“Background: The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF) was interested in understanding the potential effects of a policy requiring open access to peer-reviewed publications resulting from the research the foundation funds. Methods: We collected data on more than 2000 publications in over 500 journals that were generated by GBMF grantees since 2001. We then examined the journal policies to establish how two possible open access policies might have affected grantee publishing habits. Results: We found that 99.3% of the articles published by grantees would have complied with a policy that requires open access within 12 months of publication. We also estimated the maximum annual costs to GBMF for covering fees associated with “gold open access” to be between $400,000 and $2,600,000 annually. Discussion: Based in part on this study, GBMF has implemented a new open access policy that requires grantees make peer-reviewed publications fully available within 12 months.”
“The Health Research Alliance, a collaborative member organization of nonprofit research funders, is committed to maximizing the impact of biomedical research to improve human health….The HRA partnered with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to enable HRA member-funded awardees to deposit their publications into PubMed Central (PMC) with an embargo no longer than 12 months….”
“As of January 1, 2015 our Open Access policy will be effective for all new agreements. During a two-year transition period, publishers will be permitted to apply up to a 12 month embargo period on the accessibility of the publication and its underlying data sets. This embargo period will no longer be allowed after January 1, 2017.
Our Open Access policy contains the following elements:
Publications Are Discoverable and Accessible Online. Publications will be deposited in a specified repository(s) with proper tagging of metadata.
Publication Will Be On “Open Access” Terms. All publications shall be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License (CC BY 4.0) or an equivalent license. This will permit all users of the publication to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and transform and build upon the material, including for any purpose (including commercial) without further permission or fees being required.
Foundation Will Pay Necessary Fees. The foundation would pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect publication on these terms.
Publications Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately. All publications shall be available immediately upon their publication, without any embargo period. An embargo period is the period during which the publisher will require a subscription or the payment of a fee to gain access to the publication. We are, however, providing a transition period of up to two years from the effective date of the policy (or until January 1, 2017). During the transition period, the foundation will allow publications in journals that provide up to a 12-month embargo period.
Data Underlying Published Research Results Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately. The foundation will require that data underlying the published research results be immediately accessible and open. This too is subject to the transition period and a 12-month embargo may be applied.”
“One of the world’s largest biomedical charities, the Wellcome Trust in London, will launch an open-access publishing venture later this year. The idea behind Wellcome Open Research is to allow Wellcome grant recipients to publish their findings more quickly and to create a model that, according to the charity, other funders might adopt in future….”
“Author survey shows that publication speed and the ability to share a variety of research outputs are the primary reasons why authors publish on the Wellcome Open Research publishing platform. Michael Markie, Publisher at F1000 and Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research, Wellcome discuss the survey results and what actions will taken based on them.”
“We envision building an evolving network of modular, interoperable, flexible and reusable open source projects that facilitate rapid, transparent and reproducible research and research communication for the public good. Rather than remaining independent and siloed, these projects will share resources and learn from each other, creating an open science infrastructure.”
“Science should not, and need not, be shackled by journal publication. Three sensible reforms would ensure that researchers’ results could be communicated to more people more quickly, without any compromise on quality. Step one is for the organisations that finance research to demand that scientists put their academic papers, along with their experimental data, in publicly accessible ‘repositories’ before they are sent to a journal. That would allow other researchers to make use of the findings without delay. Those opposed to such ‘preprints’ argue that they allow shoddy work to proliferate because it has not yet been peer-reviewed. That may surprise physicists and mathematicians, who have been posting work to arXiv, a preprint repository, for more than 25 years with no ill effects. After peer review, research should also be freely available for all to read. Too much science, much of it paid for from the public purse, languishes behind paywalls.
Step two is to improve the process of peer review itself. Journals currently administer a system of organising anonymous peer reviewers to pass judgment on new research—a fact they use, in part, to justify their hefty subscription prices. But this murky process is prone to abuse. At its worst, cabals of researchers are suspected of guaranteeing favourable reviews for each other’s work. Better that reviewers are named and that the reviews themselves are published. The Gates foundation has announced its support for an online repository where such open peer review of papers takes place. The repository was launched last year by the Wellcome Trust, meaning that the world’s two largest medical charities have thrown their weight behind it. Others should follow (see article).
Fight for your right
Finally, science needs to stop relying so much on journal publication as the only recognised credential for researchers and the only path to career progression. Tools exist that report how often a preprint has been viewed, for example, or whether a clinical data set has been cited in guidelines for doctors. A handful of firms are using artificial intelligence to assess the scientific importance of research, irrespective of how it has been disseminated. Such approaches need encouragement. Journals may lose out, but science itself will benefit.”