THE COMMONS, DIAMOND OPEN ACCESS and SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATIONS – An Interview with Christian Fuchs † – University of Westminster Press blog

“The three great potentials of open access are a) the de-monopolisation of publishing, b) the de-commodification of academia so that knowledge and not profit are the primary aspect of academic publishing, and c) overcoming the knowledge divide that excludes poor regions and universities from access. But for achieving these aims, we need the right kind of open access models that I call diamond open access. It cannot be denied that there is a significant amount of fake open access that puts profit over knowledge. Publishing is one of the most highly concentrated and monopolised capitalist industries. Elsevier, Springer & Co. are destroying independent academic publishers just like Amazon is destroying your local bookshop. Academia and knowledge ought to be a public service and common good. We do not need green and gold open access, but something much better and precious, namely diamond open access….”

Joint COAR-UNESCO Statement on Open Access (May 9, 2016)

“Some organizations are promoting a large-scale shift from subscriptions to open access via article processing charges (APC’s). However, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed in this model:

[1] Consider institutions with smaller budgets and developing countries. Authors will be unable to publish once limited funds have been exhausted. Such a system will need to support researchers who cannot pay APCs – to avoid further skewing a scholarly publishing system that is already biased against the research undertaken in certain disciplines and countries.

[2] Avoid further concentration in the international publishing industry. A flip to APCs will further consolidate the large-scale monopoly of the international publishing industry. In the current system, the five largest publishers publish over 50% of the research papers produced. A mere shift towards the pay-to-publish model will institutionalize the influence of these companies, and discourage new entrants and models other than APC models.

[3] Explore ways to reduce costs. Recent studies indicate that, at current APC costs, there would be a buffer of minimum 40% when subscriptions would be transferred to an open access model. New models should build in mechanisms that ensure cost reductions. Globally, we are already paying billions of Euros/Dollars per year on subscription access to journals. Simply shifting payments to support APCs may lead to higher systemic costs, curb innovation, and inhibit the scholarly community’s ability to take advantage of new models and tools….”

Peter Suber, Half a dozen reasons why I support the Jussieu Call for Open Science and Bibl…

“1. I support its call to move beyond PDFs. This is necessary to bypass publisher locks and facilitate reuse, text mining, access by the visually impaired, and access in bandwidth-poor parts of the world. 

2. I applaud its recognition of no-fee or no-APC open-access journals, their existence, their value, and the fact that a significant number of authors will always depend on them. 

3. I join its call for redirecting funds now spent on subscription journals to support OA alternatives. 

4. I endorse its call to reform methods of research evaluation. If we want to assess quality, we must stop assuming that impact and prestige are good proxies for quality. If we want to assess impact, we must stop using metrics that measure it badly and create perverse incentives to put prestige ahead of both quality and access.

5. I support its call for infrastructures that are proof against privatization. No matter how good proprietary and closed-source platforms may initially be, they are subject to acquisition and harmful mutation beyond the control of the non-profit academic world. Even without acquisition, their commitment to OA is contingent on the market, and they carry a permanent risk of trapping rather than liberating knowledge. The research community cannot afford to entrust its research to platforms carrying that risk. 

6. Finally I support what it terms bibliodiversity. While we must steer clear of closed-source infrastructure, subject to privatization and enclosure, we must also steer clear of platform monocultures, subject to rigidity, stagnation, and breakage. Again, no matter how good a monoculture platform may initially be, in the long run it cannot be better than an ecosystem of free and open-source, interoperable components, compliant with open standards, offering robustness, modularity, flexibility, freedom to create better modules without rewriting the whole system, freedom to pick modules that best meet local needs, and freedom to scale up to meet global needs without first overcoming centralized constraints or unresponsive decision-makers. …”

Most of the no-fee OA journals listed in the DOAJ are published in languages other than English

“Leo Waaijers has dug some interest facts out of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), and allowed me to post the results.

From Leo: The 7240 journals in the no-fee category in DOAJ has 1911 journals with Spanish full text, 1366 with Portuguese, 753 with French, and 692 with Indonesian. In percentages: 26, 19, 10, and 10. In the 2998 journal of the fee-based category these figures were respectively: 81, 76, 23, and 212; and in percentages: 3, 3, 1, and 7….”

The New Model for Scientific Publishing – ECS

“As one of the last independent, nonprofit scientific publishers completely governed by scientists, The Electrochemical Society has developed a business-model changing initiative called Free the Science that will make our research freely available to all readers, while remaining free for authors to publish….In its transition period, ECS remains committed to keeping APCs as low as possible….Free the Science seeks to remove all fees associated with publishing….”

Jussieu Call for Open Science and Bibliodiversity

“This Call was drafted on the campus Jussieu in Paris by a French group comprising researchers and scientific publishing professionals working together in Open Access and Public Scientific Publishing task forces of BSN (Bibliothèque scientifique numérique, or Digital Scientific Library).

This Call is aimed at scientific communities, professional associations and research institutions to promote a scientific publishing open-access model fostering bibliodiversity and innovation without involving the exclusive transfer of journal subscription monies to APC payments….

We find it necessary to foster an Open Access model that is not restricted to a single approach based on the transfer of subscriptions towards APCs (publication fees charged to authors to allow free access to their articles). Such an approach would hamper innovation and otherwise would slow if not check the advent of bibliodiversity….

Open Access must be complemented by support for the diversity of those acting in scientific publishing – what we call bibliodiversity – putting an end to the dominance of a small number among us imposing their terms to scientific communities….

The scientific communities must be able to access national and international infrastructures which guarantee the preservation and circulation of knowledge against any privatization of contents….

Priority should be given to business models that do not involve any payments, neither for authors to have their texts published nor for readers to access them. Many fair funding models exist and only require to be further developed and extended: institutional support, library contributions or subsidies, premium services, participatory funding or creation of open archives, etc. We endorse the clear message to the scientific community at large released by the League of European Research Universities (LERU): Research funding should go to research, not to publishers! This is why current journal subscription spendings should be changed into investments enabling the scientific community to regain control over the publishing system and not merely into new spendings only earmarked to pay the publication fees for researchers to commercial publishers….

We call on creating an international consortium of stakeholders whose primary aim should be to pool local and national initiatives or to build an operational framework to fund open access publishing, innovation and sharing of resulting developments. We call on research organizations and their libraries to secure and earmark as of now a share of their acquisition budgets to support the development of scientific publishing activities, which are genuinely open and innovative, and address the needs of the scientific community….”


“In Latin America, the publications have always been Open Accessed under a “free” model – that subsists with the financial encouragement from the Governments – but it needs to be noted that Latin America contributes with the 4.9% of the global scientific production, this means that Latin America and the Caribbean are a different region from other “emergent markets”. …We agree that an OA expansion policy, through the payment of APC fees, is impossible to undertake from a financial point of view for the participant countries….”

Can scientists and their institutions become their own open access publishers?

Abstract:  This article offers a personal perspective on the current state of academic publishing, and posits that the scientific community is beset with journals that contribute little valuable knowledge, overload the community’s capacity for high-quality peer review, and waste resources. Open access publishing can offer solutions that benefit researchers and other information users, as well as institutions and funders, but commercial journal publishers have influenced open access policies and practices in ways that favor their economic interests over those of other stakeholders in knowledge creation and sharing. One way to free research from constraints on access is the diamond route of open access publishing, in which institutions and funders that produce new knowledge reclaim responsibility for publication via institutional journals or other open platforms. I argue that research journals (especially those published for profit) may no longer be fit for purpose, and hope that readers will consider whether the time has come to put responsibility for publishing back into the hands of researchers and their institutions. The potential advantages and challenges involved in a shift away from for-profit journals in favor of institutional open access publishing are explored.

Proposal for editorial boards about emancipating their journals

“We propose that editorial boards of journals ask their current publisher to agree to the principles of Fair Open Access….We propose that if a journal’s existing publisher cannot or will not meet these conditions the editorial board give notice of resignation, and transfer the journal to a publisher meeting the conditions….”


Alternative Funding Mechanisms for APC-free Open Access Journals: results of the first call : OpenAIRE blog

“In 2016, within the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot, a sub-project focused on Alternative Funding Mechanisms for APC-free Open Access Journals was launched. Approximately one year later, we would like to share the main results of this workline with the public – as we believe these findings can be of interest for other initiatives and publishing platforms.”