Independent Peer Review Manifesto | Open Scholar C.I.C.

” … There is still, however, a serious obstacle blocking progress towards a truly open and democratic system of knowledge creation and exchange. At present, the formal evaluation of research output is exclusively controlled by academic journals that are also responsible for access to knowledge. Journal dominance over both, research evaluation and publication has led to an accumulation of influence that is limiting academia. Questionable measures of journal impact have become synonymous with prestige and are so pervasive that our academic worth as individuals is now being judged based upon where we publish instead of what we publish … Since the problem has its roots in the combined power of evaluation and publication under a single authority (journals), the solution lies in separating these powers. Although the majority of researchers feel that journals are essential to scholarly communication, more and more voices are being raised and are questioning the way journal peer review is used to certify the validity and quality of our work. Indeed, there is a growing conviction among scholars that scientific progress and society would benefit from the open and transparent scrutiny of original ideas, results, data and code by the entire academic community, whose collective wisdom can lead to a more accurate and objective evaluation. To achieve immediate, free, journal-independent, open and transparent peer review, we propose the following four complementary strategies …”

Open Access Policy Guidelines for Research Performing Organizations

“The present guidelines aim to assist in the development of efficient Open Access policies among Research Performing Organisations. They have been prepared by the National Documentation Centre and SPARC Europe as part of the work of the PASTEUR4OA project. They provide the context, the process and a model policy that will enable the institutions to devise and implement their own Open Access policy. The proposed policy draws heavily on the UNESCO Open Access policy development guidelines, the MedOANet guidelines for Open Access, PASTEUR4OA work on the efficiency of existing Open Access policies, and the RECODE project policy recommendations for Open Access policies to research data. The proposed policy aims at aligning institutional policies with the 2012 Recommendation of the European Commission and the Horizon 2020 requirements. It follows current good practices in institutional and funder policies, as they emerged from PASTEUR4OA research on policy efficiency, suggesting and obligatory and non-waivable deposit in repositories as the most successful way leading to the growth of Open Access to scientific information….”

Technology Science

“Technology Science is an open access forum for any original material dealing primarily with a social, political, personal, or organizational benefit or adverse consequence of technology. Studies that characterize a technology-society clash or present an approach to better harmonize technology and society are especially welcomed. Papers can come from anywhere in the world.

Technology Science is interested in reviews of research, experiments, surveys, tutorials, and analyses. Writings may propose solutions or describe unsolved problems. Technology Science may also publish letters, short communications, and relevant news items. All submissions are peer-reviewed.

The scientific study of technology-society clashes is a cross-disciplinary pursuit, so papers in Technology Science may come from any of many possible disciplinary traditions, including but not limited to social science, computer science, political science, law, economics, policy, or statistics.

The Data Privacy Lab at Harvard University publishes Technology Science and its affiliated subset of papers called the Journal of Technology Science and maintains them online at and at Technology Science is available free of charge over the Internet. While it is possible that bound paper copies of Technology Science content may be produced for a fee, all content will continue to be offered online at no charge….”

Open Science in der Soziologie – Eine interdisziplinäre Bestandsaufnahme zur offenen Wissenschaft und eine Untersuchung ihrer Verbreitung in der Soziologie

From Google’s English: “On 18/09. is my thesis entitled “Open Science in Sociology – An interdisciplinary inventory to open science and a study of their distribution in sociology” appeared. It is both in print at a price of € 36.80 for order (ordering the publisher Werner Hülsenbusch  or via Amazon) as well as Open Access via Zenodo available. The publisher I want to thank for his support and unbureaucratic open access policy and can only recommend him colleagues….


“Here also the blurb:

“Open Science, the open science, aimed at the unconditional possible usability and availability of all accumulated largely in the research process information, primarily of text publications, research data and research software. Moreover, they should also bring transparency in scientific work moderating processes (such as the assessment and the review of text publications) and in the recovery of the review of scientific information relied Para (Impact metrics). Open science proponents therefrom a more efficient, innovation-friendly and transparent science because open information can be disseminated more quickly and easily and nachgenutzt and checked as non-open.

“The work is based on a multidisciplinary inventory of open science elements Open Access to Text publications, open access to research data, Open Access to Research Software, Open Review and Open Metrics, all more typically in the STM subjects (Science, Technology, Medicine) to find than in the social sciences or humanities. Based on this synopsis it is dedicated to going on the fachinhärenten specifics of sociology, which is commonly regarded as a latecomer in the Open Science, and empirically investigated the prevalence and relevance of open access to text publications, open access to research data, Open Access to Research Software, Open Review and Open Metrics in sociology.”

OLH Launches | Open Library of Humanities

“It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of the Open Library of Humanities. Over two years in the planning and execution, the platform starts with seven journals, supported by 99 institutions. Our estimated publication volume for year one is 150 articles across these venues. The economics of this work out at approximately £4 ($6) per institution per open-access article …”

Manar Al-Athar

“The Manar al-Athar website, based at the University of Oxford, aims to provide high resolution, searchable images for teaching, research, and publication. These images of archaeological sites, with buildings and art, will cover the areas of the former Roman empire which later came under Islamic rule, such as Syro-Palestine/the Levant, Arabia, Egypt, North Africa and Spain. The chronological range is from Alexander the Great (i.e., from about 300 BC) through, the Islamic period to the present. It is the first website of its kind providing such material labelled jointly in both Arabic and English. We will also be publishing related material, both online and on paper, in English and Arabic.”

Open access offers alternatives to traditional research journals | The Daily Texan

“For the UT libraries, which constantly grapple with a small number of powerful, dollar-minded research journal publishers over the cost of texts, solving a minor financial crisis could entail taking a step back from the age-old industry altogether. With spending stagnant and the cost of research journals steadily rising year-over-year, embracing the concept of open access — putting articles out freely on the Internet and skipping paywalls — has emerged as a practical work-around for the UT Libraries that also keeps UT at the forefront of academic publishing … But Haricombe said she sees opportunity in open access — for financial and philosophical reasons. Although the idea is not new, Haricombe said she hopes to establish a more serious focus on the concept at UT, declaring the 2015–2016 school year as ‘the year of open’ …”

Example Policy – Type 1 – Strong

You can find and download a formatted version of this resources as PDF, Word Document and Google Document. 


[ORGANISATION] believes in the importance of openness across all research outputs as an alternative to the current closed system of research.

Specifically, the [ORGANISATION] supports:


– Open Access; the free, immediate, online availability of research articles with full reuse rights.

– Open Education Resources; high-quality educational materials that everyone is permitted to freely use, adapt, and share.

– Open Data; data that can be freely used, shared and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose.


The [ORGANISATION] believes that students should educate, advocate and act in ways that will lead to Open Access, Open Data and Open Educational Resources becoming the new norm. As part of this the [ORGANISATION] supports the work of the Right to Research Coalition to promote an open scholarly publishing system.




Scholarly material is essential for research and education. While consulting academic journals students face limited access to research data and papers because of very high fees. The high cost of academic journals restricts the use of knowledge; in some fields, prices can reach $20,000 for a single journal subscription or commonly $30 for an individual article (1,2)  These prices are also rising above inflation and causing financial difficulties for all universities(3). Despite these high prices, authors of scholarly articles are not paid for their work, including paper reviews. A vast amount of research is funded from public sources – yet taxpayers are locked out by the cost of access. The profits from these publications go solely to the publishers of the journals.


Open Access is a well established alternative to the traditional closed, subscription-access system of scholarly communication(4). Open Access makes the results of high quality, peer-reviewed scholarly research available online for free, immediately upon publication, and removes barriers for scholarly and educational re-use(5). Entire journals can be Open Access, or an author can provide Open Access to an individual article by posting a copy on an openly accessible Web site.  All forms of Open Access publication depend on rigorous methods of quality control, including peer review. Open Access also supports new, currently prohibitively difficult ways of analysing research such as programmatic analysis of papers through text mining to find new links and trends in research.

Similar to academic journals, the cost of educational resources—particularly textbooks—often harms students’ ability to obtain the materials they need for their courses and contributes significantly to the rising cost of education. In many parts of the world, textbooks have become prohibitively expensive, even for introductory courses where the subject material is well-established(6).


Open Educational Resources make the building blocks of a complete education freely available to all. Open Educational Resources are high-quality, often peer-reviewed textbooks and other learning materials that are openly licensed to permit their free use and repurposing by others(7). There are many benefits to this, the resources can be translated and adapted by instructors to better suit the needs of a class. Further, without price barriers, students are free to incorporate materials beyond those assigned and continue learning after their formal education ends. Studies show that open education resources can produce learning outcomes that meet or exceed those of traditional educational materials(8). There creation is supported through grants and/or business models where additional add-on content is sold to support the costs of production.


The data-rich environment that is evolving poses new challenges and provides new opportunities in the sharing, review, publication and replication of research results. In order for science and scholarship to advance, the results of research must be shared freely so they can be understood and built upon. This is particularly critical in the scientific research process, where the validity of results can only be verified through replication. The inability to replicate results, fraud and malpractice within research is increasingly becoming recognised as an issue and can have serious impacts on public policy and health(9,10). Ensuring full access to and reuse of research data guards against this. Open Data also promotes the use of new tools including text and data mining to advance research.


Established 5 years ago by students, the Right to Research Coalition is now an international alliance of graduate and undergraduate student organizations, which collectively represent nearly 7 million students in over 100 countries around the world, that advocate for and educate students about open methods of scholarly publishing(11).



The [ORGANISATION] believes that Open Access, Open Data and Open Educational Resources:

  • Improve the educational experience.

  • Democratizes access to research and education.  

  • Advances and accelerates research and education.  

  • Improves the visibility and impact of scholarship.

The [ORGANISATION] therefore calls on:


1) [ORGANISATION] members and students to:

  • Reject funding (including sponsorship), or relationships of any kind with organisations who currently, or in the past have significantly advocated against moves to advance areas covered by this policy.

  • Support and initiate projects promoting Open Access, Open Data and Open Educational Resources to the fullest extent.

  • Clearly display licensing information on [ORGANISATION] produced documents, such as Creative Commons licences.

  • Join the Right to Research Coalition.

2) Universities to:

  • Adopt policies that ensure Open Access to their faculty’s research outputs and other educational resources;

  • Accelerate efforts to promote open resources, technology and teaching practices in education through deployment of free and open source software and providing the necessary training to staff and students;

  • Establish research data management system which facilitate Open Data

  • Support the use and creation of Open Educational Resources.

3) Government and Research funders to:

  • Adopt policies that ensure Open Access to research and to underlying data as appropriate.

  • Invest in programs that support the creation and use of Open Educational Resources

4) Researchers, Educators and Learners to:

  • Publish in Open Access journals, and/or deposit their peer- reviewed manuscripts in Open Access repositories and make underlying data openly available as appropriate;

  • Seek and assign Open Educational Resources in place of expensive, traditional learning materials whenever academically appropriate and suitable for the curriculum.



1. The cost for an institutional print subscription of the journal Brain Research was $19,952 in 2013 [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jun 29]. Available from:

2. The most common price per article for Elsevier journals on ScienceDirect is $31.50 as of October 18, 2013 [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jun 29]. Available from:

3. Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jun 29]. Available from:

4. There are almost 10,000 journals registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jun 29]. Available from:

5. Budapest Open Access Initiative | Read the Budapest Open Access Initiative [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jun 29]. Available from:

6. A Cover to Cover Solution How Open Textbooks are the Path to Textbook Affordability [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jun 29]. Available from:

7. The definition of Open Educational Resources given by William and Flora Hewlett Foundation [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jun 29]. Available from:

8. Feldstein A, Martin M, Hudson A. Open Textbooks and Increased Student Access and Outcomes. … Open, Distance E- … [Internet]. 2012;1–9. Available from:

9. Ioannidis JPA. Why most published research findings are false. Jantsch W, Schaffler F, editors. PLoS Med [Internet]. Public Library of Science; 2005;4(6):e124. Available from:

10. Begley CG, Ellis LM. Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research. Nature [Internet]. Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.; 2012 Mar 29 [cited 2014 May 30];483(7391):531–3. Available from:

11. Right to Research Coalition [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jun 29]. Available from:

Example Policy – Type 2


You can find and download a formatted version of this resources as PDF, Word Document and Google Document. 



WHEREAS,  all students, regardless of their institution’s ability to afford publications, should benefit from access to the full scholarly record, and;

WHEREAS, Open Access improves the educational experience and democratizes access to research, and;

WHEREAS, Open Access advances research by connecting researchers with the publications they need when they need them, eliminating the burden of navigating paywalls, and also enables new techniques for computer-assisted research, paving the way for scientific advancements, and;

WHEREAS, the cost of educational resources, particularly textbooks, often affects students’ ability to obtain the materials they need for their courses,  and contributes significantly to the rising cost of education, and;

WHEREAS, In many parts of the world, textbooks have become prohibitively expensive, even for introductory courses where the subject material is well-established, and;

WHEREAS, Open Education removes the cost barrier to accessing educational resources, and allows educational resources to be  freely translated, updated, and customized to support innovative pedagogical techniques; and

WHEREAS,  Open Research Data enhances researchers’ ability to replicate and verify findings, addressing the crisis of reproducibility in research and facilitates, data mining, reuse,  collaboration and additional analysis of results, and;

WHEREAS, a coalition of student governments and student organizations across the world have developed the Student Statement on the Right to Research to explain student interests in the scholarly communications system and to rally student support for Open Access, Open Education and, Open Research Data. Therefore, BE IT

RESOLVED THAT, (Name of Organization) at (Name of University) endorses the Student Statement on the Right to Research, Open Access, Open Education, and Open Research Data, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, (Name of Organization)  at (Name of University)  endorses Open Access, Open Education, and Open Research Data as necessary advancements for harnessing the Internet and digital technologies to maximize the benefit of research and education, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, (Name of Organization)  at (Name of University) calls upon (Name of University) and all universities, governments, funders, students, researchers, and educators to make Open Access, Open Education, and Open Research Data the preferred systems for scholarly communication and learning materials, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that  (Name of Organization) will undertake activities at (Name of University) to educate students about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Research Data and to advocate for policies that make these the prefered systems for scholarly communication and learning materials.