Wiley and CzechELib Sign First Open Access Agreement in Czech Republic | John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

“Wiley, one of the world’s largest publishers and a global leader in research and education, today announced an open access agreement with Czech National Library of Technology (NTK) (CzechELib).

The four-year agreement will provide CzechELib participants access to view and publish in Wiley’s complete hybrid journal portfolio, which includes 1,400 journals, beginning January 16, 2023. Wiley is pioneering the open access movement in Czech Republic, being one of the first publishers to sign an open access agreement within the country. Participating researchers will be able to publish nearly 650 articles open access within the first year….”

Does it pay to pay? A comparison of the benefits of open-access publishing across various sub-fields in Biology | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Authors are often faced with the decision of whether to maximize impact or minimize costs when publishing the results of their research. For example, to potentially improve impact via increased accessibility, many subscription-based journals now offer the option of paying a fee to publish open access (i.e., hybrid journals), but this solution excludes authors who lack the capacity to pay to make their research accessible. Here, we tested if paying to publish open access in a subscriptionbased journal benefited authors by conferring more citations relative to closed access articles. We identified 146,415 articles published in 152 hybrid journals in the field of biology from 2013-2018 to compare the number of citations between various types of open access and closed access articles. In a simple generalized linear model analysis of our full dataset, we found that publishing open access in hybrid journals that offer the option confers an average citation advantage to authors of 17.8 citations compared to closed access articles in similar journals. After taking into account the number of authors, journal impact, year of publication, and subject area, we still found that open access generated significantly more citations than closed access (p < 0.0001). However, results were complex, with exact differences in citation rates among access types impacted by these other variables. This citation advantage based on access type was even similar when comparing open and closed access articles published in the same issue of a journal (p < 0.0001). However, by examining articles where the authors paid an article processing charge, we found that cost itself was not predictive of citation rates (p = 0.14). Based on our findings of access type and other model parameters, we suggest that, in most cases, paying for access does confer a citation advantage. For authors with limited budgets, we recommend pursuing open access alternatives that do not require paying a fee as they still yielded more citations than closed access. For authors who are considering where to submit their next article, we offer additional suggestions on how to balance exposure via citations with publishing costs.


IEEE Commits its Entire Hybrid Journal Portfolio to Transformative Journal Status Aligned with Plan S

IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, announced today that it has committed its full portfolio of more than 160 hybrid journals, which publish both open access and subscription-based content, to become Transformative Journals under Plan S.

This commitment means that any authors receiving research grants from Coalition S, a group of research funders, are compliant with Plan S requirements when publishing their research articles in any IEEE fully open access or hybrid journals. In addition to the existing direct open access agreements with hundreds of institutions, all of IEEE’s hybrid journals now qualify as ‘Transformative Journals’ under Plan S.

IEEE Commits its Entire Hybrid Journal Portfolio to Transformative Journal Status Aligned with Plan S | STM Publishing News

“IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, announced today that it has committed its full portfolio of more than 160 hybrid journals, which publish both open access and subscription-based content, to become Transformative Journals under Plan S. 

This commitment means that any authors receiving research grants from Coalition S, a group of research funders, are compliant with Plan S requirements when publishing their research articles in any IEEE fully open access or hybrid journals. In addition to the existing direct open access agreements with hundreds of institutions, all of IEEE’s hybrid journals now qualify as ‘Transformative Journals’ under Plan S….”

Speculation on the Most Likely OSTP Nelson Memo Implementation Scenario and the Resulting Publisher Strategies – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Unlike Plan S, this is not a policy intended to regulate (or radically reshape) an industry. That is beyond the goal or remit of the Nelson Memo, even if it will impact some business models. What it does is to regulate the conditions required for a researcher to receive federal research funding, and that is where implementation will focus. It will set requirements on funded researchers, not pick a business model that publishers must follow. On this point, the policies will be agnostic, even if they have impact. The difference is important. Implementation plans will specify an end state, and likely say little (if anything) about the route to that end state. That will be left up to the researcher and their service providers (e.g., publishers) to sort out.

Second, one must look at the policy implementations that are currently in place as a result of the Holdren Memo. Presently, funded authors must ensure that a copy of at least the Accepted Manuscript (AM) version of the paper (or better) is deposited in their funder’s designated repository and made publicly available at or before the time when the allowable embargo period, currently 12 months, expires. Funding agencies, particularly the large agencies covered by the Holdren Memo, are conservative organizations, and given that there is currently no additional funding available to support this new policy and that they already have successful infrastructure in place, Occam’s Razor points to the most likely solution as “more of the same, just sooner”….

Again, the Nelson Memo guidance is explicitly agnostic with regard to business models. An insistence on CC BY would most likely eliminate many potential routes to compliance and result in driving things toward the article processing charge (APC) Gold OA model. By leaving out licensing requirements, a broader slate of more equitable routes come into play….

This suggests that APC-driven Gold OA, with its many inequities, may well end up as the dominant route to compliance, largely by default if no other alternatives are sustainable. In some fields Green OA may not be an option for authors if most publishers decide that they have to flip to Gold OA in order to survive.”


Understanding differences of the OA uptake within the German university landscape (2010-2020). Part 1: journal-based OA

Abstract:  This study investigates the determinants for the uptake of Full and Hybrid Open Access (OA) in the university landscape of Germany. It adapts the governance equaliser as a heuristic for this purpose and distinguishes between three factors: The disciplinary profile (academic self-governance), infrastructures and services of universities that aim to support OA (managerial self-governance) and large transformative agreements (part of state regulation). The uptake of OA, the influence of the disciplinary profile of universities and the influence of transformative agreements is measured by combining several data sources (incl. Web of Science, Unpaywall, an authority file of standardised German affiliation information, the ISSN-Gold-OA 4.0 list, and lists of publications covered by transformative agreements). For managerial self-governance, a structured data collection was created by harvesting different sources of information and by manual online search. To determine the explanatory power of the different factors, a series of regression analyses was performed for different periods and for both Full as well as Hybrid OA. As a result of the regression analyses, the most determining factor for the explanation of differences in the uptake of both OA-types turned out to be academic self-governance. For the year 2020, Hybrid OA transformative agreements have become a second relevant factor. However, all variables that reflect local infrastructural support and services for OA (managerial self-governance) turned out to be non-significant. To deepen the understanding of the adoption of OA on the level of institutions, the outcomes of the regression analyses are contextualised by an interview study conducted with 20 OA officers of German universities.


The Oligopoly’s Shift to Open Access. How For-Profit Publishers Benefit from Article Processing Charges | Zenodo

Butler, Leigh-Ann, Matthias, Lisa, Simard, Marc-André, Mongeon, Philippe, & Haustein, Stefanie. (2022). The Oligopoly’s Shift to Open Access. How For-Profit Publishers Benefit from Article Processing Charges (Version v1). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7057144 Abstract: This study aims to estimate the total amount of article processing charges (APCs) paid to publish open access (OA) in journals controlled by the large commercial publishers Elsevier, Sage, Springer-Nature, Taylor & Francis and Wiley, the so-called oligopoly of academic publishing. Since the early 2010s, these five academic publishers control more than half of peer-reviewed journal articles indexed in the Web of Science (WoS), expanding their market power through acquisitions and mergers. While traditionally their business model focused on charging subscriptions to read articles, they have now shifted to OA, charging authors fees for publishing. These APCs often amount to several thousand dollars, excluding many from publishing on economic grounds. This study computes an estimate of the total amounts of APCs paid to oligopoly publishers between 2015 and 2018, using publication data from WoS, OA status from Unpaywall and annual APC prices from open datasets and historical fees retrieved via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. We estimate that globally authors paid the oligopoly of academic publishers $1.06 billion in publication fees in the 4-year period analyzed. Of the 505,903 OA articles analyzed, 60.9% were published in gold OA journals, 8.6% in diamond (gold with APC=$0) and 30.5% in hybrid journals. Revenue from gold OA amounted to $612.5 million, while $448.3 million was obtained for publishing OA in hybrid journals, for which publishers already charge subscription fees. Among the five publishers, Springer-Nature made the largest revenue from OA ($589.7 million), followed by Elsevier ($221.4 million), Wiley ($114.3 million), Taylor & Francis ($76.8 million) and Sage ($31.6 million). With Elsevier and Wiley making the majority of APC revenue from hybrid fees and others focusing on gold, different OA strategies could be observed between publishers.

Determinants of article processing charges for hybrid and gold open access journals | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

While the number of hybrid journals has increased with the conversion from subscription journals, article processing charges (APCs) have not been examined as frequently as gold open access journals. This study compared the factors affecting APCs for hybrid and gold open access journals by formulating a charge equation.


This study examined the APCs for 1,354 hybrid and gold open access journals in the Springer imprint. Using the ordinary least squares method, it investigated the determinants of charges, including the relationship between subscription prices and APCs for hybrid journals.


The results revealed that the charges set by hybrid journals were higher than those set by gold open access journals by US$1,620, after controlling for other variables. A reason could be the oligopolistic market structure of the leading publishers. Although the publisher imprint set the APCs based on the journal characteristics, the difference in the determinants of the charges between the two journal types may be due to the business models specific to the journal types.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggested that policymakers must consider the market power of leading publishers to establish a healthy scholarly communication market.


This study examined the relationship between subscription prices and charges for hybrid journals as well as the determinants of charges for both journal types, considering various characteristics of individual journals.

The oligopoly’s shift to open access publishing: How for-profit publishers benefit from gold and hybrid article processing charges | Proceedings of the Annual Conference of CAIS / Actes du congrès annuel de l’ACSI

Abstract:  This study estimates fees paid for gold and hybrid open access articles in journals published by the oligopoly of academic publishers, which acknowledge funding from the Canadian Tri-Agency. It employs bibliometric methods using data from Web of Science, Unpaywall, open datasets of article processing charges list prices as well as historical fees retrieved via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine for journals published by Elsevier, Springer-Nature, Wiley, Sage and Taylor & Francis to estimate article processing charges for open access articles published between 2015 and 2018 that acknowledge funding from the Canadian Federal funding agencies CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC, as well as grants jointly administered by the Tri-Agency. During the four-year period analyzed, a total of 6,892 gold and 4,097 hybrid articles that acknowledge Tri-Agency funding were identified, for which the total list prices amount to $US 27.6 million.


Analysing Open Access publishing beyond Plan S: Motivations for publishing in Hybrid and Bronze OA formats | Zenodo

Abstract:  Recently, the discussion of OA publishing has been dominated by the consideration of potential effects of Plan-S on scholarly publishing. Part of the debate centred on the academic freedom and autonomy of researchers to self-select in which journals they publish their findings, as journals labelled as Hybrid under Plan-S are no longer eligible for publishing (except in cases where publishers agree to transformative agreements on their portfolios). The publisher’s own choices on opening publications, through Bronze OA, is also in need of further debate. With that in mind, this study made a first attempt to understand motivations behind Hybrid and Bronze choices, especially in face of Plan-S restrictions….

Files are currently under embargo but will be publicly accessible after September 7, 2022.


Monitoring the transition to open access through its mode of implementation: A principal component analysis of two surveys | PLOS ONE

Open access (OA) is transforming scholarly communication. Various modes of OA implementation have emerged, which reflect the complexity surrounding OA development. This study aimed to examine this development from the perspective of how OA is implemented. The sample comprised 2,368 randomly selected articles published in 2013 and 2,999 published in 2018 indexed in the Web of Science. We also conducted searches in Google and Google Scholar in 2015 for articles published in 2013 and in 2020 for articles published in 2018. Selected articles were categorized as either an “OA article,” “electronic subscription journal article,” or “not available online.” OA articles were classified into 10 implementation modes: Gold, Hybrid, Delayed, Bronze, Subject Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Personal/Institutional Websites, Academic Social Networks (ASNs), Others, and Web Aggregator. Overall, 56.5% of all sampled articles in 2013 were available for free on at least one website in 2015, while 61.7% of all sampled articles in 2018 were freely available on at least one website in 2020. Concerning implementation mode, ASNs had the highest frequency (44.4% in 2015 and 56.0% in 2020), followed by Subject Repositories (35.0% in 2015 and 39.6% in 2020) and Gold (24.1% in 2015 and 37.4% in 2020). To obtain an overview of OA implementation, we conducted principal component analysis with OA implementation mode as the variable for both 2015 and 2020. The first principal component was the axis indicating the number of overlapping OA implementations for each article in 2015 and 2020, while the second principal component was the axis orthogonal to the first, which was difficult to interpret. We identified three groups of OA implementation in each plot of the principal component scores for articles in 2015 and 2020; however, the OA implementation of each group differed in 2015 and 2020. This diversity reflects the respective positions of various stakeholders regarding OA.



Transformative? | Clarke & Esposito

“cOAlition S has released a report analyzing the first year of the Transformative Journal (TJ) program. As a reminder, TJs (not to be confused with TAs, or Transformative Agreements) are individual hybrid journals that have agreed to (try to) show an “annual increase in the proportion of open access (OA) research content of at least 5% points in absolute terms, and at least 15% in relative terms, year-on-year.” The journal must also publicly agree to flip to OA when 75% of its research content is published OA. These promises allow the hybrid journal to be considered compliant with Plan S and eligible for article processing charge (APC) funds.

The report shows that more than half (56%) of the 2,304 journals in the program did not meet their first-year OA targets. The coalition has extended its requirements another year, keeping all TJs in the program (although they must meet year 2 targets calculated as if the journal had met its year 1 numbers). 
Removing 56% of the journals would result in 1,290 fewer publication venues for Plan S-funded researchers, which is perhaps part of the reason for the extension. 

Notably, many of the TJs have failed to meet another cOAlition S requirement: a public statement showing how the presence of OA articles has reduced the subscription price of the journal. Elsevier and Springer Nature (182 and 1,714 TJs, respectively) instead have offered “a more generic, anti-double dipping statement,” which apparently has been accepted for 2021, but will not fly for 2022. This raises the question of how a publisher would practically be able to show such a metric. …”


It is not transformation if nothing changes – Science & research news | Frontiers

“The substantial benefits of open access (OA) publishing are within our reach, but legacy publishers are employing commercial tactics to delay the necessary transition.

This paper exposes several of the negative, often unintended, consequences of “transformative agreements” (TAs).  It argues that these agreements, sold as a pathway to open science, in fact reinforce the status quo.  TAs maintain paywalled access as the standard financial model in publishing.  They are negotiated in the absence of basic competition and procurement rules.  And by concentrating resources into silos for a few incumbents only, they pose a threat to the diversity of the publishing ecosystem, locking out innovators, including the very players who demonstrate the benefits of OA publishing.  Deployed as a commercial tactic, these agreements will stall the establishment of a transparent and competitive marketplace for professional editorial services….:”