Publishers roll out alternative routes to open access | Science | AAAS

“Now, two nonprofit publishers of prominent journals have debuted new ways to support OA journals without shifting the burden entirely to authors. “Everybody that we work with is watching these two [new models] closely,” says Michael Clarke, managing partner of the consulting firm Clarke & Esposito, which advises publishers. “There is not currently a good solution.”

One approach, called Subscribe to Open and implemented today by Annual Reviews, would transform the nature of subscriptions. To make a journal freely available, institutions would be asked for a contribution equivalent to their previous subscription—minus a 5% discount that Annual Reviews is offering to retain a critical mass of paying institutions. To deter freeloading, Annual Reviews says it will reimpose paywalls and rescind the discount if not enough subscribers renew each year. It is planning to pilot the approach in up to five of its 51 titles, many of which are widely cited….

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) launched a different approach earlier this year. ACM is asking the institutions that publish the most papers in its 59 journals to pay more than they do now for subscriptions—in some cases about 10 times as much, or $100,000 per year. The higher fees will allow all researchers at participating universities to publish an unlimited number of papers in ACM journals without paying APCs. The average cost per paper will beat the average market rate for APCs, the society says. ACM is betting the approach will sustain its journal revenue while it transitions to making all the 21,000 peer-reviewed papers it publishes annually free to everyone.

So far, both approaches are getting a positive response….”

ACM’s New Open Access Agreements: A Q&A with Scott Delman – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As many Scholarly Kitchen readers will know, in late January it was announced that the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) had signed new open access (OA) publishing agreements with four major US universities. There has been lots of public conversation about these agreements, but I decided to go to the source for some additional information. Scott Delman of ACM graciously agreed to respond to some questions….”

Keith Webster: Libraries will champion an open future for scholarship | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“All of us who work in academic libraries here in Pittsburgh and around the world aspire to improve the quality of science and scholarship. It’s increasingly clear that this can best be done through the open exchange of ideas and data, which can accelerate the pace and reach of scientific discovery.

The desire of researchers and their funders to make their research freely available to all is evident. As a result, the acceptance of open access publishing and article sharing services has soared in recent years. Meanwhile, the rapidly escalating journal costs experienced by libraries over the past 25 years are agreed to be unsustainable. It is against this backdrop that Carnegie Mellon University is establishing open access agreements with top journal publishers, with a special focus on the the fields of science and computing.

Most recently, CMU joined three fellow premier research institutions in reaching new open access agreements with the Association for Computing Machinery, the university’s largest publisher. CMU collaborated with the University of California, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Iowa State University in developing a new publishing model that is expected to influence ACM’s future open access agreements….”

Next Generation ArXiv and the Economics of Open Access Publishing

“Launched in 1991, arXiv has become an indispensable platform providing free and open access to research for the machine learning community and beyond. Now, arXiv has announced plans to alpha test its next-generation “arXiv-NG” submission system in the first quarter of 2020. The system is a significant part of the growing arXiv-NG initiative that aims to improve core service infrastructure through an incremental and modular renewal of the existing arXiv system.

The arXiv team has already taken the initial steps to improve the overall accessibility of the repository’s user interfaces, both through behind-the-scenes structural improvements and user-facing changes — adding for example support for mobile-friendly abstract pages….”

ACM Signs New Open Access Agreements with Four Leading Universities | MIT Libraries News

“ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, entered into transformative open access agreements with several of its largest institutional customers, including the University of California (UC), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Iowa State University (ISU). The agreements, which run for three-year terms beginning January 1, 2020, cover both access to and open access publication in ACM’s journals, proceedings and magazines for these universities, and represent the first transformative open access agreements for ACM….”

After talks with Elsevier stalled, the University of California has been working to advance open access. Here’s how. | UC Berkeley Library News

“UC is in negotiations with Wiley and Springer Nature to renew contracts that expired on Dec. 31. In each case, UC and the publisher have a shared desire to reach a transformative agreement that combines UC’s subscription with open access publishing of UC research. Both publishers have extended UC’s access to their journals, under the terms of their previous contracts, while negotiations are underway….”

ACM, SIGCHI, and the Economics of Open Access Publishing | ACM SIGCHI

“TLDR;

Publishing has material costs, and understanding the economics of non-profit publishing is important for meaningful discussions about open access
Scholarly societies are non-profit organisations that sustain important community activities by reinvesting revenue from various sources, including publishing
If we want universal gold open access, we need to explore other economic models or reduce community activities….”

ACM, SIGCHI, and the Economics of Open Access Publishing | ACM SIGCHI

“TLDR;

Publishing has material costs, and understanding the economics of non-profit publishing is important for meaningful discussions about open access
Scholarly societies are non-profit organisations that sustain important community activities by reinvesting revenue from various sources, including publishing
If we want universal gold open access, we need to explore other economic models or reduce community activities….”

What is a Sustainable Path to Open Access? | SIGPLAN Blog

“The ACM OPEN plan, on the other hand, falls squarely in the second approach: mutualising costs. I think it is potentially viable, and virtuous. I say potentially because, as many pointed out (and as stated in the text of the ongoing petition), the calculations of the “cost” that is proposed to mutualise seem to include much more than the publication process alone. But also because we should think at a more global scale: this means in particular identifying the parts of the ACM publishing infrastructure that are specific, and mutualise with other entities those that are generic, bringing the overall cost down. More clarification is needed, but the recent second letter from ACM leadership lets us hope that ACM is able to listen to its members.

In any case, it’s important in this debate to have a clear sustainability plan, and analyze all the costs involved. On the one hand, one should not add to the bill costs unrelated to the publishing infrastructure. On the other hand, one must refrain from thinking that there is no cost apart from our own work as researchers/reviewers/editors/pc-chairs: even simply maintaining an online archive for the long term has a real, uncompressible cost, that we usually do not see until we have to actually run one [disclosure: I’m running one now].”

Learned societies turn against scholarship

“In a recent letter to the White House, a group of corporate publishers and scholarly organizations implore the president to leave intact the current arrangements between publicly funded researchers and the publishing industry. Their letter is the latest move in a decades-long struggle between researchers and publishers over who controls the fruits of the researchers’ labor….

At least one learned society is already reconsidering the issue. The Association for Computing Machinery released a statement on January 9, saying that it regretted signing onto the publishers’ letter and reiterating its commitment to open access. We hope that readers of this essay will contact the leaders of their own learned societies to express their support for open science and their opposition to continuing the current publishing model. In order to solve the challenges the world now faces, the public needs reliable, affordable science. Producing it will require scientific institutions — including systems of scientific publishing — that serve science instead of holding it for ransom.”