Making Waves – Assessing the potential impacts of Plan S on the scholarly communications ecosystem | Impact of Social Sciences

“The potential impacts of Plan S (a funder led plan to accelerate a global flip to open access to research publications) on the wider research ecosystem are only beginning to be understood. Citing evidence from a recent report by the Institute for Scientific Information on Plan S funded research papers, Dr Martin Szomszor, outlines what the impact of the plan might be on four key aspects of scholarly communication….”

Towards transition strategies and business models for Society Publishers who wish to accelerate Open Access and Plan S: An initial discussion document from the Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S (SPA-OPS) project

The SPA-OPS project was commissioned by Wellcome, UKRI, and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) to support learned society publishers successfully transition to open access (OA) and align with Plan S. Information Power Ltd was selected to undertake this work at the end of January 2019.

This project will, we hope, be useful to a broad array of learned society publishers around the world. The focus of this work, however, is on learned society publishers serving UK researchers and in disciplines relevant to UKRI and Wellcome funding areas. We are aware of related initiatives in other parts of the world and aim to share information with and to learn from these.

Wellcome and UKRI – and indeed other funders – recognise the value learned societies play in supporting researchers and contributing to a vibrant research ecosystem.  They wish to explore a range of potential strategies and business models through which learned societies could adapt and thrive under Plan S.

The SPA-OPS project is structured in the following way:

1. A short background study to identify the key issues learned societies face in the light of Plan S 

 2. A discussion document which assesses options for how learned society publishers could transition to OA and develop Plan S-compliant business models

3. Engagement with learned societies to discuss these options, identify any gaps and omissions, and determine which models are more/less credible for different types of learned society  

 4. Two pilots – ideally one in life sciences and one in humanities or social sciences – with society publishers to look at their publication costs and revenue model, to explore whether any of the alternative publishing options might be viable, and to understand what would be needed in practice to implement 

5. A summary report will be produced with recommendations on how learned society publishers can embrace the opportunities which arise from transitioning to OA and aligning with Plan S, whilst remaining financially sustainable

This paper contains the first two outputs from the SPA OPS project. The short background study to identify key issues learned societies face in the light of Plan S can be found in section 3 of this paper. Options through which learned society publishers could transition to OA and develop Plan-S compliant business models can be found in section 4 of this paper….”

Plan S end game

“Now that the Plan S comment period is over and the comments made public, we can see that there is a raging debate over whether journals ought to comply or not. So it is time to consider the possible end games, which range from a lot of journals complying, to just a bunch, to almost none. The differences are pretty stark….

Everything depends on how many journals choose to comply, which in turn may well depend on how many articles fall under Plan S. At this point China and India look like the wild cards in the game….

The abstract question for a journal is this: What fraction of submissions has to be precluded by Plan S to make it a good decision to comply? I pointed out early on that if you have an 80% rejection rate that fraction can be large before damage occurs. On the other hand, journals do not want to write off large numbers of authors as unpublishable. It is a hard choice….

The abstract question for a journal is this: What fraction of submissions has to be precluded by Plan S to make it a good decision to comply? I pointed out early on that if you have an 80% rejection rate that fraction can be large before damage occurs. On the other hand, journals do not want to write off large numbers of authors as unpublishable. It is a hard choice.

Assuming that something more than a few journals do make the leap, but many do not, we get a rather strange world in which Plan S authors can only publish in a specific subset of journals. This may be the most likely outcome, but it seems to be little discussed. The impact on the Plan S authors is probably adverse, especially if the top journals choose not to comply….”

Plan S end game

“Now that the Plan S comment period is over and the comments made public, we can see that there is a raging debate over whether journals ought to comply or not. So it is time to consider the possible end games, which range from a lot of journals complying, to just a bunch, to almost none. The differences are pretty stark….

Everything depends on how many journals choose to comply, which in turn may well depend on how many articles fall under Plan S. At this point China and India look like the wild cards in the game….

The abstract question for a journal is this: What fraction of submissions has to be precluded by Plan S to make it a good decision to comply? I pointed out early on that if you have an 80% rejection rate that fraction can be large before damage occurs. On the other hand, journals do not want to write off large numbers of authors as unpublishable. It is a hard choice….

The abstract question for a journal is this: What fraction of submissions has to be precluded by Plan S to make it a good decision to comply? I pointed out early on that if you have an 80% rejection rate that fraction can be large before damage occurs. On the other hand, journals do not want to write off large numbers of authors as unpublishable. It is a hard choice.

Assuming that something more than a few journals do make the leap, but many do not, we get a rather strange world in which Plan S authors can only publish in a specific subset of journals. This may be the most likely outcome, but it seems to be little discussed. The impact on the Plan S authors is probably adverse, especially if the top journals choose not to comply….”

Why does it cost millions to access publicly funded research papers? Blame the paywall | CBC News

Canada’s academic librarians are cheering from the sidelines now that the University of California has cancelled its subscriptions with the academic publishing giant Elsevier.

It was a clash of titans as the largest public university in the U.S. pushed back against a multi-million dollar paywall blocking open access to the world’s scientific knowledge.

“People were following it very closely,” said Mary-Jo Romaniuk, librarian and vice-provost at the University of Calgary. “This may be the start of things to come.”

Tension has been building for years over the gradual privatization of academic literature which has resulted in a handful of powerful international publishing companies controlling the dissemination of research. …
 

Increasingly, public funding agencies are requiring scientists to make their research freely available as a condition for receiving grants.

All three of Canada’s major research funding agencies — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) — have an open access requirement. Any research funded since 2015 must be freely available within 12 months.

So far, CIHR estimates that about 60 per cent of its researchers have complied.”

Why does it cost millions to access publicly funded research papers? Blame the paywall | CBC News

Canada’s academic librarians are cheering from the sidelines now that the University of California has cancelled its subscriptions with the academic publishing giant Elsevier.

It was a clash of titans as the largest public university in the U.S. pushed back against a multi-million dollar paywall blocking open access to the world’s scientific knowledge.

“People were following it very closely,” said Mary-Jo Romaniuk, librarian and vice-provost at the University of Calgary. “This may be the start of things to come.”

Tension has been building for years over the gradual privatization of academic literature which has resulted in a handful of powerful international publishing companies controlling the dissemination of research. …
 

Increasingly, public funding agencies are requiring scientists to make their research freely available as a condition for receiving grants.

All three of Canada’s major research funding agencies — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) — have an open access requirement. Any research funded since 2015 must be freely available within 12 months.

So far, CIHR estimates that about 60 per cent of its researchers have complied.”

Open access and Plan S: how Wellcome is tackling four key concerns | Wellcome

“What if high-quality journals don’t offer compliant routes – will they be off limits? …

Won’t researchers’ careers be disadvantaged, particularly early career researchers? …

Will international collaborations be threatened? …

Will learned societies be threatened by the loss of publication revenues? …”

PLOS Provides Feedback on the Implementation of Plan S

“We welcome Plan S as a ‘decisive step towards the realisation of full open access’1, in particular the push it provides towards realization of a research process based on the principles of open science. This is fully aligned with our mission to bring scientists together to share work as rapidly and widely as possible, to advance science faster and to benefit society as a whole. Our publications have operated in line with the core principles outlined in Plan S since the launch of our first journal, PLOS Biology, in 2003. We recognize that wide adoption of support for Plan S may bring additional competition within the open access publishing space. We welcome this evolution as a positive change in research culture, resulting in greater availability of information, growing inclusion in the scientific process and increasing the speed of discovery and innovation.  …”

Turning principles into practice: EUA’s response to the Plan S Implementation Guidance

“Following the publication of the Plan S Implementation Guidance, EUA reiterates its supports for Plan S, and its vision to accelerate the transition to full Open Access, even if more details on Plan S will still need to be fleshed out in the future. EUA is looking forward to a renewed version of the Implementation Guidance and is encouraging more research funders to sign or follow Plan S. On behalf of its members in national rectors’ conferences and universities, EUA offers to continue the dialogue with research funding organisations on the implementation of Plan S….”