Brock University Open Access Policy – Brock University Library

“3. Brock Scholars are expected to deposit an electronic copy of their academic journal articles in Brock’s Open Access Repository (“Brock University Digital Repository”) by the date of publication. If needed, articles may be embargoed within the repository upon deposit to meet time periods required by publishers.

4. Each Brock Scholar who deposits their academic journal articles in the Brock University Digital Repository grants the University the non-exclusive permission to archive and disseminate those articles through the Repository, provided that the articles are properly attributed to the authors, and that dissemination is for non-commercial purposes only.

5. Brock Scholars who choose not to deposit an academic journal article in the Brock University Digital Repository shall notify the University Library through the opt-out form made available through the Brock University Library….”

Plazi and Pensoft join forces to let biodiversity knowledge of coronaviruses hosts out | EurekAlert! Science News

“Pensoft’s flagship journal ZooKeys invites free-to-publish research on key biological traits of SARS-like viruses potential hosts and vectors; Plazi harvests and brings together all relevant data from legacy literature to a reliable FAIR-data repository.”

Read-and-Publish Open Access deals are heightening global inequalities in access to publication. | Impact of Social Sciences

“The problem, however, is illustrated by Springer Nature’s European quartet: The read-and-publish strategy is making global inequality worse. Nearly all the deals involve wealthy northern European countries or rich North American institutions like the University of California system. The practical effect is to grant selective OA authorship rights—with all their citation and visibility benefits—to scholars from the affluent West. If you’re Dutch, your Springer Nature article will appear OA by default; if you’re not, chances are that you’ll need $3,000 to $5,000 for that privilege. The OA citation-and-visibility advantage is one of the best-established findings in the scholarly communication literature. In practice if not by intent, the read-and-publish deal-makers are buying that advantage for their constituent-scholars. Scholarly publishing is already stratified along North-South lines—making read-and-publish an insult to long-standing injury….

 For the Plan S architects, the deals are “transitional and temporary,” to give way to full open access by 2025. That’s if all goes well, and if the plan withstands aggressive lobbying from big publishers. There’s no surprise that Springer and SAGE find the agreements appealing in the meantime: They lock in libraries  subscription spending while winning short-run Plan S compliance.

It’s this leg-up to the legacy publishers that critics find objectionable. The deals offer, in Roger Schonfeld’s phrase, “to crown the existing major publishers as the OA Royalty.” …

More fundamentally, the move to fold in author fees is an implicit endorsement of the deeply flawed APC regime—one that lowers barriers to readers only to raise them for authors. For scholars in the Global South—and in the humanities and social sciences everywhere—the APC option is laughably beyond reach. Yes, some publishers offer fee waivers, but the system is limited, shoddy, and patronizing—a charity band-aid on a broken system….

The short-run effect of read-and-publish and its variants, then, is to amplify the voices—through the OA visibility and citation advantage—of scholars from rich countries and universities. There are indeed other paths to publish open access: There’s the ramshackle APC waiver system, of course, and many natural scientists have their fees covered by funders. Nearly half of all OA articles are published in no-fee journals—so-called “diamond” titles that operate on a shoestring or through third-party subsidies. As a barrier to authorship, the APC regime has some gaps….”

Independent, Publicly Funded Journals Adhering to Platinum Open Access Are the Future of Responsible Scholarly Publishing

“Addressing the gap between advanced and emerging research communities cannot be achieved only by implementation in emerging communities of the practices generated in an advanced environment. Due to the time delay of acceptance and adaptation of these practices, even if they would be systematically applied, the gap would still grow. Subsequently, the only way to close the gap would be to apply a disruptive approach using advantages already present in emerging communities which would propel them by fast tracking even beyond the level of the current world leaders. These disruptive advantages grow in the cradle of emerging communities asking to be recognized and utilized. One of the advantages aimed at knowledge production is indeed the publishing model of independent journals supported by public money based on platinum open access. Being free of dependence on financial contribution from the authors, they can indeed concentrate on increasing ethical standards and scrutinizing submitted manuscripts at a higher standard. The latter would depend on the quality of reviewers. However seeing a higher purpose, reviewers would eventually move away from providing their free services to pro-profit businesses, and rather, move towards non-profit, community based, and ethically justified efforts, which we refer to here as responsible scholarly publishing. Without the intention to replace the current massive operations of major commercial publishers, the small, independent and publicly funded journals outside of mainstream business, could represent a “craft-beer revolution” in academic publishing, becoming carefully curated arts and crafts for presenting new knowledge.”

The NERL Executive Board Approves Support for the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts

“The Executive Board of the NERL Consortium (The Board) approved support for the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts. At the forefront of this framework is the belief that authors should retain copyright with generous reuse rights and the ability to immediately place scholarly articles in institutional repositories.

The NERL Board strongly supports the open and equitable dissemination of scholarly research output and believes that this framework is a pivotal step in this direction….”

The NERL Executive Board Approves Support for the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts

“The Executive Board of the NERL Consortium (The Board) approved support for the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts. At the forefront of this framework is the belief that authors should retain copyright with generous reuse rights and the ability to immediately place scholarly articles in institutional repositories.

The NERL Board strongly supports the open and equitable dissemination of scholarly research output and believes that this framework is a pivotal step in this direction….”

Lancet editor-in-chief calls for ‘activist’ journals | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Academic journals must become more “activist” if they are to survive, seeking to “change the direction of society” rather than “passively waiting” for manuscripts, according to the editor-in-chief of The Lancet.

The medical journal is one of a number of titles now explicitly committed to helping pursue the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which range from eradicating hunger to reducing inequalities, as titles try to carve out a new role in a world where publishing has moved online….

Instead of “sitting in our office passively waiting for manuscripts to be submitted to the journal”, Dr Horton said, The Lancet, founded in 1823, now had a mission to “gather the very best scientific evidence, [and] to then think strategically about how that evidence fits within the overall trajectory of scientific and political policy in the world”.

For example, last year the journal published a report setting out how to eradicate malaria by 2050, backed by research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This was one of dozens of “commissions” initiated by the journal, which bring together experts to formulate proposals on subjects ranging from defeating Alzheimer’s disease to reforming medical education for the 21st century….

Still, some journals have faced long-standing criticism that their subscription costs mean they are unaffordable for readers in developing countries – or conversely, that the price of publishing an open-access article excludes scholars from poorer university systems.

Some publishers offer discounts to academics in poorer countries. The Lancet, for example, waives open-access publishing fees for scholars whose main funder is based in a state with a low human development index….”

cOAlition S reaction to Springer Nature’s Open Letter on Transformative Journals | Plan S

“Thank you for sharing your open letter outlining your concerns about Transformative Journals.

cOAlition S has now reviewed your letter and would like to make the following points.

1- As we made clear when we published the Transformative Journals (TJ) framework, we consider this a draft and we look forward to receiving the views from all actors and stakeholders who respond to the consultation. Once the consultation closes (6th January 2020) we will then assess how the concept of TJs can best be implemented.

2- TJs have been developed to help the transitioning of journals that are committing to full OA, outside of Transformative Agreements. We expect this option may be useful to journals which have high costs – which may make it more difficult to include these titles in Transformative Agreements, at least in the short term – or where publishers (like scholarly societies) wish to offer a global OA option, but are not yet able to flip to full OA without some support during a transition period to reduce risks.

3- The SN letter argues that year on year growth can only increase at the rate in which funders mandate gold OA publishing and provide the necessary funding. However, data from SN’s own journal Nature Communications provides clear evidence that the volume of published papers can increase year on year, even without a corresponding increase in the number of funder mandates….

4- The SN letter also suggests that journals can only flip to full OA, once 90% of publications are OA. However, publication data from Nature Communications – which started publishing as a hybrid journal – shows that the decision to flip this title was taken when slightly less than 50% of the content was OA (see Table 2).Considering this finding it is difficult to give much credence to Springer Nature’s statement that “we cannot place authors in a situation where they could be unable to publish in the most suitable journal, purely for financial reasons”….

5- No data is presented to support the assertion that “international collaboration will be negatively impacted”. As funders we are keen to encourage collaboration between researchers, recognising the benefits which can arise. We are working with our partners to encourage other funders from around the world to join cOAlition S. We anticipate that support will continue to grow and that funders will increasingly adopt consistent approaches. Many international groups will still want to work with the world-class researchers we fund. The desire to join forces to address shared research questions should supersede any considerations over where the resulting work can be published. We have also established a Task Force to monitor the effects of Plan S, including its impact on early career researchers and international collaborations.

6- The alternative model for TJ that is proposed in the Springer-Nature letter provides no clearly defined timeframe for transitioning journals to full Open Access, other than when a threshold of 90% OA uptake has been reached. For all intents and purposes, this proposal is nothing more than an attempt to perpetuate the hybrid model, which less and less funders are willing to support. The hybrid model has clearly failed to achieve the transition to OA and there are absolutely no reasons to believe that things will be any different in the future. This is a tactic to stall progress. For cOAlition S, TJs are considered as a means for publishers to really deliver on their promise of transitioning their journals to full OA in a smooth way, but within a defined timeframe. Our proposed deadline is the 31st December 2024 – 5 years from now. We are not aware of any other area of economic activity where businesses are given 5 years to change their models to meet demands (with support from funders). Native OA publishers (who are competing with Springer-Nature in the market) do not claim that they can only run full OA journals under the condition that all funders worldwide must commit to fund Gold OA. The line of argumentation that the transition to OA can only happen at the rate that funders commit to finance Gold OA is futile. We could as well argue that funders will only commit to fund OA at the rate that publishers transition to OA. But there should be no mistake: we prefer zero-embargo Green OA over hybrid journals.

7- In conclusion, we hope journals and publishers will see this as an opportunity to take the bold step of changing their business model, and we are looking forward to receiving more inputs to our open consultation on Transformative Journals by January 6th 2020.”


“While we are supportive of the vast majority of the criteria proposed in the consultation, we are concerned that, if the transformative journal concept as envisaged by the cOAlition is applied in full, Transformative Journals will not deliver the full transition we believe is possible. We feel duty bound, having proposed this approach, to share our concerns with you now in an open way.

1. The timelines proposed and the rates of OA transition are unworkable and could be counterproductive In our earlier responses to Plan S, we repeatedly and publicly committed ourselves to transitioning all of our journals, our hybrid portfolio of 1900 journals (Springer Nature-owned and society-owned) along with Nature itself and all other Nature-branded journals, to immediate, full OA for all primary research and we will do everything we can to make this a sustainable reality in the shortest possible time. But the speed by which this can happen is not solely in our hands; it is also hugely dependent on the rate at which other funders, institutions and consortia commit to supporting Gold OA, as a zero embargo green OA approach will undermine the sustainability of journals as they transition and hamper the move to open science. …

2. The waiver requirements are unsustainable 

At Springer Nature we have established waiver policies already in place6 for researchers unable to access APC funding and for those authors based in the world’s lowest income countries as defined by the World Bank. As the largest OA publisher we have given more waivers than anyone else. For obvious reasons, this applies only to authors seeking to publish in one of our 600 fully OA journals. For authors without OA funding and seeking to publish in one of our other journals, they are able to do so for free via the subscription route….

We propose the below as an alternative timeframe and workable set of metrics:

1. Year-on-year growth of OA content at the same rate as the increase in global research supported by funders and institutions committed to funding Gold OA.

2. Journals to be flipped when OA content reaches 90%.

3. Progress to be reviewed in 2024, as per cOAlition decision to review progress more widely, and commitments adapted accordingly then in light of progress to date….”