Estimated costs of implementing an open access policy at a private foundation | bioRxiv

“Background: The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF) was interested in understanding the potential effects of a policy requiring open access to peer-reviewed publications resulting from the research the foundation funds. Methods: We collected data on more than 2000 publications in over 500 journals that were generated by GBMF grantees since 2001. We then examined the journal policies to establish how two possible open access policies might have affected grantee publishing habits. Results: We found that 99.3% of the articles published by grantees would have complied with a policy that requires open access within 12 months of publication. We also estimated the maximum annual costs to GBMF for covering fees associated with “gold open access” to be between $400,000 and $2,600,000 annually. Discussion: Based in part on this study, GBMF has implemented a new open access policy that requires grantees make peer-reviewed publications fully available within 12 months.”

The case for open?access chemical biology | EMBO Reports

Although the creation of new chemical entities has always been considered the realm of patents, I think that it is time for change. Novel chemical tools, most of which will not have drug?like properties, are too valuable to be restricted; they will be of far greater benefit to research if freely available without restrictions on their use. Chemical biologists would benefit from the many advantages that the open consortium model brings: rapid access to research tools; less bureaucratic workload to enter legal agreements; the ability to work with the best people through collaborations focused on the publication of results; and freedom to operate for companies, harnessing the synergies between academic freedom and industrial approaches to systematically tackle a scientific challenge. My call for open?access chemistry public–private partnerships might sound impractical, but pilot projects are already underway….The SGC is a one example of an open public–private partnership. It was created as a legal charity in 2004 to determine the three?dimensional high?resolution structures of medically important proteins. As an open consortium, the resulting structures are placed in the public domain without restriction on their use. The SGC was conceived nearly ten years ago, based on the conviction that high?quality structural information is of tremendous value in promoting drug discovery and a belief that patenting protein structures could limit the freedom to operate for academic and industrial organizations….Although it is clear that open?access chemistry is in the best interests of society, the challenge is the cost. My arguments can be defended on the macroeconomic level, but costs for assay development and for chemical screening and synthesis are incurred locally, by the institutions and from the public purse. Free release of chemical probes by academia would ultimately benefit the pharmaceutical industry and society, but the possibilities for royalty and license payments for universities would decrease. One solution is to explore models in which both the public and private sectors contribute up?front in return for unrestricted access to the results and compounds, as in the SGC. It should also be noted that an open?access model is not in conflict with the aim to commercialize, at least not in the long term. It could be argued that experience built around specific biological systems would allow commercial development at a later stage if findings by the community indicate that a particular protein or pathway is a valid target. A chemical biology centre with such experience would be in an ideal position to develop new chemistry and launch a proprietary programme….

Frontier Knowledge and Scientific Production: Evidence from the Collapse of International Science

“We show that WWI and the subsequent boycott against Central scientists severely interrupted international scientific cooperation. After 1914, citations to recent research from abroad decreased and paper titles became less similar (evaluated by Latent Semantic Analysis), suggesting a reduction in international knowledge flows. Reduced international scientific cooperation led to a decline in the production of basic science and its application in new technology. Specifically, we compare productivity changes for scientists who relied on frontier research from abroad, to changes for scientists who relied on frontier research from home. After 1914, scientists who relied on frontier research from abroad published fewer papers in top scientific journals, produced less Nobel Prize-nominated research, introduced fewer novel scientific words, and introduced fewer novel words that appeared in the text of subsequent patent grants. The productivity of scientists who relied on top 1% research declined twice as much as the productivity of scientists who relied on top 3% research. Furthermore, highly prolific scientists experienced the starkest absolute productivity declines. This suggests that access to the very best research is key for scientific and technological progress…..

Our findings contribute to the literature on the effect of basic science on technological development, a link that is diffcult to establish empirically. Our results indicate that access to frontier knowledge impacts the production of basic science that is applied in the development of new technology. Other research has shown that increased funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) for basic biomedical research increases patenting by private sector companies (Azoulay et al., 2016) and that NIH open access mandates increase citations to biomedical research by inventors (Bryan and Ozcan, 2016).2 Our findings emphasize that access to existing frontier research is particularly important for the creation of ideas and that high-quality scientists make greater use of it….”

Against capital – STUART LAWSON

“I’m an open access advocate, I believe it has the potential to create a more equitable way for producing and sharing knowledge. But I’m currently doing a PhD on open access policy specifically looking at the ways that open access has been co-opted as one more tool for the neoliberalisation of higher education. (I’ll define neoliberalism in a moment.) So the reason I’ve called this talk ‘Against capital’ is that to me, the core problems that we have within scholarly communication are not technical problems that can be ‘fixed’ by new technology; they are social problems, that exist because of the power imbalances that are inherent in capitalist modes of organisation. So any new ‘disruptive’ or ‘innovative’ tool or company that claims to provide a better way of helping researchers, but still works with the grain of capitalism, I think we should all be highly sceptical of….”

What does it cost to publish a Gold Open Access article?

“Folks, we have to have the vision to look beyond what is happening right now in our departments. Gold OA does, for sure, mean a small amount of short-term pain. It also means a massive long-term win for us all.”

Cambridge’s journey towards Open Access

“Presentation given at Open Repositories 2017, Brisbane, Australia. General track 13: Evaluation and assessment. This presentation discusses the open agenda supported by funder policies in the United Kingdom (UK), how these policies interact with one another and the resulting implications for higher education institutions using the case study of the University of Cambridge. The University of Cambridge has responded to the challenges of open research by founding the Office of Scholarly Communication and dedicating specialized teams to manage compliance with both Open Access and research data requirements. Since 2013 the Open Access Service has processed over 10,000 article submissions and spent more than £7 million on article processing charges. The experiences at Cambridge in responding to these challenges are an important lesson for anyone engaged in open research. This talk offers some insights into a potential way to manage funder mandates, but also acts as a cautionary tale for other countries and institutions considering introducing mandates around Open Access and what the implementation of certain policies might entail. The skills around management of open policies are significantly different to traditional library activity, and this has implications for training and recruitment of staff.”


Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science? | Science | The Guardian

“Scientists are well aware that they seem to be getting a bad deal. The publishing business is ‘perverse and needless’, the Berkeley biologist Michael Eisen wrote in a 2003 article for the Guardian, declaring that it ‘should be a public scandal’. Adrian Sutton, a physicist at Imperial College, told me that scientists ‘are all slaves to publishers. What other industry receives its raw materials from its customers, gets those same customers to carry out the quality control of those materials, and then sells the same materials back to the customers at a vastly inflated price?’ (A representative of RELX Group, the official name of Elsevier since 2015, told me that it and other publishers ‘serve the research community by doing things that they need that they either cannot, or do not do on their own, and charge a fair price for that service’.)”

2018-2022: Sustainability Plan for Classic arXiv – arXiv public wiki – Dashboard

“Since 2010, Cornell’s sustainability planning initiative has aimed to reduce arXiv’s financial burden and dependence on a single institution, instead creating a broad-based, community-supported resource. arXiv’s funding and governance for the current operation (Classic arXiv) is based on a membership program engaging libraries and research laboratories worldwide that represent the repository’s heaviest institutional users. As of February 2017, we have 206 members representing 25 countries. arXiv’s sustainability plan is founded on and presents a business model for generating revenues and a set of governance, editorial, and financial principles. Cornell University Library (CUL), the Simons Foundation, and a global collective of institutional members support arXiv financially. The financial model for 2013–2017 entails three sources of revenues:

  • CUL provides a cash subsidy of $75,000 per year in support of arXiv’s operational costs. In addition, CUL makes an in-kind contribution of all indirect costs, which currently represents 37% of total operating expenses.

  • The Simons Foundation contributes $100,000 per year ($50,000 prior to 2016) in recognition of CUL’s stewardship of arXiv. In addition, the Foundation matches $300,000 per year of the funds generated through arXiv membership fees.

  • Each member institution pledges a five-year funding commitment to support arXiv. Based on institutional usage ranking, the annual fees are set in four tiers from $1,500 to $3,000.

In 2016, Cornell raised approximately $515,000 through membership fees from 201 institutions and the total revenue (including CUL, Simons Foundation direct contributions, and online fundraising) is around $1,015,000. We remain grateful for the support from the Simons Foundation that encouraged long-term community support by lowering arXiv membership fees and making participation affordable to a broad range of institutions. This model aims to ensure that the ultimate responsibility for sustaining arXiv remains with the research communities and institutions that benefit from the service most directly.”

Professor in Potsdam produces, directs ‘Paywall: The Business of Scholarship’ documentary | NorthCountryNow

“When library budgets are not able to meet the demands of publisher contracts, subscriptions are canceled and access to information is lost. Young said open access benefits academics by increasing the visibility and impact of research.

‘Information hidden behind a paywall is seen as a disadvantage for everyone,’ she said. ‘Open access allows more information to be added to the intellectual record, and people can continue to research because access is available and there are increased opportunities for collaboration.’

Several prominent academic writers have signed on to help write the documentary storyline, including Science magazine contributing correspondent John Bohannon, Birkbeck University of London Professor Martin Paul Eve, and futurist, educator and consultant Bryan Alexander.

Schmitt will have additional video crew support from Zach Brunelle ’17 of Burt Hills, N.Y., and professional videographer Russel Stone of Burlington, Vt.

The grant will support the travel, editing and final mastering, as well as provide a streaming and downloadable file for global viewing of the documentary.”