What’s Wrong with Paying for Peer Review? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“It’s also worth quantifying the additional direct costs — especially in a system that is already considered too expensive by many. In an APC world, the authors of the accepted articles cover the costs of reviewing all those other articles that get rejected. For an Open Access journal with a 25% acceptance rate and an average of 2.2 reviews per article, paying the reviewers for one article’s worth of review comes in an 2.2 * $450 = $990. The journal reviews 1/0.25 = 4 articles to find one that is publishable, and the authors of the publishable article pay the costs for reviewing the other three. So, the modest proposal of a $450 fee for each review balloons to an additional $3960 being added to the Article Processing Charge for an average journal. …”


Pampel (2021) Strategische und operative Handlungsoptionen fu?r wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen zur Gestaltung der Open-Access-Transformation (Strategic And Operational Options For Research Institutions To Shape The Open Access Transformation) | eDoc server, HU Berlin

Pampel, Heinz. 2021. ‘Strategische Und Operative Handlungsoptionen Für Wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen Zur Gestaltung Der Open-Access-Transformation’. PhD Thesis, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Philosophische Fakultät. https://doi.org/10.18452/22946.

This thesis investigates the role of research institutions in Germany in transforming scholarly publishing from subscription to Open Access in the field of scientific journals. Open Access transformation aims to overcome the traditional subscription model to further innovative methods of digital scholarly communication. The study examines the options open to higher education institutions and research performing organizations for shaping the Open Access transformation. The thesis presents a description of these options in the areas of strategy and communication, services and infrastructures, business relations with publishers and cooperation. Then, the implementation of these options in practice was analyzed. For this purpose, a survey was conducted among 701 academic institutions in Germany. The response rate of 403 responding institutions (57.49%) can be considered very positive. This survey, which is probably the most comprehensive on the subject to date, shows that higher education institutions and research performing organizations in Germany have so far implement-ed only a few options for promoting Open Access. While the distribution of Open Access repositories is positive, the handling of Open Access publication charges and the associated monitoring of publication costs are still at the beginning. The results of the survey indicate a high need for action. The presented quantitative survey closes the gap of missing data on Open Access in Germany. Based on this new dataset, the study formulates recommendations for further engagement with the Open Access transformation at research institutions in Germany. One focus is on activities that arise in the area of academic libraries.


Page charges and OA policies | Trading Knowledge

“Much of my time in the past 12 months has been committed to preparing for compliance with the Coalition S / Wellcome open access policies. Because we have core funding from Wellcome this means that all research papers submitted on or after 1 Jan 2021 must comply with their new OA policy.

So I have been buried in transformative deals, transformative journals and the Rights Retention Strategy, trying to ensure that these will work to make our research papers open and compliant with Plan S.

This work continues. The new policy only affects papers submitted on or after 1 Jan 2021 so we are just seeing more papers coming through for publication that need to comply with the new policy. And we are seeing a few cases where the publishers policies and practices conflict with what Plan S stipulates.  We are now at the stage when ’The shit hits the Plan’….”

International disparities in open access practices in the Earth Sciences

Abstract:  Background: Open access (OA) implies free and unrestricted access to and re-use of research articles. Recently, OA publishing has seen a new wave of interest, debate, and practices surrounding that mode of publishing.

Objectives: To provide an overview of publication practices and to compare them among six countries across the world to stimulate further debate and to raise awareness about OA to facilitate decision-making on further development of OA practices in earth sciences.

Methods: The number of OA articles, their distribution among the six countries, and top ten journals publishing OA articles were identified using two databases, namely Scopus and the Web of Science, based mainly on the data for 2018.

Results: In 2018, only 24%–31% of the total number of articles indexed by either of the databases were OA articles. Six of the top ten earth sciences journals that publish OA articles were fully OA journals and four were hybrid journals. Fully OA journals were mostly published by emerging publishers and their article processing charges ranged from $1000 to $2200.

Conclusions: The rise in OA publishing has potential implications for researchers and tends to shift article-processing charges from organizations to individuals. Until the earth sciences community decides to move away from journal-based criteria to evaluate researchers, it is likely that such high costs will continue to maintain financial inequities within this research community, especially to the disadvantage of researchers from the least developed countries. However, earth scientists, by opting for legal self- archiving of their publications, could help to promote equitable and sustainable access to, and wider dissemination of, their work.

Dissemination of applied research to the field: attitudes and practices of faculty authors in social work

Abstract:  In applied research disciplines like social work, there is a clear disconnect between the production and dissemination of research and the access and use of research in practice. This research/practice divide is particularly problematic for practitioners required to work within evidence-based or research-informed frameworks. To explore this issue, we conducted a nationwide survey and qualitative interviews with social work faculty regarding their research dissemination attitudes and practices, especially to non-academic audiences. The survey and interviews provide data on faculty dissemination methods, attitudes toward gold and green open access and promotion and tenure considerations. Results demonstrate that faculty are primarily engaged with traditional publishing models and much less engaged with dissemination to non-academic audiences. Faculty are skeptical of open access journals, avoid article processing charges and are only minimally engaged with institutional repositories. Faculty are conflicted regarding the dissemination of their research, especially in the context of promotion and tenure. Shifting dissemination outside of non-academic audiences would require increased confidence in open access, support for the creation of practitioner-focused materials and prioritizing the impact of research on practice.


Supporting open access research: three new agreements | Library | University of Waterloo

“The Library has signed three new agreements to cover article processing charges (APCs) for open access (OA) articles published by Waterloo researchers between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2023 with Sage, PLOS Medicine and Biology, and Cogitatio Press.

Here is what this means for Waterloo researchers:


APCs are covered by the Library when you publish open access in over 900 Sage Choice journals
There is also a 40% discount on APCs on over 130 Sage Gold Open Access Journals (these journals are fully OA)

PLOS Medicine and Biology

APCs are covered by the Library when you publish in PLOS Medicine or PLOS Biology

Cogitatio Press

APCs are covered by the Library when you publish in any Cogitatio Press Journal …”

PAPPI Public Wiki

“This wiki introduces a scoring system to evaluate publishers’ practices through the values of higher education, libraries, and learned societies. In this provisional scoring system, tentatively called Publishers Acting as Partners with Public Institutions of Higher Education & Land-grant Universities (PAPPIHELU, hereafter referred to as PAPPI), partners are publishers that focus on empowering researchers and scholars and also the institutions of higher education that support them. They see faculty, students, and institutions of higher education as essential partners, not customers, and emphasize the rights of content creators and disciplinary experts in the publishing process. PAPPI criteria evaluate how well a publisher’s practices are in synchronization with the common worldview and ethic of public and land-grant institutions of higher education and their libraries….

Credit is determined by a publisher’s score in the following main categories:

Public Access
Article Processing Charges
Author Use
Educational Use
Business Model
Business Practices
Publishing Practices
Other Innovations …”

Triggle et al. (2021) Requiem for impact factors and high publication charges

Chris R Triggle, Ross MacDonald, David J. Triggle & Donald Grierson (2021) Requiem for impact factors and high publication charges, Accountability in Research, DOI: 10.1080/08989621.2021.1909481

Abstract: Journal impact factors, publication charges and assessment of quality and accuracy of scientific research are critical for researchers, managers, funders, policy makers, and society. Editors and publishers compete for impact factor rankings, to demonstrate how important their journals are, and researchers strive to publish in perceived top journals, despite high publication and access charges. This raises questions of how top journals are identified, whether assessments of impacts are accurate and whether high publication charges borne by the research community are justified, bearing in mind that they also collectively provide free peer-review to the publishers. Although traditional journals accelerated peer review and publication during the COVID-19 pandemic, preprint servers made a greater impact with over 30,000 open access articles becoming available and accelerating a trend already seen in other fields of research. We review and comment on the advantages and disadvantages of a range of assessment methods and the way in which they are used by researchers, managers, employers and publishers. We argue that new approaches to assessment are required to provide a realistic and comprehensive measure of the value of research and journals and we support open access publishing at a modest, affordable price to benefit research producers and consumers.

The Scholcomm Chronicles #1. Rambling about Misconceptions of Open Access | Zenodo

Abstract:  This is a short essay/opinion-like article in comics form on some misconceptions of Open Access. “Rambling about Misconceptions of Open Access” is also the first installment of “The ScholComm Chronicles”, which will hopefully develop into an ongoing series.