‘Those who hold the purse can change the system’ | Research Information

Smits spelled out the three ways to be compliant with Plan S:

  • Publish in high-quality open access journals/platforms;
  • Deposit in open access repositories without embargo; or
  • Publish in a hybrid journal that is subject to transformative agreement. The journal must be committed to a full OA transition within a period of four years.

He continued: ‘We have also heard that there are issues in some fields of science where there is no suitable open access journal in which to publish. To this end we are undertaking gap analysis, Where this proves to be the case, we will provide incentives to set up suitable journals or platforms.

‘On the subject of APCs, I am firmly advocating that there should be a cap on APCs; however we decided to adopt the Wellcome Trust approach and to say that APCs should be “reasonable”. We are going to do an in-depth study into what should be considered as reasonable, but I am very much of the opinion that the charge should be based on the service provided by the publisher.’

Smits concluded: ‘I had never expected Plan S to get so much attention and I think the fact that it is being debated around the world shows that people think there is change in the air, and that it is time for something new. That’s why it is important that all of us – particularly the publishers – come clean: do you believe that the results of publicly-funded research should no longer be behind expensive paywalls? Secondly, do you think it’s time for your businesses to move to new models based on open access? Answer these two questions with a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and I think you will make everyone happy – particularly me….”

Plan S: Are the Concerns Warranted? — Meta-Research Center

“Because of the low job security in the early stage of an academic career it is possible that early career researchers will be negatively affected by Plan S. Plan S currently involves 14 national funding agencies (including India that announced their participation on January 12th) and draws support from big private funds like the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Combined, these funds represent not more than 15% of the available research money in the world.

This relatively small market share could hurt young researchers dependent on Plan S funders as they will not be allowed to publish in some prestigious, but closed access journals. When researchers funded by other agencies can put these publications on their CV they would have an unfair advantage on the academic labour market. Only when Plan S or similar initiatives would cover a critical mass of the world’s research output would the playing field be levelled….”

 

Six Concerns Over India Joining the Plan S Coalition for Science Journals

On February 12, K. VijayRaghavan, the principal scientific advisor to the Government of India, announced that India would join a global consortium of countries attempting to standardise the way their scientists publish their papers, such that the papers are freely available to the public….

With India set to join the Plan S coalition, this means the Government of India, through the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), will pay to have Indian scientists’ papers published in OA journals. In turn, everyone in the world will be able to access publicly funded research from India, and vice versa….”
 

Opinion: “Plan S” falls short for society publishers—and for the researchers they serve | PNAS

“Although implementation guidance was released in November, many details are still unclear. It’s difficult to discern which journals and platforms will be considered compliant. (Conversely, some details of the plan seem mired in minutiae…)….

What does seem clear, at least in their implementation guidelines, is that Plan S will not permit publication in hybrid journals (a dominant model for society publishers) unless they meet one of two conditions: (i) The accepted manuscript is made available in a compliant repository at the time of publication without embargo with a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) or equivalent (which permits both commercial and derivative reuse) (5). (ii) The article is published OA with a CC BY license in a subscription journal that has “transformative agreements,” which achieve compliance through agreements such as “Read and Publish” (6) during the no-more-than-3-year period before the journal must “flip” to full OA. With such restrictions, publishing in most hybrid society journals will likely be prohibited for authors with Plan S funders, even if their coauthors have other funding. As for PNAS, the journal allows authors to deposit in PubMed Central on publication with no embargo but only if the authors have paid the regular article charge and the OA CC BY surcharge, a funding arrangement that would not be allowed under Plan S. The uncertainty of how this change will affect authors and the journal are indeed part of the problem….

I also worry that a less diverse ecosystem of publishing models will be detrimental for researchers. Some journals are more selective than others and thus have higher publication fees because they process and review many papers compared with the number for which they collect fees. Authors willing to pay a higher fee if their papers are accepted by a more selective journal have that choice….”

 

Ethical Dilemmas in Collection Development of Open Access Electronic Resources: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  All across the United States universities are being called into critical conversations about social justice. The American Library Association Code of Ethics calls on librarians to “uphold the principles of intellectual freedom” and “distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties.” Our ethics shape our engagement in these critical conversations. This article presents two ethical dilemmas experienced in Open Access electronic resource collection development and acquisition. Discussed first is the discovery and remediation of sharp practice in article processing charges. Second is the challenge of commercial Open Access projects and the role of libraries as investors of production. The author discusses how library professional ethics are applicable to and stretched by the goals of Open Access.

The OA Switchboard – OASPA

On December 6th 2018, a group of stakeholders representing research funding organizations, academic libraries, scholarly publishers, and open infrastructure providers met in London to discuss a proposal for addressing the growing set of challenges in the implementation of institutional and funder policies supporting open access publication. The result of this initial stakeholder meeting was broad support for this initiative, tentatively titled the OA Switchboard, and in the weeks since this initial meeting the support for this initiative has continued to grow. What follows is an overview from Paul Peters of the key challenges that the OA Switchboard aims to address, a description of the proposed solution, and a roadmap for the development and initial roll-out of this new system….

The problems that have begun to arise in the central funding of open access publications are likely to grow in scale and complexity in the coming years. If successful, initiatives like OA2020 and Plan S will likely result in a rise in the number of open access publications being centrally funded, either by universities or research funders. Not only will this result in higher administrative costs for institutions, funders, and publishers, but it may also lead to a more pronounced imbalance in the ability of small and large publishers to compete on equal footing. Already there are signs that a handful of large commercial publishers will be best positioned to negotiate open access agreements with individual institutions and consortia, often as part of existing “Big Deal” subscription agreements.

 

Many smaller publishers, including scholarly societies and fully open access publishers, have been unable to negotiate these kinds of central open access funding agreements. Not only do these smaller publishers lack the internal resources to make and implement agreements with a large number of institutions, but they often struggle to get a seat at the table in these sorts of discussions. The total open access output from any single institution may only amount to a few articles each year for many smaller publishers, making it difficult for these institutions to devote their scarce time and resources to setting up open access agreements with small and mid-sized open access publishers. Unless a solution to these problems can be found, negotiated deals with a handful of large publishers may be the only viable option for funders and universities to support the transition towards open access, which is likely to result in a publishing landscape that is even less competitive, transparent, and inclusive than the traditional subscription-based publishing market….

The OA Switchboard aims to leverage the benefits that a central payment intermediary can provide while avoiding the aforementioned challenges and risks that could be associated. The inspiration for this proposed solution has come from other examples of community-governed scholarly infrastructure, namely the Crossref DOI registry and ORCID, which have successfully brought together a large and diverse community of stakeholders to address complex challenges. An important distinction between the OA Switchboard and the sort of central payment intermediary described above is that the OA Switchboard is designed to enable publishers, academic institutions, and research funders to seamlessly communicate information about open access publications, without trying to serve as an intermediary for any payments that may be associated with these publications. In that sense, the OA Switchboard is simply another tool for passing metadata about scholarly publications between publishers and other stakeholders….”

Taking Stock of the Feedback on Plan S Implementation Guidance – The Scholarly Kitchen

“I thought it might be useful to share some of the themes that I have observed emerging across the feedback documents. These are impressionistic and not a systematic analysis….

Theme 1: Clear support for the transition to open access and the goals of Plan S….

Theme 2: Concern that the implementation guidance reflects models that work for STEM but will negatively impact HSS scholars….

Theme 3: The technical requirements for publication, repository, and other platforms are poorly thought out….

Theme 4: The predicted effects on small, independent, and society publishers raise concerns for the viability of these publishers….

Theme 5: Setting a fair and reasonable APC sounds fair and reasonable but it is also likely impossible….

Theme 6: Scholars and organizations in the Global South object to being told what they want….

Theme 7: The timelines are not feasible….”

PLOS Provides Feedback on the Implementation of Plan S

“We welcome Plan S as a ‘decisive step towards the realisation of full open access’1, in particular the push it provides towards realization of a research process based on the principles of open science. This is fully aligned with our mission to bring scientists together to share work as rapidly and widely as possible, to advance science faster and to benefit society as a whole. Our publications have operated in line with the core principles outlined in Plan S since the launch of our first journal, PLOS Biology, in 2003. We recognize that wide adoption of support for Plan S may bring additional competition within the open access publishing space. We welcome this evolution as a positive change in research culture, resulting in greater availability of information, growing inclusion in the scientific process and increasing the speed of discovery and innovation.  …”

Plan S feedback | Innovations in Scholarly Communication

We have a few overall recommendations:

  • Improve on the why: make it more clear that Plan S is part of a broader transition towards open science and not only to make papers available and OA cheaper. It is part of changes to make science more efficient, reliable and reusable.
  • Plan S brings great potential, and with that also comes great responsibility for cOAlition S funders. From the start, plan S has been criticized for its perceived focus (in intent and/or expected effects) on APC-based OA publishing. In our reading, both the principles and the implementation guidance recognize for all forms of full OA publishing, including diamond OA and new forms of publishing like overlay journals. However, it will depend to no small extent on the actual recognition and support of non-APC based gold OA models by cOAlitionS funders whether plan S will indeed encourage such bibliodiversity and accompanying equity in publishing opportunities. Examples of initiatives to consider in this regard are OJS journal systems by PKP, Coko open source technology based initiatives, Open Library of HumanitiesScoap3Free Journal Network, and also Scielo and Redalyc in Latin America.
  • The issue of evaluation and assessment is tied closely to the effects Plan S can or will have. It is up to cOAlitionS funders to take actionable steps to turn their commitment to fundamentally revise the incentive and reward system of science in line with DORA into practice, at the same time they are putting the Plan S principles into practice. The two can mutually support each other, as open access journals that also implement other open science criteria such as pre-registration, requirements for FAIR data and selection based on rigorous methodological criteria will facilitate evaluation based on research quality.  
  • Make sure to (also) provide Plan S in the form of one integrated document containing the why, the what and the how on one document. Currently it is too easy to overlook the why. That document should be openly licensed and shared in a reliable archive.
  • In the implementation document include a (graphical) timeline of changes and deadlines….”

Plan S feedback | Innovations in Scholarly Communication

We have a few overall recommendations:

  • Improve on the why: make it more clear that Plan S is part of a broader transition towards open science and not only to make papers available and OA cheaper. It is part of changes to make science more efficient, reliable and reusable.
  • Plan S brings great potential, and with that also comes great responsibility for cOAlition S funders. From the start, plan S has been criticized for its perceived focus (in intent and/or expected effects) on APC-based OA publishing. In our reading, both the principles and the implementation guidance recognize for all forms of full OA publishing, including diamond OA and new forms of publishing like overlay journals. However, it will depend to no small extent on the actual recognition and support of non-APC based gold OA models by cOAlitionS funders whether plan S will indeed encourage such bibliodiversity and accompanying equity in publishing opportunities. Examples of initiatives to consider in this regard are OJS journal systems by PKP, Coko open source technology based initiatives, Open Library of HumanitiesScoap3Free Journal Network, and also Scielo and Redalyc in Latin America.
  • The issue of evaluation and assessment is tied closely to the effects Plan S can or will have. It is up to cOAlitionS funders to take actionable steps to turn their commitment to fundamentally revise the incentive and reward system of science in line with DORA into practice, at the same time they are putting the Plan S principles into practice. The two can mutually support each other, as open access journals that also implement other open science criteria such as pre-registration, requirements for FAIR data and selection based on rigorous methodological criteria will facilitate evaluation based on research quality.  
  • Make sure to (also) provide Plan S in the form of one integrated document containing the why, the what and the how on one document. Currently it is too easy to overlook the why. That document should be openly licensed and shared in a reliable archive.
  • In the implementation document include a (graphical) timeline of changes and deadlines….”