Open Access Market Sizing Update 2019 – Delta Think

“Delta Think’s OA Market Sizing shows that the open access market continues to grow faster than the underlying journals publishing market, and faster than we previously expected. (Market Size represents revenue generated by providers or, conversely, costs incurred to buyers of content.) We estimate it to have been worth $675m in 2018 and on track to grow to over $758m in 2019….”

On Plan S/transformative publishing, or … A disptach in the wake of the Charleston Conference

“–Depending on how much APC funding eventually shifts from libraries to the federal government, will the price mechanism for APCs adjust to accommodate the readiness of grant funding agencies to bankroll APCs?  If so, can we assume the government will have a more price-elastic posture than universities historically have had, given the latter’s tenure and promotion demand-side incentives to publish in high tier journals regardless the cost? If federal agencies are not elastically responsive to prices (i.e., if they reward publication in high priced journals without regard to prices), don’t we just perpetuate the high pricing that librarians have so long lamented, therefore shifting this malaise’s remedy to the public’s dime? Is this fair to the citizenry? How does this affect public funding for other federally funded initiatives?

–Concerns about “existential threats” now appears in discussions about scholarly publishing. Scholarly societies have them. Can societies be assured of stable revenue streams, erstwhile from library journal subscriptions, if some complex admixture of federal government grant funds and university funds fund APCs?

–There seems to be no discussion among librarians about an “existential threat” to their own profession. If funding of journals shifts from universities to federal funding agencies, doesn’t this cut out librarian involvement in selecting and funding journals? Correlatively, wouldn’t this reduce their budgets? Also, would this reduce their collection development role  to APC bean-counting, much of which will become the purview of offices of research whose involvement will merely be one of marking APCs as a line item in grant funding disbursement accounting? Would this be a good or a bad thing? 

–Where is discussion about the opportunity cost of diverting a portion of hard-to-get state-funded research dollars to funding APCs? What research, e.g. for renewal energy, or cancer or agricultural research for developing countries, now goes by the wayside?  

–Will societies and university publishers just gradually assimilate the newly emerging APC regime for their economic survival in funding membership activities, without discussions about possible threats to financial stability or discussions about the larger philosophical premises of doing so?

 

–On the philosophical issues, shouldn’t society publishers worry about governmental ideological manipulation of who within their memberships gets grant-funded APCs?  Sure, one could make that argument about federal grant funding per se. But doesn’t the latter arguably addresses an externality that (in an ideal world) concerns the common good, while APC funding is an externality that does *not* necessitate federal subsidizing–given that scholarly publishing mechanisms can and should be developed that don’t require federal subsidy?  These are points everyone should ask regardless of political affiliation.

–From what one speaker at Charleston said, the complexities of negotiating with publishers has a new overlay: tortuous internecine discussions among consortial members. If  this is true of all consortia, one has the sense that consortial leaders now have to have to engage game theoretic scenarios not only with respect to publishers, but also their individual members. Just imagine how much more complicated all this will now become with the pressures on libraries to pay for APCs. Isn’t it undesirable to introduce this added complexity, at least at this juncture? Why not just work on contracting the number of journals published, about which . . . 

–I’ve been arguing for contracting the number of journals, a la something like Bradford’s Law. A refinement on that: we need to distinguish two rationales for contracting the journal space. These are:

Rationale (1.) An argument on the principled basis that it is desirable to contract the number of journals, given that the ever-growing glut of journal articles undermines the common good of discoverability and assimilation of research findings.

Rationale (2.) An argument from economic reality: library budgets are relatively flat so we need to deconstruct Big Deals or even the number of subscribed journals regardless the journal sales model.

Shouldn’t big consortia use their negotiating power to argue that the ever-rising prices of journals (not to mention pressures for APCs merely to replicate the price dynamics of toll-access publishing) necessitates contracting the number of journals?  This point extends not just to toll-access publishing, but also gold ones? If so, pursuing rationale (1) for contracting the journal space aligns neatly with rationale (2) for doing so. I.e., rationale (2) becomes the vehicle for accomplishing rationale (1).

–I’ve also argued that consortia with journal negotiating power should educate their faculty about the need to contract the journal space. A refinement to that, too: the discussions should focus on rationale (1) above, rather than (2), which concer

Latin America’s longstanding Open Access ecosystem could be undermined by proposals from the Global North | LSE Latin America and Caribbean

“Open access is often seen as a process of switching from the existing closed-subscription model of scholarly communication to an open one. But Latin America has had an open access ecosystem for scholarly publishing for over a decade, and the recent AmeliCA initiative seeks to develop cooperative scientific communication further still. These efforts, however, could yet be undermined by recent open access proposals from the cOAlition S consortium of research funders in the Global North, write Eduardo Aguado López and Arianna Becerril García (both Redalyc, AmeliCA, and Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México)….”

Guest Post – Transparency: What Can One Learn from a Trove of Invoices? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The dataset Ashley [Farley] provided us [from the Gates Foundation] (covering the period from August 1, 2016, to March 31, 2019) includes:

3,268 invoices for articles in peer-reviewed journals
720 journals
90 publishers

In total the Foundation paid $9,002,225 to these publishers to ensure results of all Foundation research was disseminated with a CC BY license with no embargos — an average cost for “open” of $2,755 per article.

We think we’ve uncovered some interesting trends in this data, but our main objective is to share the research dataset we have developed, along with the Foundation’s original invoicing data. That way anyone can use these for further research….

In 2016, only 22% of authors were choosing to publish in fully-OA journals; in 2019, 50% have done so….

Traditional publishers charge significantly more for APCs than OA-only publishers….

Researchers choosing to publish in a fully OA Journal show a strong preference for OA-only publishers’ titles….

There are no significant differences in for-profit vs. non-profit publishers’ APCs for fully OA journals….”

Open is Eating the World: What Source Code and Science Have in Common – The Scholarly Kitchen

“There are increasingly noticeable connections between open source and open research. Both open research and open source are promoted as mechanisms to improve quality by creating faster and more robust feedback mechanisms, they’re both intended to reduce waste and unnecessarily duplicated effort (validation is not duplication of effort, they’re different things), and they both draw / are dependent on communities to be both valuable and sustainable….”

Open and Shut?: The OA Interviews: K. VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India

“It is, however, clearly problematic that cOAlition S has remained an essentially European initiative. For this reason when, in February, the Indian Government’s Principal Scientific Adviser, Professor VijayRaghavan posted a series of tweets saying that India was joining cOAlition S the news was greeted with great excitement by cOAlition S members, as well as by Plan S supporters like the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas.

 

The news was greeted with less enthusiasm back home in India, with concerns raised about the cost implications, the likely impact on small journals and publishers, and the way in which it would allow commercial publishers to continue to profit excessively from the research community – see, for instance, here, here and here.

 

Following Prof. VijayRaghavan’s tweets, however, radio silence set in, with no confirmation that India had formally joined, or any updates on the status of its plans. For this reason many ears pricked up last Friday when, during a lecture he gave at IISc Bangalore to mark Open Access Week, Prof. VijayRaghavan commented, “We are not committed to whatever Plan S does or does not do.” This sufficiently piqued the interest of Vasudevan Mukunth that he sought out Prof. VijayRaghavan and asked for clarification, which led to an interview in The Wire where it was confirmed that India no longer plans to join cOAlition S.

 

As I had been trying to interview Prof. VijayRaghavan for some months, I too was piqued by his comments and so took to Twitter to again invite him to answer the questions I had sent him in June. He agreed and below are his answers to an updated list of questions I emailed over to him….”

Daring to dream of Universal Open Access

Abstract:  This talk will discuss recent developments with an amalgamated model for open access based on library and funder support that holds out some promise for addressing the current need for universal open access. The talk will consider the calculus underlying the model; in relation to precursors (e.g., SCOAP3, OLH, Knowledge Unlatched, Gates’ Chronos) and its advantages of the model for researchers, libraries, funders, societies, and publishers. The talk will also take into account the global dimensions of such a model; it will report on current initiatives in implementing it in the social sciences while considering its implications for the sciences.

 

Can Open Access pay the bills? | Eldis

“For over 20 years, Eldis has provided free access to relevant, up-to-date and diverse research on global development issues. The Eldis database now includes summaries and links to over 60,000 full-text research and policy documents from a growing global network of several thousand research organisations and networks.  

Open Access has always been at the core of our values but through our long engagement in this area we are also well aware that Open Access isn’t free. For smaller research organisations, the costs required to build the technical capacity and maintain the systems required to adopt open access publishing methods can be difficult to meet. This in turn means that they might not benefit from the increased visibility and reach for their ideas that open access approaches potentially offer.  

For this reason, a large part of what we do has revolved around supporting smaller research producers to make their knowledge, visible and accessible to audiences online. 

But Eldis currently receives no core funding from any donors so continuing this support, maintaining our collection online, and keeping our services free for users, is a constant challenge for us too.  

Our solution is to offer bespoke, cost-effective products, alongside our free services, designed to help research projects and programmes to introduce their knowledge and evidence to the broad global audience of development practitioners, decision-makers and researchers that we have established over the years. …”

Cambridge to trial crowdfunding open access book | Research Information

“Cambridge University Press (CUP) is launching a crowdfunding campaign to publish a book under the open access model.

CUP has teamed up with the book site Unbound to determine whether crowdfunding can support making selected titles open access – free to read online by anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world.

The move is a first for both partners – for CUP it’s the first time it has tried to crowdfund a book, while for Unbound it is the first time the company has worked with an academic publisher….”

Cambridge to trial crowdfunding open access book | Research Information

“Cambridge University Press (CUP) is launching a crowdfunding campaign to publish a book under the open access model.

CUP has teamed up with the book site Unbound to determine whether crowdfunding can support making selected titles open access – free to read online by anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world.

The move is a first for both partners – for CUP it’s the first time it has tried to crowdfund a book, while for Unbound it is the first time the company has worked with an academic publisher….”