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….”

OASPA Webinar: How should Scholarly Societies transition to Open Access? – OASPA

The OASPA Open Scholarship Webinar Series is delighted to focus its 6th webinar entirely on Scholarly Societies and Open Access publishing. Aileen Fyfe, University of St Andrews, sets the scene: when and why did scholarly Societies get involved in publishing, what changed their mission in the 20th Century and what choices do they face now? Stuart Taylor, Publishing Director of The Royal Society (the first Society to publish a scientific journal) showcases what the Royal Society is doing and discusses how societies might work together towards a common goal. Rachael Samberg, UC Berkeley Library, introduces a group of like-minded individuals from libraries, academic institutions, publishers, and consortia who have organized to provide support and advocacy for Learned and Professional Societies called  ‘Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (TSPOA)’. And Alicia Wise, Information Power, reveals the latest from the ‘Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S’ (SPA-OPS) project, commissioned by Wellcome, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP).

If you are interested in the future of knowledge and the role of Scholarly and Learned Societies in Open Access, then please join us for this free public webinar on Tuesday 23rd July. The presentations by the four panelists will be within the first hour. This will be followed by an extended Q&A discussion – bring those questions you always wanted to ask. It should be fun….”

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.

Learned Societies, the key to realising an open access future? | Impact of Social Sciences

“Plan S, a funder led initiative to drive open access to research, will have significant impacts on the ways in which academics publish and communicate their research. However, beyond simply changing the way academics disseminate their research, it will also influence how learned societies, the organisations tasked with representing academics in particular disciplines, operate, as many currently depend on revenues from journal subscriptions to cross-subsidise their activities. In this post Alicia Wise and Lorraine Estelle explore this issue and provide an update from the first phase of the SPA-OPS [Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S] project that has been tasked with assessing the options available for learned societies to make the transition to open access….

A significant finding from our study was that only a small proportion of all the models we assessed involved APC payments. There are numerous other business models, many of these are more promising, and all are aligned with Plan S. Whilst the APC is the best known route to delivering open access journals, at least 1000 society journals have already flipped from a hybrid to full OA model, we believe this approach has become over-conflated with open access. If society publishers are realistically going to make an open transition, then they need to transform their existing revenue streams to support OA publishing….”

The death of the learned societies? – ScienceGuide

Also the statement that potential profits are used to benefit science seems legitimate, but what exactly do we really know about the business model of learned societies and their journals? To answer these and other questions ScienceGuide spoke with editors and publishers deeply involved with the business of learned societies, and asked them about the value of learned society journals, and what they know about the underlying business model….

Van Ommen starts out to say that he is totally on board with open access, “but Plan S is reckless and ill-conceived.” ….

A similar line of reasoning moved the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) to seek out the commercial publisher Elsevier as their partner for a newly launched journal. Former president of the Royal Academy and current president of the (ISSCR) Hans Clevers was involved in the negotiations with the publisher on launching the open access journal Stem Cell Reports….

All of this provided a perfect opportunity for commercial publishers to either co-opt or completely take over these society journals. In 2004 a survey by the Association Learned & Professional Society Publishers found an estimated half of the learned society journals, especially the smaller ones, were run by third party commercial publishers. A 2013 also found that most of the learned societies have little information about how their income is derived….

Fletcher is somewhat baffled by the fact that learned societies don’t know about the full picture behind the business model of co-publishing. …

Although the level of detail in the annual reports of learned societies is too low to get a good estimate on costs and benefit, Kramer is positively surprised by the level of transparency. “If you’d want to have an overview like this for most commercial publishers you’d have a very hard time.” She points out that under Plan S journals are urged to be even more transparent on the way in which costs are derived. “Hopefully we’ll get an even better insight into the cost model of publishers.”

 

In the revised implementation of Plan S transparency is still a key conditional for compliance. In a previous interview with ScienceGuide president of the Dutch research funder NWO Stan Gielen indicated that in order to comply with the Plan S requirements journals would have to be upfront on how their APC is compiled. “We’re not going to require full transparency from every journal, but if an APC is ludicrously high, we’ll definitely ask questions about their business model.” …”

 

H.H. Barschall

In retirement, Barschall took up the cause of the high cost of scientific journals and the detriment to scientists. His research sparked an international legal battle and he was sued by German, Swiss and French publishing houses.

His studies of journal pricing were generally supported by the courts and made him a hero to a generation of research librarians. In 1990, The Association of Research Libraries gave him a special citation for this efforts. See http://barschall.stanford.edu/ for related information….”

Plan S and the Transformation of Scholarly Communication: Are We Missing the Woods? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“My initial disclaimer, if it’s not obvious, is that I am completely supportive of the driving principles and objectives of Plan S. I lead an organization [PLoS] that is – and always has been – Plan S compliant from top to toe. But more than that, I share the goal of a future in which the research literature is fully and immediately open with liberal rights of reuse. And so, I am pleased to see that this bold goal not only remains unchanged but that the feedback process has encouraged (or, in some cases, perhaps forced) stakeholders to support these general principles …

With that battle won, the question is now all about the transition. The revised guidelines show evidence of having listened to stakeholder concerns without watering down the fundamental principles. That’s key, but there are also a number of positive changes that both help to clear up confusion and should make the transition easier….”

DOAJ’s open letter to SSHA communities about Plan S – News Service

“The recently published Royal Historical Society (RHS) working paper on Plan Scontains some errors about the role that DOAJ might play in Plan S certification. These misunderstandings are commonplace and we, the DOAJ Management Team, have seen them before in other responses to Plan S. They are disappointing but they are not surprising….

The DOAJ Management Team recently decided that it is time to do a bit of “myth-busting“. Therefore we are publishing this open letter, partly as a response to the RHS paper, mostly as a way of addressing the misunderstandings that have been circulated on social media, but also as a call to SSHA communities to collaborate with us….

We felt it was important to respond to this particular statement because it illustrates that there is a great need to support social science, humanities and arts (SSHA) communities. DOAJ is keen to work more closely with SSHA communities and the organisations and bodies working with them to enable them to become fully familiar with the driving forces behind open access, in a way that the STEMM communities already are….

In 2015, DOAJ tightened its acceptance criteria and made all the 10 000+ indexed journals reapply to remain indexed. Many SSHA journals failed to submit a re-application to us, or didn’t meet enough of the criteria to remain indexed. It is not enough to expect these journals to simply come to us and apply. We must go to them and help them understand why being indexed in DOAJ is a good thing, but we cannot do it alone. With this post, we are putting out an open call to representative groups in the social sciences, humanities and arts to collaborate with us and help us to identify journals that are fit for purpose, and which should be indexed in DOAJ….

The RHS paper describes an understandable concern that Plan S disadvantages SSHA journals, many of which do not charge APCs. We were pleased to read this comment as this echoes exactly the concern which DOAJ presented to cOAlition S during the feedback period. The current draft of the Plan S requirements glosses over any journals, SSHA or otherwise, that do not charge APCs and these are the journals that DOAJ is trying to protect and promote….

Many commentators of Plan S have mentioned either that many journals in DOAJ are not Plan S compliant or that it is hard to identify Plan S compliant journals currently indexed in DOAJ. If cOAlition S confirms that DOAJ is a partner in Plan S implementation then the DOAJ Management Team will adapt DOAJ, both the website and the editorial processes, to allow journals to apply for Plan S compliance.

  • We will add a separate stream for those journals seeking Plan S compliance.
  • Being indexed in DOAJ will not equal Plan S compliance.
  • We will make it possible for journals to be indexed appropriately in DOAJ: Plan S compliant or DOAJ compliant or compliance for both.
  • We understand that many of the journals which eventually achieve Plan S compliance probably aren’t in DOAJ today.
  • We do expect that many of the journals in DOAJ today may not even want to apply for Plan S compliance.
  • We will work hard to make sure that Plan S compliant journals are quickly and easily identifiable by users….”

Is there a place for a Subscription Journal in an Open Access world?

“At the Annual Meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) in San Diego later this month [30 May, 2 p.m.] I will assert that yes, a subscription journal can continue its subscription business-model while effectively accelerating the transition of their discipline to Open Access—but only in the right circumstances, and only if a publisher adopts what I call “Maximum Dissemination” of the authors’ work, including elimination of its paywall….

Accepting an author’s final accepted manuscript (post peer-review) is the ideal point at which the publisher could take on the mantle of providing maximum dissemination of the author’s work.

Imagine at that point that a publisher informs the author as follows:

 

  • Congratulations. Your article “xxxxx” has now passed peer-review and has been accepted for publication in the Journal of yyy.
  • Part of our commitment to you is that we will seek maximum dissemination of your work, both the published version that we will now be preparing and your Author’s Accepted Manuscript (post peer-review) for those who do not yet subscribe to the Journal of yyy.
  • Upon publication of our published version we will archive your accepted manuscript in an Open Repository that meets all the requirements of sustainable accessibility. If you have a preference for which Open Repository, you’d like it submitted to, please check the appropriate box(s) below:
  • {The author’s home institution Institutional Repository}
  • {An Open Repository used by many in this particular discipline.}
  • {A National Repository used by scholars in the scholar’s home country.}
  • {etc.}…”

The real issues ‘are being blurred’ | Research Information

“[Q] What do you see as the biggest challenges in scholarly publishing today?

[A] A mixture of cost, inaccessibility, and the academic reward mechanism which has grown up around particular modes of scholarly communication. Cost is being driven by two factors: the increasing amount of atomised research that researchers are publishing with subscription journals; and the continued above inflation price increases, particularly amongst some of the very largest publishers.

The challenge of inaccessibility is a very significant one. There is no one established model for open access, there’s still a lot of innovation going on and there are a number of models emerging. We haven’t yet found a mechanism for supporting the learned society journals in particular, who therefore become conflicted because on one hand they are benefiting from some of the monopolistic behaviours around copyright transfer, but on the other hand are using the funds that are generated as part of the publishing business to support their learned society activities. If you end up in a pay-to-publish open access world, that immediately disenfranchises the very people who can’t access the current content in the first place.

The academic reward mechanisms, whereby you have journal title as a proxy of quality, means publishing in high-impact journals is actively rewarded and encouraged and used as a short cut to determine career paths and promotion. There’s a perverse incentive to go after being published in certain places, rather than in making the outputs of publicly funded research available to a much broader community….”