Guest Post – APC Waiver Policies; A Job Half-done? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Most, if not all, open access publishers offer to waive publication charges (of whatever flavor) for researchers in lower and middle-income countries (LMICs) without access to funds to pay them. After all, no-one wants to see open access actually increasing barriers and reducing diversity and inclusion in direct opposition to one of its fundamental objectives. However, as an echo of the “build it and they will come” mentality, waiver policies may end up failing to achieve their intended outcome if they are poorly constructed and communicated to their intended beneficiaries. A recent study by INASP revealed that fully 60% of respondents to an AuthorAID survey had paid Article Processing Charges (APCs) from their own pockets, despite the widespread availability of waivers. This could be due to internal organizational bureaucracy but more likely to the lack of awareness and understanding of APC waivers and how to claim them.

A White Paper published jointly by STM and Elsevier’s International Center for the Study of Research in September 2020 on how to achieve an equitable transition to open access included a specific recommendation to make publisher policies on APC waivers more consistent and more transparent. The authors commented, “Even though this business model may turn out to be an interim step on the road to universal open access, it is likely to persist for several years to come and may unwittingly end up preventing much important research from reaching its intended audience.”…”

Guest Post – Trends, Challenges, and Needs of Research in the Global South: Learnings as Research4Life Turns 20 – The Scholarly Kitchen

Access to research knowledge is essential for developing new research and for informed policy decisions. But access to knowledge is not equal around the world; researchers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are significantly disadvantaged by access challenges. This was the burning problem that Research4Life was set up to address, 20 years ago this year as the print to electronic migration was just gaining speed. Launched as Hinari by the World Health Organization (WHO) with 1500 journals from six major publishers, it now offers users up to 132,000 resources from 180 international partners. But partnering with publishers to facilitate access is not enough in itself; the resources have to be used effectively in a way that is relevant to users’ research, implementation and beyond. This is why, every five years Research4Life commissions in-depth reviews of its work to understand how the work of the partnership is experienced from the users’ as well as the partners’ perspectives – looking at its infrastructure, external context or landscape, and user experience. Together, the reviews serve as a solid evidence base for future evolution as Research4Life plans its strategy for the next five years. Our most recent set of evaluations were conducted in 2020-2021.

EIFL agreements result in increased OA publishing | EIFL

“The EIFL Licensing Programme has been negotiating open access agreements with publishers since 2016. These include waived and discounted Article Processing Charges (APCs), as well as free and discounted read & publish terms, and aim to increase the amount of open access publishing output. We currently have 11 agreements with publishers, six of which were signed in 2020. 

Many publishers have APC waiver and discount schemes for authors from developing and transition economy countries. However, publishers’ eligibility criteria can change unexpectedly; hybrid journals are usually excluded, and many researchers are not aware of these schemes as they are not always well publicized….”

Fee-free Open Access publishing in leading biological science journals now available to researchers in developing and transition economy countries

“From Albania to Zimbabwe, researchers in 30 developing and transition economy countries can benefit from immediate and fee-free Open Access publishing in The Company of Biologists’ subscription journals following a Read & Publish agreement with Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL).

This landmark agreement runs until 31 December 2023 and institutional members of EIFL-partner library consortia in eligible countries can participate free of charge.

Researchers in eligible countries will be able to publish an uncapped number of Open Access research articles in Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology without paying an article processing charge (APC). They will also benefit from free and unlimited access to the journals and their archives dating back to 1853….”

Open access ‘excludes’ developing world scientists – SciDev.Net

“Pay-to-publish models adopted by science journals ‘exacerbate the exclusion of researchers from the global South’.

Open access publishing is excluding many developing world scientists as complex fee waiver systems fall short, say leading researchers….”

Rights, sharing, and embargo policies

“Cell Press supports responsible sharing. We recognize that authors want to share their papers and we encourage this. Find out how you can share your paper here: www.elsevier.com/sharing-articles .

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There are, however, some differences between Elsevier’s general policies and those of Cell Press. Most Cell Press articles are under a press embargo until the article is published because we generate substantial media coverage for relevant articles….

We are happy to consider manuscripts previously posted on preprint servers such as arXiv(opens in a new window), bioRxiv(opens in a new window), BioRN(opens in a new window), ChiRxiv(opens in a new window), ChiRN(opens in a new window), or SSRN(opens in a new window). Some of our journals, including Cell Genomics, Cell Reports, Current Biology, and iScience, also support direct submission of manuscripts from bioRxiv and/or medRxiv via transfer of manuscript files and metadata to the journal’s Editorial Manager site. Our support for posting of preprints only applies to the original submitted version of the manuscript; we do not support posting to preprint servers revisions that respond to editorial input and peer review or final accepted manuscripts….

For authors submitting from January 2021 onwards all Cell Press journals offer an open access publishing option. We have a range of journals that are either full open access, where all articles are published on an open access basis, or hybrid open access, which offer a choice between subscription and open access publishing.

Authors of papers published by Cell Press can share their accepted manuscript (the post-peer-review version that does not incorporate copy editing and proofing) via non-commercial hosting platforms, such as their institutional repository, after a posting embargo period has elapsed (this is distinct from the press embargo mentioned above)….

Cell Press open access and hybrid research journals support open access publication for groups of authors from Research4Life (R4L) countries. For papers where all of the authors are from a Group A and/or Group B R4L country we will grant a waiver or discount of the standard publishing fee, as appropriate. For fully open access journals the R4L eligibility check will be automatic. For hybrid journals please highlight your situation to the journal team during the submission process so we can adjust accordingly….”

Statement on Copyright and Proposal of a Waiver from Certain Provisions of the TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19 (IP/C/W/669)

“We support the work and interests of millions of researchers, educators, libraries, archives and museums around the world who are contributing to the prevention, containment and treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic through promotion of access to knowledge. We applaud the efforts of World Trade Organization (WTO) Members to address copyright barriers to an equitable response to COVID-19. Access to copyrighted works, in addition to patents and know-how, is needed to prevent and contain COVID-19 and to develop treatments. COVID-19 has aggravated deep inequalities in access to knowledge. In some countries with flexible copyright systems, residents are able to access and use essential materials in remote educational, learning and research activities, virtually access and use the collections of libraries and other institutions, and contribute to research on treatments using advanced processes such as text and data mining. But these activities are not taking place everywhere because they are not lawful everywhere….”

Six Questions (with Answers!) about UC’s and Elsevier’s New Transformative Deal – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As is so often the case with transformative deals, this one is complex; it’s also somewhat controversial, and the scholarly communication discussion space has been buzzing with questions. The good news is that the UC-Elsevier MOU is publicly available and it answers quite a few of them — while also fully illustrating the complexity of the deal.

Here I’d like to focus on six questions that I’ve had about the new UC-Elsevier deal, and share the answers I was able to find….”

Copyright ownership policy FAQs | UC Copyright

“22. How does this [new copyright] policy interact with UC’s Open Access policies?

This policy determines copyright ownership, while UC’s Open Access (OA) policies have no bearing on the copyright ownership determination. For example, the Academic Senate OA policy states: “This policy does not transfer copyright ownership, which remains with Faculty authors under existing University of California policy.” The copyright ownership determination arising out of this Copyright Ownership Policy does, however, have some impact on certain provisions of the OA policies. For example, the Presidential OA policy for non-Academic Senate employees outlines different procedures for obtaining waivers depending on whether the author owns the copyright in their scholarly articles, as determined by “the 1992 UC Copyright Policy or its successor.” Under the revised Copyright Ownership Policy, more academic authors likely will own the copyright in their scholarly articles, but this policy does not change anything in the OA policies themselves….”

Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation

Abstract:  This article investigates whether it is economically feasible for a large publishing house to waive article processing charges for the group of 47 so-called least developed countries (LDC). As an example, Springer Nature is selected. The analysis is based on the Web of Science, OpenAPC and the Jisc Collections’ Springer Compact journal list. As a result, it estimates an average yearly publication output of 520 publications (or 0.26% of the worldwide publication output in Springer Nature journals) for the LDC country group. The loss of revenues for Springer Nature would be US$1.1 million if a waiver was applied for all of these countries. Given that the subject categories of these publications indicate the output is of high societal relevance for LDC, and given that money is indispensable for development in these countries (e.g. life expectancy, health, education), it is not only desirable but also possible in economic terms for a publisher like Springer Nature to waive APCs for these countries without much loss in revenues.

 

Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation

Abstract:  This article investigates whether it is economically feasible for a large publishing house to waive article processing charges for the group of 47 so-called least developed countries (LDC). As an example, Springer Nature is selected. The analysis is based on the Web of Science, OpenAPC and the Jisc Collections’ Springer Compact journal list. As a result, it estimates an average yearly publication output of 520 publications (or 0.26% of the worldwide publication output in Springer Nature journals) for the LDC country group. The loss of revenues for Springer Nature would be US$1.1 million if a waiver was applied for all of these countries. Given that the subject categories of these publications indicate the output is of high societal relevance for LDC, and given that money is indispensable for development in these countries (e.g. life expectancy, health, education), it is not only desirable but also possible in economic terms for a publisher like Springer Nature to waive APCs for these countries without much loss in revenues.

 

University of Arkansas Open Access Policy | Office of the Provost | University of Arkansas

“Faculty members are encouraged to submit scholarly articles to the University of Arkansas for deposit in an open access institutional repository.  For each article submitted to the institutional repository and subject to the license revocation exclusion set out in paragraph 3 below, each faculty member would grant non-exclusive distribution rights for the article to the University of Arkansas.  This grant of non-exclusive distribution rights would transfer from the faculty member to the University of Arkansas a nonexclusive, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to the article, in any medium, provided that the article is not sold for a profit, nor that the University of Arkansas would gain any right to authorize others to do the same….”

Open-access fees creating ‘a crisis’ for African research – Research Professional News

“The fees that some open access journals charge scientists to publish—known as article processing charges, or APCs—are keeping African researchers out of top publications, an editorial in BMJ Global Health has warned. 

“The stifling effect of APCs on publications [by African researchers] must now be considered a crisis,” it says. 

The editorial was written by four African health researchers who are based in Congo, South Africa and Australia. It appeared in the journal’s September issue.

On average, APCs are in the US$1,250-US$2,225 range, they write, but for top journals the fee can rise to US$5,000.

Partial and full fee waivers exist for researchers in Africa. But there are caveats, the authors write. Researchers may be based in a country with a per capita income above the waiver threshold, but where government support for science is paltry. Or they can be ineligible for waivers because they have partners in high-income countries….”

Article processing charges are stalling the progress of African researchers: a call for urgent reforms | BMJ Global Health

 

Introduction

The recognition and progression of an academic or research career is hinged on the number and quality of publications in high-impact journals. Open access publication, especially in high-impact journals, confers a significant citation (ie, recognition and progression) advantage. However, there is increasing demand for publication fees or article processing charges (APCs), by high-impact open access journals. Where does this leave African researchers who earn too little (personal income or research grants) to publish in such top-tier open access journals? Already, Africa contributes much too little (1.3% in one estimate) to research publication output globally, of which 52% are accounted for by just three middle-income countries—South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

The local and global challenges that limit the publication and citation potential of African researchers are well known. For example, at the local level, there are very few full-time researchers (5 per million people in low-income countries vs 363 per million people in high-income countries), with weak investment in research (and academic writing) capacity, research infrastructure and research governance. And at the global level, there are exploitative international research collaborations, gender constraints affecting female researchers and inability to attract global research funding. Now, APCs are systematically excluding African researchers from publishing in high-impact open access journals. Researchers in Africa are typically not in a position to win or have access to grants that cover APCs as eligible research expenditure.

[…]

Brock University Open Access Policy – Brock University Library

“3. Brock Scholars are expected to deposit an electronic copy of their academic journal articles in Brock’s Open Access Repository (“Brock University Digital Repository”) by the date of publication. If needed, articles may be embargoed within the repository upon deposit to meet time periods required by publishers.

4. Each Brock Scholar who deposits their academic journal articles in the Brock University Digital Repository grants the University the non-exclusive permission to archive and disseminate those articles through the Repository, provided that the articles are properly attributed to the authors, and that dissemination is for non-commercial purposes only.

5. Brock Scholars who choose not to deposit an academic journal article in the Brock University Digital Repository shall notify the University Library through the opt-out form made available through the Brock University Library….”