A Revolution in Science Publishing, or Business as Usual?

“These successes, though, have also revealed divisions within the open-access community over two now-familiar questions: Who should run the publishing houses? And who should pay for the whole system? Instead of an open-access commons run by scholars in the public interest, the new open-access revolution increasingly looks like it will depend on the same big commercial publishers, who, rather than charging subscription prices to readers, are now flipping the model and charging researchers a fee to publish their work. The result is a kind of commercial open-access — a model very different than what many open-access activists envisioned.

Some advocates see corporate open-access as a pragmatic way of opening up research to the masses. But others see the new model as a corruption of the original vision — one that will continue to funnel billions of dollars into big publishing companies, marginalize scientists in lower income countries, and fail to fix deeper, systemic problems in scientific publishing….”

Open Access publishing practice in geochemistry: overview of current state and look to the future: Heliyon

Abstract:  Open Access (OA) describes the free, unrestricted access to and re-use of research articles. Recently, a new wave of interest, debate, and practice surrounding OA publishing has emerged. In this paper, we provide a simple overview of the trends in OA practice in the broad field of geochemistry. Characteristics of the approach such as whether or not an article processing charge (APC) exists, what embargo periods or restrictions on self-archiving’ policies are in place, and whether or not the sharing of preprints is permitted are described. The majority of journals have self-archiving policies that allow authors to share their peer reviewed work via green OA without charge. There is no clear relationship between journal impact and APC. The journals with the highest APC are typically those of the major commercial publishers, rather than the geochemistry community themselves. The rise in OA publishing has potential impacts on the profiles of researchers and tends to devolve costs from organizations to individuals. Until the geochemistry community makes the decision to move away from journal-based evaluation criteria, it is likely that such high costs will continue to impose financial inequities upon research community. However, geochemists could more widely choose legal self-archiving as an equitable and sustainable way to disseminate their research.


Academic Publishing and the Future of Open Access : Optometry and Vision Science

“Unfortunately, sanity, clarity, and insight about the future of academic publishing are hard to come by—the future is highly uncertain. If I had to say which way the momentum is shifting, it is toward open access and a more binary division between very large and small publishers, with fewer midsize publishers. That probably means there will be some additional industry consolidation and possible acquisitions. Journals affiliated with academic societies will be pressured to find sufficient subscription or other revenue to support their journals. Alternatively, author charges or some viable mix of subscription and page charge revenues will sustain them. Publishers will be increasingly pressured to serve the interests of authors as well as the interests of their funding agencies. The prospect of 38% annual profits is likely gone, and publishers will be pushed to further innovate in how they produce, distribute, and market scientific knowledge to maintain their relevance and market share. It would be interesting if scientific articles were treated like digital music. If a unifying force were capable of bringing the biggest publishing houses to the table to negotiate reasonable fees for libraries, authors, and the broader public, this could truly transform the world’s access to scientific knowledge….”

News & Views: Open Access Charges – Consolidation Continues – Delta Think

“Each year we survey the list Article Processing Charges (APCs) of a sample of major and significant publishers. Covering over 16,000 titles, this represents one of the most comprehensive reviews of open access pricing.

Headline Changes

To compare like for like, we analyze non-discounted, CC BY charges. Overall, list prices are increasing slowly:

Maximum APCs for hybrid journals have risen noticeably, from $5,200 two years ago, to $5,650 last year, to $5,900 this year.
The highest prices for fully OA journals have risen from $5,200 to $5,435.
Fully OA journal APCs are less expensive than hybrid, averaging around 53% of hybrid average APCs. This difference has not changed significantly over the last few years.
Average hybrid APCs continue to increase steadily, at very low single-digit percentages. Increases are accelerating slightly – from around 1% per year two years ago, to around 2% this year.
This is contrasted with fully OA average price increases of 4% over the last year….”

International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research transitions to open access

“[W]e are very pleased to announce that IJMPR [International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research] has transitioned to an open access journal, effective January 2020. As a result, all submissions to IJMPR will be subject to an Article Publication Charge (APC) if accepted and published in the journal. Since 10th July 2019, all articles submitted and accepted for publication in IJMPR have been published open access under a creative commons license. You can find details of the APCs here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/15570657/article_publication_charges.html and details about IJMPR’s open access licensing and copyright here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/15570657/homepage/open_access_license_and_copyright.htm?. If you have any questions regarding this transition, please feel free to contact the editors directly….”

Copernicus Publications – APC information

“Copernicus Publications is committed to the open-access model of publishing. This ensures free web access to the results of research and maximum visibility for published papers. Authors retain copyright and works are distributed under the CC BY License. However, it requires the author or a supporting institution to pay the publisher’s costs of the administration of the review process, typesetting, image processing, language copy-editing, web publication, dissemination, and long-term archiving (via Portico and CLOCKSS) in the form of article processing charges (APCs). Copernicus Publications provides all its services in-house. The current page prices for the individual journals can be found at our APC overview page….

Most of the journals we publish are owned by learned societies and other scientific institutions. These journal owners can decide whether they want to subsidize their journal(s) by covering the costs of our services entirely or partly (no APCs for authors or APCs smaller than the costs of our services); they can forward the costs of our services to the authors and thereby break even (APCs = costs of our service); or they can decide to generate some income for their own community activities by adding an amount x to the amount of our service fee (APCs for authors higher than the costs of our services)….

The following APC breakdown represents an average of all journals we publish: …”

Double dipping and other bad manners

“So in this context, double dipping is when an article is published open access – that is, an author’s fee has been paid for it to be read for free around the world – but the publisher then charges other users to read that article through a subscription. Now, if that were truly the case, the publisher would be paid twice for the same article.

Bad manners indeed!

Yes, but at Elsevier, we do not double dip. We have two models of compensation for an article: through an open access fee or through a subscription – but we are never paid for the same article twice.

But how do you ensure that? How is that managed?

This is managed through our business accounting. Fully gold open access journals, for example, have no subscription price, and therefore no pricing for those journals is included in any licensing contract. Customers are never charged a subscription fee for gold open access journals.

Ok, that makes sense. But what about hybrid journals that publish both gold open access as well as subscription articles?

Yes, I see how this could be confusing. We manage this by maintaining separate accounting streams. If an author selects to publish open access, the article publishing fee is collected and that article is published as open. Done. Those revenues are kept separate from the revenues of the subscription articles. So when pricing for each subscription journal is determined, revenue from the open access articles does not play into that evaluation. We maintain separate accounting and evaluation processes….”


Testing a new approach to open access fees

“In Steffen’s view, new open access payment models are needed to make open access implementation practical. The journal he co-edits, EER Plus, was launched in 2019 as the OA spin-off of Europe’s oldest general-interest economics journals: European Economic Review (EER). Its quality and reputation are such that it rejects about 80 percent of papers.

As Steffen describes it, the EPC model his journal is piloting offers an affordable option for researchers with limited access to funds. The charge is set low – at €527, where some article processing charges will be upwards of €4,000  – and unlike a submission fee, the author only pays if their paper is selected for peer review. However, that fee is non-refundable if the article is rejected at the peer review stage….”

New MJFF Policy for Research Grantees Embraces #OpenAccess Movement | Parkinson’s Disease

“Today, in keeping with our core values of transparency and scientific collaboration to accelerate the development of new treatments, MJFF [Michael J. Fox Foundation] announced a policy requiring that grantees publish articles resulting from MJFF-funded research projects in a preprint repository then an open access forum. The Foundation will provide funding to cover the cost of open access articles resulting from MJFF grants….”