The Plan S open access initiative creates more opportunities than threats for Latin America | LSE Latin America and Caribbean

“Recently, concerns have been raised about the consequences that Plan S, an initiative of the cOAlitions S consortium of research funders aiming to provide free online access to all research literature, will have for existing non-commercial and not-for-profit open access initiatives. These concerns focus particularly on the threat to Latin America’s strong tradition of open access publishing. In responding to these concerns, I argue that Plan S has many synergies with this vibrant and exemplary tradition of open access publishing, and this will create real opportunities for future development….

Another synergy between Plan S and Latin American open access publishing lies in the pledge from cOAlition S funders that it is funders and research institutions who will pay for open access publication fees (Principle 4). For funders and research institutions, paying for open access fees is the easiest way to participate in the costs of open access publishing….

The objection against a payment per publication is that in this way Plan S upholds the article-processing charge (APC) system, but this is not quite correct. The most legitimate objection against APCs is that they require authors to find the money to pay for their publications. But Plan S has eliminated this obstacle: the funder or institution pays the publisher, not the author….”

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)….”

Repositories for academic products/outputs: Latin… | F1000Research

Abstract:  Open access policies have been progressing since the beginning of this century. Important global initiatives, both public and private, have set the tone for what we understand by open access. The emergence of tools and web platforms for open access (both legal and illegal) have placed the focus of the discussion on open access to knowledge, both for academics and for the general public, who finance such research through their taxes, particularly in Latin America. This historically unnoticed discussion must, we believe, be discussed publicly, given the characteristics of the Latin American scientific community, as well as its funding sources. This article includes an overview of what is meant by open access and describes the origins of the term, both in its philosophical sense and in its practical sense, expressed in the global declarations of Berlin and Bethesda. It also includes the notion of open access managed (or not) by some reputable institutions in Chile, such as CONICYT (National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research) and higher education institutions reputed nationally, such as the Universdad de Chile and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Various Latin American initiatives related to open access (Scielo, Redalyc, among others) are described, as well as the presence of Chilean documents in those platforms. The national institutional repositories are listed, as well as their current status and a discussion about what open access has implied in Latin America and its importance for the replicability of the investigations carried out locally. Finally, we describe some governmental initiatives (mainly legislative) at the Latin American level and propose some recommendations regarding the promotion and implementation of repositories for the access to scientific data (for access and replication purposes) of the national research.

 

Plan S in Latin America: Primum non nocere | Zenodo

Abstract:  We share the spirit of Plan S in achieving immediate and full Open Access (OA) of scholarly publishing, but we disagree with its implementation guidelines. We consider that while this initiative will influence the publishing ecosystem worldwide, its design has ignored more than 20 years of agenda on OA from the Global South, and the paradigm of a contrasting scholarly publishing landscape in Latin America. Our region represents the largest worldwide adopter of OA practices, where publishing is led by the scholarly community in collaborative and cooperative platforms, and access to knowledge is considered a universal right. The community sustains and encourages a tradition of free-to-publish and free-to-read OA publishing, which reverberates in an unparalleled apprehension of the scholarly record by students, researchers, and the public. In our opinion, the guidelines of Plan S fail to tackle the essential and chronic issues of traditional scholarly publishing, such as the concentration of articles in large international commercial publishers with extraordinary profit margins. It is our belief that to contribute to the democratization of knowledge, funders must promote policies, actions and resources to implement OA while improving the quality and retaining control of scholarly editorial processes by the scholarly community. Plan S is yet to demonstrate that it will also (financially) support the advancement of non-commercial OA initiatives. We call to interpellate asymmetrical discussions where privileged institutions and funders commit the global scholarly publishing landscape. We urge funding agencies to embrace an inclusive agenda that proposes a fair, equilibrated and rational ecosystem for the future of academic publishing. In the meantime, we call our region to postpone its potential adhesion to Plan S until its first evaluation would verify and inform results and implications for less privileged researchers, countries and institutions.

El Ministerio de Educación de la Argentina y la Coalición S: una asociación que restringirá el Acceso Abierto

“As members of the National University of La Plata, with institutional responsibilities in the visibility of scientific production, we express our concern over the decision of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology of the Nation to actively participate in the so-called Coalition S , an international alliance that promotes open access to scientific-academic publications, but under the “charge for publishing in open” (APC) model. Adherence to this system represents an unnecessary millionaire expense, which is also paid with public research funds….”

North vs South – Are open access models in conflict?

“One particular challenge for researchers in the Global South is the potential for a shift from a ‘pay to read’ model of scholarly communication to a ‘pay to publish’ model in which researchers do not have the resources necessary to publish their research.

Plan S has stated that it is not focused on delivering only one business model for scholarly communication. However, Article Processing Charges (APCs) have been the only model clearly identified for financing.

If Plan S is proposing to pursue a global flip to open access, we believe that this will require the recognition and support of diverse business models and a clearer definition of the resources these organisations will need to implement these policies, much in the same way the coalition has provided guidance to commercial publishers to secure funding for APC payments.

For a system that publicly subsidises scholarly communication through academic institutions, as in Latin America, implementing charges to authors heightens the risk of breaking a structure that has been designed to support researchers and keep public money within a publicly managed ecosystem.

As Leslie Chan notes, when opening access is decontextualised from its historical and political roots, it has the potential to become as exploitative and oppressive as the system it is seeking to replace….”

DEADLINE APPROACHNG, 1 OCTOBER: Applications for CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, San José, Costa Rica, 2-13 December 2019 – CODATA

“This school provides early career researchers (at MSc-level to 3 years after their PhD) from the Latin American Region with the necessary set of foundational data science skills to enable them to analyse their data in an efficient and effective manner for the 21st century.

Description:

The material covered here is fundamental to all areas of data science and hence open to researchers and professionals from all disciplines that deal with significant amounts of data. The goal is to provide a practical introduction to these topics with extensive labs and seminars….”

Where do we aspire to publish? A position paper on scientific communication in biochemistry and molecular biology

Abstract:  The scientific publication landscape is changing quickly, with an enormous increase in options and models. Articles can be published in a complex variety of journals that differ in their presentation format (online-only or in-print), editorial organizations that maintain them (commercial and/or society-based), editorial handling (academic or professional editors), editorial board composition (academic or professional), payment options to cover editorial costs (open access or pay-to-read), indexation, visibility, branding, and other aspects. Additionally, online submissions of non-revised versions of manuscripts prior to seeking publication in a peer-reviewed journal (a practice known as pre-printing) are a growing trend in biological sciences. In this changing landscape, researchers in biochemistry and molecular biology must re-think their priorities in terms of scientific output dissemination. The evaluation processes and institutional funding for scientific publications should also be revised accordingly. This article presents the results of discussions within the Department of Biochemistry, University of São Paulo, on this subject.

 

Where do we aspire to publish? A position paper on scientific communication in biochemistry and molecular biology

Abstract:  The scientific publication landscape is changing quickly, with an enormous increase in options and models. Articles can be published in a complex variety of journals that differ in their presentation format (online-only or in-print), editorial organizations that maintain them (commercial and/or society-based), editorial handling (academic or professional editors), editorial board composition (academic or professional), payment options to cover editorial costs (open access or pay-to-read), indexation, visibility, branding, and other aspects. Additionally, online submissions of non-revised versions of manuscripts prior to seeking publication in a peer-reviewed journal (a practice known as pre-printing) are a growing trend in biological sciences. In this changing landscape, researchers in biochemistry and molecular biology must re-think their priorities in terms of scientific output dissemination. The evaluation processes and institutional funding for scientific publications should also be revised accordingly. This article presents the results of discussions within the Department of Biochemistry, University of São Paulo, on this subject.

 

‘Transformative’ open access publishing deals are only entrenching commercial power | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Plan S has already been credited with sparking something of a revolution in journal publishing. Major publishers are beginning – slowly and reluctantly in some cases – to replace their traditional “big deals” with what are being called “transformative deals”. Often negotiated with national consortia of libraries and research institutes, these combine access to subscription journals with an ability to publish open access without any additional charge.

However, I believe that we should think a lot harder before celebrating a tipping point.

The open access movement has always been intimately bound up with a critique of the whole concept of handing over billions of pounds of public money to wildly profitableprivate companies in exchange for publishing papers that are written, reviewed and edited by academics. Yet the current “transformative” deals do precious little to drive down margins that are often in excess of 35 per cent….

Instead of recklessly funnelling billions of taxpayers’ money into for-profit entities, funding bodies and research institutes could easily support these more sustainable ventures instead. This is already happening in some parts of the world, with initiatives such as Redalyc and SciELO in Latin America demonstrating leadership….

Every time we sign one of these so-called transformative contracts, which often contain multi-year lock-ins, we lose the opportunity to create something more just, sustainable, efficient and effective. We actively work against efforts to return control of publishing to the academic community. It is time to take a step back and to think again about what we really want.”