Open and Shut?: “It is for publishers to provide Plan S-compliant routes to publication in their journals.”

“The problem right now, however, is that there is too little information on how Plan S would work in practice. This means it is nigh impossible for informed commentary to take place, and we are seeing frequent calls for clarification.

On 12th September, therefore, I invited Smits to do an interview with me, in the hope that he could provide that clarification. I suggested we do this either by telephone or email. Smits agreed and said he would prefer to do it by email. So, I emailed him a list of questions and waited for his replies. These arrived on Monday this week.  …”

EU open-access envoy urges foundations to join Plan S

“Organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust should join Plan S to continue their “moral leadership” on open research, Plan S founder and European Commission open-access envoy Robert-Jan Smits told Research Europe. He was speaking on his return from a weeklong tour of federal agencies, universities and learned societies in the United States, where he was attempting to boost international support for the plan….

Smits claimed that the feedback on Plan S he received in the US was mostly that independent foundations need to join….

Smits has said that Plan S is based on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s policies. These include that papers reporting research it has funded must be made openly available immediately and with a licence that permits unrestricted reuse. The foundation has forced some of the world’s most prestigious journals to change their policies so that they comply.

During the trip, Smits sought to quell fears that Plan S would undermine the so-called green open-access model, in which papers are placed in repositories, usually after a publisher-imposed embargo period. Plan S will not accept embargo periods, causing some concern that it will only support the gold open-access model in which papers are made openly available immediately, usually by paying publishers an article-processing charge.

Smits said that Plan S leaves “ample room” for repositories, article preprints and self-archiving. He also admitted that organisations in the US flagged the plan’s lack of recognition for publishers using the so-called diamond and platinum open-access models, which do not charge authors publication fees….

According to Smits, those he met who were most enthusiastic about Plan S were librarians and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

More cautiously interested parties, he said, were the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Smits said this was because the OSTP is awaiting a new director who will set the agenda for open access at the federal level. Research Europe has approached these organisations for comment.

Those who were most sceptical of the plan were the learned societies, Smits said. These organisations rely on income from journal subscription charges and fear that the loss of revenue caused by a switch to open access would affect activities such as the organisation of conferences, he said….”

Societies, Mission and Publishing: Why One Size Does Not Fit All – The Scholarly Kitchen

“I read with interest the recent Scholarly Kitchen Guest Post entitled “Why a Society Publisher is Moving Toward Read and Publish Models” by Emma Wilson of the Royal Society of Chemistry on their adoption of the Read and Publish model. The article was well written and cogent, but with one significant flaw – a fundamental dissonance between mission and publishing business sense that denudes the argument. You come away with a fatal sense that if the Read and Publish model succeeds, the ability of the Royal Society of Chemistry to raise enough operating income to fulfill its mission as a society falls away….”

The expansion of open access is being driven by commercialisation, where private benefit is adopting the mantle of public value

“Plan S is the latest initiative to propose that all publicly funded science should be available in open access formats from the day of first publication. However, John Holmwood argues it is important to recognise that open access is itself being promoted in the name of commercial interests, including new, for-profit disrupters but also the large publishing conglomerates capturing the production and distribution of open access platforms. Open access mandates risk excluding authors unable to pay article processing charges, and also pose a threat to the learned societies and not-for-profit publishers which have done much to support their epistemological communities, particularly in the humanities and social sciences….”

Academic-led OA Journal Publishing

“Scholars and academic institutions are committed to making research more affordable and accessible – they should be the ones controlling journals, not corporate publishers. Academic-led publishing is about learned societies, universities, and groups of scholars taking back control of research by using software and services to publish modern journals on their own….”

New Resource to Help Promote Academic-led Journal Publishing

“Have you heard the term “academic-led journal publishing” and are you wondering what it means? Or are you familiar with the growing movement of learned societies, libraries, and groups of scholars introducing alternatives to the corporate journal publishing model, and wondering how to get involved?

We’ve just launched a new public resource page titled “Welcome to the age of academic-led journal publishing“ to provide an overview of the academic-led publishing movement and resources for scholars and institutions looking to support or launch academic-led titles. The page overviews why academic-led publishing is the solution to lowering rising journal prices and how scholars and institutions are operating modern academic-led journals at a fraction of the cost of the traditional journal publishing model. The page is also full of links to resources you can use to operate or support academic-led journals….

Academic-led publishing is about learned societies, universities, and groups of scholars taking back control of research by using software and services to publish modern journals on their own. Academic-led journals like Glossa, which was launched by former editors of the Elsevier journal Lingua who decided to leave the corporate-run title due to rising access costs, are making waves in the journal publishing world. With affordable and easy-to-use technology the academic community is taking back the reins of research access….”

Towards universal open access? Why we need bibliodiversity rather than a “silver bullet” | SciELO in Perspective

“As a conclusion, too often, the discussion on open access models is sometimes completely confused, sometimes too simplistic, and usually based on undue generalization of local situations and even singular experiences. It doesn’t reflect properly the variety of parameters that influence the way research is practiced and communicated amongst peers and towards societies at large. Therefore, we desperately need a better-informed discussion based on case studies and probably driven by the actor-network theory because it allows for a modelling of how diverse stakeholders interact in the scholarly communication process. Because we need not only open access, but above all open scholarly communication models that serve the actual needs of the research communities and societies to create knowledge and benefit from it, we need an open access model based on bibliodiversity.”

ISCB Public Policy Statement on Open Access to Scientific and Technical Research Literature | Bioinformatics | Oxford Academic

The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is dedicated to advancing human knowledge at the intersection of computation and life sciences. On behalf of the ISCB members, this public policy statement expresses strong support for open access, reuse, integration, and distillation of the publicly-funded archival scientific and technical research literature, and for the infrastructure to achieve that goal.

Looking for commitment: Finnish open access journals, infrastructure and funding

Most of the 100+ Finnish scholarly journals are published by small learned societies. Since 2015, the National Library of Finland and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies have been working on a joint project which aims to provide the journals with the support they need for making a transition to open access. The project has launched an OJS-based shared publication platform (, which is already used by 50 journals. It has also been developing a new funding model for the journals. Since the subscription and licensing costs paid by the research libraries for these journals have been very small, it is not possible to simply use these funds to pay for open access. Instead, the project has been working on a consortium-based model, under which the Finnish research organizations and funders would commit themselves to providing long-term funding to the journals. In return, the journals would pledge to follow strict standards in openness, licensing, peer review and infrastructure.

MIT and Royal Society of Chemistry Sign First North American “Read and Publish” Agreement for Scholarly Articles | MIT Libraries News

“The MIT Libraries and the Royal Society of Chemistry have signed a groundbreaking license agreement that incorporates elements of a traditional subscription purchase and open access to scholarly articles. The experimental two-year agreement is seen as an important step on the path toward making more research freely and openly available to the world.

The new agreement combines traditional subscription-based access to Royal Society of Chemistry articles for the MIT community with immediate open access to MIT-authored articles, making them freely available to all audiences at the time of publication. It is the first of its kind among North American institutions….

In order to encourage this overall transition to open access, MIT and the Royal Society of Chemistry collaborated on significant new language in the agreement, signaling the Royal Society of Chemistry ’s commitment to a fully open access publishing model in the future. The agreement affirms that the current read and publish model is a “transitional business model whose aim is to provide a mechanism to shift over time to full open access.” Making this successful transition to full open access will require collaborations across universities.”