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.”
“The Wellcome Trust has announced it will keep a vigilant eye on how Oxford University Press complies with open-access policies, after data showed that the publisher’s adherence fell significantly last year….
The data show that overall compliance with the fund’s policies has fallen from 91 per cent in 2016 to 87 per cent in 2017….
In particular, compliance by Oxford University Press fell “significantly”, according to the trust, because the publisher has been experiencing problems with converting outputs to a format that is compliant with Europe PubMed Central’s technical requirements.
Wellcome said it would monitor the situation over three to six months, to ensure that it was resolved, and seek compensation from the publisher “for the poor service delivered to researchers, institutions and funders over the last 12 months”, it said.
A total of 34 per cent of articles paid for by the Charity Open Access Fund in 2016-17 and published by Oxford University Press were non-compliant—compared with 5 per cent the previous year. The second and third-most non-compliant publishers were Elsevier at 11 per cent and Wiley at 10 per cent….
Overall, the trust calculates that the cost of open-access publishing has seen “a significant increase”, and that the average cost of journal article-processing charges has risen by 11 per cent since last year….”
“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.”
“The findings in the report are not surprising: they match closely with Delta Think’s numbers from October, and with those in similar reports. Open access is established; it now covers significant minority share of output, but its growth is slowing:
- Globally, publishers offer OA options mainly through hybrid journals: 72% of journals are hybrid, 19% fully OA, and 9% of journals are subscription only.
- Uptake, in terms of articles suggests that 19% of all articles published are available immediately on publication as OA, split between 15% in fully OA journals and just under 4% in hybrid journals.
- The report explores delayed OA options, giving a read on Green OA, with an uptake of just under 5% in the year of publication.
- The 2017 update reduces its OA estimates slightly compared with its 2015 version. The results are summarized in the table below. The variations speak to the challenges in gathering data, and the necessity to keep refining models over time….”
- APCs now form a significant additional expense. For the payments that universities make to the seven largest publishers, the ratio between subscriptions and APCs is 5:1. This equates to a 17% share of revenue compared to a 31% share of output. As we have discussed in our previous market analyses, on average the revenue generated by OA is proportionately less than its share of output.
- More than half the expenditure on APCs in 2016 went to the three major publishing groups, Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley, with a particularly sharp rise for Elsevier since 2014.
- The report confirms the well-known finding that APCs for hybrid journals are more expensive that those in fully OA journals: 28% higher on average in 2016.
- But, this gap may be closing: hybrid prices paid rose by 14% in the three years from 2013 (to £2,095 on average), but by 33% for fully-OA journals (to £1,640) in the same period. Delta Think’s market models suggest that, whilst hybrid prices are higher, they also bear higher discount levels, so it would appear that the gap between fully OA and hybrid prices is closing….
- The number of APCs paid by a sample of 10 UK universities rose more than fivefold.
- The average cost of an APC rose by 16% (as compared with a rise of 5% in the consumer price index; the CPI.)
- Spending on subscriptions for the report’s sample rose by 20%.
- Nuances within hybrid spending show the same quadrupling of APCs, with combined APC & sub spending up by one third…in other words, APC spending is eating share. The ratio between subscription and hybrid APC spending has fallen to 6:1 in 2016 from 19:1 3 years previously….”