Alternate Publishing Model? – Your Say

“Did you know that the STM (Scientific, Technical and Medical) scholarly publishing industry was worth US$25 700 000 000 globally in 2017 [1]? Have you heard about an enormous profit of above 30% [2] made by most commercial publishers? Roughly calculating, it will give us around US$7 700 000 000 that could have been spent on research instead. Therefore, it should not be surprising that scientists around the world have been concerned about this matter for years. One quickly realizes that the system of scientific publishing is flawed, but is there a way to improve it?…

Scientist are generally aware of the crisis in academic publishing, but not everyone sees the simple solution: the abrupt discontinuation of feeding commercial publishers with both money and content. Plan X posits that scientific articles are published directly by universities. Such a move will force every university to establish their own publishing department. Even if it would cost them more than the sum they spend on the access to private publishers’ portfolio, it will finally provide the publishing system with unlimited access and evolution. The most important point is that the principles of the publishing system will not change, only the publishing bodies will. Therefore, the peer review[4] process will not change, but it will become as strict as the university would like it to be. One can quickly realize what would happen with the Impact factor (IF)[5]. IF will directly describe the university’s competitiveness. However, there is one requirement for this system to work. All the scientists have to publish only within their own affiliated university. It would additionally solve another issue – the pressure on publishing in high IF journals. Many granting agencies already require using papers citations as a measurement of one’s scientific success. However, this is just a tip of the iceberg of all improvements, which Plan X will bring….”

The state of the field: An excerpt from the 2021 Library Publishing Directory | Library Publishing Coalition

“The yearly Library Publishing Directory provides insights into library publishing activities, allowing us to consider how the field has evolved, prevalent current practice, and possible future directions. While we discuss trends below—often in comparison to prior years—please note that the number and composition of the dataset of Directory listings changes yearly; thus a strict comparison year to year is not possible. Further complicating any analysis of the data are changes to the survey itself. We do try to update the survey as changes in technology and publishing platforms emerge. The  Directory Committee routinely evaluates the data model to ensure that it best reflects the library publishing field. Many of the survey questions remain the same year to year and new questions are periodically added. This year’s collaboration with LibPub SIG and the resultant focus on the international community of library publishers prompted the addition of a question about languages used in publications and added additional types of library publisher (public library and consortium)….

Library publishers continue to strongly support open access publication. All libraries in the 2021 Directory indicated that open access publication was important to their publishing program. Almost one-half of the respondents indicated that their publications were completely open access. No respondent indicated that the open access focus of its publishing program was only somewhat or not at all important….”

Full article: An Institutional Repository Publishing Model for Imperial College London Grey Literature

Abstract:  In 2019 we became increasingly aware of authors at Imperial College London choosing to publish grey literature through local website PDF or full text hosting. Recognising the need to improve the institutional open access repository as a venue of choice to publish or co-publish grey literature, we developed a publishing model of identifiers (DOIs and ORCIDs) and metrics (indexing, citations and Altmetric coverage). Some of the incentives already existed in the repository but had not previously been explicitly communicated as benefits; whilst others required technical infrastructure development and scholarly communications education for authors. As of September 2020, a 206% increase in deposit of one type of grey literature has been observed on the previous full year, including Imperial’s influential COVID-19 reports.


Grossmann, Brembs (2021) Current market rates for scholarly publishing services | F1000Research

Grossmann A and Brembs B. Current market rates for scholarly publishing services [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research 2021, 10:20 (

Abstract: For decades, the supra-inflation increase of subscription prices for scholarly journals has concerned scholarly institutions. After years of fruitless efforts to solve this “serials crisis”, open access has been proposed as the latest potential solution. However, the prices for open access publishing are also high and are rising well beyond inflation. What has been missing from the public discussion so far is a quantitative approach to determine the actual costs of efficiently publishing a scholarly article using state-of-the-art technologies, such that informed decisions can be made as to appropriate price levels. Here we provide a granular, step-by-step calculation of the costs associated with publishing primary research articles, from submission, through peer-review, to publication, indexing and archiving. We find that these costs range from less than US$200 per article in modern, large-scale publishing platforms using post-publication peer-review, to about US$1,000 per article in prestigious journals with rejection rates exceeding 90%. The publication costs for a representative scholarly article today come to lie at around US$400. We discuss the additional non-publication items that make up the difference between publication costs and final price.

The Challenges of Open Access Publishing in Philosophy | Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

“Join us on 13 January 2021 for this free workshop on the future and the challenges of open access publishing in philosophy, organised by the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science and BSPS Open.

Publications that are Open Access are freely downloadable as a PDF, under a Creative Commons Licence, often with an option to pay for print copies on demand. Making a publication Open Access is well-known to increase its impact, accessibility, and citation numbers. The problem is, typical publishers will only allow Open Access for authors who can pay large fees, making Open Access inaccessible to many.

What are the best strategies to make Open Access options widely available in philosophy? This workshop brings together philosophers and experts involved in open access publishing to share and debate their experience. All are welcome, and publishers in particular should get in touch with the organisers if they would like to participate….”

2020 locked in shift to open access publishing, but Australia is lagging

In Australia the first challenge is to overcome the apathy about open access issues. The term “open access” has been too easy to ignore. Many consider it a low priority compared to achievements in research, obtaining grant funding, or university rankings glory.

Open access takes flight | Science

“In 2018, a group of mostly European funders sent shock waves through the world of scientific publishing by proposing an unprecedented rule: The scientists they funded would be required to make journal articles developed with their support immediately free to read when published.

The new requirement, which takes effect starting this month, seeks to upend decades of tradition in scientific publishing, whereby scientists publish their research in journals for free and publishers make money by charging universities and other institutions for subscriptions. Advocates of the new scheme, called Plan S (the “S” stands for the intended “shock” to the status quo), hope to destroy subscription paywalls and speed scientific progress by allowing findings to be shared more freely. It’s part of a larger shift in scientific communication that began more than 20 years ago and has recently picked up steam.

Scientists have several ways to comply with Plan S, including by paying publishers a fee to make an article freely available on a journal website, or depositing the article in a free public repository where anyone can download it. The mandate is the first by an international coalition of funders, which now includes 17 agencies and six foundations, including the Wellcome Trust and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, two of the world’s largest funders of biomedical research….”

How a torrent of COVID science changed research publishing — in seven charts

“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted science in 2020 — and transformed research publishing, show data collated and analysed by Nature.

Around 4% of the world’s research output was devoted to the coronavirus in 2020, according to one database. But 2020 also saw a sharp increase in articles on all subjects being submitted to scientific journals — perhaps because many researchers had to stay at home and focus on writing up papers rather than conducting science.

Submissions to publisher Elsevier’s journals alone were up by around 270,000 — or 58% — between February and May when compared with the same period in 2019, one analysis found1. The increase was even higher for health and medicine titles, at a whopping 92%.

The pandemic also fuelled a sharp rise in sharing through preprints (articles posted online before peer review), advanced the output of male authors over female authors and affected review times — speeding them up in some topics but slowing them down in others….”

Penn State Libraries Open Publishing

“Penn State Libraries Open Publishing is the Open Access imprint of The Pennsylvania State University Libraries. The Libraries publish full-featured electronic scholarly journals, searchable annotated bibliographies, and topical web portals using a variety of platforms (e.g., OJS, Drupal, Biblio). All of our publications are freely available to view online and download. Because we publish Open Access, all copyrights are retained by individual authors, journals, or sponsoring entity, and almost all publications are licensed for use under a Creative Commons license….”