[Funder support, and lack of support, for Plan S]

“FWIW I’ve tabulated and coded the replies to your Plan S questions. My worksheet is attached. Obviously, this kind of work doesn’t withstand scientific scrutiny—coding is very subjective, and given that not every respondent provided a detailed reply, it’s possible (even likely) that proportions get exaggerated. But based solely on the respondents who provided detailed replies—37 out of 60 total—it looks like funder support for Plan S may be softer than your original tally suggests. That is, in your original tally, one might reasonably conclude that roughly half of respondents have either signed Plan S (12 of 60 surveyed), are aligning their policies with Plan S (3 of 60), or are philosophically aligned with Plan S (16 of 60); as well, one might conclude that those who are aware of Plan S but haven’t formulated a position yet are still “neutral” (20 of 60). However, when you code all these replies, it’s clear that more respondents oppose Plan S than support it (and that only about 35% of respondents strongly support Plan S, which is roughly the same percent in OSI who support Plan S as written or with minor changes, so this seems consistent)….”

Can Geowalling Save Open Access? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Remember when Elsevier floated the idea of regional open access in 2017 and was soundly pilloried for it? 

I do. So imagine my surprise to hear that Jean-Claude Burgelman, the Open Access Envoy of the European Commission who serves on the cOAlition S Executive Steering Group, has suggested geo-specific access as an approach to achieving open access!…

When pushed to reconcile his proposal with the principles of open access, Burgelman replied that regional access “is better than no OA and that it could be imagined at a regional level.”  …

The proposed solution is geowalling, which takes inspiration from the fact that “Amazon knows if someone is in the US or the UK and shows them different prices.” But, instead of different prices, geowalling would allow a user access or not based on geo-location. Burgelman seems to suggest that this geowalled access could also be used as a policy lever, to get other nations to follow the European lead. 

Johan Rooryck, the cOAlition’s Open Access Champion, stated to me via e-mail that “Jean-Claude Burgelman has made is clear that he made his remarks about Geowalling strictly in a personal capacity. This proposal does not reflect the position of cOAlition S, whose purpose is full and immediate Open Access as reflected in the June 2019 principles and implementation guidance.” …

I tend to agree with Burgelman that full regional access is better than no open access. More reading access for more readers at the same or lower price is a good thing. But, it is not open access. 

And, to quote Johan Rooryck, the cOAlition’s Open Access Champion, it is also: “Not in line with Plan S. Period.” …”

GYA and cOAlition S form task force on Open Access publishing – Global Young Academy | Global Young Academy

“COAlition S and the Global Young Academy are joining forces to develop a Plan S Monitor Task Force. Plan S is a radical and controversial initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.

The aim of the Plan S Monitor Task Force is to provide robust indicators by which the impact of Plan S on the research and publication ecosystem can be continuously evaluated. The impact of major policy changes such as Plan S is hard to predict, so it is essential to closely follow their effect from the start. For this, the Task Force will develop key indicators that will allow it to monitor the current situation and every phase of the implementation of Plan S. This will enable lessons to be learned, shared and implemented in a timely fashion to enhance the positive effects and reduce any negative effects of Plan S.”

On Plan S/transformative publishing, or … A disptach in the wake of the Charleston Conference

“–Depending on how much APC funding eventually shifts from libraries to the federal government, will the price mechanism for APCs adjust to accommodate the readiness of grant funding agencies to bankroll APCs?  If so, can we assume the government will have a more price-elastic posture than universities historically have had, given the latter’s tenure and promotion demand-side incentives to publish in high tier journals regardless the cost? If federal agencies are not elastically responsive to prices (i.e., if they reward publication in high priced journals without regard to prices), don’t we just perpetuate the high pricing that librarians have so long lamented, therefore shifting this malaise’s remedy to the public’s dime? Is this fair to the citizenry? How does this affect public funding for other federally funded initiatives?

–Concerns about “existential threats” now appears in discussions about scholarly publishing. Scholarly societies have them. Can societies be assured of stable revenue streams, erstwhile from library journal subscriptions, if some complex admixture of federal government grant funds and university funds fund APCs?

–There seems to be no discussion among librarians about an “existential threat” to their own profession. If funding of journals shifts from universities to federal funding agencies, doesn’t this cut out librarian involvement in selecting and funding journals? Correlatively, wouldn’t this reduce their budgets? Also, would this reduce their collection development role  to APC bean-counting, much of which will become the purview of offices of research whose involvement will merely be one of marking APCs as a line item in grant funding disbursement accounting? Would this be a good or a bad thing? 

–Where is discussion about the opportunity cost of diverting a portion of hard-to-get state-funded research dollars to funding APCs? What research, e.g. for renewal energy, or cancer or agricultural research for developing countries, now goes by the wayside?  

–Will societies and university publishers just gradually assimilate the newly emerging APC regime for their economic survival in funding membership activities, without discussions about possible threats to financial stability or discussions about the larger philosophical premises of doing so?

 

–On the philosophical issues, shouldn’t society publishers worry about governmental ideological manipulation of who within their memberships gets grant-funded APCs?  Sure, one could make that argument about federal grant funding per se. But doesn’t the latter arguably addresses an externality that (in an ideal world) concerns the common good, while APC funding is an externality that does *not* necessitate federal subsidizing–given that scholarly publishing mechanisms can and should be developed that don’t require federal subsidy?  These are points everyone should ask regardless of political affiliation.

–From what one speaker at Charleston said, the complexities of negotiating with publishers has a new overlay: tortuous internecine discussions among consortial members. If  this is true of all consortia, one has the sense that consortial leaders now have to have to engage game theoretic scenarios not only with respect to publishers, but also their individual members. Just imagine how much more complicated all this will now become with the pressures on libraries to pay for APCs. Isn’t it undesirable to introduce this added complexity, at least at this juncture? Why not just work on contracting the number of journals published, about which . . . 

–I’ve been arguing for contracting the number of journals, a la something like Bradford’s Law. A refinement on that: we need to distinguish two rationales for contracting the journal space. These are:

Rationale (1.) An argument on the principled basis that it is desirable to contract the number of journals, given that the ever-growing glut of journal articles undermines the common good of discoverability and assimilation of research findings.

Rationale (2.) An argument from economic reality: library budgets are relatively flat so we need to deconstruct Big Deals or even the number of subscribed journals regardless the journal sales model.

Shouldn’t big consortia use their negotiating power to argue that the ever-rising prices of journals (not to mention pressures for APCs merely to replicate the price dynamics of toll-access publishing) necessitates contracting the number of journals?  This point extends not just to toll-access publishing, but also gold ones? If so, pursuing rationale (1) for contracting the journal space aligns neatly with rationale (2) for doing so. I.e., rationale (2) becomes the vehicle for accomplishing rationale (1).

–I’ve also argued that consortia with journal negotiating power should educate their faculty about the need to contract the journal space. A refinement to that, too: the discussions should focus on rationale (1) above, rather than (2), which concer

Latin America’s longstanding Open Access ecosystem could be undermined by proposals from the Global North | LSE Latin America and Caribbean

“Open access is often seen as a process of switching from the existing closed-subscription model of scholarly communication to an open one. But Latin America has had an open access ecosystem for scholarly publishing for over a decade, and the recent AmeliCA initiative seeks to develop cooperative scientific communication further still. These efforts, however, could yet be undermined by recent open access proposals from the cOAlition S consortium of research funders in the Global North, write Eduardo Aguado López and Arianna Becerril García (both Redalyc, AmeliCA, and Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México)….”

New funds needed to cover open-access costs

“The international Plan S research-funder consortium cOAlition S proposes that institutional libraries should transition from subscription to ‘pure publish’ deals with open-access journals by 2024 (see Nature 572, 586; 2019). However, the coalition represents just 16 European funding agencies and 3 international charity foundations. Many other European funders are not in a position to pay open-access publication fees on behalf of their researchers.

For example, Denmark’s 14,000 private foundations that currently support half of the country’s research are stretched to the limit. Their researchers will therefore have no choice but to pay the bill out of their own research grants, which are already under intense pressure from spiralling costs.

Remedial action is urgently needed if publication and knowledge flow are not to be skewed towards the wealthiest countries and universities. For example, national or European Union funds could be established to help cash-strapped researchers cover their publishing costs.”

A new era for research publication: Will Open Access become the norm? – Hotta – – Journal of Diabetes Investigation – Wiley Online Library

“This new challenge [Plan S] causes some concerns to us. This program is unlikely to be equivalent between Europe and the United States8). because key US federal agencies such as National Institute of Health (NIH), mandate a ‘green’ Open Access policy, whereby articles in subscription journals are automatically made available after a 12-month embargo. This policy protects the existing ‘paywalled’ subscription business model. Also, ‘Plan S’ does not allow for scientists to publish their papers in hybrid journals….

One piece of bright news, however, is that Open Access publication fees would be covered by funders or research institutions, not by individual researchers. Although our journal is already Open Access, we have some concerns regarding the publication fee being covered by either researchers or institutions….”

Given that the publishing industry is approaching a new era in which 85% or more of journals are Open Access, it is necessary for us to develop a survival strategy against this coming fierce competition….

Making full and immediate open access a reality: the role of the institutional OA policy | UKSCL

“Policy should incentivise. In the case of the UKSCL model institutional open access policy there are:

Incentives for the academic: the retention of academic freedom to publish in the venue of choice knowing that rights have legally been retained in order to meet funder open access aims
Incentives for the library and finance directors: reassurance that funder mandates are not accompanied by significant new financial burdens for the institution
And finally, incentives for publishers: to work with us so that an affordable transition can be achieved, and so that it is the Version of Record which is freely and publicly available on publication.

Finally, If I were to have one wish, it would be this: that, having done all this work to establish this legal approach to solving first, the OA policy stack, and now, the challenges for implementing cOAlition S aims, that the policy was not, in the end, needed, and that we were instead able to find an affordable and workable route to full and immediate open access….”

‘Location-specific’ blocks on journal access could be OA ‘interim solution’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Restricting ability to view open-access journal articles in nations that have not reciprocated with policies to remove paywalls could provide an incentive to aid the global spread of open access, according to a European Commission expert.

Jean-Claude Burgelman, the European Commission’s open access envoy, said – speaking in a personal capacity – that one of the arguments against open access was that although publishers were willing to commit to it in Europe, large parts of the world had not yet done the same. This would leave these nations free to access articles through initiatives such as Plan S – a global open access plan unveiled last year by European funders under the auspices of the commission – when their own country had not reciprocated with similar plans….”