Opinion: Boycotting Elsevier Is Not Enough | The Scientist Magazine®

“Boycotting Elsevier is a good first step, but it needs follow-through to support open infrastructure and systemic reforms. Latin America’s academy-owned non-commercial platforms now publish hundreds of thousands of articles a year and have actively opposed the toxic pay-to-publish business model. We need to lobby our institutions and funders to support open science infrastructure and do something similar in the so-called developed world.

We also need to build open access into our career and incentive structures. We currently don’t employ, fund, or promote scientists who publish in open-access journals or use open science practices, so it is no surprise that the vast majority of scientific papers are not “born free.” Aside from Plan S, most funders’ open-access policies offer neither carrot nor stick. For example, the NIH Public Access Policy offers no rewards for compliance and only administrative consequences for non-compliance.

Scientists already have many of the tools needed to change science publishing. For example, I was frustrated by the lack of quality, fee-free, open-access journals in behavioural neuroscience, so I got some colleagues together and started one. There is a plethora of free open source software for running journals and typesetting articles, which leaves us with very minimal costs. Our main challenge is cultural—convincing scientists it doesn’t have to cost $3,000 to publish an article and to take a risk with a new and unproven outlet….”

bjoern.brembs.blog » Scholarship has bigger fish to fry than access

” For the last 6-7 years, paying for subscriptions has ceased to be necessary for access. One sign of the changing times is the support that initiatives such as DEAL, Bibsam etc. have: two years without subscriptions to Elsevier and what do you hear out of, e.g., Germany? Crickets! Nothing! Of course, it would be silly to conclude that in these two years nobody in Germany has read any Elsevier articles. The reason for the silence and the continued support for DEAL is that we now can access anything we want without subscriptions….

With the realization that EOSC; Plan S, DEAL, etc. are actually working on different aspects of the same issue, the problem to be solved is no longer that scholars publish in toll-access journals, but that institutions haven’t come up with a more attractive alternative. If individuals are not to blame, than there is no reason to mandate them to do anything differently. Instead, institutions should be mandated to stop funding journals via subscriptions or APCs and instead invest the money into a modern, more cost-effective infrastructure for text, data and code. Obviously, in this specificity, this is nearly impossible to mandate in most countries. However, there is a mandate that comes very close. It has been dubbed “Plan I” (for infrastructure). In brief, it entails a three step procedure:

Build on already available standards and guidelines to establish a certification process for a sustainable scholarly infrastructure
Funders require institutional certification before reviewing grant applications
Institutions use subscription funds to implement infrastructure for certification….”

University Librarian Elaine Westbrooks is on a mission to open Carolina’s research to all – The Well : The Well

“I hope our scholars realize that this is something that has to be done. This is the tipping point for us. The money is not there to support the status quo. I’ve heard from many faculty who agree that that we need to change this system that we have.

The current model is unsustainable for universities and is inconsistent with the values of a public university. We’re “of the public, for the public,” designed to serve the state and the citizens of the state. So, I feel as though we have no choice but to transform this system to critique what we’ve done. That critique is going to have some consequences, which I think are good….

We’re negotiating with Elsevier to find out what kind of license we can sign that will be affordable, sustainable, promotes open access and is transparent. Those are the four values that we have set. We’re at a tipping point where it’s just not possible to keep doing business as usual….”

Moedas: Europe should lead negotiations with academic publishers | Times Higher Education (THE)

“The European Union’s outgoing research chief has called on nations to strike deals with academic publishers together, rather than negotiating country by country and weakening their power.

Carlos Moedas, who is at the end of a five-year term as European commissioner for research, science and innovation, told Times Higher Education that negotiating with publishers was a “great example” of something the EU should take on.

In recent years several European countries including Germany, Norway and Sweden have been locked in talks with big academic publishers such as Elsevier and Springer Nature in an attempt to shift towards open access and drive down costs….

“I think that should be done at the level of the union. This is a great example of added value,” he said, referring to an area where it made sense for the EU, rather than nation states, to take the lead….”

SCELC Supports the University of California’s Push for Open Access to Research | SCELC

“SCELC, a California based consortium of 113 private academic and nonprofit research libraries, fully supports the University of California in their decision to not renew their Elsevier subscriptions until a transformative open access agreement can be reached. As North America’s largest publicly funded research university system, UC’s position puts it in the forefront of the global movement to shift the publication of research to open access, placing control of researchers’ output in the hands of its creators. Unsustainable journal subscription price increases have far exceeded the capacity of library budgets, and open access models such as that being negotiated by the UCs offer a long-term viable alternative that benefits both libraries and public access to the research that is often supported by public and grant funds….”

Case for Open Access and the Current Situation with the University of California and Elsevier

“The last few weeks have provided great assurance that the University of California going forward will have agreements based on open access principles, including with Elsevier. Norway has reached an open access deal with Elsevier and the University has reached an open access deal with another important publisher, Cambridge University Press. In these models, which work on the principles of “pay to publish,” costs are contained and risks mitigated for both institutions and publishers, which will create a sustainable and open scholarly ecosystem.”

From symbiont to parasite: the evolution of for-profit science publishing | Molecular Biology of the Cell

Abstract:  Two 17th century institutions—learned societies and scientific journals—transformed science in ways that still dominate our professional lives today. Learned societies like the American Society for Cell Biology remain relevant because they provide forums for sharing results, discussing the practice of science, and projecting our voices to the public and the policy makers. Scientific journals still disseminate our work, but in the Internet-connected world of the 21st century, this is no longer their critical function. Journals remain relevant almost entirely because they provide a playing field for scientific and professional competition: to claim credit for a discovery, we publish it in a peer-reviewed journal; to get a job in academia or money to run a lab, we present these published papers to universities and funding agencies. Publishing is so embedded in the practice of science that whoever controls the journals controls access to the entire profession. We must reform our methods for evaluating the contributions of younger scientists and deflate the power of a small number of “elite” journals. More generally, given the recent failure of research institutions around the world to strike satisfactory deals with publishing giant Elsevier, the time has come to examine the motives and methods of those to whom we have entrusted the keys to the kingdom of science.

Open Access: Will the Paywalls Come Tumbling Down? | European Heart Journal | Oxford Academic

“The drive to make publicly-funded research freely available to all interested parties has been gathering momentum over recent years with support from academics and funders and backing from the European Commission. Although there is a broad agreement that open access is best for everyone, methods of dismantling paywalls and ending systems of subscription are an ongoing subject of debate….”

Open Access: Will the Paywalls Come Tumbling Down? | European Heart Journal | Oxford Academic

“The drive to make publicly-funded research freely available to all interested parties has been gathering momentum over recent years with support from academics and funders and backing from the European Commission. Although there is a broad agreement that open access is best for everyone, methods of dismantling paywalls and ending systems of subscription are an ongoing subject of debate….”

Elsevier vice-president aims to fix ‘disjoint’ with academics | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Elsevier needs to do more fix a “disjoint” with academics and to demonstrate its value to universities, according to a vice-president at the publishing giant.

Gemma Hersh, senior vice-president for global research solutions at Elsevier, argued that the company offered value for money to its customers and contributed positively to research, despite the decisions of many German and Swedish universities, as well as the University of California system, not to renew their subscriptions….

Ms Hersh said that much of the criticism of Elsevier was misplaced….

Ms Hersh claimed that some critics had mistaken parent company Relx’s profit margin – 19 per cent – with its operating margin of 37 per cent, referencing the £942 million it made on revenues of about £2.5 billion last year….”