Got Open Access? – Green Tea and Velociraptors

“The last iteration of this post made the assumption that ‘gold’ Open Access meant you had to pay for it. I of all people should know that this is what  us English scientists call ‘pish-posh’. It turns out that in reality, around 70% of journals indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) have zero author-facing charges. So an APC of $0. Gold does not mean you shell out gold for it. It just means it’s Open Access at the point of publication….

If we, as a research community, self-archive en masse, several things could be potentially achieved.

  1. Global, democratic access to the research literature will become a reality for a very low cost;
  2. Subscriptions to publishers for our own research will be largely redundant as everything will be OA already;
  3. We create the basis for building tools, like Unpaywall, that can leverage the power of massive-scale access;
  4. We save $billions every year from university libraries that can be reinvested into our students and open scholarly infrastructure;
  5. We make the need for quasi-legal entities like SciHub and ResearchGate to become redundant.
  6. We make the world a better place for every single human being.”

Open Access-Monographien – Rudolf Mumenthaler

English Translation (Google): Open Access Monographs

“Es wirkt ja schon widersprüchlich, wenn eine Monographie zu Open Access zunächst geschlossen publiziert wird und erst in einem Jahr unter einer CC-BY-Lizenz freigegeben wird. Ich kenne allerdings dieses Dilemma auch aus Autorensicht und möchte mich vor diesem Hintergrund zur aktuellen Kritik am Praxishandbuch Open Access äussern.”

English Translation (Google): “It is already contradictory if a monograph on Open Access is first published in a closed version and is only released in a year under a CC-BY license. I know, however, this dilemma also from authoring and would like to express myself against this background to the current criticism of the Praxishandbuch Open Access.”

Why Is Open Access Moving So Slowly In The Humanities? | Blog of the APA

“Open-access repositories took off fastest in physics and open-access journals took off fastest in biomedicine. There are fascinating cultural and economic reasons why these disciplines opened first. But let’s focus on the other end of the pack where open access is moving the slowest. Why is it moving so slowly in the humanities?

Here are nine differences between the humanities and the sciences that help explain their different rates of progress.”

Are Open Access Journals Immune from Piracy? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The Internet is pretty evenly split with articles hailing Sci-Hub as the heroine of OA and articles reminding everyone that piracy is not the same as OA. But for the masses of people using Sci-Hub, do they care?

A year ago, I wrote about harm being done to the OA movement when some of the loudest advocates started shilling for Sci-Hub. For researchers still skeptical of OA (and there are still a lot of those), aligning the OA movement with piracy is a big mistake.

There are many reasons Sci-Hub is not OA, not the least of which includes:

  • Reuse licenses are maintained from the original publication (most of it under copyright and not Creative Commons)
  • Sci-Hub leaches off library subscriptions so it’s all paid for anyway
  • Sci-Hub is not sustainable. Stealing stuff and giving it away to others is not a sustainable business plan.
  • Due to various legal actions, Sci-Hub jumps from domain to domain and search functionality is often blocked.”

Diamond Open Access, Societies and Mission – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Let’s first take a brief look at the OA landscape. There are many varieties of OA journal. There is no question that Gold OA has taken root as the primary model, but is less than a perfect model, and sits alongside Green OA emerging as a flawed alternative to Gold. And then there is Diamond OA. What is Diamond OA? Essentially, Diamond OA is a form of Gold OA that does not include a requirement for authors to pay article processing charges (APCs).

[…]

In Diamond OA I am not including freely available alternative hosting arrangements, such as preprint overlay journals from Episciences, or Discrete Analysis. These are low cost operations for new journals that in my view are not definable as Diamond OA journals. The question for many societies, especially those whose profile is resolutely independent, is how to publish their journals effectively, given market pressures, and given that there is a complex and intriguing blend of business and mission that propels a society’s future. Societies are mission driven. For example my society, the American Mathematical Society’s mission is:

To further the interests of mathematical research, scholarship and education, serving the national and international community through publications, meetings, advocacy and other programs.

Society journals in many cases are important journals for the field, perhaps subject specific, or generalist journals, offering a wide range of sub-fields in the discipline. In face of the big deal, independent societies with this profile are experiencing significant subscription attrition. Societies are looking to innovate their business models, and yet do not necessarily want to burden their communities with APCs. One way to reimagine journal publishing at a society is to accept that journal publishing is in fact a program of the society, provided to the community as part of its mission. Moving journals to a Diamond OA model removes these journals from the journal subscription market, and fulfills the mission. The journals remain strong as established, branded, quality journals.”

“Open Access and the Graduate Author: A Dissertation Anxiety Manual” by Jill Cirasella and Polly Thistlethwaite

“The process of completing a dissertation is stressful—deadlines are scary, editing is hard, formatting is tricky, and defending is terrifying. (And, of course, postgraduate employment is often uncertain.) Now that dissertations are deposited and distributed electronically, students must perform yet another anxiety-inducing task: deciding whether they want to make their dissertations immediately open access (OA) or, at universities that require OA, coming to terms with openness. For some students, mostly in the humanities and some of the social sciences, who hope to transform their dissertations into books, OA has become a bogeyman, a supposed saboteur of book contracts and destroyer of careers.

This chapter examines the various access-related anxieties that plague graduate students. It is a kind of diagnostic and statistical manual of dissertation anxieties—a ‘Dissertation Anxiety Manual,’ if you will—describing anxieties surrounding book contracts, book sales, plagiarism, juvenilia, the ambiguity of the term online, and changes in scholarly research and production.”

Openness, Permission, Courtesy and Nuances of Licenses – ProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“I have noticed before people on Flickr who give their work a CC license and then complain that folks take their photos without informing them (attribution, yes; informing/thanking, no). Sure, it’s good courtesy to thank folks if you use their photos, but such a hassle to do it for each photo you use on a slide deck or such. The whole point of using CC licensed stuff is to not always ask permission. That’s what the CC license is. Permission to anyone. To do what the license permits you to do. I realized that I always ‘favorite’ any photo I’m planning to use, so I guess I’m giving the creator some kind of indication that I like their photo, but not really telling them I’m planning to use it, or how.

I remember learning this the first time someone republished something of mine without my permission. If it’s CC licensed, the whole point is to tell them they don’t need to seek permission each time. It’s good courtesy, I think, to inform the author, but it’s not necessary. But it’s complex. If a for-profit entity republished my CC-BY-NC article, but publishes it openly and for free, is that a commercial use? What if the space has ads on it, is that a commercial use? If I publish my blog CC-BY and a for-profit magazine regularly republishes it, am I really OK with that? Am I OK with a magazine with values opposed to my own constantly republishing my stuff without my permission? What about if they take derivatives of my writing and use it in a different context, to really make an opposing point to mine, is that acceptable to me? These are not trivial questions, I think, for openness advocates to ask themselves.”

Passing a Campus Open Access Policy – OpenCon

“On March 31, Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) Faculty Senate passed an Open Access policy! The Open Access Archiving Policy ensures that future scholarly articles authored by FGCU faculty will be made freely available to the public by requiring faculty to deposit copies of their accepted manuscripts in the university’s repository, DigitalFGCU.”

The Price of On-Screen Reading Interfaces Versus Print Interfaces: Open Access Publishing | History and Future of the Book

“In conclusion, screen reading interfaces may contain an array of pros and cons, but the assumption that online information and publishing are always free is false. Internet access, electricity use and production, manufacturing of electronic devices, and the labor of writing and editing all come at a cost. Open access publishing is a solution created to solve this problem, which aimed to remove a portion of these costs from consumers and instead have the authors pay to become published. However, this model also contains many pros and cons, being very controversial in the publishing domain. Open access publishing may widen the audiences of articles, yet it can also lead to lower quality in articles and to legal issues. The future of open access publishing relies on authors themselves, because they make their own decision to publish their articles in open access, or to publish their article in an academic journal.”

Decline and Fall of the Editor – The Scholarly Kitchen

“While advocates of traditional publishing often criticize open access (OA) publishing as lacking in editorial standards, this is not necessarily so. Green OA has the same editorial standards as the traditional publications that provide the articles for a Green deposit into a repository. [Fee-based] Gold OA is a different matter, however, as the ‘author-pays’ aspect of it limits the payment to what the traffic — meaning the author or his or her benefactor — will bear. Kitchen readers have heard me make the point about the average revenue per article before: If the journals industry has combined revenues of $10 billion, and the number of articles published each year is around 2 million, then the average revenue per article is about $5,000. In an all-[fee-based]Gold world, publishers with revenue greater than $5,000 per article (which includes every one of the most prestigious journals) are highly exposed, especially when some Gold publishers charge as little as $1,500 per article. Thus in a dystopian future where [fee-based] Gold OA dominates, there will be insufficient revenue to cover the high editorial costs of the most distinguished editorial operations. The accelerating decline and fall of the editor can thus be laid at the feet of BioMed Central, which pioneered the [fee-based] Gold model. Of course, not everyone will be unhappy if editors find their next career as a Starbucks barista.

Which brings us to the agencies that support [fee-based] Gold OA by tying OA to research grants. Why would such organizations take steps that would lead to the undermining of outstanding editorial programs? There are three possibilities, the first of which is Hanlon’s Razor. Hanlon’s Razor states that one should never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Then there is the cynical view: how galling it must be to back a researcher with a large sum of money only to see the high-impact journals reject the papers that grow out of that research. Distinguished publishers, in other words, hold grants officers accountable — and who wants to be held accountable? The cynics among us suspect that funding agencies are leading the war on editors, with the aim of reducing scientific publishing to content marketing: articles become content that promotes the brands of their tax-advantaged funders. Finally, we have the Law of Unintended Consequences, whose realm is boundless. In this view (which overlaps with Hanlon’s Razor) the funding agencies are attempting to do a good thing, but don’t appreciate that their actions may serve to weaken the strongest and most distinguished editorial franchises.”