# OA APC longitudinal survey 2019 | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs

This post presents results of the 2019 OA APC longitudinal survey and extends an invitation to participate in an open peer review process of the underlying data and its documentation. One thing that is not changing is that most OA journals in DOAJ do not charge APCs: 10,210 (73%) of the 14,007 journals in DOAJ as of Nov. 26, 2019 do not have APCs. The global average APC in 2019 is 908 USD. This figure has changed little since 2010, however this consistency masks considerably underlying variation. For example, the average APC in 2019 for the 2010 sample has increased by 50%, a rate three times the inflation rate for this time frame. The tendency to charge or not to charge, how much is charged and whether prices are increasing or decreasing varies considerably by journal, publisher, country of publication, language and currency. One surprise this year was the top 10 countries by number of OA journals in DOAJ. As usual, Europe, the US and Latin America are well represented, but Indonesia is now the second largest country in DOAJ and Poland, Iran, and Turkey are among the top 10, perhaps reflecting the work of the DOAJ ambassadors. Pricing per journal shows mixed trends; most journals did not change price between 2018 and 2019, but there were price decreases as well as increases. The UK’s Ubiquity Press as having a relatively low APC (a fraction of Oxford’s, another UK-based publisher) and no price increases.

# OA APC longitudinal survey 2019 | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs

This post presents results of the 2019 OA APC longitudinal survey and extends an invitation to participate in an open peer review process of the underlying data and its documentation. One thing that is not changing is that most OA journals in DOAJ do not charge APCs: 10,210 (73%) of the 14,007 journals in DOAJ as of Nov. 26, 2019 do not have APCs. The global average APC in 2019 is 908 USD. This figure has changed little since 2010, however this consistency masks considerably underlying variation. For example, the average APC in 2019 for the 2010 sample has increased by 50%, a rate three times the inflation rate for this time frame. The tendency to charge or not to charge, how much is charged and whether prices are increasing or decreasing varies considerably by journal, publisher, country of publication, language and currency. One surprise this year was the top 10 countries by number of OA journals in DOAJ. As usual, Europe, the US and Latin America are well represented, but Indonesia is now the second largest country in DOAJ and Poland, Iran, and Turkey are among the top 10, perhaps reflecting the work of the DOAJ ambassadors. Pricing per journal shows mixed trends; most journals did not change price between 2018 and 2019, but there were price decreases as well as increases. The UK’s Ubiquity Press as having a relatively low APC (a fraction of Oxford’s, another UK-based publisher) and no price increases.

# Is PLOS Running Out Of Time? Financial Statements Suggest Urgency To Innovate – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Time may be running out for the Public Library of Science (PLOS).

The San Francisco-based, non-profit open access (OA) publisher released its latest financials, disclosing that it ran a US $5.5 million dollar deficit in 2018 on$32M dollars of revenue. In order to cover this loss, it dug deep into its savings and sold off nearly $5M in financial investments. This is not the first time the publisher spent more than it earned. Indeed, the last time PLOS made surpluses was 2015, when it had$30.6M in the bank. By 2017, PLOS’ savings had been cut nearly in half to $17M, and fell again to$11M in 2018. At the same time, 2018 salaries and other employee compensation went up by \$1.8M (8%) from 2017, despite publishing 11% fewer papers….”

# Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership

“Looking into the past shows that public ownership of antibiotic R&D is not as radical as it may sound. During the second world war, allied research on penicillin – the most iconic antibiotic – was publicly financed, organised and owned. In fact, the original penicillin was never patented….”

# UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER)

“[T]he UNESCO OER Recommendation has five objectives: (i) Building capacity of stakeholders to create access, use, adapt and redistribute OER; (ii) Developing supportive policy; (iii) Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER; (iv) Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and (v) Facilitating international cooperation….”

# New Landscapes on the Road of Open Science: 6 key issues to address for research data management in the Netherlands | Open Working

“The road to Open Science is not a short one. As the chairman of the Executive Board of the European Open Science Cloud, Karel Luyben, is keen to point out, it will take at least 10 or 15 years of travel until we reach a point where Open Science is simply absorbed into ordinary, everyday science.

Within the Netherlands, and for research data in particular, we have made many strides towards that final point. We have knowledge networks such as LCRDM, a suite of archives covered by the Research Data Netherlands umbrella, and the groundbreaking work done by the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences.

But there is still much travel to be done; many new landscapes to be traversed. Data sharing is still far from being the norm (see here for a visualisation of these results).

The authors of this blog post have put together six areas that, in their opinion, deserve attention on our Open Science journey….”

# The fundamental problem blocking open access and how to overcome it: the BitViews project

Abstract:  In our view the fundamental obstacle to open access (OA) is the lack of any incentive-based mechanism that unbundles authors’ accepted manuscripts (AMs) from articles (VoRs). The former can be seen as the public good that ought to be openly accessible, whereas the latter is owned by publishers and rightly paywall-restricted. We propose one such mechanism to overcome this obstacle: BitViews. BitViews is a blockchain-based application that aims to revolutionize the OA publishing ecosystem. Currently, the main academic currency of value is the citation. There have been attempts in the past to create a second currency whose measure is the online usage of research materials (e.g. PIRUS). However, these have failed due to two problems. Firstly, it has been impossible to find a single agency willing to co-ordinate and fund the validation and collation of global online usage data. Secondly, online usage metrics have lacked transparency in how they filter non-human online activity. BitViews is a novel solution which uses blockchain technology to bypass both problems: online AMS usage will be recorded on a public, distributed ledger, obviating the need for a central responsible agency, and the rules governing activity-filtering will be part of the open-source BitViews blockchain application, creating complete transparency. Once online AMS usage has measurable value, researchers will be incentivized to promote and disseminate AMs. This will fundamentally re-orient the academic publishing ecosystem. A key feature of BitViews is that its success (or failure) is wholly and exclusively in the hands of the worldwide community of university and research libraries, as we suggest that it ought to be financed by conditional crowdfunding, whereby the actual financial commitment of each contributing library depends on the total amount raised. If the financing target is not reached, then all contributions are returned in full and if the target is over-fulfilled, then the surplus is returned pro rata.

# CFP: Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Culture: Law, Economics, and Publishing – OER + ScholComm

“We are pleased to announce a call for proposals for Unit 3 contributions (see more details below) in our upcoming edited open book, Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Culture: Law, Economics, and Publishing, to be openly published by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in electronic and print formats. Authors retain copyright of their contributions, but commit to open publication in the CC-BY-NC book.

Proposals will be accepted in three areas:

Perspectives – situated and self-reflexive discussions of topics of importance in scholarly communication
Intersections – examples of and reflections on the intersection of scholarly communication with other areas of academic librarianship or other stakeholders
Case Studies – stories and lessons learned drawn from experience by librarians engaged in scholarly communication work…”

# La proposta di legge Gallo sull’accesso aperto all’informazione scientifica (DDL n. 1146) | AISA

From Google’s English: “The examination continues, before the 7th Standing Committee (Public education, cultural heritage) of the Senate, of the DDL n. 1146 , “Amendments to article 4 of the decree-law 8 August 2013, n. 91, converted, with modifications, by the law 7 October 2013, n. 112, as well as the introduction of article 42-bis of the law of 22 April 1941, n. 633, in the matter of open access to scientific information ”

On October 29, 2019, the 7th Commission held an informal hearing to hear the position of the Italian Publishers Association (IEA).

A note from the IEA is available on the Senate website summarizing the contents of the hearing….”

# Calculating cost-effectiveness for subscription choices

“Negotiations between Elsevier and the University of California system over open access and pricing seem to have reached a stalemate, and the UC no longer has the Elsevier Big Deal.   Currently,  no UC campus  subscribes to any Elsevier journals. If the UC chooses not to reenter the Big Deal, the UC campus libraries will probably find it worthwhile to subscribe to some Elsevier journals.  Which ones should they choose?

A UCSB student, Zhiyao Ma, and I are developing a little tool that we hope will  help UC librarians in  making cost-effective selections of Elsevier journals for subscription.  The UC has   download statistics for each Elsevier journal at each  of its campuses.  Elsevier posts a la carte subscription prices for each of its journals.  Our tool allows one to select a cost per download threshold and obtain a list of journals that meet this criterion, along with their total cost.  It also allows for  separate thresholds to be used for different disciplines.  You can check out the current version at  https://yaoma.shinyapps.io/Elsevier-Project/

Since this project is still under way, we would be interested in any suggestions from librarians about how to make this tool more broadly useful.  Extending this tool to make comparisons among journals from  multiple publishers is an obvious step. However, we are dubious about the value of download statistics for cross-publisher comparisons.  There is evidence that download counts substantially overstate usage, because of repeated downloads of the same article by the same users, and that the amount of double-counting varies systematically by publisher.  This is discussed in  a couple of papers of which I am a coauthor.

“Looking under the Counter for Overcounted Downloads” (with Kristin Antelman and Richard Uhrig)

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0vf2k2p0

and

“Do Download counts reliably measure journal usage: Trusting the fox to count your hens”. (with Alex Wood-Doughty and Doug Steigerwald)

https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/17824/19653

Instead of using download data, we could construct a similar calculator using price per recent citation as a measure of cost-effectiveness.  We have found that the ratio of downloads to citations differ significantly between disciplines.    So it is probably appropriate for cost per citation thresholds to  differ among disciplines….”