Negotiating Open Access Journal Agreements: An Academic Library Case Study

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity for academic libraries to advance open access (OA) to scholarly articles. Awareness among faculty on the importance of OA has increased significantly during the pandemic, as colleges and universities struggle financially and seek sustainable access to high-quality scholarly journals. Consortia have played an important role in establishing negotiation principles on OA journal agreements. While the number of OA agreements is increasing, case studies involving individual libraries are still limited. This paper reviews existing literature on publisher negotiation principles related to OA journal negotiations and reflects on recent cases at an academic library in Pennsylvania, in order to identify best practices in OA journal negotiations. It provides recommendations on roles, relationships, and processes, as well as essential terms of OA journal agreements. This study’s findings are most relevant to large academic libraries that are interested in negotiating with scholarly journal publishers independently or through consortia.

Vision for PLOS Sustainability and Transformation – Latitude

“Our vision for PLOS Sustainability and Transformation is to present the broadest diversity of evidence-based solutions from around the world, to empower the transformation of countries and companies towards more sustainable development models, and to capitalize on emerging opportunities….

A key feature of PLOS Sustainability and Transformation is open science, which allows the research findings and thought leadership of our authors to reach a much wider readership and to inform policies and decisions in the government and corporate sectors….”

Enabling smaller independent publishers to participate in Open Access transformative arrangements: a commitment from key stakeholders – ESAC Initiative

The ongoing transition of scholarly publishing to full and immediate Open Access is a process that requires all stakeholders to adapt.

Alignment amongst research funding organizations, publishers and research performing organizations – with their research communities, their libraries and library consortia – is particularly needed to enable smaller independent publishers to transition to open access publishing models. These publishers are highly valued by the research community for their activities in promoting excellence in research, for the scholarly communication services they provide, and for the key role they play in ensuring a diverse, open scholarly publishing landscape.

OPERAS Open Chats: Wir müssen reden… heute über OPERAS Services für (Hochschul-)Verlage (We need to talk… today about OPERAS services for (university) publishers) | Zenodo

Töpfer, Marlen. (2021, June). OPERAS Open Chats: Wir müssen reden… heute über OPERAS Services für (Hochschul-)Verlage. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4971766

Presentation of the event on the OPERAS Infrastructure held by OPERAS-GER on 15 June 2021.

Transformation or consolidation – Evaluating transformative agreements at Uppsala University with an eye to the future | Zenodo

In the last few years, we have seen how publishing agreements have become increasingly common across Europe. At Uppsala University, the traditional subscription agreements now represent a minority of our agreements with the publishers and we suspect they will be phased out. Currently, our most common type of publishing agreements are the transformative agreements negotiated on the national level by the Bibsam consortia and offered to all Swedish higher education institutions. These transformative agreements currently cover most major international publishers and could be considered the new normal. Uppsala University is one of the largest and oldest universities in northern Europe. We are a truly multidisciplinary university, covering the humanities, social sciences, medicine, science and technology. This means that the university library should ideally be able to provide the same level of publishing support for theologists as well as geologists. With that in mind, the library was tasked to evaluate our portfolio of publishing agreements, with a special focus on the impact of the transformative ones. We wanted specifically to look at these new agreements in regards to 1) the impact for the individual researchers 2) economic aspects on various levels, and 3) the paradigm shift towards open science that is taking place in scholarly communication.

Welcome to our new open-access publishing platform – The Sociological Review

The Sociological Review, the home for critical sociological thinking and research in the UK and internationally for the past 113 years, has today (8 June 2021) launched an ambitious open-access publishing platform aimed at a broad and diverse global readership.

Gelenkte Wissenschaft: Die DFG warnt vor Einfluss des Plattformkapitalismus (“Guiding” science: DFG warns against influence of platform capitalism) | Frankfurter Allgemeine

German Research Foundation warns against the growing influence of major publishers on research. Scientific freedom is under threat from two sides.

 

 

Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft warnt vor dem wachsenden Einfluss der Großverlage auf die Forschung. Die Wissenschaftsfreiheit ist hier von zwei Seiten bedroht.

DOAB partners with SciELO to further enhance publisher discoverability and simplify workflows | Directory of Open Access Books

“DOAB, a central discovery service for open access books, is pleased to introduce a new partnership with SciELO. Through this new initiative, SciELO Books becomes part of a group of several trusted platforms to enhance the discoverability of open access books and create a more seamless process for publishers to list their open access books in DOAB….”

With Textbook Lawsuit Dismissed, Platinum Equity Inks $4.5B Deal to Buy McGraw Hill | EdSurge News

“Publisher McGraw Hill will soon pass from one private-equity firm to another.

Platinum Equity announced an agreement this week to buy the company from Apollo Global Management, in a deal valued at about $4.5 billion, including debt, reports the Wall Street Journal.

McGraw Hill CEO Simon Allen will continue to lead the business, according to a statement released by the company.

The acquisition comes about a year after McGraw Hill terminated its efforts to merge with fellow publisher Cengage. That deal, which would have created the second largest U.S. textbook publisher, fell through after being subjected to a regulatory review process with the U.S. Department of Justice….”

eLife announces new approach to publishing in medicine | For the press | eLife

eLife is excited to announce a new approach to peer review and publishing in medicine, including public health and health policy.

One of the most notable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the desire to share important results and discoveries quickly, widely and openly, leading to rapid growth of the preprint server medRxiv. Despite the benefits of rapid, author-driven publication in accelerating research and democratising access to results, the growing number of clinical preprints means that individuals and institutions may act quickly on new information before it is adequately scrutinised.

To address this challenge, eLife is bringing its system of editorial oversight by practicing clinicians and clinician-investigators, and rigorous, consultative peer review to preprints. The journal’s goal is to produce ‘refereed preprints’ on medRxiv that provide readers and potential users with a detailed assessment of the research, comments on its potential impact, and perspectives on its use. By providing this rich and rapid evaluation of new results, eLife hopes peer-reviewed preprints will become a reliable indicator of quality in medical research, rather than journal impact factor.

Enabling smaller independent publishers to participate in OA agreements – information power

“An independent report released today by Information Power measures progress during 2020 and 2021 on Open Access agreements between consortia/libraries and publishers. OA agreements are now used around the world in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. During 2020 there was a clear uptick in the number of OA articles published in hybrid journals, which reverses a downward trend in the proportion of total articles published as OA in hybrid journals between 2016 and 2019. There is potential for further growth.

Smaller independent publishers – for example society publishers without a larger publishing partner, university presses, library presses, and small independent commercial presses – face some special challenges due to their scale. A number of practical task-and-finish groups are needed to align on shared principles, license language, data exchange, and workflows followed by engagement with standards bodies, intermediaries, and platform providers to ensure these can become embedded in practice.

The transition to OA requires change on the part of all stakeholders, and the report argues it is particularly crucial that there is active cross-stakeholder alignment focused on enabling smaller independent publishers to transition successfully. Amongst other things, the authors strongly recommend funders take steps to enable universities to aggregate all their expenditure with publishers via the library. They also encourage publishers who closely link the price of OA agreements to article volume to think carefully about more equitable models.”

Opening Up Scholarship in the Humanities: Digital Publishing, Knowledge Translation, and Public Engagement

Abstract:  Opening Up Scholarship in the Humanities: Digital Publishing, Knowledge Translation, and Public Engagement considers the concept of humanistic, open, social scholarship and argues for its value in the contemporary academy as both a set of socially oriented activities and an organizing framework for such activities. This endeavour spans the interrelated areas of knowledge creation, public engagement, and open access, and demonstrates the importance of considering this triad as critical for the pursuit of academic work moving forward—especially in the humanities. Under the umbrella of open social scholarship, I consider open access as a baseline for public engagement and argue for the vitalness of this sort of work. Moreover, I suggest that there is a strong connection between digital scholarship and social knowledge creation. I explore the knowledge translation lessons that other fields might have for the humanities and include a journalist–humanist case study to this end. I also argue for the value of producing research output in many different forms and formats. Finally, I propose that there are benefits to explicitly popularizing the humanities. In sum, this dissertation speculates on past, current, and future scholarly communication activities, and proposes that such activities might be opened up for wider engagement and, thus, social benefit.

Open Access agreements with smaller publishers require active cross-stakeholder alignment, report says | Plan S

“Open Access agreements between consortia/libraries and smaller independent publishers are used worldwide increasingly since 2020, signalling a potential for further growth, highlights an independent report released today (June 9, 2021) by Information Power. The report was commissioned by cOAlition S and the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) as a follow up on the outcomes of the Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S (SPA-OPS) project, published in autumn 2019.

The report indicates that during 2020 there was a clear increase in the number of open access (OA) articles published in hybrid journals, which reverses the downward trend between 2016 – 2019, and deems likely a further increase over the next few years, partly driven by new OA agreements.

Smaller independent publishers – for example, society publishers without a larger publishing partner, university presses, library presses, and small independent commercial presses – support open science, and they would like the journal articles that they publish to be open to people all over the world. However, due to their scale, a full transition to OA is a serious challenge. A single OA agreement with an institution is much easier for a smaller independent publisher to administer than many article transactions, unless of course each library or consortium wants a different sort of agreement. Libraries and consortia invest hugely in making agreements with publishers happen; however, there can be far less awareness within these organizations of how challenging the agreements are to implement highlights the report.

Practical collaboration in a number of targeted areas is needed to align on shared principles, license language, data exchange, and workflows, followed by engagement with standards bodies, intermediaries, and platform providers to ensure these can become embedded in practice.

The transition to OA requires change on the part of all stakeholders. The report argues it is particularly crucial that active cross-stakeholder alignment focuses on enabling smaller independent publishers to transition successfully. Among other things, the authors strongly recommend funders take steps to enable universities to aggregate all their expenditure with publishers via the library. They also encourage publishers who closely link the price of OA agreements to article volume to think carefully about more equitable models….”