Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S (SPA-OPS) project

“This collection contains the key outputs from the Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S (SPA-OPS) project. This project set out to identify routes through which learned society publishers could successfully transition to open access (OA) and align with Plan S.

This project was led by Alicia Wise and Lorraine Estelle of Information Power, and was commissioned by Wellcome, UK Research and Innovation, and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)….”

Free Webinar: Publishing OA journals at a scholarly society or university

“In the transition to open access, more and more scholarly societies and universities are launching OA journals and running digital journal publishing operations. What goes into a successful journal launch? And how are scholarly societies and universities scaling their OA publishing efforts to meet core journal standards and reach more readers?

In this webinar, Scholastica users share their experience running OA journals at scholarly societies and universities, including advice on how to:

Launch new OA journals at a university or society
Develop OA journals to meet the highest standards and reach more readers
Expand OA journal publishing efforts with limited resources…”

Learned Societies, Open Access and Budgetary Cross-Subsidy | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“There’s an article out in The Times Higher Education Science Magazine (edit 11:38am) about Learned Societies and open access. As usual, it points out the thorny problem that Learned Societies derive revenue from subscriptions that they fear will be lost under an OA model. A few points spring to mind on this. 1. There is no guarantee that moving to an OA model will cause a loss of revenue; 2. zero-embargo green OA would be compliant with Plan S and does not seem to lead to loss of revenue; 3. I have written previously on how Learned Societies could manage this transition.

What I really wanted to write on here, though, briefly, was how this is really a problem of value, transparency, and distributed financing of disciplinary activities. When people say ‘Learned Societies fund their activities through subscription revenues’ what I hear is ‘academic library budgets are used to fund disciplinary activities’ (yes, I know that there are private subscriptions, membership fees, and other revenue streams etc., but the majority of the money is, nonetheless, coming from library budgets). These are also the budgets that have lagged by several hundred percent behind the total cost of ownership of all subscription journals worldwide. The subscription model does, at least, distribute this cost among many libraries (as opposed to APC-based models, which concentrate the costs at fewer points). But the truth of the matter is that Learned Societies are funded by academic library budgets. If they rely on a subscription model, they are also reliant on excluding people who cannot pay, for the claimed good of the Society.

I happen to think that a mission of a Learned Society should include getting its research as far under the nose of any interested constituent as possible, regardless of whether that person can pay. At the end of the day, what’s the point of funding a Ph.D. studentship if, when that student graduates and likely does not get an academic job, she/he/they is/are unable to continue to read research in the field? Regardless of this, though, I think that what sits at the heart of this dilemma for Learned Societies is a crisis and anxiety of value….”

Learned Societies, Open Access and Budgetary Cross-Subsidy | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“There’s an article out in The Times Higher Education Science Magazine (edit 11:38am) about Learned Societies and open access. As usual, it points out the thorny problem that Learned Societies derive revenue from subscriptions that they fear will be lost under an OA model. A few points spring to mind on this. 1. There is no guarantee that moving to an OA model will cause a loss of revenue; 2. zero-embargo green OA would be compliant with Plan S and does not seem to lead to loss of revenue; 3. I have written previously on how Learned Societies could manage this transition.

What I really wanted to write on here, though, briefly, was how this is really a problem of value, transparency, and distributed financing of disciplinary activities. When people say ‘Learned Societies fund their activities through subscription revenues’ what I hear is ‘academic library budgets are used to fund disciplinary activities’ (yes, I know that there are private subscriptions, membership fees, and other revenue streams etc., but the majority of the money is, nonetheless, coming from library budgets). These are also the budgets that have lagged by several hundred percent behind the total cost of ownership of all subscription journals worldwide. The subscription model does, at least, distribute this cost among many libraries (as opposed to APC-based models, which concentrate the costs at fewer points). But the truth of the matter is that Learned Societies are funded by academic library budgets. If they rely on a subscription model, they are also reliant on excluding people who cannot pay, for the claimed good of the Society.

I happen to think that a mission of a Learned Society should include getting its research as far under the nose of any interested constituent as possible, regardless of whether that person can pay. At the end of the day, what’s the point of funding a Ph.D. studentship if, when that student graduates and likely does not get an academic job, she/he/they is/are unable to continue to read research in the field? Regardless of this, though, I think that what sits at the heart of this dilemma for Learned Societies is a crisis and anxiety of value….”

New deals could help scientific societies survive open access | Science | AAAS

“In the push to make the scientific literature open access, small scientific societies have feared they could be collateral damage. Many rely on subscription revenue from their journals—often among the most highly cited in their disciplines—to fund other activities, such as scholarships. And whereas big commercial publishers have the scale to absorb financial losses in some of their journals, many scientific societies operate at most a handful of journals.

A reprieve may be in sight. Last week, a project that included funders backing Plan S, the European-led effort to speed the transition to open access, released a set of contract templates and tips meant to help small, independent publishers reach deals with libraries that would eventually eliminate subscriptions while protecting revenue. The project also helped arrange pilots, which may soon be inked, that use the guidance; they will allow researchers served by library consortia to publish an unlimited number of open-access articles in return for a set fee paid to societies….”

New deals could help scientific societies survive open access | Science | AAAS

“In the push to make the scientific literature open access, small scientific societies have feared they could be collateral damage. Many rely on subscription revenue from their journals—often among the most highly cited in their disciplines—to fund other activities, such as scholarships. And whereas big commercial publishers have the scale to absorb financial losses in some of their journals, many scientific societies operate at most a handful of journals.

A reprieve may be in sight. Last week, a project that included funders backing Plan S, the European-led effort to speed the transition to open access, released a set of contract templates and tips meant to help small, independent publishers reach deals with libraries that would eventually eliminate subscriptions while protecting revenue. The project also helped arrange pilots, which may soon be inked, that use the guidance; they will allow researchers served by library consortia to publish an unlimited number of open-access articles in return for a set fee paid to societies….”

Report and Toolkit to Support Learned Society Publishers Transition to Immediate Open Access | Plan S

“cOAlition S aims to work with publishers, societies, consortia, and other stakeholders to accelerate the transition to Open Access. One of the current priorities is to develop clearer approaches to transformative arrangements towards full and immediate Open Access. Today an independent report and toolkit are launched to do just this.

This work was commissioned by Wellcome and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – two UK members of cOAlition S – in partnership with the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP). Information Power were appointed to lead the project.

The resulting report and toolkit are designed to help support learned society publishers to accelerate their transition to Open Access, and enter into transformative agreements that unlock a multi-year transitional pathway compliant with Plan S for hybrid Open Access titles. All outputs are available under a CC-BY licence at: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4561397 …”

Society Publishers Accelerating Open Access and Plan S – Final Project Report

The final project report from the Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S (SPA-OPS) project. The report presents the results of work to identify and assess a range of potential models through which learned societies could successfully transition to the requirements of Plans S. Based on the research undertaken, the report sets out recommendations for learned society publishers and other stakeholders committed to supporting them in making this transition. This work was conducted by Alicia Wise and Lorraine Estelle of Information Power. The SPA-OPS project was commissioned by Wellcome, UKRI, and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP).

Transformation: the future of society publishing | Zenodo

Abstract:  The release in September 2018 of Plan S has led many small and society publishers to examine their business models, and in particular ways to transform their journals from hybrids into pure Open Access (OA) titles. This paper explores one means by which a society publisher might transform, focused specifically on the institutional set-price Publish & Read package being developed by the Microbiology Society based on assessments of: the geographic diversity of our author and subscriber bases; trends in article numbers, article costs and revenues; the administrative complexity of the options; and the reputational and financial risks to the Society associated with the package. We outline the process we followed to calculate the financial and publishing implications of Publish & Read at different price points, and share our view that these kinds of packages are a stop on the way to new models of OA that do not rely on Article Processing Charges (APCs). Our hope is that in sharing our experience, we will contribute to a collective best practice about how to transform society publishing.The release in September 2018 of Plan S has led many small and society publishers to examine their business models, and in particular ways to transform their journals from hybrids into pure Open Access (OA) titles. This paper explores one means by which a society publisher might transform, focused specifically on the institutional set-price Publish & Read package being developed by the Microbiology Society based on assessments of: the geographic diversity of our author and subscriber bases; trends in article numbers, article costs and revenues; the administrative complexity of the options; and the reputational and financial risks to the Society associated with the package. We outline the process we followed to calculate the financial and publishing implications of Publish & Read at different price points, and share our view that these kinds of packages are a stop on the way to new models of OA that do not rely on Article Processing Charges (APCs). Our hope is that in sharing our experience, we will contribute to a collective best practice about how to transform society publishing.

 

1st Basel Sustainable Publishing Forum – Dialog with Learned Societies: Sustainable Solutions for Successful Transition to Open Access

“Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by an international consortium of research funders, named cOAlition S. Plan S requires that, as of 2021, all scientific publications resulting from public funding is published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. While the principles and implementation guidelines have been clearly stated and updated recently, many concerns were raised, especially concerning the stability of the evaluation system and the stability of the research ecosystem.

At the center of these concerns are learned societies which often strongly rely on publishing revenues to ensure the viability of all the activities done for their scientific communities. This dialog day aims to bring together representatives of learned societies to hear from them and understand the challenges that they are facing to transition/flip their journals to Open Access….”