Guest Post – Transparency: What Can One Learn from a Trove of Invoices? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The dataset Ashley [Farley] provided us [from the Gates Foundation] (covering the period from August 1, 2016, to March 31, 2019) includes:

3,268 invoices for articles in peer-reviewed journals
720 journals
90 publishers

In total the Foundation paid $9,002,225 to these publishers to ensure results of all Foundation research was disseminated with a CC BY license with no embargos — an average cost for “open” of $2,755 per article.

We think we’ve uncovered some interesting trends in this data, but our main objective is to share the research dataset we have developed, along with the Foundation’s original invoicing data. That way anyone can use these for further research….

In 2016, only 22% of authors were choosing to publish in fully-OA journals; in 2019, 50% have done so….

Traditional publishers charge significantly more for APCs than OA-only publishers….

Researchers choosing to publish in a fully OA Journal show a strong preference for OA-only publishers’ titles….

There are no significant differences in for-profit vs. non-profit publishers’ APCs for fully OA journals….”

Why we do need a new gold open access journal called “Brain, Behavior, and Immunity – Health” – ScienceDirect

“Finally, there is an ambition that BBI-Health will be an open-access, high-quality journal that will fulfil the criteria of the new ‘open access’ policy detailed in ‘Plan S’ and endorsed by a number of funders in the cOAlition S, including the Wellcome Trust, UK Research and Innovation, the European Research Council and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who may eventually stop funding open-access publications in hybrid journals. If or when this happens, the community of scientists interested in psychoneuroimmunology and immunopsychiatry will be ready with a dedicated journal….”

Big funders back plan for instant free access to journals, but researchers say it is risky for science | Science|Business

“Wellcome Trust and Gates Foundation announce backing for EU’s Plan-S, requiring journal papers to be free to read on day of publication. But 600 chemists say this is going too far….

Grant holders subject to Plan-S would be banned from publishing in hundreds of journals, including influential titles such as Nature, Science and The Lancet, unless those journals flip their business model. Publishing in these high impact journals remains the main measure of the quality of individual researchers or their work. It is also a route preferred by the big publishers running big media relations departments.

Signatories to the letter, including two Nobel laureates, Ben Feringa and Arieh Warshel, say the ban on so-called hybrid journals envisaged by Plan-S is “a big problem, especially for chemistry”, as it would prevent scientists from publishing in journals that are important for their career progression.

“I expected resistance because Plan-S is a radical plan,” said Smits. “People have been publishing in subscription journals for ages and they are obsessed with journal metrics.”

In response to the 600 signatories of the letter, Smits says the ball is in their court. They should get involved in adapting and pushing for change to an outdated model that drains the budgets of university libraries and shuts out people who cannot afford hefty subscriptions, he argues. 

“One thing I was quite disappointed by – although these scientists are extending the frontiers of knowledge, when it comes to publishing, they still embrace the traditional subscription based model and, with this, the journal impact factor instead of going for full open access and developing new metrics,” Smits said.

“It’s not just what Plan-S can do for you, but what you can do for Plan-S.” …”

Wellcome mandates publication before peer review in health crises | Times Higher Education (THE)

One of the world’s biggest research funders is to require research that could help to tackle disease outbreaks or other health emergencies to be published before peer review as part of a further step towards open science.

Releasing details of its new open-access policy, which comes into force in January 2020, the Wellcome Trust said that, “where there was a significant public health benefit to preprints being shared widely and rapidly”, the research must be placed “on an approved platform that supports immediate publication of the complete manuscript” prior to peer review.

Robert Kiley, head of open research at Wellcome, told Times Higher Education that it was “clearly necessary” to bypass traditional journal publication processes if that allowed potentially life-saving research to be shared more quickly….”

An Open Toolkit for Tracking Open Science Partnership Implementation and Impact – F1000Research

The article and associated documents present a toolkit for tracking the implementation and impact of open science (OS) partnerships. OS partnerships take on a variety of forms with different levels of openness, sharing and absence of intellectual property rights. As the article describes, OS partnerships hold the promise of lowering costs and increasing productivity of both research and innovation. The article describes the need for and the collaborative process used to develop the toolkit while the associated documents contain the toolkit itself. We are now seeking comments and suggestions on both the article and toolkit from the larger community. We specifically seek comments from those studying, working with, or engaged in OS and OS-related projects. In particular, we welcome comments relating to the comprehensiveness of our measures and what may be missing. We also seek comments on whether the breadth of the toolkit is too ambitious to be effectively implemented and, if so, what measures should be eliminated. We further invite the community to identify any projects – OS or otherwise – that may be amenable to collecting and sharing data based on the toolkit indicators. The present toolkit will need to be translated into open source tools that, to the extent possible, collect the data automatically. Any assistance in developing these tools would be most appreciated. Comments will be accepted online on GoogleDocs until January 31st, 2019. After the comment period closes, our team will revise the article and toolkit, taking into account proposed edits. We then propose to submit the article and toolkit to the Gates Open Platform for publication.

EU open-access envoy urges foundations to join Plan S

“Organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust should join Plan S to continue their “moral leadership” on open research, Plan S founder and European Commission open-access envoy Robert-Jan Smits told Research Europe. He was speaking on his return from a weeklong tour of federal agencies, universities and learned societies in the United States, where he was attempting to boost international support for the plan….

Smits claimed that the feedback on Plan S he received in the US was mostly that independent foundations need to join….

Smits has said that Plan S is based on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s policies. These include that papers reporting research it has funded must be made openly available immediately and with a licence that permits unrestricted reuse. The foundation has forced some of the world’s most prestigious journals to change their policies so that they comply.

During the trip, Smits sought to quell fears that Plan S would undermine the so-called green open-access model, in which papers are placed in repositories, usually after a publisher-imposed embargo period. Plan S will not accept embargo periods, causing some concern that it will only support the gold open-access model in which papers are made openly available immediately, usually by paying publishers an article-processing charge.

Smits said that Plan S leaves “ample room” for repositories, article preprints and self-archiving. He also admitted that organisations in the US flagged the plan’s lack of recognition for publishers using the so-called diamond and platinum open-access models, which do not charge authors publication fees….

According to Smits, those he met who were most enthusiastic about Plan S were librarians and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

More cautiously interested parties, he said, were the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Smits said this was because the OSTP is awaiting a new director who will set the agenda for open access at the federal level. Research Europe has approached these organisations for comment.

Those who were most sceptical of the plan were the learned societies, Smits said. These organisations rely on income from journal subscription charges and fear that the loss of revenue caused by a switch to open access would affect activities such as the organisation of conferences, he said….”

EU and national funders launch plan for free and immediate open access to journals | Science|Business

“Smits hopes the plan will increase the pressure on a handful of influential science gatekeepers, such as Elsevier, Wiley and Springer, which stand accused of limiting the flow of scientific information through the high subscription rates of their journals. Following almost eight years as EU’s most senior civil servant in research, Smits was appointed special envoy on open science within the European Political Strategy Centre, the Commission’s in-house think tank, in February. He developed the open access plan with Marc Schiltz, president of Science Europe, a body representing national public research funders….

Europe needs a “radical push” on open access, Smits said. “We are today at 20 per cent immediate and full open access in Europe. Fifteen years ago, we were at 15 per cent open access. You can imagine that with this pace we will never reach the target set by the 28 EU science ministers that all publicly funded research be open, free, to readers by 2020.”…

One of the main inspirations for the plan is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the global health charity, which since 2017 has required that papers generated with its funding are made free to read immediately on publication, rather than permitting the six or 12-month delay some subscription journals require. Journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences changed their policies last year to offer a permanent open access publishing route for Gates grant holders.

Similarly, the UK’s Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s biggest medical research charities and another open access leader, has implemented Coalition-S principles. Wellcome grant recipients are required to make their results available for free, through the UK PubMed Central repository, within six months of initial publication, with Wellcome providing funding to its researchers to pay for publication costs….

A few highly cited journals such as Nature and Science will be off-limits for grant holders subject to Coalition-S, unless these publishers change their policies and offer open access….

Smits compares his plan, which follows months of meetings with funders and publishers, to the abolition of mobile phone roaming charges in Europe.

“It’s similarly about breaking the power of very exclusive oligopolies,” he said. “A better system is possible, and the shift is unstoppable.” Plan-S could also serve as a big laboratory for large open access deals, after recent efforts in countries such as Germany and Sweden stumbled.

“It has been a kind of Robin Hood story. We want to take money from publishers’ shareholders and give it back to the labs,” Smits said.

Smits says publishers are “not the enemy”. “They simply have their own agenda, and so do I. They tell me that ‘we can only flip to open access if the US and China are on board too’. But it’s a bit like tackling climate change – someone needs to take the lead.” …”

Gates Foundation Joins Wellcome Trust in Calling for Open Sharing of Research and Data Related to DRC Ebola Outbreak

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation strongly supports the Wellcome Trust’s call for the open sharing of all research findings and data relevant to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We agree that it is imperative that research and data should be shared rapidly and openly during this and all future public health emergencies….”

Chronos

“What is Chronos?

Chronos is a “one stop shop” guiding and supporting researchers through the publishing process to ensure 100% compliance with funders’ mandates and along the way providing a unique new service which reduces administration time and cost and a direct link from funders to the individuals and universities they support….

It helps you select journals which are compliant, links you directly to the publisher submission systems, and then oversees your published article is afforded the correct publishing licence and is submitted to your preferred repository. At the same time, universities and funders have access to live reporting of essential publication data. …”