“In 2015 the Dutch universities reached a deal with the publishing houses. The ‘golden route’ was supposed to lead to more open access publictions. But at what price? Leo Waaijers took a look at the recently revealed contracts and did some calculations.”
“This report looks closely at the attitudes on open access of a sample of 314 deans, chancellors, department chairmen, research institute directors, provosts, trustees, vice presidents and other upper level administrators from more than 50 research universities in the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia. The report gives detailed information on what they think of the cost of academic journal subscriptions, and how they understand the meaning of the term “open access.” The study also gives highly detailed data on what kind of policies the research university elite support or might support in the area of open access, including policies such as restricting purchases of very high-priced journals, paying publication fees for open access publications, mandating deposit of university scholarship into digital repositories, and developing open access educational materials from university resources.
Just a few of the report’s many findings are that:
- The lowest percentage considering the high cost of journals a big problem was in the United States, where only 11.56% of higher education leadership had this opinion; the highest share, in Canada, 27.45% had this view.
- More than 40% of administrators from public universities in the sample supported the idea of using university funds to develop open access textbooks from materials developed or owned by the university or its scholars.
- Support for mandatory deposit requirements for scholarly output into university digital repositories was highest among the universities ranked in the top 41 worldwide.
Data in the report is broken out by country, university ranking, work title, field of work responsibility, level of compensations, age, gender and other variables.”
“In conclusion, screen reading interfaces may contain an array of pros and cons, but the assumption that online information and publishing are always free is false. Internet access, electricity use and production, manufacturing of electronic devices, and the labor of writing and editing all come at a cost. Open access publishing is a solution created to solve this problem, which aimed to remove a portion of these costs from consumers and instead have the authors pay to become published. However, this model also contains many pros and cons, being very controversial in the publishing domain. Open access publishing may widen the audiences of articles, yet it can also lead to lower quality in articles and to legal issues. The future of open access publishing relies on authors themselves, because they make their own decision to publish their articles in open access, or to publish their article in an academic journal.”
“APCs are currently the dominant model, though, because they seem to be a sustainable one. The question becomes how to ensure no research is lost because a researcher can’t pay a fee. Libraries can play a major role in this.
Firstly, an increasing number are offering OA funds. This means they hold some money that researchers who meet certain requirements can use to pay their APC. By doing this, libraries are acting as a safety net for scholars who don’t have another way to pay their charges.
Most libraries also help increase awareness and guide scholars through the OA publishing process. They help people avoid predatory publishers and even act as their agent with legitimate publishers. This means they negotiate on behalf of authors to ensure they retain the right to their own work, and other important issues.”
“The growth of open access (OA) via the payment of article processing charges (APCs) in hybrid journals has been a key feature of the approach to OA in the UK. In response, Jisc Collections has been piloting ‘offsetting agreements’ that explicitly link subscription and APCs, seeking to reduce one as the other grows. However, offsetting agreements have become increasingly contentious with institutions, advocates and publishers.
With reference to issues such as cost, administrative efficiency, transparency and the transition to open access, this paper provides an update on the status of UK negotiations, reflects on the challenges and opportunities presented by such agreements, and considers the implications for the path of future negotiations. “
“While the rise of crowd-funded science projects, open-access science initiatives and open-access publications make the scientific environment friendlier for citizen scientists, many traditional scientific practices remain out of reach for those without sufficient funds or institutional support – for example, studies involving human participants. Community-supported checks and balances remain essential for scientific projects, but perhaps they too can become unbound from traditional academic settings.”
“With the rising costs of textbooks, many college students are finding it increasingly difficult to purchase the ones that are required for all of their classes each semester. This undoubtedly has the potential to severely impact their performance in class, as their grades may greatly suffer. Similarly, many people are discouraged about earning a higher education because they not only have to think about tuition, but they also have to consider the soaring costs of textbooks they have to pay each semester.
A report posted by the United States Public Interest Group in February of 2016 stated that, ‘Over the last decade, the price of college textbooks has soared. Since 2006, the cost of a college textbook increased by 73% – over four times the rate of inflation. Today, individual textbooks often cost over $200, sometimes as high as $400.’
The report also went on to say that, ‘Nearly 5.2 million U.S. undergraduate students spend a total of $1.5 billion dollars of financial aid on textbooks every semester, or $3 billion per year.’
From these statistics, it is evident that textbook costs have been on the rise and are progressively getting higher. But if this is so, how are students expected to purchase textbooks throughout their entire college career?
Here on campus, a few students shared how they managed to afford their textbooks this semester.”
“The earliest report to our knowledge of publishers charging to re-use open access content, was by palaeontologist and renowned advocate for open access Mike Taylor who observed in 2012 that Elsevier were charging for non-commercial, educational re-use of Creative Commons Attribution licensed ‘open access’ articles.
The journal involved was Neuron.
You can read the full text of Mike’s report here: https://svpow.com/2012/03/21/pay-to-download-elseviers-open-access-articles/
If you know of any earlier reports please do let us know. This is important history to document. We would like this website to be the ultimate one-stop-shop evidence dossier for the continuously-repeated failings of academic publishers.”