Open Access Policy | GeneticAlliance.org

“We have fought to see Open Access policy enacted for well over a decade, and it’s important to let the White House know that there is deep support for this policy from our community. We hope you will sign this letter to the President along with other patient advocacy groups expressing our strong support for such a policy.

The U.S. government funds more than $60 billion in scientific research each year on behalf of the public. Making sure that the results of this research are readily accessible to all people will speed the pace of scientific discovery, spur innovation, provide fuel for the creation of new jobs across a broad spectrum of the economy – and, importantly, will give patients and their families hope of finding cures to rare and currently untreatable diseases.

We’ve made slow but steady progress towards our goal getting this information into the hands of the public as quickly as possible, starting with a policy requiring all NIH-funded research articles to be made available within one year of publication, and successfully expanding that policy (via legislation and White House memorandums) to cover all federally funded scientific research.

We now have the opportunity to once and for eliminate the current 12 month embargo period and allow the public to have immediate access to not only articles reporting on taxpayer funded research, but also the underlying data supporting those articles.

An immediate open access policy would also bring the U.S. in line with other nations around the world that are increasingly adopting immediate Open Access policies. Last year, more than a dozen national research funders across Europe introduced “Plan S” to make all scientific works freely available as soon as they are published. Support for Open Access has also grown among private research funders, with foundations requiring immediate open access to articles and data. …”

5 Scholarly Publishing Trends to Watch in 2020

“The vision for a predominantly open access (OA) publishing landscape has shifted from a possibility to a probability in the opinions of many. A 2017 Springer Nature survey of 200 professional staff working in research institutions around the world found that over 70% of respondents agreed scholarly content should be openly accessible and 91% of librarians agreed that “open access is the future of academic and scientific publishing.” …

As noted, there is growing consensus within academia that the majority of scholarly content will be available OA in the future — but how to reach that end is still a matter of debate. The announcement of Plan S in September 2018, an initiative by a consortium of national and international research funders to make research fully and immediately OA, sent shockwaves throughout academia. 2019 saw the release of the revised Plan S guidelines with some significant changes, including an extension of the Plan S deadline to January 2021, a clearer Green OA compliance pathway, and greater flexibility around non-derivative copyright licenses. What remains the same — and has been a matter of significant debate — is that Plan S will not acknowledge hybrid OA as a compliant publishing model.

In response to concerns raised by scholarly societies around the feasibility of transitioning to full and immediate OA publishing without compromising their operational funding, Wellcome and UKRI in partnership with ALPSP launched the “Society Publishers Accelerating Open Access and Plan S“ (SPA-OPS) project to identify viable OA publishing models and transition options for societies. The final SPA-OPS report was released in September of 2019, encompassing over 20 potential OA models and strategies as well as a “transformative agreement toolkit.” …”

Plan S, self?publishing, and addressing unreasonable risks of society publishing – Vuong – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

Societies face increasing pressure to contain costs and retain revenues, which are threatened by open access mandates.
Funders and other science publishing campaigns need to recognize the value of learned societies and work with them to sustain the production of quality knowledge.
Self?publishing via preprint servers may threaten the quality of academic research.
Societies can reinforce their value proposition through a model of academic entrepreneurship, including research activities, media engagement, and consultancy….”

How society publishers can accelerate their transition to open access and align with Plan S – Wise – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Wellcome, UK Research and Innovation, and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers commissioned Information Power Ltd. to undertake a project to support society publishers to accelerate their transition to open access (OA) in alignment with Plan S and the wider move to accelerate immediate OA. This project is part of a range of activities that cOAlition S partners are taking forward to support the implementation of Plan S principles. The objective of this project was to explore with learned societies a range of potential strategies and business models through which they could adapt and thrive under Plan S. We consulted with society publishers through interviews, surveys, and workshops about the 27 business models and strategies identified during the project. We also surveyed library consortia about their willingness to support society publishers to make the transition to OA. Our key finding is that transformative agreements emerge as the most promising model because they offer a predictable, steady funding stream. We also facilitated pilot transformative agreement negotiations between several society publishers and library consortia. These pilots and a workshop of consortium representatives and society publishers informed the development of an OA transformative agreement toolkit. Our conclusion is that society publishers should consider all the business models this project has developed and should not automatically equate OA with article publication charges.

 

Recommendations for transparent communication of Open Access prices and services – Information Power

“An independent report published today by Information Power aims to improve the transparency of Open Access (OA) prices and services. The report is the outcome of a project funded by Wellcome and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on behalf of cOAlition S to inform the development of Plan S. During the project funders, libraries, publishers, and universities worked together to inform the development of a framework intended to provide information about OA services and prices in a transparent, practical, and insightful way.

Imperative need for customer-centric approach

The framework provides opportunities for publishers to build better awareness of and appreciation by customers of the value of their services, and to demonstrate publisher commitment to open business models and business cultures.

And a collaborative, pragmatic approach

cOAlition S aims to help make the nature and prices of OA publishing services more transparent, and to enable conversations and comparisons that will build confidence amongst customers that prices are fair and reasonable. Addressing cOAlition S, the report emphasises that the introduction of a new reporting requirement needs to be organised with clear implementation guidelines, and a proper plan for testing, development, release, review, and refinement. It also recommends an iterative approach to implementation, with a pilot as the next step.

cOAlition S has accepted the recommendation that such a framework needs to be piloted before implementation and agreed a project extension to pilot and refine the framework during the first quarter of 2020. Participants include Annual Reviews, Brill, The Company of Biologists, EMBO Press, European Respiratory Society, Hindawi, PLOS, and SpringerNature. Other publishers are welcome and are invited to express interest in joining the pilot via info@informationpower.co.uk.

Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at Wellcome and interim cOAlition S coordinator, said “On behalf of cOAlition S we are delighted to see all stakeholders engage in the development of this transparency pricing framework and support the idea of road-testing it through a pilot.  Based on the outcome of this pilot, cOAlition S will decide how to use this framework, or a refinement of it, together with other models for inclusion in the requirement for those journals where Plan S requirements apply.”

The project is guided by a steering group which provides expert advice and support….”

Eight publishers to volunteer pricing info in pilot study | Science | AAAS

“To help transition toward transparent open access (OA), eight journal publishers, including SpringerNature, PLOS, and Annual Reviews, will share anonymized pricing information with a limited group. This is part of a test of a transparency template proposed today in a report commissioned by cOAlition S, a group of funders leading a push for immediate OA to science publications. If the pilot is successful, funders may ask that publishers use a similar template to share data more widely.

The template aims not to influence pricing, but to give funders and libraries information to decide what to pay for, says Alicia Wise, director of the consulting company Information Power who co-authored a report presenting the template. “I would hope that by providing these data we can build trust and a better atmosphere,” she says.

Many discussions about publishing prices and services have been “emotive rather than constructive,” says Bernd Pulverer, head of scientific publications at EMBO Press, which will take part in the pilot with four of its five journals. Sharing information could encourage more “pragmatic” discussions, he says. “It is legitimate for the research community, funders, and taxpayers to be able to understand how taxpayer-supported research is being published,” he adds….”

Comments on “Factors affecting global flow of scientific knowledge in environmental sciences” by Sonne et al. (2020) – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  There are major challenges that need to be addressed in the world of scholarly communication, especially in the field of environmental studies and in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Recently, Sonne et al. (2020) published an article in Science of the Total Environment discussing some of these challenges. However, we feel that many of the arguments misrepresent critical elements of Open Access (OA), Plan S, and broader issues in scholarly publishing. In our response, we focus on addressing key elements of their discussion on (i) OA and Plan S, as well as (ii) Open Access Predatory Journals (OAPJ). The authors describe OA and Plan S as restricting author choice, especially through the payment of article-processing charges. The reality is that ‘green OA’ self-archiving options alleviate virtually all of the risks they mention, and are even the preferred ‘routes’ to OA as stated by both institutional and national policies in Denmark. In alignment with this, Plan S is also taking a progressive stance on reforming research evaluation. The assumptions these authors make about OA in the “global south” also largely fail to acknowledge some of the progressive work being done in regions like Indonesia and Latin America. Finally, Sonne et al. (2020) highlight the threat that OAPJs face to our scholarly knowledge production system. While we agree generally that OAPJs are problematic, the authors simultaneously fail to mention many of the excellent initiatives helping to combat this threat (e.g., the Directory of Open Access Journals). We call for researchers to more effectively equip themselves with sufficient knowledge of relevant systems before making public statements about them, in order to prevent misinformation from polluting the debate about the future of scholarly communication.

 

The T&F buyout of F1000 neutralizes the Plan S threat infrastructures | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“What is actually happening here is that T&F is neutralizing the threat of Plan S. The Plan states that funded research must be published in pure (not hybrid) gold OA venues or under zero-embargo green. If these venues do not exist, because publishers do not convert their journals, then funders plan to ‘in a coordinated way, provide incentives to establish and support them when appropriate; support will also be provided for Open Access infrastructures where necessary’. I call these the ‘threat infrastructures’.

But the threat infrastructures are now not threatening to T&F….”

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)….”

Emerald news – An HSS perspective on the mandatory criteria for transformative journals

“Dear cOAlition S,

This is an open letter to the funders, government bodies and institutions that support Plan S and will be submitted to the open consultation of cOAlition S draft framework for transformative journals.

We thank you for the provision of a draft framework for transformative journals and appreciate the opportunity to consult on the guidance. We are responding from the perspective of publishers working across the humanities and social sciences (HSS) who typically publish a large proportion of unfunded authors, be that by region, discipline or organisational setting. We remain committed to realising the benefits of full and immediate open access for our authors and their stakeholders and we appreciate the efforts of cOAlition S to date to engage with the wider discussion and assist smaller publishers to transition to open publishing models. Given that scholarship remains a global and collaborative endeavour, we urge cOAlition S to continue to be mindful of the unintended consequences for academic colleagues and disciplines that do not have the luxury of direct funding, or access to money for APCs from their organisation or institution.

The issues as previously stated in our open letter of 8th February 2019 remain a reality. Transformative agreements – and thus funding for APCs – are not available to all of the many varied publishers within the ecosystem. Globally there remain mixed approaches to achieving open access with many customers, including within Europe, preferring non-APC routes to open publishing. This includes green open access. Other models, such as subscribe-to-open, remain interesting but un-tested with respect to long-term sustainability….”