Abstract: This paper studies a selection of eleven Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies. By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014-2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase which can be attributed to the conversion. Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors. The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict polices targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access.
“In the vein of keeping things moving, the Dimensions team has introduced many new features over the last few years. Most recently, they have updated the Open Access classifications in Dimensions and introduced some additional fields that some of you may find helpful.
The Open Access data in Dimensions is sourced from our colleagues at Unpaywall. When we first launched Dimensions, Unpaywall was almost as new as we were, but in the meanwhile, both Unpaywall and Dimensions have moved on. The new release of Dimensions now tracks the Unpaywall OA classifications. This means that the filters in Dimensions should be more consistent and easier to understand – we now have: Green, Bronze, Gold, Hybrid, All OA and Closed. Of course, all the Open Access filters are available in the free version of Dimensions as well.
While we have seen the percentage of OA increasing rapidly in recent years, especially in countries like China, Germany and the UK, it was not until 2020 that more outputs were published through Open Access channels than traditional subscription channels globally….”
“For several years, UI Libraries has maintained an Open Access (OA) Fund to help researchers pay for the article processing charges (APCs) on open access publications. This fund supports authors choosing to make their publications open for anyone to read, broadening their audience and providing wide access to important research. We have decided to sunset the OA Fund for APCs within two years due to budget constraints. We found that the fund did nothing to offset our rapidly increasing journal subscription costs. In fact, the fund largely supports the same publishers to which we pay our pricey subscriptions. Given this reality, the final year that funding will be available is 2020, and the amount of funding for 2019 has been reduced from $3,000 per article to $2,000 per article. Additionally, each author will only be eligible to receive funding from the OA fund one time per fiscal year in 2019….”
Within the European Open Science Cloud, research results in the form of research data will be FAIR in few years. The question is how to release scholarly communication from subscriptions and copyright retention by publishers to match the EOSC developments. The University of Ljubljana suggests that as the first step the European organizations (EC, CESAER, EARTO, EUA, LERU, SE) negotiate with scientific publishers on behalf of the European research performing organizations and research funding organizations for a total transformation from subscription peer-reviewed journals to open access peer-reviewed journals. If adequate agreements are not concluded in a reasonable timeframe to match the EOSC developments, then subscription agreements with publishers should be discontinued and efforts intensified to solidify other outlets of fully open scholarly communication.
Evaluating the cost/benefit of the ‘Big Deal’ at the Universite de Montreal.
“At each stage of the process of analysis and renegotiations, we created multiple opportunities for discussion among our personnel, the faculty union, departments, senior administrators, and students’ groups. Every effort was made to remind members of our community of their role in the scholarly publishing ecosystem and of the alternatives available to them, starting with Open Access publishing….”