Aligning strategies to enable Open Access | Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

“The 14th Berlin Open Access Conference, hosted by the Max Planck Society and organized by the Max Planck Digital Library on behalf of the Open Access 2020 Initiative (oa2020.org), has just come to an end after two intense days with 170 participants from 37 countries around the world discussing where the research organizations and their library consortia stand in their negotiations with scholarly publishers in transitioning scholarly publishing to open access….

The conference brought to light strong consensus and alignment among the diverse international communities represented around the necessity of stepping up efforts to move away from the subscription-based system of scholarly publishing to open access-based business models. A major focus was placed on transformative agreements (eg “read and publish”), which were identified as perhaps the most viable instrument at the moment to accelerate the transition to open access. As it became clear from statements made by representatives from Japan, the United States, South Africa and others, that readiness to adopt this approach is now extending beyond Europe, where it originated, and is currently being adopted in several countries; in particular, this was emphasized in a bold statement from China, the nation with the largest share of research publications….

The message conveyed to the publishers was that the global research communities are committed to complete and immediate open access, to retaining author copyrights and to negotiating transformative agreements that are temporary, transitional, and cost-neutral as a mean to shift to full open access within just a few years with the expectation that cost savings in scholarly communication will follow as market forces take hold. The publishers were called upon to move towards complete and immediate open access according to these principles.

It also came out that there is a strong alignment between the approaches taken by OA2020, Plan S, the Jussieu Call and other approaches dedicated to drive more open access into the system of scholarly communication.”

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The Global Gold Open Access “Flip”: A Realistic Plan or Magical Thinking? | The Scholarly Kitchen

“As long as there has been open access (OA), there has been talk of a global ‘flip’ of research journals away from the subscription business model. The difficulties in coordinating an enormous number of stakeholders with different interests have continued to make this unlikely. However, a recent paper from the Max Planck Digital Library claiming that, ‘An internationally concerted shifting of subscription budgets is possible at no financial risk, maybe even at lower overall costs,’ has once again fueled talk of a flip. Has this paper discovered a golden ticket to global OA sustainability, or is it based on flawed assumptions? Long-time green OA advocate Stevan Harnad has written at length about the improbable nature of a global overnight flip to Gold OA via an organized system of membership deals, and about the adverse selection such a system would create … Much of the drive toward a flip is based in the EU and the UK, where public higher education is highly centralized at the national level. This creates the notion that there exists a global pool of funds that could be diverted away from subscriptions and toward OA fees. But the difficulties in coordinating action between self-interested parties becomes even more evident when one thinks about how libraries are funded and subscriptions are paid for in the US, still the major producer of scholarly articles worldwide.  I frequently ask US librarians where their subscription budget comes from and the responses vary widely, but the most common answers are tuition, student fees and some portion of grant overheads. Because tuition and student fees are collected by individual institutions, there’s no big pool of funds that can be diverted centrally from one purpose to another. Such a flip would massively increase the financial burden on productive institutions, while freeing non-productive institution from any responsibility in funding research access.  If I’m running a small teaching school and can save money by cancelling subscriptions, my Dean is going to be much more interested in spending our students’ tuition fees on our students, rather than sending that money off to Harvard to help their poor professors publish papers.  US universities are increasingly cash-strapped, which makes any coordinated give-aways like this unlikely. And having major contributors to the literature like the US, Japan and Australia choose the Green route puts a damper on any global move to Gold OA  But a recent paper from three members of the Max Planck Digital Library suggests the whole thing could be done immediately and at a cost-savings. Their thesis is that each individual library could stop paying subscription fees and instead divert those same funds toward article processing charges (APCs) for their campus authors, and that doing this could happen within current library budgets, requiring no additional funds from outside, and no pooling of funds between institutions.  As Rick Anderson recently pointed out, there’s a difference between advocacy and analysis. Reading this paper, it’s clear which this is. The authors clearly state that they are trying to advocate for a cause …”