Flipping journals or filling pockets? Publisher manipulation of OA policies | Unlocking Research

“As was predicted early 2013, by the Chairman of the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee: “Current UK open access policy risks incentivising publishers to introduce or increase embargo periods”. By September 2013, there was clear evidence this was happening.

Now, in the final year of the RCUK transition period, the situation is far, far worse….

Elsevier, Wiley and more recently Emerald are all examples of publishers that have at some point dictated different conditions for authors following open access mandates, but as of the date of this post do not discriminate authors on the basis of their funding.

This last technique to squeeze every penny out of government funds is possibly the most cynical and puts even more lie to the claims publishers make about the necessity for embargo periods. Either making an author’s accepted manuscript available in a repository causes the cancellation of journal subscriptions or it doesn’t. The funding behind the research described in the paper is irrelevant.

And yet we continue to comply and we continue to pay. The RCUK is morphing into UK Research and Innovation on 1 April 2018. This is the time to take serious stock of the policies that have lined the pockets of big academic publishing companies and change them to achieve the actual end goal which is the dissemination of research. Green over gold people.”

 

Report presented to Research Councils UK for article processing charges managed by the University of Cambridge, 2017-2018

“This Excel spreadsheet records the applications made for open access article processing charges (APCs) through the Research Councils UK (RCUK) block grant at the University of Cambridge, via the Office of Scholarly Communication, Cambridge University Library, between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018.”

UKRI Open Access Principles and High Level Policy

“This statement articulates UK Research and Innovation’s high level policy and common principles around Open Access. These principles reaffirm the open access policies of the REF and the research councils, and will inform the development of UKRI’s policy for Open Access, the UKRI Open Access review and wider UKRI policy development in open research….” 

Open access – UK Research and Innovation

“‘Open access’ aims to make the findings of publicly-funded research freely available online as soon as possible, in ways that will maximise re-use. This is central to UKRI’s ambitions for research and innovation in the UK, as sharing new knowledge has benefits for researchers, the wider higher education sector, businesses and others.

A statement that sets out UKRI’s high level policy and principles on open access, common to both the former HEFCE and Research Council policies, is available. This will inform the development of UKRI’s policy in this area, including a review of open access.

In the interim period, the UK Funding Bodies’ open access policy for the second Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) will apply as it stands. Any UKRI policy changes will only apply to the REF after REF 2021. Further information on the REF open access policy is available….”

RCUK statement on the responsible use of metrics in research assessment

[Undated but released c. February 8, 2018.]

“Research councils consider the journal impact factor and metrics such as the H-index are not appropriate measures for assessing the quality of publications or the contribution of individual researchers, and so will not use these measures in our peer review processes. …The research councils will highlight to reviewers, panel members, recruitment and promotion panels that they should not place undue emphasis on the journal in which papers are published, but assess the content of specific papers, when considering the impact of an individual researcher’s contribution….The Research Councils will sign DORA as a public indication of their support for these principles….”

University of Oxford: RCUK Open Access Block Grant update | Research Support

“The University’s 2017–18 Open Access Block Grant from RCUK has now been exhausted. A new allocation will be available from 1 April 2018. RCUK-funded authors are therefore asked to delay submission of new articles to journals until 1 February 2018, and contact the Bodleian APC Team pre-submission (see the Open Access website for procedure). Please note that RCUK does not permit APCs (article processing charges) or page/other publication charges to be paid from individual RCUK awards – they must be paid from the block grant. Researchers are reminded that Oxford’s block grant will only pay APCs for fully open access journals (ie in the Directory of Open Access Journals), not ‘hybrid’ journals (subscription journals with a paid OA option). RCUK has stated that funding for APCs and other publication charges will continue for at least a further two years (April 2018–March 2020).”

Innovative workflows around APC management – Strathprints

Abstract:  The presentation describes a number of examples of innovative workflows around the management of Article Processing Charges (APCs) as implemented at the University of Strathclyde Library. It’s argued that a certain creativity may be applied to the area of institutional APC management with the two-fold purpose of (i) extending the funding eligibility beyond the default coverage provided by the RCUK and COAF block grants and (ii) paying lower APC fees whenever possible. The background strategy is to build a relation of trust with as many researchers as possible that will make it easier for them to remain aware of the need to meet the (Green) Open Access policy requirements. It’s also argued that there could be significant benefits to be reaped from the extension into this APC management area of the current cross-institutional collaboration within the Open Access Scotland Group.