Price Transparency on Gates Open Research -Gates Open Research Blog

“Last month, F1000 Research rolled out a new pricing structure complete with price transparency for its platform. As the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a cOAlition S signatory, we knew that Gates Open Research (GOR) would need to make its pricing structure transparent, so that it meets the criteria of a fully Plan S compliant publishing platform. So, we are announcing our new pricing and service framework for GOR, which ensures a fairer and more representative pricing across all academic subject areas funded by the foundation while providing full transparency on what those prices comprise of. 

2020 marks three years of publication for GOR, and over this time the platform has grown in popularity and size, along with publishing research across the full range of academic subject areas the foundation supports. F1000 Research have analysed the publications on GOR to determine if the word count pricing structure is representative for all the published content to date. We particularly wanted to see if there was a bias towards the cost of articles in different subject areas that the foundation fund. Subject areas like education and social science research typically produce articles that are longer, so we also wanted to see if the editorial service we were providing aligned with the cost of publishing article in these areas. The results of this analysis showed that there was room for improvement, and we think the new pricing structure described below better accommodates for a fairer approach to pricing that works across all academic subjects and better represents the editorial service that is required.  

We have subsequently combined this work with the article processing charge (APC) transparency requirements necessary for Plan S compliance….”

OpenStax to vastly expand open education library with support from national foundations

“OpenStax, Rice’s educational technology initiative, is vastly expanding its library of free textbooks, working toward a goal of ensuring that no student ever has to worry about textbook costs again. This work is possible as a result of new grants totaling $12.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation and the Stand Together community….”

Taking action to help researchers -Gates Open Research Blog

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched it’s Open Access policy in 2015 marking a point where we joined a global effort to prioritize open access to research knowledge with aims to accelerate finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. The Wellcome Trust first partnered with F1000 to launch Wellcome Open Research and they shared their experience with the foundation (see the story here). Intrigued by the F1000 model, the foundation followed in Wellcome’s footsteps to launch it’s own open platform for it’s grantees. It has been one of my favourite initiatives associated with the foundation’s open access work. As a librarian, it is part of my ethos to help people access the information they need and to ensure quality information is widely available to all. …”

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….”