Survey of Academic Library Open Access Publication Fee Pay Practices

“This report presents data from 73 academic libraries about their open access publication fee payment practices.  The 53-page study enables its end users to answer questions such as: How much have libraries spent in the past year on publication fees for open access and hybrid journals for their institution’s authors?  How much will they spend in the next year? What percentage of libraries pay such fees at all or have plans to?  What share of these fees are paid by libraries and what share by other departments and entities of the college or university? Have academic libraries partnered with consortia or other libraries to negotiate these fees?  How many articles did the pay for in the past year?  How many do they plan to pay for in the next year? 

Data in the report is broken out for R1 and R2 research universities, for doctoral level institutions and for those offering only BA/MA degrees.  In addition the data is broken out for public and private colleges, and by enrollment and tuition levels, and other variables, including work title, age and gender of the survey participant.

Some of the report’s many findings are that:

35.3% of R1 research universities in the sample had a line item in their budgets for the payment of author processing fees for hybrid and open access journals
20.51% of public institutions sampled said that departments or entities other than the academic library at their college or university contributed to the payment of author processing fees.
5.88% of BA/MA granting colleges in the sample have partnered with other colleges or universities or consortia to negotiate the level of author processing fees with publishers of hybrid or open access journals….”

Open Access Investment Fund | University of Arizona Libraries

“As of July 1, 2019, the Library’s Open Access Publishing Fund has been repurposed as an Open Access Investment Fund. We feel that by shifting our focus toward the long-term transformation of the scholarly publication ecosystem, we can accelerate the progress of the global open access movement.

From 2014 to 2019, the Library was able to offer direct support to UA-affiliated authors in the form of subsidies to cover the article processing charges for open access publications. While this funding model helped support open access publication of almost 300 articles, it was not a sustainable or scalable model for changing the landscape of scholarly publication.

The current ecosystem of scholarly publication, largely dominated by commercial publishers and dependent upon rapidly rising costs for accessing content, is not sustainable. Transitioning expenditures from “pay to read” (traditional licensing agreements) to “pay to publish” (payment of article processing charges) does little to transform the current ecosystem or stem the flow of increasing amounts of money into the system. Disrupting the traditional scholarly publication system will take more than merely subsidizing a small, finite number of scholarly publications in academic journals. True and lasting change requires investment in new infrastructure models and a commitment to new community-based models of scholarly publishing.

The Library’s Open Access Investment Fund has a twofold purpose:

Support of UA-affiliated author publication costs: The Library will continue to support UA-affiliated authors who publish in open access journals, though in a more indirect way. Through the Library’s institutional memberships with specific publishers, UA authors benefit from pre-arranged discounts on article processing charges.
Support of initiatives and projects that advance open access: The Library will commit funding in memberships and initiatives that have wide potential global impact, such as projects that develop open publication infrastructure or that convert portfolios of subscription-based peer-reviewed journals to open access.

Transitioning the UA Library’s Open Publishing Fund away from its previous internal focus toward a more global focus has the potential for much greater impact in changing the landscape of scholarly publication. The University of Arizona Library remains committed to supporting open access to both scholarship globally and to the published work of the UA campus community….”

AmeliCA before Plan S – The Latin American Initiative to develop a cooperative, non-commercial, academic led, system of scholarly communication | Impact of Social Sciences

“Open access is often discussed as a process of flipping the existing closed subscription based model of scholarly communication to an open one. However, in Latin America an open access ecosystem for scholarly publishing has been in place for over a decade. In this post, Eduardo Aguado-López and Arianna Becerril-Garcia discuss open access developments in Latin America and the AmeliCA initiative to develop a cooperative infrastructure for scientific communication. They also reflect on how the recent proposals put forward by cOAlition S to foster open access publication in the Global North, could potentially negatively impact open access efforts in Latin America. …”

The open access mandate: Be careful what you wish for – Bruno Agustini, Michael Berk,

“One of the main concerns regarding a fully open-access model is the quality of open-access journals. The Directory of Open Access Journals now lists 13,505 journals, with numbers increasing fast. While some are undoubtedly excellent, a massive majority and growing number are anything but.”

Guest Post: Plan S and Humanities Publishing – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Today’s post is by Jasmin Lange. Jasmin holds a PhD in book history and master’s degree in business management. Before joining Brill, she worked for Ernst Klett in Germany, Blackwell’s in the UK and for an international academic network based at the University of Edinburgh. After moving to Brill in 2011, she specialized in mergers & acquisitions, new business models, licensing, and open access. In January 2018, she was appointed Chief Publishing Officer and a member of Brill’s Executive Committee….”

Ecography’s flip to a pay‐to‐publish model – Araújo – – Ecography – Wiley Online Library

“The Nordic Society Oikos (NSO) has decided to flip Ecography from a pay?to?read model to a pay?to?publish model. All papers published after the flip, in January 2020, will become open access immediately. As a bonus, all published papers since 1997 will be also free to read.

According to NSO, the main reason for the flip is that the subscription income of Ecography is insufficient to cover the costs of publication. NSO has decided that, given the current changes in the publication landscape, the best strategy to guarantee the future of Ecography is to change its funding model.

As senior editors of Ecography (i.e. Editor?in?Chief and Deputy?Editors?in?Chief), we witness these changes with mixed feelings. On the one hand we acknowledge that there is little justification for limiting readers’ access to the scientific literature under a pay?to?read model. Most of the research published by journals is funded by taxpayers’ money and the general public should have the right to access it freely from any Internet terminal.

In an information?driven society, it is also disingenuous to allow fake news to roam freely on the Internet, while keeping the highest?standard information ever created by humankind behind paywalls. A better world will no doubt emerge from open science.

On the other hand, we share with many others the concern that a pay?to?publish system will increase inequality among authors….

The frequent flyer’s programmes of airline companies inspires the system we propose. Essentially, reviewers of manuscripts should obtain, for each review they perform for Ecography, a voucher that is worth a specified discount on the billed open access fees of their next paper in Ecography, valid for a specified time period. Within the same time window, editors will obtain vouchers worth a specified discount for every year of service.

We also propose that discounts can be granted for those that do not have institutional support or other means of paying Open Access fees. An author’s ability to pay should not influence any aspect of the review process, including the decision on whether or not the manuscript is accepted for publication….”

Genetics Research turns a new [open access] leaf… | Genetics Research | Cambridge Core

“[W]e are delighted to announce that from January 2019, Genetics Research will convert to the open access model of publication. Genetics is an area where both authors and funders are showing substantial support for Open Access, with increasing author uptake of OA. It is our belief that converting Genetics Research to open access is the right solution for the journal and for the community. From January 2019, Genetics Research will publish all articles under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Subsequently, an Article Processing Charge (APC) will be payable by authors or their funder on acceptance of their primary research article. In the majority of cases, these costs are paid by the author, his or her institution, or a funder….”

Plan S and Humanities Publishing – The Scholarly Kitchen

It is widely recognized that HSS and its publishing industry are different (and less profitable). As a publisher in those fields, one could easily be tempted to ask funders for exceptions to policies that push for a faster transition to OA – out of fear that we might become collateral damage in a process that hit us like a storm. One year after Plan S, I think to do so would be a huge mistake.

It is very simple: if we ask for exceptions for HSS, the research we publish will not be able to transition to open with the same speed as STM. As a consequence, HSS research would not be visible as much, would generate less impact and would be even more pushed to the background when budgets are distributed. HSS would be left behind.

We not only need to accelerate OA – increase the speed of transition – but, more importantly, we need to expand the possibilities to transition to OA beyond the APC model. HSS research is highly relevant and deserves to be open. By being more open, HSS can have a greater impact on society and contribute more efficiently to making this world a better place. As HSS publishers, we need to speak up for the communities we serve and help them defend their position in a competitive research landscape. With the right plan for a transition to more openness, HSS will not only survive but thrive in the future and unfold their full potential….”

A single, open access journal may prevent the primary publishing problems in the life sciences: Accountability in Research: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  Herein, we discuss a novel way to knit current life sciences publishing structures together under the scope of a single life science journal that would countermand many of the issues faced in current publishing paradigms. Such issues include, but are not limited to, publication fees, subscription fees, impact factor, and publishing in more “glamorous” journals for career health. We envision a process flow involving (i) a single, overall, life sciences journal, (ii) divided into sections headed by learned societies, (iii) to whom all scientific papers are submitted for peer review, and (iv) all accepted scientific literature would be published open access and without author publication fees. With such a structure, journal fees, the merit system of science, and unethical aspects of open access would be reformed for the better. Importantly, such a journal could leverage existing online platforms; that is to say, it is conceptually feasible. We conclude that wholly inclusive publishing paradigms can be possible. A single, open access, online, life sciences journal could solve the myriad problems associated with current publishing paradigms and would be feasible to implement.