On Plan S/transformative publishing, or … A disptach in the wake of the Charleston Conference

“–Depending on how much APC funding eventually shifts from libraries to the federal government, will the price mechanism for APCs adjust to accommodate the readiness of grant funding agencies to bankroll APCs?  If so, can we assume the government will have a more price-elastic posture than universities historically have had, given the latter’s tenure and promotion demand-side incentives to publish in high tier journals regardless the cost? If federal agencies are not elastically responsive to prices (i.e., if they reward publication in high priced journals without regard to prices), don’t we just perpetuate the high pricing that librarians have so long lamented, therefore shifting this malaise’s remedy to the public’s dime? Is this fair to the citizenry? How does this affect public funding for other federally funded initiatives?

–Concerns about “existential threats” now appears in discussions about scholarly publishing. Scholarly societies have them. Can societies be assured of stable revenue streams, erstwhile from library journal subscriptions, if some complex admixture of federal government grant funds and university funds fund APCs?

–There seems to be no discussion among librarians about an “existential threat” to their own profession. If funding of journals shifts from universities to federal funding agencies, doesn’t this cut out librarian involvement in selecting and funding journals? Correlatively, wouldn’t this reduce their budgets? Also, would this reduce their collection development role  to APC bean-counting, much of which will become the purview of offices of research whose involvement will merely be one of marking APCs as a line item in grant funding disbursement accounting? Would this be a good or a bad thing? 

–Where is discussion about the opportunity cost of diverting a portion of hard-to-get state-funded research dollars to funding APCs? What research, e.g. for renewal energy, or cancer or agricultural research for developing countries, now goes by the wayside?  

–Will societies and university publishers just gradually assimilate the newly emerging APC regime for their economic survival in funding membership activities, without discussions about possible threats to financial stability or discussions about the larger philosophical premises of doing so?

 

–On the philosophical issues, shouldn’t society publishers worry about governmental ideological manipulation of who within their memberships gets grant-funded APCs?  Sure, one could make that argument about federal grant funding per se. But doesn’t the latter arguably addresses an externality that (in an ideal world) concerns the common good, while APC funding is an externality that does *not* necessitate federal subsidizing–given that scholarly publishing mechanisms can and should be developed that don’t require federal subsidy?  These are points everyone should ask regardless of political affiliation.

–From what one speaker at Charleston said, the complexities of negotiating with publishers has a new overlay: tortuous internecine discussions among consortial members. If  this is true of all consortia, one has the sense that consortial leaders now have to have to engage game theoretic scenarios not only with respect to publishers, but also their individual members. Just imagine how much more complicated all this will now become with the pressures on libraries to pay for APCs. Isn’t it undesirable to introduce this added complexity, at least at this juncture? Why not just work on contracting the number of journals published, about which . . . 

–I’ve been arguing for contracting the number of journals, a la something like Bradford’s Law. A refinement on that: we need to distinguish two rationales for contracting the journal space. These are:

Rationale (1.) An argument on the principled basis that it is desirable to contract the number of journals, given that the ever-growing glut of journal articles undermines the common good of discoverability and assimilation of research findings.

Rationale (2.) An argument from economic reality: library budgets are relatively flat so we need to deconstruct Big Deals or even the number of subscribed journals regardless the journal sales model.

Shouldn’t big consortia use their negotiating power to argue that the ever-rising prices of journals (not to mention pressures for APCs merely to replicate the price dynamics of toll-access publishing) necessitates contracting the number of journals?  This point extends not just to toll-access publishing, but also gold ones? If so, pursuing rationale (1) for contracting the journal space aligns neatly with rationale (2) for doing so. I.e., rationale (2) becomes the vehicle for accomplishing rationale (1).

–I’ve also argued that consortia with journal negotiating power should educate their faculty about the need to contract the journal space. A refinement to that, too: the discussions should focus on rationale (1) above, rather than (2), which concer

A new era for research publication: Will Open Access become the norm? – Hotta – – Journal of Diabetes Investigation – Wiley Online Library

“This new challenge [Plan S] causes some concerns to us. This program is unlikely to be equivalent between Europe and the United States8). because key US federal agencies such as National Institute of Health (NIH), mandate a ‘green’ Open Access policy, whereby articles in subscription journals are automatically made available after a 12-month embargo. This policy protects the existing ‘paywalled’ subscription business model. Also, ‘Plan S’ does not allow for scientists to publish their papers in hybrid journals….

One piece of bright news, however, is that Open Access publication fees would be covered by funders or research institutions, not by individual researchers. Although our journal is already Open Access, we have some concerns regarding the publication fee being covered by either researchers or institutions….”

Given that the publishing industry is approaching a new era in which 85% or more of journals are Open Access, it is necessary for us to develop a survival strategy against this coming fierce competition….

Petition · Right to share publications · Change.org

“As scientists and scholars, we create the intellectual content that appears in APA [American Psychological Association] Journals. We conduct the research, write the papers and review the work at no cost to your journals. We also edit your journals for minimal income. This makes the academic publication system incredibly profitable for publishers.

It deeply concerns us that APA uses these profits to pay staff to threaten us to remove these products of our free labor from our academic websites, where other academics can read and build on our work. 

We engage in practices like voluntary reviewing for APA because we feel a commitment to producing a public good that others can use to promote scientific progress. By using these profits to restrict us from sharing our own work, you have privatized a public good and made our relationship transactional. Of course, it is entirely within your rights to do so.

If you wish to make this relationship transactional, we demand that you use the profits from our work to pay us for reviewing. If we learn that you have pressured any of the signees to remove their own APA publications from their academic website, then all signees will demand that you pay us $300 per review (unless otherwise agreed upon in writing). 

In short, you have a simple choice: You continue to accept our free labor and allow us to share the products of our labor on our academic websites OR we move to a transactional relationship and you pay us for our reviewing and we use that money to pay for open access rights for our papers (or any other purpose we deem relevant).”

What happened when a professor was accused of sharing his own work on his website

“Like many academics, William Cunningham, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, shares his own articles — published and soon-to-be — on his website. And like most academics, he does so in the interest of science, not personal profit.

So Cunningham and hundreds of his colleagues were recently irked by a takedown notice he received from the American Psychological Association, telling him that the articles he had published through the organization and then posted on his website were in violation of copyright law. The notice triggered a chain of responses — including a warning from his website platform, WordPress, that multiple such violations put the future of his entire website at risk. And because the APA had previously issued similar takedown notices, the threat of losing his website seemed real to Cunningham.

In response, psychologists started a petition to the APA, saying that if it didn’t stop policing authors’ personal websites for the sharing of science, then it needed to pay peer reviewers $300 for each article review….”

Open access efforts begin to bloom: ESC Heart Failure gets full attention and first impact factor

Abstract:  In 2014, the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) founded the first open access journal focusing on heart failure, called ESC Heart Failure (ESC?HF). In the first 5 years, in ESC?HF we published more than 450 articles. Through ESC?HF, the HFA gives room for heart failure research output from around the world. A transfer process from the European Journal of Heart Failure to ESC?HF has also been installed. As a consequence, in 2018 ESC?HF received 289 submissions, and published 148 items (acceptance rate 51%). The journal is listed in Scopus since 2014 and on the PubMed website since 2015. In 2019, we received our first impact factor from ISI Web of Knowledge / Thomson?Reuters, which is 3.407 for 2018. This report reviews which papers get best cited. Not surprisingly, many of the best cited papers are reviews and facts & numbers mini reviews, but original research is also well cited.

Suomalaiset tiedelehdet DOAJ-rekisteriin -seminaari 3.12.2019 | julkaisufoorumi.fi

“DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV) are Collaborating on a Pilot Project to Promote and Help Peer-reviewed Open Access (OA) Journals published in Finland to be indexed in DOAJ. An open information event will be held on December 3 at 10 am – 12 pm at the House of Science and Letters (Kirkkokatu 6, Helsinki). Remote participation is also possible. Some of the presentations will be in Finnish and some in English….”

The Open Access Landscape – an overview

A presentation by Jan Erik Frantsvåg at the 1st Basel Sustainable Publishing  Forum September 9th 2019.

OPEN SCHOLARSHIP position statement from the Biochemical Society and Portland Press

“Currently: ? We publish two fully-OA journals, and one of these is currently sustained by article publishing charges (APC) at an article-by-article level; in addition, we publish five hybrid journals where authors may opt to pay an APC to have their article published OA. ? For titles on the hybrid model we avoid ‘double dipping’ (charging twice for the same articles) through two routes: APCs are discounted for corresponding authors based at subscribing institutions; in addition, subscription prices are set, each year, based on the number of paywalled articles in the preceding years to account for OA content published in hybrid titles. ? There are a variety of mechanisms employed by different publishers to avoid double-dipping. We are supportive of efforts to standardize and agree common principles around transparent pricing of hybrid journals that demonstrate, objectively, the avoidance of double dipping….

Looking ahead: ? We are seeking to transition our hybrid journals to full-OA in a way that supports researchers and keeps the Society financially viable. ? We strongly believe that the ability to publish research should not be linked to individual researchers’ ability to pay; we are enthusiastic about all opportunities to remove author-facing invoices from OA publishing. To enable a transition away from paywalls, we seek to offer as much APC-free OA as possible that will be supported though continuing and new partnerships with institutions, consortia and funders….

Webinars charting paths forward for open access publishing by learned societies – Transitioning Society Publications to OA

“The Society Publishers Coalition (SocPC) and Transitioning Society Journals to Open Access (TSPOA) invite you to register for free webinars about the changing face of society journal publishing. 

This three-part webinar series is intended to help foster the transition of learned society journals to open access by contextualizing their role within a changing scholarly communications landscape, increasing awareness of their publishing practices and operational needs, and engaging the broader community of publishing stakeholders in discussions and decision-making about how best to support society publishing in an open access landscape. …”