Scrutinising what Open Access Journals Mean for Global Inequalities | SpringerLink

Abstract:  In the current article, we tested our hypothesis by which high-impact journals tend to have higher Article Processing Charges (APCs) by comparing journal IF metrics with the OA publishing fees they charge. Our study engaged with both journals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) and included Hybrid, Diamond and No OA journals. The overall findings demonstrate a positive relationship between APCs and journals with high IF for two of the subject areas we examined but not for the third, which could be mediated by the characteristics and market environment of the publishers. We also found significant differences between the analysed research fields in terms of APC policies, as well as differences in the relationship between APCs and the IF across periodicals. The study and analysis conducted reinforces our concerns that Hybrid OA models are likely to perpetuate inequalities in knowledge production.

 

Expanding Access to Knowledge: How Enlightenment Ideals Can Strengthen Public Support for the Humanities

“Some scholars of the humanities, like Robert Darnton, have begun to address these problems by supporting the development of open access (OA) publishing infrastructure in their own disciplines.9 While others continue to believe that OA necessarily entails the imposition of author-side publication fees, this is simply not true. Philosophers’ Imprint, published by the innovative University of Michigan Library, is an OA humanities journal that does not require the payment of any author-side fees. Additionally, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a nonprofit organization that publishes [End Page 384] OA scholarship without author-side fees. Launched in September 2015 following early support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the OLH operates using a partnership subsidy model in which an international library consortium supports the OLH financially in exchange for participation in its governance. …”

InnOAccess-Workshops: Publishing Free-of-Charge Open Access Journals Sustainably | ZBW MediaTalk

“As part of the project “Innovative Open Access in small sciences” (InnOAccess), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), two digital transfer workshops took place on 29 and 30 September as well as on 6 and 7 October 2020. The first workshop was dedicated to special technical questions and cooperative support in publishing Open Access journals, and was carried out by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). In the second workshop, hosted by the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, the central point of focus was the sustainable financing and community integration of Open Access journals. Project and workshops were aimed at supporting and safeguarding publisher-independent (scholar-led), free-of-charge Open Access journals….”

The open-access monograph conundrum can be solved

“I have been thinking about models for OA monographs for over a decade, trying to find an affordable way for small-medium -sized presses – and particularly university presses – to transition to fee-free OA. My experience of implementing a business model with these characteristics at the Open Library of Humanities has taught me many valuable lessons about the degree of labour involved and the limits of scalability.

I believe that this year we have developed such a model, through our work at COPIM, that could work for many mid-size university presses. It is a model that preserves print and that is low risk. A model that is affordable for libraries but avoids charging authors. Most importantly, it is a model that scales dynamically: as membership grows, books are made OA the second that a press hits the revenue threshold, meaning that it is not an “all or nothing” approach. The model is called Opening the Future.

The model works by offering a subscription package to elements of a press’s backlist. That is, the press offers options of collections of 50 or so titles to libraries, to which institutions subscribe. These titles are not open access but are offered as a subscription for the duration of the term.

However, in Opening the Future, revenue from the subscriptions is used to fund frontlist titles to go open access. This model, then, appeals both those who wish to pay for subscription-access content (more traditional university acquisition models) and those who support OA initiatives. It brings many institutions together under one roof for an affordable route to open-access books. Of course, the model does not obviate the need for subsidy; the Central European University Press, who are the first press to implement the plan, receives support from its host institution (as should all university presses)….”

The open-access monograph conundrum can be solved

“I have been thinking about models for OA monographs for over a decade, trying to find an affordable way for small-medium -sized presses – and particularly university presses – to transition to fee-free OA. My experience of implementing a business model with these characteristics at the Open Library of Humanities has taught me many valuable lessons about the degree of labour involved and the limits of scalability.

I believe that this year we have developed such a model, through our work at COPIM, that could work for many mid-size university presses. It is a model that preserves print and that is low risk. A model that is affordable for libraries but avoids charging authors. Most importantly, it is a model that scales dynamically: as membership grows, books are made OA the second that a press hits the revenue threshold, meaning that it is not an “all or nothing” approach. The model is called Opening the Future.

The model works by offering a subscription package to elements of a press’s backlist. That is, the press offers options of collections of 50 or so titles to libraries, to which institutions subscribe. These titles are not open access but are offered as a subscription for the duration of the term.

However, in Opening the Future, revenue from the subscriptions is used to fund frontlist titles to go open access. This model, then, appeals both those who wish to pay for subscription-access content (more traditional university acquisition models) and those who support OA initiatives. It brings many institutions together under one roof for an affordable route to open-access books. Of course, the model does not obviate the need for subsidy; the Central European University Press, who are the first press to implement the plan, receives support from its host institution (as should all university presses)….”

New PLOS pricing test could signal end of scientists paying to publish free papers | Science | AAAS

“PLOS, the nonprofit publisher that in 2003 pioneered the open-access business model of charging authors to publish scientific articles so they are immediately free to all, this week rolled out an alternative model that could herald the end of the author-pays era. One of the new options shifts the cost of publishing open-access (OA) articles in its two most selective journals to institutions, charging them a fixed annual fee; any researcher at that institution could then publish in the PLOS journals at no additional charge….”

UK universities sign deal to waive Plos publication fees | Times Higher Education (THE)

“UK universities have signed a major deal with a US non-profit publisher that will allow researchers to publish without incurring article-processing charges (APCs).

Under the new three-year agreement announced by Jisc and the Public Library of Science (Plos) on 14 October, researchers at institutions affiliated with the UK digital services provider will be able to publish in seven journals owned by the San Francisco-based publisher without paying additional APCs.

The deal – which, in theory, would allow researchers to publish as many times as they wanted, pending the peer-review process, in a handful of Plos titles – is the first time that a large university consortium has provided collective agreements as an alternative to APCs at this scale, said Sara Rouhi, director of strategic partnerships for Plos.

At present, researchers who are unable to find APCs from their employer can ask for a fee waiver from Plos, but this deal would eliminate the need for these requests, Ms Rouhi told Times Higher Education.

“No one wants to ask for a handout, even if it is about asking for support for your research,” she said, adding that the deal would help to address the “inequalities in research which mean that some people do not have access to APCs”.

Under the flat fee agreement, which begins in January, annual fixed prices will cover unlimited publishing for corresponding authors in five journals, including Plos Genetics, Plos Computational Biology, Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases and the megajournal Plos One, which published 142,000 articles between 2006 and 2015….”

New APC-free Open Access agreements test alternative funding models – The Official PLOS Blog

“Under the flat fee agreement, which begins on January 1, 2021, annual fixed prices will cover uncapped publishing in five PLOS journals[1] for corresponding authors affiliated with participating Jisc institutions as well as custom reporting and collaboration on future reporting standards initiatives. The PLOS Community Action Publishing agreement, facilitates uncapped publishing in PLOS’ two highly selective journals[2] through a collective action model. Both corresponding and contributing authors affiliated with participating Jisc institutions are eligible. The model itself is predicated on cost recovery, capped margins, and redistributing revenues above target back to community members….”

What Is Global Health: Science and Practice Doing to Address Power Imbalances in Publishing? | Global Health: Science and Practice

“We [at Global Health] are committed to removing publication barriers that can disproportionately impact authors based in LMICs. Recognizing that journal fees can be a major impediment to article submission and publication, especially for researchers in LMICs,11 we continue to make GHSP a no-fee, open-access journal. Furthermore, in instances where English language barriers could hinder publication opportunities, our editorial team has worked with authors to address language barriers and is committed to continuing this practice.”

Community Action Publishing – PLOS

“We want to ensure all authors have the same freedom in choosing the best venue for their research. Our Community Action Publishing (CAP) model aims to eliminate author APCs in order to make our most selective Open Access journals truly open to read and open to publish. PLOS CAP will change the way we think about selectivity and authorship for a more equitable Open Access future….

HOW IT WORKS

 

Cost to publish is assessed based on publication needs of both corresponding and contributing authors so the cost of publishing is distributed more equitably among representative institutions
Institutions commit to a yearly flat fee, ensuring their researchers receive access to unlimited publishing opportunities in PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine.
Revenue exceeding the community targets goes back to members at renewal. Our margins are capped so the more institutions who join in this effort, the lower costs become for all. …”