» Are Nature’s APCs ‘outrageous’ or ‘very attractive’?

“What is clear is that these charges are definitely not a surprise. Already back in 2004, in a Parliamentary inquiry in the UK, Nature provided testimony that they would have to charge 10-30k for a Nature paper, given their revenues at the time (i.e., their subscription and advertising income). While back then, most people scoffed at the numbers and expected that no author would ever pay such fees, Nature got to work and invented a whole host of ‘lesser’ journals (i.e., Nature XYC as in “Nature Physics”, Nature Genetics” and so on), which would serve several purposes at once: They increase revenue. As hand-me-down journals they keep desperate authors attached to the Nature brand. As less selective journals, they would bring down average costs per article for the brand total, when they would need to go open access.

So this year, after open access advocates, funders and the now also pandemic-stricken public had kept demanding open access for 16 years after they had been warned, Nature was finally ready to deliver. Due to the dilution of their costs by way of the ‘lesser’ journals, they managed to keep their APCs close to their lower bounds of 2004, despite 16 years of inflation. Given that libraries have been paying these kinds of funds for Nature journals for decades, this price tag then really is a bargain, all things considered….

If you were even later to the party and are outraged now, direct your outrage not to Nature, who are only following external pressures, but to those who exert said pressures, such as open access advocates pushing for APC-OA and funders mandating authors to publish in such journals.”

Internet Archive lawyer Lila Bailey leads a new phase of the battle over copyright | Fortune

“The case involves the Internet Archive’s decision to create a temporary “National Emergency Library” at the height of the pandemic’s first wave—a service that expanded how many e-books clients could borrow simultaneously. The publishing industry sued, saying the non-profit was handing out digital books without permission.


The Internet Archive case has received national attention—a widely shared article in The Nation described it as “publishers taking the Internet to court”—and has drawn attention to the reality that, as library branches close over COVID concerns, patrons must often wait 10 weeks or more to borrow the digital version of a best-seller….”

New EU open peer review system stirs debate | Science|Business

“The European Commission’s scientific publishing service has launched a new venue for EU research grantees to publish free-to-read results.

The Open Research Europe platform promises beneficiaries an “easy, high quality peer-reviewed” system at “no cost to them”.

The twist: authors, not editors, choose what they wish to publish – without the delay involved in traditional science publishing, the commission says.

The platform, set up to speed the flow of scientific information generated from its seven-year, €85 billion Horizon Europe programme, will post original publications in all fields of science in advance of peer review. Only after the articles are on the platform will the “transparent, invited and open peer review” begin. The names of the reviewers will be open, as well as their reviews.

The London-based open science publisher F1000 Research will run the system, with the commission picking up the tab for article processing charges.

With this model, the commission is playing catch up with some early-adopters. In 2016, Wellcome Trust, the largest charitable funder of biomedical research in Europe, contracted F1000Research to manage its open access publishing platform, Wellcome Open Research. Since then, many other major funders and institutions, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have contracted F1000 to set up similar platforms.

In a letter last week to Horizon grantees, the commission’s research and innovation director-general Jean-Eric Paquet says, “Your involvement is key to making this initiative a success.” The formal launch of the platform will be early 2021, but submissions will start in a few weeks, the commission said.

Reaction to the new site is mixed, with some researchers highlighting the flaws of the open review method….”

Good News: Academics Can Make Their Articles Published In Top Journal Nature Freely Available As Open Access. Bad News: They Must Pay $11,000 For Each One | Techdirt

“The research will indeed by freely available to the world, but the authors’ institutions have to cough up the massive sum of $11,000 for every article. That will make Nature compliant with Plan S, while ensuring that loads of money continues to roll in. It also means that educational institutions won’t be saving any money when their researchers can read some Nature publishing papers for free, since they must pay out huge sums for their own academics to appear in these titles. This is a classic example of double-dipping — what is more politely called “hybrid open access.” Nature the publisher will get paid by institutions to make some articles freely available, but it will continue to be paid by subscribers to access material that has already been paid for. Plan S may mean that Nature and other publishers make even more money….”

Input to “Data Repository Selection: Criteria that Matter” – COAR

“There has been significant concern expressed in the repository community about the requirements contained in the Data Repository Selection: Criteria that Matter, which sets out a number of criteria for the identification and selection of data repositories that will be used by publishers to guide authors in terms of where they should deposit their data.

COAR agrees that it is important to encourage and support the adoption of best practices in repositories. And there are a number of initiatives looking at requirements for repositories, based on different objectives such as the FAIR Principles, CoreTrustSeal, the TRUST Principles, and the CARE Principles of Indigenous Data Governance. Recently COAR brought together many of these requirements – assessed and validated them with a range of repository types and across regions – resulting in the publication of the COAR Community Framework for Best Practices in Repositories.

However, there is a risk that if repository requirements are set very high or applied strictly, then only a few well-resourced repositories will be able to fully comply. The criteria set out in Data Repository Selection: Criteria that Matter are not currently supported by most domain or generalist data repositories, in particular the dataset-level requirements. If implemented by publishers, this will have a very detrimental effect on the open science ecosystem by concentrating repository services within a few organizations, further exacerbating inequalities in access to services. Additionally, it will introduce bias against some researchers, for example,  researchers who prefer to share their data locally; researchers in the global south; or researchers who want to share their data in a relevant domain repository, so it can be visible to their peers and integrated with other similar datasets….”

Pop! Public-Private Partnerships and the Digitization of the Textual and Cultural Record

“This paper follows these threads to investigate a series of case studies of electronic access to books and cultural heritage, each incorporating some notion of a public-private partnership and some notion of the importance of open access or public good agendas, using as case studies projects like the HathiTrust’s Digital Library, Google Books, and Microsoft’s partnership with the British Library in the ill-fate Live Search Books project. The paper asks how the principles of open social scholarship contribute to a better and more nuanced understanding of digitization as a cultural practice and asks how a better understanding of the networks, partnerships, and paperwork (agreements, policies etc) of digitization could inform developments in open social scholarship. …”

Different viewpoints on open access by staff and researchers from the University of Antwerp


Open Access Policies and Experiences in Brazil: A Success Story?
by Felipe César de Andrade

Open Access at the University of Antwerp: a library point of view
by Rudi Baccarne

A student’s guide to Open Access
by Joris Van Meenen

From ‘Open Science’ to ‘Science’, lessons learned from this year’s Open Access week
by Martijn Van Roie

ReadAndPublishAgreementsUnethical – Google Docs

“The new ‘Read and Publish’ / ‘transformative’ agreements are just another version of hybrid because subscriptions are combined with APCs (Figures 1 and 2). They are also another version of a ‘Big Deal’ because universities are locked into a contract with a publisher that involves a bundle of journals at prices that are divorced from actual costs….”