The Open Letter: Reaction of Researchers to Plan S: too far, too risky. A response of the Fair Open Access Alliance

[Undated]

“We write to provide a counter view to the recent open letter (“Plan S: Too Far, Too Risky”),1 partly based on our FOAA recommendations for the implementation of Plan S.2 We are glad to note that the researchers who have signed the open letter support open access as their very first principle. However, the letter itself goes on to make a number of highly problematic and logically fallacious statements with which we strongly disagree and here contest….”

The Open Letter: Reaction of Researchers to Plan S: too far, too risky. A response of the Fair Open Access Alliance

[Undated]

“We write to provide a counter view to the recent open letter (“Plan S: Too Far, Too Risky”),1 partly based on our FOAA recommendations for the implementation of Plan S.2 We are glad to note that the researchers who have signed the open letter support open access as their very first principle. However, the letter itself goes on to make a number of highly problematic and logically fallacious statements with which we strongly disagree and here contest….”

Kumsal Bayazit, Elsevier CEO, shares her vision for building a better future in research

“First and foremost, I want to be very clear: Elsevier fully supports open access….

In fact, my professional background is in applying technology to content to help professionals make better decisions. For example, working in the part of RELX that serves legal professionals, I’ve seen the powerful benefits of analytical services that are built on top of freely available content, such as case law. This is why I’m excited by the potential to create value for researchers by applying text-mining and artificial intelligence technologies to the entire corpus of peer-reviewed content. I understand and appreciate the role that open access can play in delivering that vision.

The question is not whether open access is desirable or beneficial — the question is how we get there. My takeaway from my discussions on the topic is that there are many points of view. Publishers are often blamed for not making enough progress, which I think is fair. But it would also be unfair not to recognize the lack of alignment within our communities about the best way forward, which is understandable as this is a multi-dimensional issue that requires substantial problem-solving and action to make progress.

I am a pragmatist, and I commit to working pragmatically with libraries and other stakeholders to achieve shared open access goals. Part of this means acknowledging obstacles where they exist and discussing them openly and objectively so that we can find solutions to overcome them. If we don’t, progress will continue to be slow. I feel optimistic given the extent of commitment to make progress. In that spirit, please allow me to share t some of the obstacles that I have learned about in the last nine months….”

Scholarly Communications Licence

“PA members are deeply concerned about a proposal from a scholarly communications working group to introduce a new model licence within HEIs. The SCL would give the implementing university a non-exclusive licence to make work open access on publication, in conflict with any green open licence in place with a publisher, and with an option for a researcher to secure a waiver from the HEI should the publisher require it. 

Principal concerns are the significant administrative burden on researchers, institutions and publishers that could arise as waivers are requested; a conflict with UK policy on OA; the way the SCL seeks immediate non-commercial re-use rights for all UK research outputs; and the potential limit it places on the choice of researchers over where to publish. 

The documents on this page set out the publisher position. …”

Publizieren: “Open Access sollte freiwillig sein” – Forschung & Lehre

From Google’s English: “I consider the possibility of free access to publications to enrich the scientific publishing culture as long as it is voluntary. I like to use Open Access myself sometimes. But I see it critically that central arguments in the open access debate are presented as alternative, although they are not on closer analysis. A compulsion to open access is felt by many scientists as restriction of their freedom of choice. It also creates bureaucracy and costs the authors money. In the light of these facts, as well as current discussions on “Plan S”, I think it is appropriate to take a closer look at the critical aspects of Open Access.”

Goldsmiths conference: ‘OA mandates will damage academic freedom’ | The Bookseller

“Academics in the arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS) voiced concerns that Open Access mandates will damage academic freedom at a conference held at Goldsmiths, University of London, on Friday (24th May). The conference heard that widening the funder Open Access mandates developed for STEM subjects to cover the humanities fields would actively prevent some researchers from publishing, because they would not have access to funds.

A push has been initiated in the UK to require all monographs to be published Open Access to be eligible for the 2027 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Meanwhile under international initiative Plan S, all government-funded research will have to be published Open Access from 2020.

Sarah Kember, professor of new technologies of communication at Goldsmiths and director of Goldsmiths Press, suggested that funder-mandated OA publishing – as opposed to scholar-led OA initiatives such as Goldsmiths Press – could narrow the range of work appearing and damage diversity. …”

Should funders driving for universal open access in research be obliged to ensure freedom of publication for all? | The BMJ

Large funders are moving to enforce open access to their research.1 The Wellcome Trust’s open access policy will change on 1 January 2020 to fund only article processing charges (APCs) in fully open access journals, deliberately not funding open access charges in hybrid journals.2 The aim of this change is to support a transition to a fully open access world. This policy is driven by the aim of transitioning journals to become open access rather than simply making their own research available to a greater audience. Journals may choose to chase the funder’s APC money, becoming fully open access, but this will be at the cost of barring their journal to authors who do not have funding to pay the increasing numbers of APCs that will be required.

A significant APC will shift the decision whether to publish a potential article from the journal editor and peer reviewers to the purse holders of the APC funds, who could deny it getting that far. This is more benign in the case of Wellcome, which does not deduct APCs from individual grants, but it may in the short term reduce the range of journals available to authors. However, in the case of commercially funded research or in institutions with more limited money, decisions by APC fundholders could stifle academic results.

Given that the Wellcome’s open access policy aims to shift the landscape of scientific publishing, journals becoming fully open access to meet these new requirements could charge a tiered social pricing structure in which research from funders requiring fully open access journals (rather than just for their own research) are charged a premium. This premium could be used to fund the APCs in that journal of researchers who have little or no recourse to other APC funding. This would reduce potential publication bias based on funding, as well as creating an environment of open access for all.”

The European University Association and Science Europe Join Efforts to Improve Scholarly Research Assessment Methodologies

“EUA and Science Europe are committed to working together on building a strong dialogue between their members, with a view to:

• support necessary changes for a better balance between qualitative and quantitative research assessment approaches, aiming at evaluating the merits of scholarly research. Furthermore, novel criteria and methods need to be developed towards a fairer and more transparent assessment of research, researchers and research teams, conducive to selecting excellent proposals and researchers.governments and public authorities to guarantee scholars and students the rights that constitute academic freedom, including the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, thought, information and assembly as well as the rights to education and teaching;

• recognise the diversity of research outputs and other relevant academic activities and their value in a manner that is appropriate to each research field and that challenges the overreliance on journal-based metrics.universities, funding agencies, academies and other research organisations to ensure that all researchers, teachers and students are guaranteed academic freedom, by fostering a culture in which free expression and the open exchange of opinion are valued and by shielding the research and teaching community from sanctions for exercising academic freedom.

• consider a broad range of criteria to reward and incentivise research quality as the fundamental principle of scholarly research, and ascertain assessment processes and methods that accurately reflect the vast dimensions of research quality and credit all scientific contributions appropriately. EUA and Science Europe will launch activities to further engage their members in improving and strengthening their research assessment practices. Building on these actions, both associations commit to maintaining a continuous dialogue and explore opportunities for joint actions, with a view to promoting strong synergies between the rewards and incentives structures of research funders and research performing organisations, as well as universities….”

Plan S: how open access can nurture new positive and collective forms of ‘academic freedom’ – Samuel Moore

Following on from my last post on academic freedom and statements of principle, I want to further clarify my thoughts on how academic freedom relates to open access mandates. Paradoxically, despite claiming that objections to open access mandates on the grounds of academic freedom are mere conservatism, it is likely that the coercive aspect of mandates is what perpetuates such objections….”

Open Letter in Support of Funder Open Publishing Mandates

We, the undersigned, believe that the world’s scholarly literature is a public resource that only achieves its full value when it is freely available to all. For too long we have tolerated a pay-for-access business model for scholarly journals that is inequitable, impedes progress in our fields, and denies the public the full benefit of our work. We therefore welcome efforts on the part of public and private research funders to require that publications based on work they fund be made immediately freely and openly available without restrictions on access or use.

Funders are uniquely positioned to transform scholarly publishing by changing the explicit and implicit rules under which we all operate. We recognize that funder mandates may superficially limit our publishing options in the short term, but believe they will lead to a system that optimizes what we really care about: maximizing the reach of our scholarship and its value to the research community and public.

We understand that effective scholarly communication costs money, and support substantial investment in this endeavor, but only if it allows everyone to freely access and use the scholarly literature. We acknowledge that challenges remain, especially ensuring that all scholars everywhere have the unfettered ability to freely share their work and have their contributions recognized. And we therefore commit to continue working with funders, universities, research institutions and other stakeholders until we have created a stable, fair, effective and open system of scholarly communication….”