“The views of researchers, librarians, publishers, and funders about ways to increase the transparency of communications about the price of Open Access publishing services are sought in a new industry survey. The results of this survey will help to inform a collaborative project with publishers, funders, and universities to develop a framework for communications. The project is sponsored by the Wellcome Trust in partnership with UKRI on behalf of cOAlition S. You can visit the survey here ….”
“Likewise, we’ve known for some time that, while some publishers take a highly contentious stance towards ResearchGate, others have taken a different approach. Whatever one might have thought about ResearchGate earlier in its development, it has clearly arrived as a major service for researchers. ResearchGate is one of the most trafficked science websites globally and has more than twice the traffic of Google Scholar and many more times that of Sci-Hub. ResearchGate is also without question a site of leakage and that is precisely what also makes it an attractive platform for syndication. …
ResearchGate users without entitlements via a Springer Nature institutional subscription will continue to have access to articles in a non-downloadable format. It is worth noting that this is the version of record, which diverges from Elsevier’s tactic of providing an author manuscript to the non-entitled, and so all users (entitled and non-entitled) have access to the version of record….
The code behind the rendered web pages did not seem to show that the entitlements information was being passed from Springer Nature, but rather that ResearchGate is determining authorization using a database it accesses directly or perhaps via API. …
We also noted that the PDFs one downloads from ResearchGate are different files than the PDFs that are downloaded from the Springer Nature platform. Both platforms provide the version of record PDF but the files from ResearchGate had different watermarks in the footer than those from the Springer Nature platform. This makes even clearer that this is truly a case of syndication to the ResearchGate platform and not linking out from ResearchGate to the publisher platform, such as is done from library discovery layers. …
Bringing library-subscribed resources into the scholar’s workflow on ResearchGate helps to ensure that scholars have easy and seamless access to licensed materials and bypasses the cumbersome process of moving from a citation on ResearchGate, back to the library website, only to then be required to navigate the link resolver, authentication mechanisms, and the publisher platform before getting the PDF. With syndication, discovery is delivery. …”
“The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) seeks comments on a new Recommended Practice draft for improved access to institutionally-provided information resources. This document details the findings from the Resource Access for the 21st Century (RA21) initiative and provides recommendations for using federated identity as an access model and for improving the federated authentication user experience.
For several years, scholars have expressed increasing frustration with obtaining access to institutionally-provided information resources against a background of changing work habits and the expectation of always-on connectivity from any location, at any time, from any device….
The NISO Recommended Practices for Improved Access to Institutionally-Provided Information Resources is available for public comment between April 17 and May 17, 2019. To download the draft document or to submit comments, visit the NISO Project page at: https://www.niso.org/standards-committees/ra21. All input is welcome and encouraged….”
“Average publishing costs per article vary substantially depending on a range of factors including rejection rate (which drives peer review costs), range and type of content, levels of editorial services, and others. The average 2010 cost of publishing an article in a subscription-based journal with print and electronic editions was estimated by CEPA to be around £3095 (c. $4,000), excluding non-cash peer review costs. An updated analysis by CEPA in 2018 shows that, in almost all cases, intangible costs such as editorial activities are much higher than tangible ones, such as production, sales and distribution, and are key drivers in per article costs (page 73).
The potential for technology and open access to effect cost savings has been much discussed, with open access publishers such as Hindawi and PeerJ having claimed per article costs in the low hundreds of dollars. A recent rise in PLOS’s per article costs, to $1,500 (inferred from its financial statements), and costs of over £3,000 ($4,000) per article at the selective OA journal eLife call into question the scope for OA to deliver radical cost savings. Nevertheless, with article volumes rising at 4% per annum, and journal revenues at only 2%, further downward pressure on per article costs is inevitable (page 74)….
Gold open access is sometimes taken as synonymous with the article publication charge (APC) business model, but strictly speaking simply refers to journals offering immediate open access on publication. A substantial fraction of the Gold OA articles indexed by Scopus, however, do not involve APCs but use other models (e.g. institutional support or sponsorship). The APC model itself has become more complicated, with variable APCs (e.g. based on length), discounts, prepayments and institutional membership schemes, offsetting and bundling arrangements for hybrid publications, read-and-publish deals, and so on (page 97)….
It is unclear where the market will set OA publication charges: they are currently lower than the historical average cost of article publication; and charges for full open access articles remain lower than hybrid, though the gap is closing. Calls to redirect subscription expenditures to open access have increased, but the more research-intensive universities and countries remain concerned about the net impact on their budgets (page 101; 139). …
Recent developments indicate a growing willingness on the part of funders and policymakers to intervene in the STM marketplace, whether by establishing their own publication platforms, strengthening OA mandates or acting to change the incentive structures that drive authors’ publication choices (page 113). …
Concerns over the impact of Green OA and the role of repositories have receded somewhat, though not disappeared. The lack of its own independent sustainable business model means Green OA depends on its not undermining that of (subscription) journals. The evidence remains mixed, with indications that Green OA can increase downloads and citations being balanced against evidence of the long usage half-life of journal articles and its substantial variation between fields. In practice, however, attention in many quarters has shifted to the potentially damaging impact of Social Collaboration Networks (SCNs) and pirate websites on subscriptions (pages 114; 174). …”
English title: Open Access and Big Business: How Open Access Became a Part of Big Publishing
Article in Swedish with this English abstract: This study explores the Open Access phenomenon from the perspective of the commercial scientific publishing industry. Open Access has been appropriated by commercial publishers, once sceptical opponents of the concept, as a means among others of distributing scholarly publications. The aim of this study is to highlight a possible explanation as to how this has come about by looking at the internal and external communication of two of the main scholarly publishing industry organizations, the STM Association and the PSP division of the AAP. Via a thematic analysis of documents from these organizations, the dissertation aims to explore how the publishers’ communication regarding Open Access has changed over time. Furthermore, the study takes on how these questions are interlinked with notions of power and legitimacy within the system of scholarly communication. The analysis shows two main themes, one that represents a coercive course of restoring legitimacy, where publishers’ value-adding is stressed and at the same time warning of dangerous consequences of Open Access. The other theme represents a collaborative course of action that stresses the importance of building alliances and reaching consensus. Results show that there has been a slight change in how the publishing industry answers to public policies that enforce Open Access. One conclusion is that this is due to the changing nature of said policies.
“The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) welcomes the efforts by funders to work towards our shared goals of expanding access to peer-reviewed scientific works to maximise their value and reuse, but urges caution that the next steps in this transition avoid any unintended limitations on academic freedoms, and continue to ensure the overall viability and integrity of the scholarly record….
Similarly, STM believes that flexibility in Article Publication Charge (APC) pricing is key to ensuring a vibrant and viable scholarly sector where researchers are fully able to take advantage of the full range of Open Access options available to them. Caps on APCs would restrict authors’ choice of publication avenues for Gold Open Access, risk undermining quality and likely slow down the transition to a full Open Access environment….”
[Less about OA than convenient access to non-OA sources.]
“Resource Access for the 21st Century (RA21) is a joint STM – NISO initiative aimed at optimizing protocols across key stakeholder groups, with a goal of facilitating a seamless user experience for consumers of scientific communication. In addition, this comprehensive initiative is working to solve long-standing, complex, and broadly distributed challenges in the areas of network security and user privacy. Community conversations and consensus building to engage all stakeholders is currently underway in order to explore potential alternatives to IP-authentication, and to build momentum toward testing alternatives among researcher, customer, vendor, and publisher partners.”
[Less about OA than convenient access to non-OA sources.]
“Publishers, libraries, and consumers have all come to the understanding that authorizing access to content based on IP address no longer works in today’s distributed world. The RA21 project hopes to resolve some of the fundamental issues that create barriers to moving to federated identity in place of IP address authentication by looking at some of the products and services available in the identity discovery space today, and determining best practice for future implementations going forward.”
“The last decade has seen a worrying increase in the number of unethical research publications, as well as an exponential rise in so-called ‘predatory’ journals and publishers. High levels of trust are vital to ensuring that the publication and sharing of research results helps to advance research, the global pool of knowledge and the careers of researchers and investigators. Publication practices vary across both academic disciplines and countries, but there are common ethical standards and behaviours that ensure that articles that are published in trustworthy peer-reviewed journals are of the highest standards.”
“STM undertook a community-wide consultation to gain a better understanding of the current landscape of article sharing through scholarly collaboration network sites. As part of this consultation STM produced a draft set of ‘voluntary principles’ and invited all interested stakeholders to provide feedback and share their views. Fifty submissions were received during the consultation period, and a summary report and full details of all the submissions are both now available. Based on the consultation feedback received, the SCN working group has now revised the voluntary principles.”