IGDORE – Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education

Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE) is an independent research institute dedicated to improve the quality of science, science education, and quality of life for scientists, students and their families. We’re committed to open scientific practices, free (libre) and open science, and a healthy and global science and higher education. We aim to protect whistleblowers in science and to educate and train affiliated and external scientists and students on best scientific practices.

Scientists who adhere to open scientific practices can become affiliated with IGDORE. We currently have 37 affiliated researchers whose work spans over 15 scientific disciplines (e.g. astronomy; biology; chemistry; computer science; education; electrical engineering; law; materials science; medicine; metascience; paleontology; physics; psychology; sociology). Our location independence allows affiliated scientists to reside anywhere in the world: our scientists reside in no less than 17 countries (Australia; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; Croatia; Denmark; Finland; France; India; Indonesia; Luxembourg; Netherlands; South Africa; Sweden; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States)….”

Open Access: Current Overview and Future Prospects

Abstract:  This paper examines, with emphasis upon the United States, the current status of open access and its future prospects from a literature review of items published since 2015. The examination of sources goes beyond articles in scholarly journals to include columns in the blog The Scholarly Kitchen and other selected resources as needed to fill gaps. With the enormity of the literature on the subject, the analysis does not claim to be comprehensive and focuses on key issues. This author takes care to look beyond STEM (science, technology, engineering, and medicine)1 fields to discuss the effect of open access in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts. Overall, open access today looks very different from the goals of its proponents in 2002. For authors, open access has increased availability of scholarly resources and fostered distribution of their research, often after the payment of fees. Large commercial publishers have found ways to benefit from open access through author processing charges and by acquiring smaller presses. Open access overall has not allowed libraries to save money on serials subscriptions and has often increased costs through their support of institutional repositories and payment of author fees. Continued library support for open access is often more of a philosophical stance without significant cost-saving benefits.

Plan U: A proposal to achieve universal access to scientific and medical research via funder preprint mandates

“If all research funders required their grantees to post their manuscripts first on preprint servers — an approach we refer to as “Plan U” — the widespread desire to provide immediate free access to the world’s scientific output would be achieved with minimal effort and expense. As noted above, mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists have been relying on arXiv as their primary means of communication for decades. The biomedical sciences were slower to adopt preprinting, but bioRxiv is undergoing exponential growth and several million readers access articles on bioRxiv every month. Depositing preprints is thus increasingly common among scientists, and mandating it would simply accelerate adoption of a process many predict will become universal in the near future.

There is a precedent for mandating preprint deposition: since 2017, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has mandated that all grantees deposit preprints prior to or at submission for formal publication. This requirement has been accepted by CZI-funded investigators, many of whom were already routinely depositing manuscripts on bioRxiv….”

arXiv Update – January 2019 – arXiv public wiki – Dashboard

“In 2018, the repository received 140,616 new submissions, a 14% increase from 2017. The subject distribution is evolving as Computer Science represented about 26% of overall submissions, and Math 24%. There were about 228 million downloads from all over the world. arXiv is truly a global resource, with almost 90% of supporting funds coming from sources other than Cornell and 70% of institutional use coming from countries other than the U.S….”

Who are you writing for? The role of community membership on authors’ decisions to publish in open access mega-journals | Impact of Social Sciences

“Open Access mega-journals have in some academic disciplines become a key channel for communicating research. In others, however, they remain unknown. Drawing on evidence from a series of focus groups, Jenny Fry and Simon Wakeling explore how authors’ perceptions of mega-journals differ across disciplines and are shaped by motivations associated with the multiple communities they function within….”

Open Access: is Plan S heaven or hell ? How about giving it a dispassionate look ? | Ouvertures immédiates / Immediate openings

“As I was savagely attacked on Twitter just recently by a troll who was accusing me to play double game in terms of supporting or rejecting Plan S (I spare you the invectives ad hominem), here is, with more space available, my nuanced point of view on this plan….

In conclusion, although we live in a world where, if you are not entirely in favor of something, you must be against it, I strongly support the concept of Plan S but with several important changes and clarifications.”

Panelists Discuss the Economics and Sustainability of Open Access in OASPA Webinar – OASPA

Opening the webinar with the perspective of a mixed-model publisher, Liz Ferguson argued that sustainability in open access publishing requires a mix of models depending on need, and that, at least in the short-term, open access means greater economic unpredictability and diversity in scholarly publishing. Liz doesn’t believe a wholesale flip to open access is on the cards in the near future, but that the migration of content from subscription to open access means subscription publishing is under more pressure on a global scale, and so publishers are required to continually adapt to this changing environment. Market forces, rather than regulations, she argued, are a better way to shape the contemporary publishing market. Capping of APCs might, she warned, unintentionally cause innovation to be constrained. Complexity will continue to prevail in finding solutions to open access, not least due to the differing attitudes of funders and publisher customers. While successful experimental models such as those of the Open Library of Humanities and Annual Reviews are exciting to watch unfold, in Liz’s opinion it’s challenging to see how such models would be scalable for larger publishers. It’s likely, she continued, that we will move from a flat, predictable market to one in which the rate and impact of change is very difficult to predict.

Describing the publishing industry as based on individual contributions in which ‘not every article is equal’, Claudio Aspesi considered the consequences of many published articles going unread under a subscription model. The is little economic justification for a subscription model, he argued, when an open access model logically enables a wide readership of published articles. The real question, he continued, is which economic model of open access should prevail. Gold open access is a difficult economic model for subscription publishers to transition to, he argued, since transitioning to open access under this model may involve declining costs. As a result, subscription publishers can be seen to favour hybrid solutions and oppose APC caps. Green open access, in contrast, can be effective if embargo periods are scrapped; the NIH and Royal Society have found the impact of green open access solutions on subscription publishing has been negligible. Moreover, funding bodies have a huge role to play in deciding how knowledge is disseminated; they could encourage experimentation in alternative business models. While the publishing industry may not profit as much in the future with more open access models as it currently does under subscription models, the scholarly communication landscape should count itself lucky it has a viable future-oriented model in open access.

Finally, Rupert Gatti reflected that much of the discussion around economics and sustainability in publishing centres around how current models can be sustained rather than newer models innovated. As can be seen from new groups like the Radical Open Access Collective, he argued, we have a diverse and increasingly radical publishing environment. New, experimental models such as those of Open Humanities Press are oriented to the missions of universities rather than larger publishers. We have also recently seen the emergence of large-scale digital publishing platforms for both journals and books, he continued, which has fundamentally changed the business model of publishers. We’re seeing publishers wanting to ‘lock in’ the use of their platforms through ’cradle to grave’ models that cater for initial research collaborations through to publishing final articles, and controlling the types of interactions users have with these platforms. We need to prioritise the need for openness and transparency while creating new platforms; open source software and modular code is not enough, since creating a truly open open research platform will depend heavily on who controls interoperability of platforms and code, and how. A progressive open access infrastructure will need funding, be run by bottom-up communities, and have diversity within management….”

Research Practices and Tools: How strong are the objections to Plan S?

After a coalition of European science funding agencies announced their Plan S initiative for open access, a number of researchers wrote an open letter criticizing the move, under the title “Reaction of Researchers to Plan S: Too Far, Too Risky”. To summarize, they fear that Plan S would increase costs, lower quality, and restrict academic freedom. In order to evaluate how seriously these fears should be taken, let me start with a 5-point analysis of the issues, before discussing the open letter’s specific concerns….

Why does the open letter worry so much about the “ranking and standing” of Plan S-subjected researchers, when the debate is about journals? The letter’s authors seem to accept the entrenched practice of judging researchers by the journals they publish in, although this is widely denounced as perverse. But it is not possible to significantly reform the publishing system without upsetting this practice, at least temporarily. If careers continue to be determined by numbers of articles in Nature or Science, then it is game over for open access and affordable publishing.


When it comes to open science, chemistry seems to lag behind fields such as physics and biology. The field’s leading publisher, the American Chemical Society, did not even join the Initiative for open citations. But chemists could welcome the opportunity to catch up. If you had no telephone and were offered a mobile phone, would you insist on installing a landline first?


The open letter has hundreds of signatories. Surely one could find among them enough well-respected researchers for building the editorial board of a new open access, affordable, high quality, generalist chemistry journal. They would not even need to do it from scratch: they could just start a new division of PeerJ or SciPost. Assuming of course that they really support open access, as the open letter claims in its first sentence.”

Open and Shut? The OA Interviews: Arul George Scaria

One common criticism of the open access and open science movements is that they tend to take a standardised view of science and scholarship, and so propose one-size-fits-all approaches when advocating for ways of making research and the research process more open and transparent. This often poses significant challenges for, for instance, researchers in non-STEM disciplines. It is also often deeply problematic for those based in the global South.

Science Europe’s Plan S: making it work for all researchers: A commentary by the British Academy

“The British Academy is firmly committed to Open Access (OA), as we have stated on numerous occasions. Our own Journal is published as OA, with no author charges. Many of the principles set out in Plan S are admirable as a direction of travel, and we fully support them. One particularly important element of the plan is the intention to cap OA ‘Gold’ publication fees,2 and the commitment that neither individual researchers nor universities with limited access to OA funds should have to pay them. David Sweeney, executive chairman of Research England, who has been named as one of the lead developers of Plan S, has stated that he is a strong proponent of ‘Green’ OA, which involves no fees to publishers, and some of the players in Science Europe have endorsed this as a possibility.3 Plan S also recognises, importantly, that open archives and repositories need to have a long-term archiving and curation function for the initiative to succeed….

The British Academy is, however, concerned about some implications of the plan, which we believe remain to be fully thought through….

All surveys of HSS academics indicate a substantial majority who will insist on the inclusion of a ‘No Derivatives’ (ND) element in the licence for any OA publication. The Academy thinks their concerns are fully justified, and has set out its reasons elsewhere….

 It is generally recognised that in HSS such [high-quality OA] journals and platforms are few in number, and have little profile. For them to be ready and academically respectable, with proper peer review, in 15 months, across the whole of Europe with some thirty academic languages and numerous disciplinary fields, seems highly unlikely….

We are, finally, concerned that Science Europe’s belief that OA must be immediate, without allowance for any type of embargo period, is not justified in the text. It comes across as surprisingly dogmatic, and contrasts with the tone of the rest of the document. …”