Let it flow: COVID-19 pandemic underscores need to share research; but how will it work

“In a way, options such as Plan S and the nation-wide subscription policy [proposed in India] worsen inequal ities between scholars from developing and developed countries and between researchers from rich and poor universities. Clearly, better models are needed to ensure open access to research.”

 

Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation

Abstract:  This article investigates whether it is economically feasible for a large publishing house to waive article processing charges for the group of 47 so-called least developed countries (LDC). As an example, Springer Nature is selected. The analysis is based on the Web of Science, OpenAPC and the Jisc Collections’ Springer Compact journal list. As a result, it estimates an average yearly publication output of 520 publications (or 0.26% of the worldwide publication output in Springer Nature journals) for the LDC country group. The loss of revenues for Springer Nature would be US$1.1 million if a waiver was applied for all of these countries. Given that the subject categories of these publications indicate the output is of high societal relevance for LDC, and given that money is indispensable for development in these countries (e.g. life expectancy, health, education), it is not only desirable but also possible in economic terms for a publisher like Springer Nature to waive APCs for these countries without much loss in revenues.

 

Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation

Abstract:  This article investigates whether it is economically feasible for a large publishing house to waive article processing charges for the group of 47 so-called least developed countries (LDC). As an example, Springer Nature is selected. The analysis is based on the Web of Science, OpenAPC and the Jisc Collections’ Springer Compact journal list. As a result, it estimates an average yearly publication output of 520 publications (or 0.26% of the worldwide publication output in Springer Nature journals) for the LDC country group. The loss of revenues for Springer Nature would be US$1.1 million if a waiver was applied for all of these countries. Given that the subject categories of these publications indicate the output is of high societal relevance for LDC, and given that money is indispensable for development in these countries (e.g. life expectancy, health, education), it is not only desirable but also possible in economic terms for a publisher like Springer Nature to waive APCs for these countries without much loss in revenues.

 

Science journals to offer select authors open-access publishing for free | Science | AAAS

AAAS, which publishes the Science family of journals, announced today it will offer its authors a free way to comply with a mandate issued by some funders that publications resulting from research they fund be immediately free to read. Under the new open-access policy, authors may deposit near-final, peer-reviewed versions of papers accepted by paywalled Science titles in publicly accessible online repositories.

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….”

Will Plan S support or pervert Open Access ? | Ouvertures immédiates / Immediate openings

“From its inception, the open access movement has postulated that publishing costs should be controlled by research institutions and funded by redirecting resources after canceling journal subscriptions. In reality, things have proved more complex. Although « transformative agreements” that cover both publishing and reading have rapidly increased the percentage of articles published in open access in some institutions, the details of these agreements are generally kept secret and so their scope is difficult to compare.

Nevertheless, it is clear that making most articles open access but for a fee, if tariffs are not a realistic reflection of actual costs, will explode university library budgets (Harvard estimates this increase at 71%) and mark large differences in the ability to publish. Indeed, this could create a vicious circle whereby well-funded researchers publish more, gain more visibility as well as recognition and, as a result, get more funding.

If Plan S does not explicitly monitor and maintain, within the terms of its open publication requirement, an insurmountable ceiling on publication costs, these perverse effects of budget explosion will be inevitable. This is now where the challenge of communicating public research lies….”

De Gruyter Position on Plan S

[Undated] “Plan S has little to no regard for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The creators of Plan S have used the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine) research ecosystem as their main model and have presented a “one size fits all” approach with a focus on journals – which are key for STEM – and have practically ignored monographs – which are of greater importance in HSS. A single, unified approach to delivering open access across the full spectrum of academic publishing is unfeasible.
A plan driven by payments from direct grants is incompatible with disciplines and sub-fields where there is no direct grant funding. Funding for the humanities, unlike funding for much of STEM, is not usually centralized, and often comes from educational institutions directly, rather than well-endowed foundations. Furthermore, unlike STEM, many disciplines also have a more national focus, and available funding is therefore even more difficult to identify and secure.
It is not possible for the vast majority of HSS (Humanities and Social Science) journals to simply ‘flip’ to APC-based open access. Many serve relatively small research communities and combine low publication volumes with high rejection rates. They will not be able to provide the same level of service to their communities on the basis of a small number of capped APCs….”