from various countries — Sweden was the champ, at 90%. And Kumsal Bayazit, who took over as chief executive officer of Elsevier last February amid tense standoffs between the company and pro-open-access university systems in Germany, California and elsewhere, declared that “Elsevier fully supports open access, as I think is the case for all scholarly publishers today.” …
Elsevier in particular has been gearing up for years to reposition itself as a data analytics provider. A report prepared last year for the pro-open-access Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition speculated that these efforts could reap big profits and give the company even more influence over universities than it wields now. …”
“In a recent letter to the White House, a group of corporate publishers and scholarly organizations implore the president to leave intact the current arrangements between publicly funded researchers and the publishing industry. Their letter is the latest move in a decades-long struggle between researchers and publishers over who controls the fruits of the researchers’ labor….
At least one learned society is already reconsidering the issue. The Association for Computing Machinery released a statement on January 9, saying that it regretted signing onto the publishers’ letter and reiterating its commitment to open access. We hope that readers of this essay will contact the leaders of their own learned societies to express their support for open science and their opposition to continuing the current publishing model. In order to solve the challenges the world now faces, the public needs reliable, affordable science. Producing it will require scientific institutions — including systems of scientific publishing — that serve science instead of holding it for ransom.”
“An independent report published today by Information Power aims to improve the transparency of Open Access (OA) prices and services. The report is the outcome of a project funded by Wellcome and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on behalf of cOAlition S to inform the development of Plan S. During the project funders, libraries, publishers, and universities worked together to inform the development of a framework intended to provide information about OA services and prices in a transparent, practical, and insightful way.
Imperative need for customer-centric approach
The framework provides opportunities for publishers to build better awareness of and appreciation by customers of the value of their services, and to demonstrate publisher commitment to open business models and business cultures.
And a collaborative, pragmatic approach
cOAlition S aims to help make the nature and prices of OA publishing services more transparent, and to enable conversations and comparisons that will build confidence amongst customers that prices are fair and reasonable. Addressing cOAlition S, the report emphasises that the introduction of a new reporting requirement needs to be organised with clear implementation guidelines, and a proper plan for testing, development, release, review, and refinement. It also recommends an iterative approach to implementation, with a pilot as the next step.
cOAlition S has accepted the recommendation that such a framework needs to be piloted before implementation and agreed a project extension to pilot and refine the framework during the first quarter of 2020. Participants include Annual Reviews, Brill, The Company of Biologists, EMBO Press, European Respiratory Society, Hindawi, PLOS, and SpringerNature. Other publishers are welcome and are invited to express interest in joining the pilot via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at Wellcome and interim cOAlition S coordinator, said “On behalf of cOAlition S we are delighted to see all stakeholders engage in the development of this transparency pricing framework and support the idea of road-testing it through a pilot. Based on the outcome of this pilot, cOAlition S will decide how to use this framework, or a refinement of it, together with other models for inclusion in the requirement for those journals where Plan S requirements apply.”
The project is guided by a steering group which provides expert advice and support….”
“To help transition toward transparent open access (OA), eight journal publishers, including SpringerNature, PLOS, and Annual Reviews, will share anonymized pricing information with a limited group. This is part of a test of a transparency template proposed today in a report commissioned by cOAlition S, a group of funders leading a push for immediate OA to science publications. If the pilot is successful, funders may ask that publishers use a similar template to share data more widely.
The template aims not to influence pricing, but to give funders and libraries information to decide what to pay for, says Alicia Wise, director of the consulting company Information Power who co-authored a report presenting the template. “I would hope that by providing these data we can build trust and a better atmosphere,” she says.
Many discussions about publishing prices and services have been “emotive rather than constructive,” says Bernd Pulverer, head of scientific publications at EMBO Press, which will take part in the pilot with four of its five journals. Sharing information could encourage more “pragmatic” discussions, he says. “It is legitimate for the research community, funders, and taxpayers to be able to understand how taxpayer-supported research is being published,” he adds….”
“This independent report is published by Information Power. It reports on a project funded by Wellcome and UKRI on behalf of cOAlition S to engage with stakeholders to develop a framework for the transparent communication of Open Access (OA) prices and services. cOAlition S aims to help make the nature and prices of OA publishing services more transparent, and to enable conversations and comparisons that will build confidence amongst customers that prices are fair and reasonable.
Ultimately, it seeks a frame work which enables publishers to communicate the price of services in a way that is transparent, practical to implement, and insightful. During the project we
consulted widely with stakeholders to gain an understanding of
concerns and needs and worked to gain the voluntary engagement and support of publishers. It was clear from the outset that mobilising this engagement and support would be crucial to success.
It was also clear that this would be a challenge. While funders, libraries, and library consortia were broadly supportive of the
work, many publishers – both mixed model and OA-only – expressed significant concerns about:
• being told what to price, how to price, or how to communicate about price ;
• greater transparency with competitors giving rise to anti-trust issues, or conflict with fiduciary duties to charity/shareholders;
• any focus on costs, because publisher prices reflect the market and the value provided and not only costs;
• usefulness, as publishers record price and service information in
different ways and costs and practices vary enormously between houses, subject areas, and titles;
• a range of negative outcomes including the imposition of price caps, downward pressure on prices, or funders and libraries ruling out of scope services that are valued by researchers or societies or that are important for business continuity and innovation….
In this report we present a draft framework and we propose ways in which it could be implemented. It consists of 24 pieces of metadata about platforms or titles providing OA publishing services. The
metadata are clustered into three sections: the first for high-level information about the title itself, the second for a range of metrics that together convey a sense of the nature and quality of the title,
and the third to indicate the percentage of the total price apportioned to publishing services….”
“Taylor & Francis has acquired open research publisher F1000 Research from its founder Vitek Tracz. The acquisition sum was not disclosed.
Tracz will remain owner of F1000Prime and F1000Workspace, which are not included in the sale.
F1000 Research launched the world’s first open research publishing platform in 2013; it also provides open research publishing services directly to research funders and institutions including Wellcome, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Emerald Publishing. The venture currently employs 40 staff; it is planned for it to remain in London, where it will continue to operate independently, while also becoming a key component of T&F’s range of open research services and Plan S-compliant platforms….”
“On behalf of the undersigned national and regional library, research, publishing, and advocacy organizations, we are writing to express our commitment to ensuring that American taxpayers are guaranteed immediate, free, and unfettered access to the results of scientific research that their tax dollars support, and to encourage the Administration to support continued progress towards this shared goal. We strongly endorse updating existing U.S. policy to eliminate the current 12-month embargo period on articles reporting on publicly funded research, and to ensure that they are made immediately available under terms and conditions that allow their full reuse. To unlock the full value of our collective investment in science, the underlying data needed to validate an article’s conclusions, along with any corresponding software or code, should also be made immediately available….”