Opinion: Open access is not open – The Varsity

“The convenience of accessing open-access science literature for free comes at a cost to the authors themselves. In the case of open-access journals, researchers are required to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) for publishing their accepted work. Furthermore, as an unnamed senior researcher from North America included in a recent study points out, open access may disadvantage authors in institutions lacking in resources. 

In many instances, researchers cannot access or download their own work or that of their colleagues due to paywall restrictions. The lack of accessibility and control over one’s own copyright material and how it is disseminated is a predicament reminiscent of the reason why Taylor Swift decided to claim ownership for her music by re-recording her old albums. …”

Expanding Globally, Listening Locally: Open Science in Africa – The Official PLOS Blog

“PLOS has made big leaps in the past year with the launch of five new journals, piloting business models that will make Open Access publishing more equitable and expanding our global footprint in locally responsible ways to get closer to researchers. 

Our collaboration with the African Association of Universities (AAU) and the Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa) is a visible way we are moving our mission forward and including the broadest range of voices, globally. 

On the 26th April, 2022, we publicly launched this collaboration via a webinar for Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Rectors, Deputy Vice Chancellors, Directors of Research and Directors of Libraries of African Universities. Our partnership will consist of a series of regional workshops across the African continent, focusing on increasing awareness and providing training around Open Science practices and Open Access publishing. …

Some of the main takeaways from these discussions were: 

There is still a lack of awareness overall on what Open Science is, and the implications it has for stakeholders within the scholarly communication ecosystem. 
Particularly, many misconceptions exist around Open Science and Open Access, e.g. the credibility of open peer review. Their benefits need to be clearer for stakeholders: authors, readers, as well as institutional stakeholders such as the Research Offices. 
Academic libraries/librarians are often active in advocating for Open Science and Open Access within their institutions; therefore their involvement is and will be key in progressing adoption. They are, of course, well versed in these topics from their discussions with publishers and their roles with institutional repositories.
There are concerns around cost (article publication charges) and intellectual property rights: if material is open, how can we ensure it is not subject to abuse/manipulation
Incentives for practicing Open Science are not embedded within research assessment and career progression…”

Why does open access make publishing more complicated?

“Open-access publishing is going mainstream. This is sometimes a requirement, but it is also perceived as complex. That’s understandable, considering that OA comes in so many definitions and shades; gold, green, platinum and diamond journals and more shape a moving landscape where different stakeholders push their own agenda.

For researchers, navigating this landscape requires consideration of costs, funding, licences and copyright issues. All these aspects are relatively new compared with the traditional subscription-based system, where researchers would not worry about subscription costs any more than libraries would care about the details of the reviewing process. Redistribution of tasks along the publishing process forces universities and institutions to reorganise their support system. Who can and who should help? And how to do so? …”


Where is Open Access Publishing Heading? – ChemistryViews

“One of the first Gold Open Access (OA) titles published by Wiley, ChemistryOpen, has turned 10 years old! We are celebrating this milestone by taking the opportunity to reflect on the role of Gold OA in the current STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) publishing landscape.

Although many Open Access titles such as ChemistryOpen are now firmly established within chemistry journals, there are still some open questions about this publishing model in the community. This article attempts to address some of these frequently asked questions. Read more on the 10th birthday of ChemistryOpen and the history of the first society-owned Open Access title in general chemistry, the other types of OA publishing models, what is behind the payment of Article Publication Charges (APCs), and how publishing Open Access benefits you and your audience….”

Elena Giglia, Open Science is here to stay — Filologia Classica e Italianistica – Ficlit

“What lessons did we learn from the COVID pandemic? How has the crisis impacted the current scholarly communication system? And, all in all, does the current scholarly communication work? Are you happy with the way your research is evaluated? During this workshop we shall see the reasons why we need Open Science, how it works, and what you can do starting tomorrow to open up every step of your research – without harming your career. We shall also try to overcome common misunderstandings on Open Access, Open Science and FAIR data and we shall discuss the future of research in the EOSC – European Open Science Cloud era.”

Eine postdigitale Bibliothek der Kunstgeschichte – Gespräch mit Golo Maurer von der Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rom (1) – Aus der Forschungs­bibliothek Krekelborn

From Google’s English:  “Open Access (OA) has nothing to do with publishing suddenly becoming free. There are no volunteers doing slave service. If the publication is to have quality, it has to be edited and proofread, it has to be set and provided with illustrations, etc., just as it used to be. The costs only shift, but have to be paid for. The Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) has an interesting financing model: It assumes that one third of the costs will be paid by the MPDL, one third by the publisher and one third by the author. The publisher can pursue a double strategy by offering the online publications in OA mode, but at the same time producing print copies that are subject to a fee. Such are still wanted by some institutions and private individuals.  …

If you, as a non-institutional author, want to publish your contribution OA, either the publisher has to bear all the costs or you share them with the publisher. In this respect, OA is window dressing….”

OA Mythbusters, Episode 7: If I publish my book Open Access, I won’t have control over my work. | Open Access Book Network @ YouTube

Martin Paul Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at the University of London’s Birkbeck College, busts a widespread myth about OA books: If I publish my book Open Access, I won’t have control over my work.

OA Mythbusters episode 3 – YouTube

“John Sherer, Director of The University of North Carolina Press, US busting one of the myths about OA books: Open Access means I can no longer receive royalties from my book.

John Sherer is Director of the University of North Carolina Press (UNC Press). UNC Press also runs Longleaf Services, providing cost-effective fulfilment services for university presses. Longleaf Services also participates in a couple foundation funded initiatives including the Next Generation Library Publishing Project supported by the Arcadia Fund. Longleaf Services also leads the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot (SHMP) which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation which is publishing lots of open access history monographs from over 20 university presses.”

Opinion: In Defense of Preprints | The Scientist Magazine®

“There are two important lessons here. First, the universal availability of the internet and social networks mean that this type of information can be easily disseminated independently of preprints. Second, peer-reviewed journals may not effectively function as gatekeepers: Raoult’s paper was published after alleged peer review despite its flaws and, as of today, still has not been retracted. Preprints provide an opportunity for the scientific community to discuss new work, and indeed many researchers pointed out the flaws in the Raoult manuscript in medRxiv’s comment section and elsewhere. Additionally, the “more-sober analysis” Mullins refers to showing “HCQ has no proven role” was itself a preprint posted to medRxiv in July 2020….

We and the other cofounders of medRxiv are experienced biomedical editors and thus well aware of the challenges presented by biomedical preprints. We recognize the need to balance their undoubted advantages (which have been particularly evident during the pandemic, when they have allowed researchers to quickly share information about promising research avenues and treatments) with the potential drawbacks. medRxiv papers go through extensive screening for dangerous material, and we have previously detailed the reasons for declining certain manuscripts out of an abundance of caution. Meanwhile, as the growth of preprints on bioRxiv and medRxiv demonstrates, the scientific community is becoming acclimatized to a new norm in which research is available for discussion and comment prior to formal review….”

Open Access Publishing: Costs, Benefits and Myths | CSUN University Library

“Open Access Week is a time for both celebration of the open sharing of knowledge and general reflection on the state of academic publishing. In March 2020 the California State University system announced a groundbreaking “transformative” subscription agreement with Elsevier, one of the world’s largest academic publishers of scholarly journals across all disciplines.

The agreement allows CSU campuses fee-free access to CSU faculty’s works published in participating Elsevier Science Direct journals, regardless of subscription status, as well as providing for fee-per-article open-access publishing to our faculty.

As this pilot agreement is up for review in 2021, now may be a good time to reflect upon its impact. Our presenters and panelists will take a deep dive into the outcomes and sustainability of this transformative “Read and Publish-Plus” arrangement….”

81% of Horizon 2020 papers were published in open access journals | Science|Business

“European Commission boasts of high level of open access publishing in Horizon 2020. But researchers complain getting processing fees approved is long winded and could result in them losing out on intellectual property rights….

A large majority of Horizon 2020 researchers complied with the requirement to deposit open access publications in repositories. However, only 39% of Horizon 2020 deposited datasets are findable, with the remainder not including reliable metadata needed to track them down. Only 32% of deposited datasets can be quickly accessed via a link in the metadata….

Since then, the EU has also mandated that all papers coming from projects funded through Horizon Europe, its €95.5 billion research programme, should be published in open access journals.


The study estimates the average cost in Horizon 2020 of publishing an open access article was around €2,200. Processing charges for articles in subscription journals in which some of the articles are open access and some behind a paywall, had a higher average cost of €2,600. Trouble is looming, with charges for such hybrid journals no longer being eligible for funding under Horizon Europe….”

Commentary: The publication pandemic

“The rise of OA and the megajournals has turned out to be a lucrative model for publishing houses.1,2 But is it good for the scientific community as a whole? Opinions on this differ from field to field, with the more translational fields, like biology and medicine, taking a more enthusiastic stance and more fundamental fields, like mathematics and physics, a more skeptical one. (See the commentary by Jason Wright in Physics Today, February 2020, page 10, and reference 3.)

There is also a noticeable generational difference of opinion. Some younger scientists view the trend toward OA scientific journals more favorably than their older colleagues do. …”