2019 Was Big for Academic Publishing. Here’s Our Year in Review | The Scientist Magazine®

“The global push to make the scholarly literature open access continued in 2019. Some publishers and libraries forged new licensing deals, while in other cases contract negotiations came to halt, and a radical open access plan made some adjustments. Here are some of the most notable developments in the publishing world in 2019:…”

Plan S for publishing science in an open access way: not everyone is likely to be happy | Semantic Scholar

Abstract:  Most scientists are probably already aware of an initiative that was launched by the European Commission and which has been adopted by a number of European Governments (including France, the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany) and also by funding foundations as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Wellcome Trust. This initiative has been called Plan S (Plan 2019). Plan S (or more formally cOAlition S) requires that, from 2021, scientific publications funded either by public grants from countries supporting it, or by adhering agencies and foundations, must be published in open access (OA) journals or platforms that are totally free of charge for the reader. After this initiative, it will no longer be possible to publish in non-OA journals (e.g., the ACS journals, Science and Nature) for those receiving funding from the European Research Council or from other research councils or foundations that have joined the cOAlition S, unless journals, like those mentioned above, change their policies.

Thought Experiment on the Impact of Plan S on non-Plan S countries and Japan

Abstract:  In September 2018, a consortium of eleven European research funding agencies known as cOAlition S announced “Plan S,” which requires full and immediate Open Access to all research publications stemming from projects funded by the agencies. The goal of making research output openly available to all has been generally welcomed; however, the strict requirements of Plan S, which take effect on January 1, 2020, have drawn criticisms from various stakeholders. Researchers from affected countries considered it a violation of their academic freedom, as they will be forced to publish only in conforming journals. Publishers, especially those publishing high profile journals, claim that it will be impossible to sustain their business if forced to convert to Open Access journals and to rely solely on article processing charges. Institutions operating their own Open Access platforms or Open Access repositories view the requirements as well-intended but difficult to meet. Despite the turmoil, little has been heard from non-Plan S countries, especially from non-English speaking countries outside Europe. There have been scarcely any comments or analyses relating to the impact of Plan S on these non-Plan S countries. This paper aims to fill the gap with a thought experiment on the impact of Plan S requirements on various stakeholders in these non-Plan S countries. The analysis concludes that non-Plan S countries are indirectly affected by Plan S by being forced to adapt to the world standard that Plan S sets forth. As many non-Plan S countries lack support for this transition from their respective funding agencies, they will be seriously disadvantaged to adapt to the new standards. The article processing charge for publishing in Open Access journals and the strict requirements for Open Access platforms could suppress research output from non-Plan S countries and reduce their research competitiveness. Local publishers, whose financial position in many cases is already precarious, may be forced to shut down or merge with larger commercial publishers. As scholarly communication is globally interconnected, the author argues the need to consider the impact of Plan S on non-Plan S countries and explore alternative ways for realizing full and immediate OA by learning from local practices. This analysis uses Japan as an exemplar of non-Plan S countries. 

JMIR – Preserving the Open Access Benefits Pioneered by the Journal of Medical Internet Research and Discouraging Fraudulent Journals | Wyatt | Journal of Medical Internet Research

Abstract:  The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) was an early pioneer of open access online publishing, and two decades later, some readers and authors may have forgotten the challenges of previous scientific publishing models. This commentary summarizes the many advantages of open access publishing for each of the main stakeholders in scientific publishing and reminds us that, like every innovation, there are disadvantages that we need to guard against, such as the problem of fraudulent journals. This paper then reviews the potential impact of some current initiatives, such as Plan S and JMIRx, concluding with some suggestions to help new open-access publishers ensure that the advantages of open access publishing outweigh the challenges.

 

Further improvement of our metrics—will plan S affect them?: Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences: Vol 124, No 4

“What impact could these changes have for our journal? Quite likely, forcing researchers funded by public grants provided by national and European research councils to publish under open access policies would benefit our journal. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences has applied gold Open Access for the last 10?years, i.e. all published articles have been fully accessible immediately upon release without a publication paywall. It is most likely that this feature of our journal has enhanced our performance substantially. When investigating the influence of the open access publishing format on the IF values of open access and closed access journals over a 5-year period, we found no obvious effect on the journals chosen for the review (4). In order to have a longer time perspective, we looked at the same journals 5?years later when the IF values for 2018 were released (Tables 1 and 2). Interestingly, there was no obvious increase of the values during this 10-year period. This was despite a remarkable increase of both the number of journals and articles. But, again, no differences between the two groups of journals were discernible. It is worthy of note that two Uppsala-based journals, one in the closed category (Amyloid; more than two-fold) and one in the open access (UJMS; almost four-fold) display quite obvious improvements. So, in essence we have nothing to fear. Open access publishing will most probably slowly increase, and fees will have to be paid in some way for the service publishers provide. APCs will become a more common phenomenon, and the level will depend on the quality and reputation characterising the journal. At present the board of our society has no plans for a change of our no-APC policy. Of course, such an offer attracts many contributions from research environments with meagre economic resources. It also constitutes a substantial work load for the editorial board. There is only room for some 40–50 published papers a year, and, with submission figures close to 300, there is a fairly high rejection rate. From the editors’ point of view, we have to attract more papers good enough for acceptance. And we take this opportunity to repeat that we offer a fast track for high-quality papers….”

December 2019 open access update now available | Jisc scholarly communications

“A range of enhancement reports in this issue. To pick a couple: we are delighted to report that Publications Router is now receiving feeds from 11 publishers and feedback from users suggests that the service is increasing in importance to institutional workflows. We are also very pleased to have added nearly 900 new repositories to OpenDOAR after working with CORE colleagues and carrying out some extensive QA work to resolve previously unlisted repositories. As the dust from the general election settles and policies are announced, we are looking forward to using the capabilities we have built into our new Romeo infrastructure to respond to national policy compliance. We talked a little about this at our recent event on “Planning for Plan-S”, which was well received by attendees with some good conversations and thinking about the challenge, and all this in the midst of REF preparations.  The event has given us some very useful feedback for future institutional needs. As we go forward into REF and Plan S next year, we will all face challenges and changes, but we are here to support you throughout. As ever, get in touch with us and tell us about the way you use our services: what you like, what you don’t like and anything you would like to see improved….”

Will the Hybrid Journal Be Transformed by Plan S? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In the “Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S”, cOAlition S committed to “consider developing a potential framework for ‘transformative journals’ where the share of open access content is gradually increased, where subscription costs are offset by income from payments for publishing services (to avoid double payments), and where the journal has a clear commitment to transition to full open access in an agreed timeframe.” In late November, cOAlition S released a draft framework for transformative journals and began a consultation (open for comment until 9:00 CET on January 6, 2020). 

The concept of “transformative journals” was initially proposed by Springer Nature in May 2019 in a response to the draft of the Plan S implementation guidelines.  At the time, I expressed skepticism that the idea would find a receptive audience given the coaition’s position on hybrid journals. As such, I will admit that I was rather surprised to see that cOAlition S incorporated the notion of transformative journals into the final guidelines and signaled the possibility of re-thinking the acceptability of hybrid journals and expanding the conditions under which they would be considered Plan S compliant. …”

Will the Hybrid Journal Be Transformed by Plan S? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In the “Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S”, cOAlition S committed to “consider developing a potential framework for ‘transformative journals’ where the share of open access content is gradually increased, where subscription costs are offset by income from payments for publishing services (to avoid double payments), and where the journal has a clear commitment to transition to full open access in an agreed timeframe.” In late November, cOAlition S released a draft framework for transformative journals and began a consultation (open for comment until 9:00 CET on January 6, 2020). 

The concept of “transformative journals” was initially proposed by Springer Nature in May 2019 in a response to the draft of the Plan S implementation guidelines.  At the time, I expressed skepticism that the idea would find a receptive audience given the coaition’s position on hybrid journals. As such, I will admit that I was rather surprised to see that cOAlition S incorporated the notion of transformative journals into the final guidelines and signaled the possibility of re-thinking the acceptability of hybrid journals and expanding the conditions under which they would be considered Plan S compliant. …”