Abstract: Abstract : This study focuses on one of the contemporary innovations linked to the economy of academic publishing: the so-called transformative agreements, a relatively circumscribed object within the relations between library consortia and academic publishers, and temporally situated between 2015 and 2020. The stated objective of this type of agreement is to organise the transition from the traditional model of subscription to journals (often proposed by thematic groupings or collections) to that of open access by reallocating the budgets devoted to it. Our sociological analysis work constitutes a first systematic study of this object, based on a review of 197 agreements. The corpus thus constituted includes agreements characterised by the co-presence of a subscription component and an open access publication component, even minimal (publication “tokens” offered, reduction on APCs, etc.). As a result, agreements that only concern centralised funding for open access publishing were excluded from the analysis, whether with publishers that only offer journals with payment by the author (PLOS, Frontiers, MDPI, etc.) or publishers whose catalogue includes open access journals. The oldest agreement in our corpus was signed in 2010, the most recent ones in 2020 – agreements starting only in 2021, even announced during the study, were not retained. Several results emerge from our analysis. First of all, there is a great diversity of actors involved with 22 countries and 39 publishers, even if some consortia (Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Germany) and publishers (CUP, Elsevier, RSC, Springer) signed many more than others. Secondly, the duration of the agreements, ranging from one to six years, reveals a very unequal distribution, with more than half of the agreements (103) signed for 3 years, and a small proportion for 4 years or more (22 agreements). Finally, despite repeated calls for transparency, less than half of the agreements (96) have an accessible text at the time of this study, with no recent trend towards greater availability. The analysis also shows widely varying degrees of openness, ranging from simple information on the ESAC directory through the provision of an open format to the allocation of a DOI and a reuse licence (CC-BY), including details of monetary amounts. Of the 96 agreements available, 47 of which were signed in 2020, 62 have been analysed in depth. To our knowledge, this is the first analysis on this scale, on a type of material that was not only unpublished, but which was previously subject to confidentiality clauses. Based on a careful reading, the study describes in detail their properties, from the materiality of the document to the financial formulas, including their morphology and all the rights and duties of the parties. We therefore analysed the content of the agreements as a collection, looking for commonalities and variations through an explicit coding of their characteristics. The study also points out some uncertainties, in particular their “transitional” character, which remains strongly debated. From a morphological point of view, the agreements show a great diversity in size (from 7 to 488 pages) and structure. Nevertheless, by definition, they both articulate two essential objects: on the one hand, the conditions for carrying out a reading of journal articles, in the form of a subscription, combining concerns of access and security; on the other hand, the modalities of open access publication, articulating the management of a new type of workflow with a whole series of possible options. These options include the scope of the journals considered (hybrid and/or open access), the licences available, the degree of obligation to publish, the eligible authors or the volume of publishable articles. One of the most important results of this in-depth analysis is the discovery of an almost complete decoupling, within the agreements themselves, between the subscription object and the publication object. Of course, subscription is systematically configured in a closed world, subject to payment, which triggers series of identification of legitimate circulations of both information content and users. In particular, it insists on prohibitions on the reuse or even copying of academic articles. On the other hand, open access publishing is attached to a world governed by free access to content, which leads to concerns about workflow management and accessibility modalities. Moreover, the different elements that make up these contractual objects are not interconnected: on one side, the readers are all members of the subscribing institutions, on the other, only the corresponding authors are concerned; the lists of journals accessible to the reader and those reserved for open access publication are usually distinct; the workflows have totally different objectives and material organisations, etc. The articulation between the two contractual objects is solely a matter of a financial distribution formula which, in addition to particular combinations between one an
“arXiv is free to read and submit research, so why are we asking for donations?
arXiv is not free to operate, and, as a nonprofit, we depend on the generosity of foundations, members, donors, volunteers, and individuals like you to survive and thrive. If arXiv matters to you and you have the means to contribute, we humbly ask you to join arXiv’s global community of supporters with a donation during arXiv’s Giving Week, May 2 – 8, 2021.
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Would you like to know more about our operations and how arXiv’s funds are spent? Check out our annual report for more information….”
“Today, extending their existing partnership, and cementing the future of the platform, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) has merged with Birkbeck.
The merger allows OLH to maintain its charitable status, while ensuring its ongoing financial sustainability and reducing redundant administrative overhead….”
“Open access enables anyone to read and make use of research products at no cost and with limited copyright restrictions. This makes access to research results more equitable and allows us as authors and researchers to reach a wider audience.
We adopted the first commitment to making our research publications as openly available as possible more than ten years ago in 2010. Much has changed since then! We have rebranded our institutional repository as HARVEST and opened it up for all USask researchers to self-archive their own publications OA for free; we have become more aware of the importance of making more products of our research (such as protocols and research data) openly available as well; and we now more clearly acknowledge our professional role in advocating for a more sustainable publishing system. These are several of the revisions that we approved in our new Open Access Commitment. There is also an acknowledgement that not all research products are appropriate to be shared openly for cultural, privacy, or ethical reasons.
USask librarians and archivists are not alone in adopting such statements. The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory at the University of Victoria tracks Canadian University Open Access Statements. Currently there are 14 university-level statements and 12 department or college-level statements, most of which are from libraries like ours!
To learn more about open access, please visit our guide.”
“As societies grapple with questions around how to approach OA publishing, one of the best ways to identify viable options is to look to other societies with successful OA titles. A great example is the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The society launched its first fully open access journal, the Journal of Global Oncology (JGO), in 2015. The journal, which focuses on cancer research and care in low- and middle-income countries, has grown significantly over the last four years and is now a thriving publication for global oncology research….”
“In this post I’m going to be discussing the feasibility and sustainability of open access (OA) business model du jour: subscribe-to-open (S2O for short). Briefly put, S2O is a model whereby a journal shifts from subscription access to OA, but the libraries who were subscribers under the old model continue paying in order to keep the journal financially viable. Some publishers (such as Annual Reviews) offer a discount to supporting libraries; others (such as IWA Publishing) don’t….”
OASPA is pleased to announce the publication of an in-depth report and associated recommendations arising from a study of open access journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as “OA diamond journals”.
Funded by Science Europe and commissioned by cOAlition S in order to gain a better understanding of the OA diamond landscape, the publication of the study is the culmination of work undertaken from June 2020 to February 2021 by a consortium of 10 organisations (including OASPA) led by OPERAS. The study uncovers a vast archipelago of up to 29,000 journals, most of which (60%) are in the humanities and social sciences, serving the needs of multiple scientific communities across the world.
“Please join a 6-session Learning Community series entitled Educating our Next Generation of Scientists: Open Educational Practices, Open Science and Social Justice Learning Community led by Dr. Karen Cangialosi in which participants will engage in discussions, short readings and mini-workshops to explore basic tools for OEP. This learning community is designed for project and organizational leaders who are working with instructors who develop and/or implement STEM curriculum as well as policy makers and funders who want to learn more about the connections between open science and open education….”
“The Texas Library Coalition for United Action (TLCUA) negotiations with academic publisher Elsevier that cover UH Libraries journal subscriptions and access to journal content are ongoing. We’ve seen progress on some issues and believe we are getting close to a final offer.
At the heart of the negotiations are three key issues:
Sustainable pricing models while maintaining title access
Journal pricing has been unsustainable for some time. The Coalition is trying to maintain as much access to currently subscribed titles as possible while significantly reducing overall expenditures.
Copyright retention/reversion for authors
Authors are often expected to sign over their copyright as part of the agreement with the publisher, which can impede how authors are able to re-use or re-publish their work in the future. The Coalition believes that ownership matters and that this must change; Elsevier has indicated a willingness to engage creatively on this topic.
Post-termination access to subscribed content
Post-termination access is the ability to access prior years’ content from subscribed journals in the future, regardless of the current status of the subscription. Much like with a print journal, where we can keep copies available to library users even after ending a subscription, we want to be able to retain access to journal articles that we subscribed to electronically after the subscription ends. We believe PTA is important to the preservation of knowledge and the creation of new scholarship….”
:OPERAS is pleased to announce the publication of an in-depth report and associated recommendations arising from a study of open access journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as “OA diamond journals”.
Funded by Science Europe and commissioned by cOAlition S in order to gain a better understanding of the OA diamond landscape, the publication of the study is the culmination of work undertaken from June 2020 to February 2021 by a consortium of 10 organisations led by OPERAS.
The study uncovers a vast archipelago of up to 29,000 journals, mostly (60%) in humanities and social sciences, serving the needs of multiple scientific communities across the world. The diamond journals comply partially to Plan S requirements but struggle on some criteria such as persistent identifiers, licenses and content preservation. More generally, in spite of scientific quality, they face many operational challenges and rely heavily on volunteering. There is a need to develop infrastructure and to increase funding to support their operations.
Using the results from a widely disseminated survey that was translated into 6 languages, together with focus groups and direct outreach to target journals and platforms, the study examines the core areas which are critical for OA diamond journals to operate, encompassing everything from legal structures and governance to technical capabilities, editorial processes and funding models. …”