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….”

TRANSFORMATIVE AGREEMENTS – ESAC

Transformative agreements are those contracts negotiated between institutions (libraries, national and regional consortia) and publishers that transform the business model underlying scholarly journals from subscription to open access. As the vast majority of scholarly publishing and expenditure of any given institution tends to be concentrated in journals produced by a relatively small number of publishers, implementing transformative agreements with these publishers constitutes a high-impact strategy: many institutions and consortia find that by negotiating such agreements with fewer than 10 publishers, they can achieve immediate open access for the vast majority of their outputs.

They have a variety of configurations that reflect the diverse and fluid landscape of scholarly communication, starting with “offsetting” through to the recent “Publish & Read, or PAR” model, and more.

Agreements continue to evolve as they are increasingly adopted around the world and the body of evidence on their impact grows….”

 

TRANSFORMATIVE AGREEMENTS – ESAC

Transformative agreements are those contracts negotiated between institutions (libraries, national and regional consortia) and publishers that transform the business model underlying scholarly journals from subscription to open access. As the vast majority of scholarly publishing and expenditure of any given institution tends to be concentrated in journals produced by a relatively small number of publishers, implementing transformative agreements with these publishers constitutes a high-impact strategy: many institutions and consortia find that by negotiating such agreements with fewer than 10 publishers, they can achieve immediate open access for the vast majority of their outputs.

They have a variety of configurations that reflect the diverse and fluid landscape of scholarly communication, starting with “offsetting” through to the recent “Publish & Read, or PAR” model, and more.

Agreements continue to evolve as they are increasingly adopted around the world and the body of evidence on their impact grows….”

 

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….”

Taking a Stand for Open Access, University of California Terminates Elsevier Deal

In a major announcement, the University of California this week announced that after months of negotiations, it has terminated its subscription to Elsevier journals. In a release, U.C. officials said Elsevier was unwilling to meet U.C.’s key goal in the negotiations: “securing universal open access to U.C. research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals.” 

As the world’s largest scientific publisher, Elsevier is no stranger to tough negotiations, often clashing with university librarians, administrators, and faculty over the high cost of access to scholarly journals. But this time, it feels different: in terminating its subscription, U.C. officials aren’t just haggling over price, but are staking out a bold position in support of open access….

U.C.’s decision to walk away from Elsevier is the latest sign that after years of slow progress, researchers are determined to accelerate the flip from subscription to open access. Around the globe, a growing number of libraries and research institutions have been pushing back against expensive subscription deals.And in Europe, a coalition of major funders of scholarly research have backed an ambitious, controversial initiative, called Plan S, that aims to make open access a reality by 2020.…”

 

Legal and policy implications of licenses between LIS open access journal publishers and authors | Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries

Abstract:  “Open access” (“OA”) refers to research placed online free from all price barriers and from most permission barriers (Suber, 2015). OA may apply to research outputs published traditionally, such as books (Schwartz, 2012) and articles in academic journals (Suber, 2015), and non-traditionally, such as student dissertations and theses (Schöpfel & Prost). The lack of legal barriers is grounded in and given effect through the law of copyright and contract, and the submission of content by authors is often executed through a publication agreement. This paper studies the contract aspects of OA and the open publishing movement in library and information science (“LIS”) scholarly communication. To explore this phenomenon, it undertakes a case study of the publication agreements of five OA LIS journals. The sample consists of a brand-new open journal with an agreements drafted by copyright librarians (journal 1) and top-ranked LIS journals that converted to OA (journals 2 through 5) (Scimago, 2017). With a descriptive data analysis based on that in Lipinski and Copeland (2015; 2013) and Lipinski (2013; 2012), the case study investigates the similarities and differences in the agreements used by the sampled OA LIS journals. The study builds on the best practices from the Harvard Open Access Project (Shieber & Suber, 2016; 2013). It recommends best practices for the drafting and content of OA LIS publication agreements.

Plan S advice for learned societies | Research Information

“Wellcome, in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), have engaged Information Power to explore a range of potential strategies and business models through which learned societies can transition to an open access landscape and adapt to Plan S. 

As the number of researchers covered by Plan S-compliant funding increases it will, in time, put pressure on the business models of many learned societies, which rely on hybrid journal publishing to cover their publishing costs, and to generate revenue for other important activities they undertake such as hosting meetings/conferences and awarding fellowships and other grants. 

Robert Kiley, head of open research at Wellcome said: ‘Wellcome and UKRI recognise the value learned societies play in supporting researchers and contributing to a vibrant research ecosystem. We are keen for them to be successful in transition to OA in line with Plan S.  We are delighted to partner with ALPSP to explore – via the team at Information Power – a diverse array of potential strategies and business models through which learned societies can adapt and thrive to this changing landscape.’

The team – including Alicia Wise, Lorraine Estelle, and Hazel Woodward at Information Power, plus additional expert Yvonne Campfens – will document and develop a range of transition approaches and business models for Learned Society publishers to consider.  These will be developed in dialogue with society publishers, libraries and consortia, funders, society members, and society publishing partners. …”

Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access – IO: In The Open

“To continue the progress towards an open scholarly ecosystem, a group of like-minded individuals from libraries, academic institutions, publishers, and consortia have organized to provide support, advocacy, and referral services within the publishing community and related professional organizations. 

Our group, aptly called Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (or, TSPOA), took root at the October 2018 Choosing Pathways to OA working forum. The forum brought together more than 125 library and consortium leaders and key academic stakeholders to engage in action-oriented deliberations about a range of OA funding strategies so they could leave with customized plans for how they intend to support the global transition towards openness. …”