Guest Post: From Supermarkets to Marketplaces – The Evolution of the Open Access Ecosystem – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Sven Fund. Sven is the Managing Director of Knowledge Unlatched and founder of fullstopp, a digital consulting agency serving publishers, libraries, and intermediaries. From 2008 to 2015, Sven was the CEO of Berlin-based publisher De Gruyter. Prior to that he served in different functions from Managing Director to Executive Board member at what is now Springer Nature. He is a lecturer at Humboldt University in Berlin.

Open access (OA) is undergoing yet another metamorphosis. So far, the space has been dominated by author-pays (via Article Processing Charges – APCs) models, both hybrid and “pure”. And while funders like Wellcome and the German Research Foundation are reviewing their policies – many of them a decade old by now – it is becoming ever clearer that APCs will not be the future of OA, at least not uniquely. With their normative approach of flipping traditional acquisition budgets, Ralf Schimmer, Kai Geschuhn and Andreas Vogler have been advocating in principle that which is now becoming reality: i.e. that in order to really shake up the academic publishing market, other transactional models are necessary….

To make OA really work, libraries have to cooperate and co-spend in order to shift the market-shaping from publishers to themselves. Publishers are structured like supermarkets: They operate as global consortia around their own products, generating demand, shouldering financial risk and investments and in the process generating profit. As long as libraries or other agents are not prepared to supersede this role with a better structure, the underlying problem will remain….”

Research data services for institutions | Open research | Springer Nature

“A small survey of global library staff reveals that respondents view open access as the future of academic and scientific publishing, and many are not satisfied with the current speed of the transition….

The majority of respondents thought that there would come a time when all future scholarly articles will be published open access, with two thirds believing this could happen over the next 10 years….”

Open Data: The Researcher Perspective

“The Open Data report is a result of a year-long, co-conducted study between Elsevier and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), part of Leiden University, the Netherlands.  The study is based on a complementary methods approach consisting of a quantitative analysis of bibliometric and publication data, a global survey of 1,200 researchers and three case studies including in-depth interviews with key individuals involved in data collection, analysis and deposition in the fields of soil science, human genetics and digital humanities….”

73 percent of academics say access to research data helps them in their work; 34 percent do not publish their data

“Combining results from bibliometric analyses, a global sample of researcher opinions and case-study interviews, a new report reveals that although the benefits of open research data are well known, in practice, confusion remains within the researcher community around when and how to share research data….”

Europe set to miss flagship open access target | THE News

“The European Union is set to miss its target of having all scientific research freely available by 2020, as progress towards open access hits a “plateau” because of deeper problems in how research is assessed. Sixty to 70 per cent of universities reported that less than a fifth of their researchers’ peer-reviewed publications are freely available, depending on the type of open access, according to a survey of more than 300 members of the European University Association. 

Only one in 10 universities said that more than 40 per cent of their research was published as “gold” open access, where there is no delay making it public. In 2016, EU member states’ science and industry ministers, supported by the European Commission, backed a move to full open access in just four years. This latest survey asks members about papers published in 2013, 2014 and 2015, so may not capture all progress made to date. But it still concludes that to hit the 2020 target “will require greater engagement by all of the relevant stakeholders”.

This chimes with an EU progress report released at the end of February which concludes that “100 per cent full open access in 2020 is realistically not achievable in the majority of European countries participating in this exercise in the foreseeable future”. Lidia Borrell-Damian, the EUA’s director for research and innovation, said that “unfortunately [full open access] is very difficult to achieve” and that “we have reached a plateau in which it’s very difficult to move forward”.

Open access had taken off in some subjects – like physics, where the open access arXiv pre-print platform is widely used – in which “traditional indicators” of journal prestige such as impact factors and other measures of citations were “less relevant”, she explained. But in most disciplines, these measures were still crucial for burnishing researchers’ career prospects, she added, making it difficult for authors to switch to less prestigious, lower impact factor open access journals. “As long as it [research assessment] is based on these proxy indicators, it’s impossible to change the game,” Dr Borrell-Damian said. Search our database of more than 3,000 global university jobs

This is backed up by the survey findings. The biggest barrier to publishing in an open access repository was the “high priority given to publishing in conventional journals”, a hindrance cited by more than eight in 10 universities. “Concerns about the quality of open access publications” were also mentioned by nearly 70 per cent of respondents. In some disciplines, to publish open access, “you have to be a believer or activist” and it comes “at the risk of damaging your own career”, Dr Borrell-Damian said.

Echoing a long-standing concern in science, she argued that “we need a whole new system” of research assessment that does not rely so heavily on citations and impact factors. The EU’s flagship Horizon 2020 funding scheme requires grant recipients to publish their findings openly, but this was a far from universal policy for national funding bodies, she added. A spokesman for the EU Council acknowledged that “more efforts will be needed overall to accelerate progress towards full open access for all scientific publications”.”

Evaluation of offset agreements – report 3: Springer Compact

This document is the third report of five on the evaluation of offset agreements in Sweden and will focus on the agreement with Springer called Springer Compact and its outcome during 2017. 

 

 The evaluation is conducted to examine the effects of Springer Compact regarding economy, administration, researcher attitudes and research dissemination, and make recommendations for future negotiations with Springer Nature and other publishers. The previous reports were written in Swedish, but the remaining reports will be written in English. Therefore, some of the sections from the previous reports are repeated here to provide a background for the international reader. In addition to this, there is also a section comparing the Swedish Springer Compact agreement to that of three other countries (Netherlands, United Kingdom and Austria) and one society (Max Planck Society).

The report is structured in the following way: below is a short summary. Then the first section presents an introduction, describing open access, offset agreements and the background to why such agreements have emerged, the aim of the evaluation and a brief overview of existing recommendations for negotiating open access with publishers. The next section explains the specific offset model of Springer Compact. The third section makes the comparison between different Springer Compact agreements. The fourth and fifth sections contain the evaluation and recommendations for future negotiations.

Use of Free Textbooks Is Rising, but Barriers Remain – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“A growing number of professors are replacing the traditional textbook with an openly licensed one, according to a survey released on Tuesday. But their overall numbers remain small — and widespread adoption of the practice could remain out of reach unless key barriers are overcome.”

European survey on scholarly practices and digital needs in the arts and humanities – Highlights Report | Zenodo

“Between 10-15% of respondents reported very frequent use of open access journals or publications, institutional portals and repositories, personal blogs or websites, and scholarly communities such as Academia and ResearchGate, to disseminate their work. A larger percentage, between 35-45%, use this ‘tetrad’ of dissemination channels regularly. On the other hand, eight out of ten state that they have used open content journals or publication, albeit seldom….”