Stony Brook University Author Perspectives on Article Processing Charges

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of Stony Brook University (SBU) author perspectives on article processing charges (APCs). Publishing an article without restrictions, also known as open access publishing, can be a costly endeavor. Many publishers charge APCs ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars to publish an article without access restrictions. Authors who cannot obtain funding from grant agencies or their institution must pay APCs on their own. Do APCs fundamentally impact how authors choose their preferred publication venues? METHODS A cross-sectional survey was designed to learn SBU author perspectives on, and concerns about, APCs. RESULTS Responses mainly came from the sciences. Many SBU authors preferred to publish in a prestigious journal or journal of their choice rather than in an open access journal. Most authors published their articles in open access journals even if they were required to pay APCs. Many authors found that it was difficult finding funding for APCs and some expressed their concerns about the double charging practice. DISCUSSION SBU authors might believe that publishing in established and prestigious journals could secure their career’s advancement. Authors who chose to pay open access journals with APCs might be following publishing criteria. Libraries can encourage authors to negotiate with publishers to obtain a discount or waiver of APCs, when possible. Institutions should negotiate shifting journal subscription costs toward hybrid open access publishing. CONCLUSION Data will be used to inform how the SBU Libraries can help authors locate funding opportunities for APCs.

 

cOAlition S publishes updated criteria for Transformative Journals | Plan S

“Following a review of the responses to a public consultation, and cognisant of the ambition to provide researchers funded by a member of cOAlition S with the opportunity to continue publishing results in a wide variety of journals, whilst ensuring that the version of record is fully Open Access, we have made several changes and simplifications to the way we define a Transformative Journal. Specifically, we have:

changed the threshold when a journal must flip to full Open Access from 50% of to 75% and removed the commitment to flip by December 2024. In making these changes, however, we have stressed that publishers must explicitly state their commitment to transition to full Open Access and that our support for this model (in terms of paying for publishing services in subscription journals) will cease at the end of 2024;
reduced the annual growth target for the proportion of content which must be published in Open Access from 8% to at least 5% in absolute terms and at least 15% in relative terms, year-on-year;
simplified the guidance and removed all the “recommended additional criteria”. As such, the guidance is now expressed in just six paragraphs….”

cOAlition S publishes updated criteria for Transformative Journals | Plan S

“Following a review of the responses to a public consultation, and cognisant of the ambition to provide researchers funded by a member of cOAlition S with the opportunity to continue publishing results in a wide variety of journals, whilst ensuring that the version of record is fully Open Access, we have made several changes and simplifications to the way we define a Transformative Journal. Specifically, we have:

changed the threshold when a journal must flip to full Open Access from 50% of to 75% and removed the commitment to flip by December 2024. In making these changes, however, we have stressed that publishers must explicitly state their commitment to transition to full Open Access and that our support for this model (in terms of paying for publishing services in subscription journals) will cease at the end of 2024;
reduced the annual growth target for the proportion of content which must be published in Open Access from 8% to at least 5% in absolute terms and at least 15% in relative terms, year-on-year;
simplified the guidance and removed all the “recommended additional criteria”. As such, the guidance is now expressed in just six paragraphs….”

Subscribe to Open: A Mutual Assurance Approach to Open Access  – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Annual Reviews announced today that the 2020 volume of the Annual Review of Cancer Biology has been published open access and that the back volumes of this journal are also now available for free reading. As the pioneer of the Subscribe to Open model, congratulations are due on achieving their first open title. The 2020 articles are published copyright to Annual Reviews with a CC-BY license. The backfiles do not carry a CC license. Annual Reviews developed their Subscribe to Open model in partnership with Raym Crow, Managing Partner, Chain Bridge Group, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As interest in Subscribe to Open grows based on the experiences of early innovations, publishers and libraries need to develop an understanding of the various approaches to Subscribe to Open and the benefits and limitations of the model….

Subscribe to Open is an example of an assurance approach to addressing a collective action challenge. In the Subscribe to Open model developed by Annual Reviews, each subscribing library is motivated to continue to subscribe (because they have been a subscriber and as such have already made a decision that the content is worth paying for) by a discount that is built into the Subscribe to Open offer. The model is two-fold. First, if all libraries continue to subscribe, then not only will those libraries have access to the content for their users, but Annual Reviews will also make the content openly available to non-subscribers as well and apply a CC-BY license to the articles. Second, if all libraries do not continue to subscribe, then those that do will still receive the discount — as well as access to the content — but the content will not be made available to non-subscribers. In either scenario, the subscribing libraries receive a discount and access to the content. Essentially, this is a no-risk opt-in for the subscribing institution. Martin Paul Eve has outlined a similar possible model for society publishers but with a three year rather than annual timeframe. …”

Double dipping and other bad manners

“So in this context, double dipping is when an article is published open access – that is, an author’s fee has been paid for it to be read for free around the world – but the publisher then charges other users to read that article through a subscription. Now, if that were truly the case, the publisher would be paid twice for the same article.

Bad manners indeed!

Yes, but at Elsevier, we do not double dip. We have two models of compensation for an article: through an open access fee or through a subscription – but we are never paid for the same article twice.

But how do you ensure that? How is that managed?

This is managed through our business accounting. Fully gold open access journals, for example, have no subscription price, and therefore no pricing for those journals is included in any licensing contract. Customers are never charged a subscription fee for gold open access journals.

Ok, that makes sense. But what about hybrid journals that publish both gold open access as well as subscription articles?

Yes, I see how this could be confusing. We manage this by maintaining separate accounting streams. If an author selects to publish open access, the article publishing fee is collected and that article is published as open. Done. Those revenues are kept separate from the revenues of the subscription articles. So when pricing for each subscription journal is determined, revenue from the open access articles does not play into that evaluation. We maintain separate accounting and evaluation processes….”

 

The insanity (and probably illegality) of transformative agreements (including Plan S and Project Deal) – An Open Letter to Libraries and Coalition S | Gunther Eysenbach’s random research rants

“The reality is that libraries are used to negotiate with legacy publishers about subscriptions, and there has been no historic need to negotiate with OA publishers about anything, as they already do exactly what librarians or Plan S/Coalition S and other government entities want them to do – but open access publishers do need support, and need it more than those “poor” publishers like Springer-Nature who wants the transformative deals (all APCs covered) but is screaming and kicking having to abandon their hybrid journals which allows them to double-dip (getting paid for subscriptions AND article processing fees). Why are we spending public tax money to “help” commercial entities to switch to a different business model because they didn’t understand the sign of times 20 years ago? The situation is similar to a government wanting to switch from Internal Combustion Engine cars to electroc cars nationwide, and not subsidizing the costs for buying from Tesla, but only throwing money at GM and BMW to fund their costs to switch production.

In my 20 years of publishing fully open access journals, we have not once received a single dime (or $) of funding from libraries (other OA publishers, like Frontiers, MDPI, Plos, have more muscle and may have institutional agreements, but as niche publisher we simply do not have the market size and staff to negotiate with hundreds of universities/libraries)  – rather than being paid by libraries, it  is all our authors paying from their research grants. The only exception is our recent deal with the University of California (which frankly seems to be the only institution having the vision to support native OA publishers) – but it remains to be seen if other libraries/consortia replicate this model (our emails to Project Deal and other libraries who made transformative deals and are coveering the APC of large publishers, asking them to match the conditions they gave to Wiley and Springer have not been responded to at all). And to be clear, if you want to go with the “quality argument”, keep in mind that 4 out of the 8 leading health informatics journals are published by us.

If the general model changes in the future from APCs being paid by authors/research grants towards libraries picking up these costs, libraries/funders must ensure an “open-access first” policy, where APCs of native open-access publishers and their journals are equally paid or even paid first (i.e. transformative agreements should only be made for journals where no OA journal are in existence and where there is significant demand to publish in a former subscription/hybrid journal). And by the way, don’t use Web of Science or Scopus for these assessments (rather use DOAJ)….”

OA, renewals, and a 3% price drop for package A subscribers | Publishing blog | Royal Society

“As many green open access journals accept increasing numbers of paid OA articles, librarians have rightly pointed out that it’s not appropriate for publishers to charge for both subscriptions and APC’s; the so-called ‘double dipping’.

Here at the Royal Society we do not double dip. We account for changes through our transparent pricing mechanism. This means that as we publish more open access articles, we charge less for our subscriptions to ensure that the cost to our readers remains stable.

For 2020 an increase in open access articles means that the list price of Package A, which covers all our physical sciences and cross disciplinary articles, will drop by 3%….”

Open access dell’Università statale di Milano | Scienza in rete

The article presents the OA journal publishing platform owned and maintained by the University of Milan. All journals are no-fee OA journals and the majority of them deal with humanities.

In the extensive introduction, the key concepts related to OA (including Plan S, transformative agreements, self-archiving, etc.) are discussed.

Addendum to the cOAlition S Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S | Plan S

“cOAlition S endorse a number of strategies to encourage subscription publishers to transition to Open Access. These approaches are referred to as ’transformative arrangements’ and include transformative agreements, transformative model agreements and transformative journals[1].

The Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S indicates an ambition of developing a framework for ‘transformative journals’. Such ‘transformative journals’ are journals that (i) gradually increase the share of Open Access content, (ii) offset subscription income from payments for publishing services (to avoid double payments), and (iii) have a clear commitment to a transition to full and immediate Open Access for all peer-reviewed scholarly articles within an agreed timeframe.

The requirements below constitute this framework.

[Here omitting 8 mandatory criteria for transformative journals and 3 suggested criteria.]

We are now seeking input from the community on this draft framework and encourage all interested stakeholders to respond. The consultation on this draft framework is open until 09.00 CET on Monday 6th January 2020. We plan to publish a final version of this framework by the end of March 2020.”

Addendum to the cOAlition S Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S | Plan S

“cOAlition S endorse a number of strategies to encourage subscription publishers to transition to Open Access. These approaches are referred to as ’transformative arrangements’ and include transformative agreements, transformative model agreements and transformative journals[1].

The Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S indicates an ambition of developing a framework for ‘transformative journals’. Such ‘transformative journals’ are journals that (i) gradually increase the share of Open Access content, (ii) offset subscription income from payments for publishing services (to avoid double payments), and (iii) have a clear commitment to a transition to full and immediate Open Access for all peer-reviewed scholarly articles within an agreed timeframe.

The requirements below constitute this framework.

[Here omitting 8 mandatory criteria for transformative journals and 3 suggested criteria.]

We are now seeking input from the community on this draft framework and encourage all interested stakeholders to respond. The consultation on this draft framework is open until 09.00 CET on Monday 6th January 2020. We plan to publish a final version of this framework by the end of March 2020.”