Jisc and IOP Publishing secure new transitional open access agreement for UK universities | Jisc

“The agreement allows open access publishing in 44 IOPP journals and removes article publication charges for authors.

Researchers at up to 58 UK universities will soon benefit from a new open access (OA) ‘read and publish’ agreement between Jisc and IOP Publishing (IOPP), a pioneer in open access physics publishing.

The four-year agreement begins on 1 January 2020. It enables unlimited open access publishing for affiliated corresponding authors in 44 of IOPP’s subscription journals, without barriers or charges to authors….”

How journals are using overlay publishing models to facilitate equitable OA

“Preprint repositories have traditionally served as platforms to share copies of working papers prior to publication. But today they are being used for so much more, like posting datasets, archiving final versions of articles to make them Green Open Access, and another major development — publishing academic journals. Over the past 20 years, the concept of overlay publishing, or layering journals on top of existing repository platforms, has developed from a pilot project idea to a recognized and growing publishing model.

In the overlay publishing model, a journal performs refereeing services, but it doesn’t publish articles on its website. Rather, the journal’s website links to final article versions hosted on an online repository….”

Graphene as an open-source material | TechCrunch

Graphene is fundamentally different from software in that it is a physical resource. Since the material’s discovery, quantity has been a serious issue, preventing the material from seeing widespread use. Natural reserves of graphene are few and far between, and while scientists have discovered ways of producing graphene, the methods have proved unscalable.

In addition, graphene would need a way to be experimented with by the average user. For those who don’t have the same equipment researchers do, how can they go about tinkering with graphene? In order for graphene to become an open-source material, a solution for these two problems must be found….

The solutions may be closer at hand than you might think….”

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….”

Envisioning data sharing for the biocomputing community | Interface Focus

Abstract:  The scientific community is facing a revolution in several aspects of its modus operandi, ranging from the way science is done—data production, collection, analysis—to the way it is communicated and made available to the public, be that an academic audience or a general one. These changes have been largely determined by two key players: the big data revolution or, less triumphantly, the impressive increase in computational power and data storage capacity; and the accelerating paradigm switch in science publication, with people and policies increasingly pushing towards open access frameworks. All these factors prompt the undertaking of initiatives oriented to maximize the effectiveness of the computational efforts carried out worldwide. Taking the moves from these observations, we here propose a coordinated initiative, focusing on the computational biophysics and biochemistry community but general and flexible in its defining characteristics, which aims at addressing the growing necessity of collecting, rationalizing, sharing and exploiting the data produced in this scientific environment.

arXiv and the Symbiosis of Physics Preprints and Journal Review Articles: A Model

Abstract:  This paper recommends a publishing model that can help achieve the goal of reforming physics publishing. It distinguishes two complementary needs in scholarly communication. Preprints, increasingly important in science, are properly the vehicle for claiming priority of discovery and for eliciting feedback that will help with versioning. Traditional journal publishing, however, should focus on providing synthesis in the form of overlay journals that play the same role as review articles.

arXiv and the Symbiosis of Physics Preprints and Journal Review Articles: A Model

Abstract:  This paper recommends a publishing model that can help achieve the goal of reforming physics publishing. It distinguishes two complementary needs in scholarly communication. Preprints, increasingly important in science, are properly the vehicle for claiming priority of discovery and for eliciting feedback that will help with versioning. Traditional journal publishing, however, should focus on providing synthesis in the form of overlay journals that play the same role as review articles.

‘I can understand anger against publishers’ | Research Information

“I presently see a lot of anger against the big publishers, and think this anger is the biggest challenge right now. Scientists are the publishers’ main customers, and they’re very dissatisfied with what is going on. There are repeated calls to boycott this or that publisher, which I find somewhat ridiculous because publishers are doing a lot of things that scientists normally don’t acknowledge. For example, the whole issue of data storage and indexing and retrieval. This is a lot of work, and scientists seem to think it just comes from nowhere.

Some scientists are trying to do their own things, and in most cases I don’t think that’s particularly useful. I’m a theoretical physicist, so in my area almost all of the papers are on the arXiv. There are now a few arXiv overlay journals that basically use the data that is stored already on the arXiv, and that means they don’t have to worry about how to store the data, and how to make sure that it will remain accessible for the forseeable future. But we’re doing science here that we hope will still be used in 100 to 300 years’ time, and someone has to think about how to make sure that this data will remain accessible. …”

Plan S: Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publication – European Physical Society (EPS)

The EPS welcomes the initiative “cOAlition S for the Realisation of Full and Immediate Open Access”, and supports the rationale on which it is built.

At the same time, the EPS is concerned that several of the governing principles proposed for the implementation of Plan S are not conducive to a transition to Open Access that is well-managed and preserves the important assets of today’s scientific publication system.

  • The core values added to the publication process by quality journals need to be protected. In a gold-standard OA environment, these are professional editing, independent peer review, and reliable long-term archiving. A forced transition to full OA over a short period of time risks to undermine the economic viability of many journals, causing irrecoverable damage to established, well-functioning networks of editors and referees. Publication in OA repositories can only complement, not replace publication in peer-reviewed outlets.
  • Diversity and competition need to be preserved. Learned societies and other not-for-profit publishers contribute significant diversity to a publication landscape dominated by a small number of commercial publishing giants, but operate with limited financial reserves, and are particularly vulnerable to economic damage from rash transition scenarios.
  • Scientific publishing is a global undertaking. Non-European authors account for a significant fraction of articles published in European journals today, but have generally no access to dedicated OA funding. Plan S can only succeed when it is coordinated with major stakeholders outside Europe. A Euro-centric implementation risks to accentuate knowledge divides, both inside Europe and between North and South.
  • Plan S limits researchers’ freedom to choose where to publish, which is inherent in the current culture. This restriction is difficult for the scientific community to accept while academic recruitment and career advancement are still based on publication metrics and journal prestige rather than on the scientific merit of individual publications.
    • Hybrid journals do not represent a sustainable business model. However, they are a valuable – or even necessary – instrument to manage a smooth and successful transition to full OA for limited transition periods.

The EPS welcomes and supports Plan S as a medium to long-term vision, but is concerned that a rushed enforcement may cause irrecoverable damage to the European academic publishing system and, in particular, to not-for-profit publishers. It is also noted that Plan S is presently supported by a minority of funding agencies from EU Member States. The EPS recognizes that its reservations are addressed in part by the implementation guide “Making full and immediate Open Access a reality” published on November 27, 2018, but urges cOAlition S to engage further with funding agencies, publishers – both not-for-profit and commercial – and the scientific community towards a plan that can be supported by all stakeholders. In this process, scientists are most credibly represented through the learned societies. The EPS, as the top-level representation of the European physics community, stands ready to work with cOAlition S on a successful and sustainable implementation….”

Physics societies warn of ‘irrecoverable damage’ from European open-access plan – Physics World

The European Physical Society (EPS) has warned that a major open-access initiative in Europe could cause “irrecoverable damage” if it is implemented too quickly. In a statement, the EPS says that while it welcomes the proposal – known as Plan S — as a “medium to long-term vision”, its proponents must get more support by engaging further with the scientific community….”