Pay It Forward: Investigating a Sustainable Model of Open Access Article Processing Charges for Large North American Research Institutions

“As the global open access movement continues to grow and evolve, the question of whether a wholesale shift of the scholarly journal publishing system to “gold” open access is a viable way forward is of increasing interest. In such a shift, all journal publishers would make all scholarly articles freely available to readers, with authors or their institutions paying to publish their work when required by the publisher, rather than readers paying to read it. Lending momentum to this discussion is the fact that gold open access journals have steadily gained market share, doubling in article volume every four years and now in excess of 14% of the total journal output1 . While gold open access doesn’t require any particular funding model, a common one is an article processing charge paid by authors, or another entity on their behalf, to cover the cost of publishing an article that has been accepted for publication. If that business model is adopted by a majority of journal publishers in the future, there are significant financial implications for the academy. As we consider the trade-offs of the status quo and various methods of achieving broad open access, questions pertaining to the long-term financial sustainability of the article processing charge business model must be carefully contemplated…. The project focused on large, research-intensive universities in North America and defined sustainability as costing those institutions roughly no more than, and ideally considerably less than, current journal subscription costs for comparable journals today, with a rate of growth that will be possible for these institutions to support over time. The project sheds new light on the financial viability of the article processing charge business model to create open access at a much larger scale….”

[1604.05363] Comparing Published Scientific Journal Articles to Their Pre-print Versions

[Abstract] Academic publishers claim that they add value to scholarly communications by coordinating reviews and contributing and enhancing text during publication. These contributions come at a considerable cost: U.S. academic libraries paid $1.7 billion for serial subscriptions in 2008 alone. Library budgets, in contrast, are flat and not able to keep pace with serial price inflation. We have investigated the publishers’ value proposition by conducting a comparative study of pre-print papers and their final published counterparts. This comparison had two working assumptions: 1) if the publishers’ argument is valid, the text of a pre-print paper should vary measurably from its corresponding final published version, and 2) by applying standard similarity measures, we should be able to detect and quantify such differences. Our analysis revealed that the text contents of the scientific papers generally changed very little from their pre-print to final published versions. These findings contribute empirical indicators to discussions of the added value of commercial publishers and therefore should influence libraries’ economic decisions regarding access to scholarly publications.

Open access meta-analysis for psychotherapy research

Use the link to access pay-per-view options for the article published in PsycNET. [Abstract] Meta-analysis has played a key role in psychotherapy research for nearly 40 years. There is now an opportunity for technology to assist with transparent and open meta-analyses. The authors describe an open-access database of effect sizes and a corresponding web application for performing meta-analyses, viewing the database, and downloading effect sizes. The initial databases provide effect sizes for family therapy for delinquency studies and for alliance-outcome correlations in individual psychotherapy. Disciplinary norms about data sharing and openness are shifting. Furthermore, meta-analyses of behavioral interventions have been criticized for lacking transparency and openness. The database and web application are aimed at facilitating data sharing and improving the transparency of meta-analyses. The authors conclude with a discussion of future directions for the database. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

opening the book on open access: what researchers think

[From the Preface]   … For the past couple of years, the open access debate has been dominated by university administrators, librarians, government, funding organisations and publishers. Voices of researchers are seldom heard in this debate. That is why the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences wants to shift the focus a bit by initiating this booklet. It contains an illustrative number of interviews with outstanding researchers in a variety of disciplines. As it turns out, their opinions vary quite a bit, making the interviews a very interesting read indeed. Weighing up all the pros and cons, and regardless of the eventual outcome of this debate, I would like to point out two things. First, whatever the final policy terms will be, let’s make absolutely clear that the open access principle is ultimately beneficial to research and society. And second, let’s keep in mind that knowledge is not the exclusive privilege of researchers or academics, and that everyone in society has a right to access results paid for by taxes. Our future depends on it.

Big Publishers, Bigger Profits: How the Scholarly Community Lost the Control of its Journals | Larivière | MediaTropes

[Abstract] Despite holding the potential to liberate scholarly information, the digital era has, to the contrary, increased the control of a few for-profit publishers. While most journals in the print era were owned by academic institutions and scientific societies, the majority of scientific papers are currently published by five for-profit publishers, which often exhibit profit margins between 30%-40%. This paper documents the evolution of this consolidation over the last 40 years, discusses the peculiar economics of scholarly publishing, and reflects upon the role of publishers in today’s academe.

Study explores peer-to-peer research sharing communities

“Peer-to-peer research sharing looks a lot like sharing of other forms of media, a new study suggests. While some researchers are personally opposed to copyright, others pirate research simply for the sake of convenience. Piracy been around for decades, but the sources of pirated music, movies and more have multiplied over the years, expanding beyond platforms such as Napster and the Pirate Bay. Today, many users search for copyrighted scholarly papers on Facebook, Reddit and Twitter or repositories such as Library Genesis (LibGen) and Sci-Hub. Carolyn Caffrey Gardner and Gabriel J. Gardner, librarians at the University of Southern California and California State University at Long Beach, respectively, recently explored the motivations of the people who use those sites. Their paper, ‘Fast and Furious (at Publishers): The Motivations Behind Crowdsourced Research Sharing,’ will appear in an upcoming edition of College & Research Libraries, a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries …”

Scientific Production on Open Access: A Worldwide Bibliometric Analysis in the Academic and Scientific Context – E-LIS repository

[Abstract] This research aims to diachronically analyze the worldwide scientific production on open access, in the academic and scientific context, in order to contribute to knowledge and visualization of its main actors. As a method, bibliographical, descriptive and analytical research was used, with the contribution of bibliometric studies, especially the production indicators, scientific collaboration and indicators of thematic co-occurrence. The Scopus database was used as a source to retrieve the articles on the subject, with a resulting corpus of 1179 articles. Using Bibexcel software, frequency tables were constructed for the variables, and Pajek software was used to visualize the collaboration network and VoSViewer for the construction of the keywords’ network. As for the results, the most productive researchers come from countries such as the United States, Canada, France and Spain. Journals with higher impact in the academic community have disseminated the new constructed knowledge. A collaborative network with a few subnets where co-authors are from different countries has been observed. As conclusions, this study allows identifying the themes of debates that mark the development of open access at the international level, and it is possible to state that open access is one of the new emerging and frontier fields of library and information science.

Communicating the Open Access Message: A Case Study from Ireland – Lenus, The Irish Health Repository

[Abstract] Since 2009, Open Access (OA) Week has been celebrated worldwide in October each year. It is an opportunity for librarians to engage with the research community, and demonstrate the value that they bring to their organisations in the area of disseminating scholarly output. Although thousands of events have been held since the inception of OA Week, little research has been carried out into the impact of these events. The article presents a review of the literature on OA Week and evaluates the effectiveness of three events held during OA Week 2015 in Ireland through the use of statistics and a survey. The three events held during OA Week 2015 in Ireland that were evaluated include: a seminar run by Repository Network Ireland (RNI), a D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) campaign using OA materials organised by Dr. Steevens’ Library and a collaborative OA seminar between Dr. Steevens’ Library and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) libraries. The author concludes that a collaborative approach to planning and managing OA week between librarians from academic and other sectors can have tangible benefits both in terms of promoting OA and also promoting the role of the Librarian in the OA movement.

PLOS ONE: Open Access Meets Discoverability: Citations to Articles Posted to

“Using matching and regression analyses, we measure the difference in citations between articles posted to and other articles from similar journals, controlling for field, impact factor, and other variables. Based on a sample size of 31,216 papers, we find that a paper in a median impact factor journal uploaded to receives 16% more citations after one year than a similar article not available online, 51% more citations after three years, and 69% after five years. We also found that articles also posted to had 58% more citations than articles only posted to other online venues, such as personal and departmental home pages, after five years.”

Evaluating an Open Access Publishing Fund at a Comprehensive University

[Abstract] INTRODUCTION As the open access movement has fostered a shift from subscriber-funded journals to author-pays models, scholars seek funding for the dissemination of their research. In response to this need, some libraries have established open access funds at their institutions. This paper presents an evaluation of an open access fund at a comprehensive university. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM/SERVICE Wanting to learn how faculty have benefitted from an open access publishing fund, Grand Valley State University Libraries surveyed recipients of the fund. The survey asked authors why they chose an open access publishing option and whether the fund influenced this decision. Authors were also asked whether they perceived that selecting an open access option broadened exposure to their work and about their likelihood of choosing open access in the future. NEXT STEPS This article shares the results of this small survey and explores next steps in promoting and evaluating the fund and opportunities for focusing educational efforts across campus.