An overview of academic publishing and open access at Harvard University.
“Approved by PSP Executive Council February 6, 2012
Publishers are committed to the widest possible dissemination of and access to the content they publish. We support any and all sustainable models of access that ensure the integrity and permanence of the scholarly record. Such options include ‘gold’ open access, whereby publication is funded by an article publishing charge paid by the author or another sponsor, a subscription-based journal, or any one of a number of hybrid publishing options. Most publishers now offer open access options and publish open access journals, and work closely with funders, institutions and governments to facilitate these developments. Gold open access provides one approach toward our shared goal of expanding access to peer-reviewed scientific works and maximizing the value and reuse of the results of scientific research.
We believe that authors should be able to publish in the journal of their choice, where publication will have the greatest potential to advance their field. Institutions and funders have a key role to play in ensuring that public access policies allow for funding of peer reviewed publication and publishing services in whatever journal that an author chooses. Publishers look forward to working with all stakeholders to achieve this goal and to advance scholarly communication.”
“KAY DICKERSIN KNEW she was leaping to the front lines of scholarly publication when she joined The Online Journal of Current Clinical Trials. Scientific print-publishing was—and still is—slow and cumbersome, and reading its results sometimes required researchers to go to the library. But as associate editor at this electronic peer-reviewed journal—one of the very first, launched in the summer of 1992—Dickersin was poised to help bring scientists into the new digital age. Dickersin, an epidemiologist, acted as an associate editor, helping researchers publish their work. But the OJCCT was a bit ahead of its time. The journal was sold in 1994 to a publisher that eventually became part of Taylor & Francis, and which stopped the e-presses just a couple years later. And after that happened, its papers—reports, reviews, and meta-analysis of clinical trials—all disappeared. Dickersin wasn’t just sad to lose her editing gig: She was dismayed that the scientific community was losing those archives. “One of my important studies was in there,” she says, “and no one could get it.” Couldn’t, that is, until Dickersin decided to go spelunking for science. For more than a decade, Dickersin’s paper was missing along with about 80 others. Sometimes, the ex-editors would try to find out who had the rights to the articles, whether they could just take copies and put them on their own website. “We don’t want to do that,” they’d always conclude. “We don’t want to get in trouble.” Finally, Dickersin went to the librarians at Johns Hopkins University, where she is a professor, for help—and that’s how she found Portico. Portico is like a Wayback Machine for scholarly publications. The digital preservation service ingests, meta-tags, preserves, manages, and updates content for publishers and libraries, and then provides access to those archives. The company soon signed on to the project and got permission from Taylor & Francis to make the future archives open-access….”
“The term ‘article processing charge’, or APC, is ubiquitous in discussions about Open Access. It refers to the author-facing charge levied by many publishers in order to make an article freely available on their website. Now, putting aside the fact that this system actively discriminates against less-wealthy authors and institutes, I think that the term APC itself is incredibly misleading. Furthermore, I believe that this misdirection occurs in favour of publishers, to the detriment of all other parties. Hopefully in this post, I can explain why, and offer a potential solution to it.”
Purpose: The present study explored tendencies of the world’s countries—at individual and scientific development levels—toward publishing in APC-funded open access journals. Design/Methodology/Approach: Using a bibliometric method, it studied OA and NOA articles issued in Springer and Elsevier’s APC journals? during 2007–2011. The data were gathered using a wide number of sources including Sherpa/Romeo, Springer Author-mapper, Science Direct, Google, and journals’ websites. Findings: The Netherlands, Norway, and Poland ranked highest in terms of their OA shares. This can be attributed to the financial resources allocated to publication in general, and publishing in OA journals in particular, by the countries. All developed countries and a large number of scientifically lagging and developing nations were found to publish OA articles in the APC journals. The OA papers have been exponentially growing across all the countries’ scientific groups annually. Although the advanced nations published the lion’s share of the OA-APC papers and exhibited the highest growth, the underdeveloped groups have been displaying high OA growth rates. Practical Implications: Given the reliance of the APC model on authors’ affluence and motivation, its affordability and sustainability have been challenged. This communication helps understand how countries at different scientific development and thus wealth levels contribute to the model. Originality/Value: This is the first study conducted at macro level clarifying countries’ contribution to the APC model—at individual and scientific-development levels—as the ultimate result of the interaction between authors’ willingness, the model affordability, and publishers and funding agencies’ support.”
Following is a summary of recent APC changes for 4 publishers, prepared on request but posted in case this might be of interest to anyone else. In brief, each publisher appears to be following a different pricing strategy ranging from flat pricing over many years with one rare exception, to a tenfold increase from 2016 – 2017.
“The best consequence of the proposed Pull Model is access for all. It also introduces a free market mechanism for scholarly publications, whereby publishers must compete for institution submission subscription fees, by establishing themselves to be worthy outlets for dissemination, maintaining their reputation for quality, and preserving the integrity of the peer-review process. Lastly, it encourages institutions and their faculty to work more closely in assessing publication quality. With these ends in mind, the future of publications will continue to change, and the Pull Model, though disruptive to the existing publishing ecosystem, is one step to initiate a discussion on such a transformation.”