Surprise and confusion over ERC Council’s Plan S reversal – Research Professional News

“Groups representing young researchers have expressed surprise at the decision of the European Research Council’s governing Scientific Council to withdraw its support from the Plan S open-access initiative.

Under Plan S, a group of funders known as Coalition S will require researchers they support to make their work openly available immediately from 2021 in outlets that meet certain criteria. The requirements are being adopted in the EU’s 2021-27 R&D programme Horizon Europe, including the ERC.

The ERC Council, an independent body of researchers that helps to set the strategic direction of the EU funder, had previously expressed its support for Plan S, but on 20 July it announced a U-turn, saying the impact of Plan S on young researchers and countries with limited funds had been underestimated. In particular, the ERC Council expressed concern about Plan S terms for publication in hybrid journals that offer both subscription and open-access options….”

cOAlition S Response to the ERC Scientific Council’s Statement on Open Access and Plan S | Plan S – [https://www.coalition-s.org/coalition-s-response-to-the-erc-scientific-councils-statement-on-open-access-and-plan-s/]

“cOAlition S remains firm in its view that support for hybrid journals has failed to accelerate the transition to full and immediate Open Access over the past two decades. The already scarce funding in the Horizon Europe Framework Programme should not be used for the payment of publication fees in hybrid journals. Indeed, outside of transformative agreements, the hybrid model has no effective means to keep double-dipping by publishers in check. For this reason, many European countries, from Germany to Hungary, have recently put in place transformative agreements with publishers.

Maintaining the current status quo on hybrid journals will exacerbate inequalities among European researchers, since only those that benefit from generous funding will be able to cover expensive publication fees. In contrast, the cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy which provides Open Access in compliance with Plan S via the repository route, will empower all researchers to publish in their journal of choice, including subscription and hybrid journals.

cOAlition S is particularly attentive to the concerns of Early Career Researchers (ECR). We are grateful for the support of many ECR organisations, including the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), the Global Young Academy (GYA), the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) and the Young Academy of Europe (YAE). These organisations are closely collaborating with cOAlition S in order to further shape Plan S, to monitor its implementation, and to evaluate potential effects for the next generation of researchers….”

European Research Council (ERC) Scientific Council Withdraws as a Supporter for cOAlition S

“The ERC Scientific Council is committed to implementing full and immediate Open Access and continues to support the principles underlying Plan S. Members of the ERC Scientific Council are participating constructively in various activities aimed at making Open Access a reality.

However, during the past six months, the ERC Scientific Council has intensified its internal debate and reached a unanimous decision to follow a path towards Open Access implementation that is independent of cOAlition S activities. Therefore it has decided to withdraw as a supporter of cOAlition S. In doing so, the ERC Scientific Council wishes to pay closer attention to a number of aspects whose importance has been rather underestimated. Most prominent among them are researchers’ needs, especially those of young researchers who represent the future of European science and innovation. Other aspects include the need to preserve equity among research communities and among European countries, with particular emphasis on countries with more limited national financial support for research.

In particular, cOAlition S has declared that the publication of research results in hybrid venues outside of transformative arrangements will be ‘non-compliant’ as of 1 January 2021, leading to the non-eligibility of related publication costs. The Scientific Council considers that this will be detrimental, especially for early career researchers, researchers working in countries with fewer alternative funding opportunities or working in fields in which Open Access policies are more difficult to implement….”

JLSC Seeks a New Publisher

“The Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication (JLSC, https://jlsc-pub.org, ISSN 2162-3309) is an online-only, continuously-published, peer-reviewed, open-access journal with no article processing charges for authors. JLSC publishes original articles, reviews, and case studies that analyze or describe the strategies, partnerships, and impact of library-led digital projects, online publishing, and scholarly communication initiatives. It was launched in 2012 by Founding Co-Editors Isaac Gilman and Marisa Ramírez. Since then, the journal has grown and evolved under Editors-in-Chief Mark Newton and Melanie Schlosser, and now Anne T. Gilliland, Rebekah Kati, and Jennifer Solomon. In addition, many librarians and scholarly communication practitioners have helped shape and guide the journal in other editorial roles or as members of the Editorial Board (see the current editorial team and past editorial board members).  

Pacific University has been JLSC’s publisher since its founding. Pacific University is transitioning the focus of its publishing program away from journals and believes that in order to preserve and enhance JLSC’s quality and impact it would be best to find a new publisher….”

Message from the Chair…. | The Company of Biologists

“We have participated in Open Access over the past 16 years as we believe OA publishing leads to broader dissemination and faster reuse, accelerating the sharing of quality information. We have launched two open access journals – Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open. Authors can also contribute OA articles to our three hybrid journals, under a CC_BY licence and we deposit their articles into PMC.

Although we are fully committed to OA, it has been a challenge to find a way to transition fully to OA whilst maintaining financial stability (particularly for a small company like the Company of Biologists), sustaining quality and thus supporting biology and biologists in the longer term. This is because not every biologist has access to funds for APCs at a level that covers the costs of quality publishing. It is also true that there has been much discussion and debate about what the best mechanisms are to promote OA fairly.

Following a great deal of work in association with other not-for-profit publishers, libraries and funding organizations, we believe that our new Read & Publish (R&P) initiative offers a great way forward for all. These agreements enable biologists to share their work widely without having to pay for APCs, remove the barriers to reading and publishing articles, whilst also securing a baseline of income to enable us to sustain our activities in the coming years. This is all made possible because librarians at institutions are taking steps to repurpose their subscription budgets to financially support sustainable OA publishing….”

Green OA: publishers and journals allowing zero embargo and CC-BY | Innovations in Scholarly Communication

“On July 15 2020, cOAlition S announced their Rights Retention Strategy, providing authors with the right to share the accepted manuscript (AAM) of their research articles with an open license and without embargo, as one of the ways to comply with Plan S requirements. This raises the question to what extent immediate and open licensed self archiving of scholarly publications is currently already possible and practiced. Here we provide the results of some analyses carried out earlier this year, intended to at least partially answer that question. We limit this brief study to journal articles and only looked at CC-BY licenses (not CC0, CC-BY-SA and CC-BY-ND, which can also meet Plan S requirements)….

Our main conclusions are that:

Based on stated policies we found very few (18) journals that currently allow the combination of immediate and CC-BY-licensed self archiving.
Based on stated policies of 36 large publishers, there are currently ~2800 journals with those publishers that allow immediate green, but all disallow or do not explicitly allow CC-BY….”

Publishers working together – lessons from a global pandemic | Hindawi

“In response to the current pandemic, a group of  publishers and scholarly communication organizations came together to ensure research related to COVID-19 is reviewed and published as quickly as possible. They produced an Open Letter of Intent encouraging academics to sign up to a reviewer database, authors to use preprint servers, and calling other publishers to join the initiative as well as supporting through open data and encouraging preprints.

Join us on July 8, 2020 at 4pm BST for a Q&A roundtable on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cross-publisher collaboration, the benefits of having key research reviewed and published as quickly possible, as well as plans for the future. 

Is large-scale collaboration among publishers and organizations sustainable for the long term? 

What are the main constraints and how can we overcome these challenges? 

The changes this pandemic has precipitated within the STM industry will hopefully turn out to be long-lasting, and push the ideas of Open Science and the boundaries of collaboration to the forefront of all publishers’ minds….”

Open access publishers: The new players – InfoDoc MicroVeille

“The essential role of journals as registries of scientific activity in all areas of knowledge justifies concern about their ownership and type of access. The purpose of this research is to analyze the main characteristics of publishers with journals that have received the DOAJ Seal.

The specific objectives are a) to identify publishers and journals registered with the DOAJ Seal; b) to characterize those publishers; and c) to analyze their article processing fees….

The results reveal a fast-rising oligopoly, dominated by Springer with 35% of the titles and PLOS with more than 20% of the articles….”

Open access publishers: The new players – InfoDoc MicroVeille

“The essential role of journals as registries of scientific activity in all areas of knowledge justifies concern about their ownership and type of access. The purpose of this research is to analyze the main characteristics of publishers with journals that have received the DOAJ Seal.

The specific objectives are a) to identify publishers and journals registered with the DOAJ Seal; b) to characterize those publishers; and c) to analyze their article processing fees….

The results reveal a fast-rising oligopoly, dominated by Springer with 35% of the titles and PLOS with more than 20% of the articles….”

World-leading publishers join us in action-focussed commitment to make research publishing more inclusive and diverse

“We have gathered publishers of more than 4,400 scholarly journals and tens of thousands of books in a landmark commitment to reduce bias.

Publishers responsible for tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journals and books have signed an agreement with us to take a proactive stance against bias, as we commit to working together to better reflect the diversity of our communities and to remove barriers for under-represented groups.

The joint statement will impact scholarly publishing on a global scale, having been initiated by the Royal Society of Chemistry and signed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), BMJ, Cambridge University Press, the Company of Biologists, Emerald Publishing, Elsevier, Hindawi, IOP Publishing, Oxford University Press and Royal Society Publishing….”