Collaborative transition to open access publishing by scholarly societies | Molecular Biology of the Cell

Abstract:  For decades, universities, researchers, and libraries have sought a systemwide transition of scholarly publishing to open access (OA), but progress has been slow. There is now a potential for more rapid and impactful change, as new collaborative OA publishing models have taken shape. Cooperative publishing arrangements represent a viable path forward for society publishers to transition to OA as the default standard for disseminating research. The traditional article processing charge OA model has introduced sometimes unnavigable financial roadblocks, but cooperative arrangements premised on collective action principles can help to secure long-term stability and prevent the risk of free riding. Investment in cooperative arrangements does not require that cash-strapped libraries discover a new influx of money as their collection budgets continue to shrink, but rather that they purposefully redirect traditional subscription funds toward publishing support. These cooperative arrangements will require a two-way demonstration of trust: On one hand, libraries working together to provide assurances of sustained financial support, and on the other, societies’ willingness to experiment with discarding subscriptions. Organizations such as Society Publishers Coalition and Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access are committed to education about and further development of scalable and cooperative OA publishing models.

 

 

Open Access Community Investment Program Pilot

“How do libraries, consortia, and other scholarly publishing stakeholders decide what open access (OA) content to invest in when divesting from paywalled content? In the emerging OA publishing market, stakeholders must consider thousands of OA publications, while often lacking sufficient data relevant to their own values or the pros and cons of each opportunity. This one-off nature of OA investment is not conducive to easy administration or participation. Vetting and procurement processes become onerous as programs increase. While the scholarly publishing community has a great willingness to work together to support OA efforts, we need a stronger, more effective connection infrastructure to sustainably transition to OA. 

 
LYRASIS, TSPOA, and Duke University Press have developed this Open Access Community Investment Program Pilot (“Pilot Project”) to test the viability, scalability, and sustainability of infrastructure, a criteria-based vetting mechanism, and outreach to help match funding entities or potential investors with publishers or journals seeking funding to publish open access. These potential investors encompass the range of scholarly publishing stakeholders, including for example: libraries, consortia, and funders, academic centers/departments, and cultural institutions. The term “stakeholders” as used throughout this document references this range of potential investors. While the initial set of open access initiatives or programs will be U.S. based, the community of investing stakeholders is expected to be global….”

 

Open Access Community Investment Program (OACIP)

“The LYRASIS Open Access Community Investment Program (OACIP) is a community-driven framework that enables multiple stakeholders (including funders, institutions, libraries, authors, and editors) to efficiently and strategically evaluate and collectively fund open access content initiatives. The program is designed to:

Facilitate an experimental incubation space for emerging open access funding and business models;

Centralize the administration and funding of open access initiatives or programs at multiple scales and make transparent to the community at large who is participating in each investment community.

Provide a funding hub for more bespoke programs, output from smaller publishers, and niche scholarly output to maintain diversity of scholarship.

Enable investors to make principled, data-driven spending or reinvestment decisions and strategically fund individual programs or distribute funds to multiple programs that align with their missions all in one place, increasing efficiencies and convenience….”

Announcing the Open Access Community Investment Program – Transitioning Society Publications to OA

“We are thrilled to launch the Open Access Community Investment Program, a community-funded open access publishing project developed by LYRASIS, Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (TSPOA), and Duke University Press.

Our goal is to help match libraries, consortia, and other prospective scholarly publishing funders with non-profit publishers and journal editorial boards that are seeking financial investments to sustain or transition to open access publishing of journals or books. We mean prospective funders broadly, to encompass the range of scholarly publishing stakeholders, including for example: libraries, consortia, and funders, academic centers or departments, and cultural institutions. …”

TSPOA: What have we been up to? – Transitioning Society Publications to OA

“In February of 2018, we founded Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (TSPOA) to provide support, advocacy, and referral services for societies and publishers of society journals. Our overarching aim has been to assist learned societies in transitioning their publications to open access (OA). In our first year-and-a-half the world has grappled with public health, socio-political, and environmental crises that have only underscored the critical need for public access to research and scholarship. This has been an extraordinarily challenging period for everyone, both within and outside of scholarly publishing. We’d like to take the opportunity to highlight a few of our efforts that we believe are bringing some positive change and impact in such uncertain times….”

“Sharing stories to drive open scholarship” by Rachel Samberg and Anneliese Taylor

“We believe these formats were essential for collaboration, and that using a storytelling framework was an effective way to demonstrate empathy and build trust across institutions, thus driving change. Indeed, following OATIP, nearly all participants signed a public affirmation to “advocate broadly, and work with our stakeholders both locally and in existing consortia, to advance these common goals.”22 We are excited to follow where these journeys will lead.”

Webinars – Transitioning Society Publications to OA

“The Society Publishers Coalition (SocPC) and Transitioning Society Journals to Open Access (TSPOA) developed webinars about the changing face of society journal publishing. 

This three-part webinar series is intended to help foster the transition of learned society journals to open access by contextualizing their role within a changing scholarly communications landscape, increasing awareness of their publishing practices and operational needs, and engaging the broader community of publishing stakeholders in discussions and decision-making about how best to support society publishing in an open access landscape….”

Webinars charting paths forward for open access publishing by learned societies – Transitioning Society Publications to OA

“The Society Publishers Coalition (SocPC) and Transitioning Society Journals to Open Access (TSPOA) invite you to register for free webinars about the changing face of society journal publishing. 

This three-part webinar series is intended to help foster the transition of learned society journals to open access by contextualizing their role within a changing scholarly communications landscape, increasing awareness of their publishing practices and operational needs, and engaging the broader community of publishing stakeholders in discussions and decision-making about how best to support society publishing in an open access landscape. …”

Webinars charting paths forward for open access publishing by learned societies – Transitioning Society Publications to OA

“The Society Publishers Coalition (SocPC) and Transitioning Society Journals to Open Access (TSPOA) invite you to register for free webinars about the changing face of society journal publishing. 

This three-part webinar series is intended to help foster the transition of learned society journals to open access by contextualizing their role within a changing scholarly communications landscape, increasing awareness of their publishing practices and operational needs, and engaging the broader community of publishing stakeholders in discussions and decision-making about how best to support society publishing in an open access landscape. …”

Bridging Learned Society Publishing and Open Access: an International Collaboration and Webinar Series – Transitioning Society Publications to OA

“Scholarly or learned societies enable geographically diverse scholars to build and engage with communities that share and discuss ideas and findings, with the aim of promoting knowledge exchange for social value and the common good. Traditionally, societies achieve this convening function through a subscription-based publishing model in which society membership or institutional support affords scholars access to society publications. As global publishing shifts toward open access (OA), societies are wrestling with the need for new revenue streams and publishing strategies not only to ensure cost recovery, but also to sustain other important society functions—like educational programming, grant awards, professional development, and advocacy—once supported by membership or library subscription spends.

New financial models to support learned society publishing have significant implications for society operations and organizational structures, as well as the ability of authors and academic institutions to participate in society publishing. Whereas authors could once publish in society journals for free, many are now being asked to contribute article processing charges to subsidize OA publication costs. And many of the libraries and research organizations that once engaged in large licensing arrangements to provide their affiliates with access to aggregated society journal titles are now left exploring how to repurpose subscription budgets to support both access and publishing, including by undertaking society journal publishing directly. The mileage of these different OA financial models for societies may also vary: OA publishing is a global enterprise, subject to and reflecting different pressures, mandates, and opportunities within local or regional communities. 

Society publishing stakeholders may need support in navigating these contoured pressures. On the heels of Plan S, societies have begun organizing to bring clarity to the emerging OA landscape and its relationship with society publishing needs and infrastructures. In the UK, the Society Publishers’ Coalition (SocPC)—a group of like-minded, not-for-profit learned societies, community publishers, and membership charities who publish—has formed to help societies, funders, and research organizations collectively explore funding solutions that enable OA publication while buttressing core society functions and missions. In the United States, Transitioning Society Publications to OA (TSPOA) is a similar group seeking to connect society publishing stakeholders with support and useful resources related to an OA publishing transition. (Other resources and efforts are also underway. For instance, the Societies and Open Access Research project catalogs OA society journals in an effort, among other things, to help society publishers who have yet to commit to OA find peers at other societies.)…”