Diversity, sustainability and quality must be the hallmarks of academic publishing in Europe – The Guild

“Ahead of the June Competitiveness Council, where the ministers will be invited to adopt conclusions on research assessment and implementation of Open Science policies, The Guild urges the member states to ensure that Open Access serves science, not publishers.

While research excellence requires free flow of knowledge, some Open Access strategies and models increase the financial burden on research institutions. Article Processing Charges (APCs), used by some of the Open Access journals, exacerbate the unsustainable situation of journal spending in university libraries and create unequal access to knowledge. Greater transparency on the publication costs for Open Access journals, and fair and transparent contractual arrangements with publishers are crucial for monitoring the proper use of public research funding.

It is important to develop alternative and sustainable non-APC Open Access models. The Guild calls for the member states to support the development and uptake of Diamond Open Access journals and platforms which consist often of community-driven, and academic-led and owned publishing initiatives. Unlike other Open Access models, Diamond Open Access journals and platforms do not charge any fees from the authors or readers. Thus, they can further empower researchers to disseminate their research results, ensuring bibliodiversity and vital academic publishing….”

Diversity, sustainability and quality must be the hallmarks of academic publishing in Europe – The Guild

“Ahead of the June Competitiveness Council, where the ministers will be invited to adopt conclusions on research assessment and implementation of Open Science policies, The Guild urges the member states to ensure that Open Access serves science, not publishers.

While research excellence requires free flow of knowledge, some Open Access strategies and models increase the financial burden on research institutions. Article Processing Charges (APCs), used by some of the Open Access journals, exacerbate the unsustainable situation of journal spending in university libraries and create unequal access to knowledge. Greater transparency on the publication costs for Open Access journals, and fair and transparent contractual arrangements with publishers are crucial for monitoring the proper use of public research funding.

It is important to develop alternative and sustainable non-APC Open Access models. The Guild calls for the member states to support the development and uptake of Diamond Open Access journals and platforms which consist often of community-driven, and academic-led and owned publishing initiatives. Unlike other Open Access models, Diamond Open Access journals and platforms do not charge any fees from the authors or readers. Thus, they can further empower researchers to disseminate their research results, ensuring bibliodiversity and vital academic publishing….”

News – OLH annual report 2021

“The Open Library of Humanities is an award-winning, academic-led, diamond open-access publisher of 28 journals based in the Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. We are part of a community of scholar-led, community-owned and non-profit publishing ecosystem that are exploring different business models and innovative approaches to open access publishing that are adapted to the needs, in this case, of academics in the humanities. The platform was launched in 2015 by Birkbeck academics Professor Martin Eve and Dr Caroline Edwards and has been operating as an independent charity until May 2021, which is when the platform merged with the university. The decision to merge was taken, specifically, to protect the “academic-led” quality of the organisation and to protect the charity from financial and personnel risks.

With initial funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and subsequent support from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Professor Peter Baldwin, the platform currently covers its costs by payments from an international library consortium, rather than any author fee. This funding mechanism enables equitable open access in the humanities disciplines, with charges neither to readers nor authors….

Part of the OLH model that makes it so appealing lies in our journal ‘flipping’ programme, where we have sought to convert existing subscription titles to an open access model without fees. In September 2021 OLH re-opened its journal flipping programme and remains open to expressions of interest from subscription journals in the humanities seeking to move to a gold open access (OA) publishing model without author-facing charges (‘diamond’ OA). …”

Dismantling the ivory tower’s knowledge boundaries

“The major shift to open access during the pandemic began with the Free Read initiative, which launched the petition “

Unlock Coronavirus Research” for scientists in early February of 2020 and to which highly reputable medical publishers quickly responded. Before the pandemic, up to 75 percent of scholarly publications were behind a paywall. By comparison, a preliminary study of over 5,600 articles on PubMed suggests that more than 95 percent of scholarly articles related to COVID-19 are now freely available. This increase in accessibility resulted from the rapid adaptation by biomedical journals and publishers, including Elsevier, Springer Nature, Cell Press, New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet. These journals and publishers granted open access to research on COVID-19 research, often making it 

immediately accessible on the platform PubMed Central and similar public repositories. Free and open access to COVID-19 research quickly became the new normal for biomedicine, with available findings directly impacting the development of treatment protocols and vaccines. Yet the pandemic became more than a health crisis. Understanding the social, psychological, and economic implications of the pandemic were imperative to its continued management.

Social science research, which delivers insights into human behaviors, relationships, and institutions, was instrumental to policymaking and healthcare solution development during the COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of social science research to pandemic management was demonstrated by the 

shift in the topic of COVID-19 papers, from the initial focus on disease modeling, hospital mortality, diagnostics, and testing to an increasing focus on topics such as business closure, remote work, geographic mobility and migration, inequality, managerial decision-making, as well as accelerating innovation. Once the basic science on the virus were established, research on creating societal and economic resilience played an even larger role for beating the COVID-19 pandemic. One clear area that demonstrated the importance of social science research in informing COVID-19 management was the rollout of vaccines. Psychological, marketing, and information systems research played a central role in vaccine uptake across communities. A recent report by the National Institutes of Health called for the use of evidence-based strategies, such as 

behavioral nudges and strategic social norms, to increase vaccine uptake….”

 

 

Changing dynamics of scholarly publication: a perspective towards open access publishing and the proposed one nation, one subscription policy of India

Abstract:  In the midst of the most widely used subscription-based publishing model, open access publishing is gaining a foothold in the publishing world. India, as one of the world’s leading producers of scientific information, has seen a considerable escalation in the production of open access knowledge content, which has sparked a scholarly debate towards the availability and accessibility of scholarly knowledge to all. Despite the fact that two major science funding agencies of India, the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology, adopted an open access policy in 2014 to promote green open access to articles produced from publicly financed research projects, academic content still remains out of reach for everyone due to inadequate planning and implementation. Recently the Government of India has proposed a “one nation, one subscription” (ONOS) policy to make scholarly knowledge more accessible to Indian citizens. The study’s primary goal is to look into the open-access situation across many subject groups in India and globally. The aim is to understand whether a blanket subscription policy is the best way to facilitate the accessibility of scholarly knowledge or if subject-specific needs implications of other global OA initiatives are worth considering when implementing the ONOS policy.

Decreasing Costs of Dissemination of Research Results by Publishing in Diamond Open Access Journals – PMC

“As always, you can read these articles for free, with neither you nor your institution having to pay for their access. The authors did not have to pay for publishing their manuscripts either. Food Technology and Biotechnology is a so-called diamond open access journal. It means that its budget is provided by financial supports of public institutions like the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, Croatian Academy of Science and Arts, Croatian Society for Biotechnology, as well as the publisher – Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology of the University of Zagreb. Diamond open access journals constitute a rather small share of scientific journals in science communication spectrum in which the financiers are neither readers (through institutional library subscriptions), nor authors through article processing charges. Although the number of papers published in diamond OA journals is not high, they are often referred to as the publishing model of the future. The financial pattern in which journals are financed by public institutions, ministries or other state bodies like universities or professional associations avoids high charges imposed by private publishers, liberating more funds for direct research costs, or scientific infrastructure. The model is in line with the ultimate intentions announced by the cOAlition S and formulated in Plan S (1), although other business models for scientific publishing are discussed within this plan, as well. At first sight, diamond OA journals seem like the best solution both for the researchers aiming to publish their results without devoting much of their project funds for this purpose, and to those aiming to access them freely and easily. However, public financing may have pitfalls of their own. Stable long-term financing may be a problem for smaller professional associations whose income may vary significantly from year to year and may depend on the current leadership. Such societies may lose motivation to maintain a journal, particularly if it does not gain any income but whose publishing creates a significant expense. Universities and larger societies with higher annual income may prove as more stable financiers as scientific communication is a part of their ’core business’. Indeed, considering technical possibilities and informatics infrastructure in place at most universities, scientific publishing should not present a significant financial burden. Actually, most diamond access journals are indeed funded by universities (2). On the other hand, journals financed by state public institutions like ministries, public foundations or other bodies distributing public funds may depend on the current political option and their changes may lead to different political decisions reflecting on science budgets and, consequently, scientific journal financing. Besides, it should be noted that some of the high budget professional associations create most of their incomes through publishing activities, sometimes engaging large publishers for their journals. For these societies a turn towards diamond open access would require a significant change in the structure of their annual income. Thus, in a system in which a larger segment of scientific results would be published in diamond open access journals, finding stable sources of income would be a difficult but indispensable task for scientific journal publishers. This conclusion has been strongly corroborated by a large study funded by Science Europe in order to gain a better insight in the OA diamond landscape (2). The study estimated the number of diamond open access journals at around 29 000. Most of these journals are not included in DOAJ, they are smaller in size and publish less than 25 papers per year, many of them are issued annually, and most of them belong to social sciences and humanities. The majority of them are published in Europe and South America by small publishers who publish between 1 and 5 journals. More than 70% of diamond OA journals are published by universities, around 15% by publishing companies, while 10% belong to professional associations. Concerning their operation and financing, most diamond open access journals face operational challenges and rely heavily on the efforts of volunteers. As such, they declare a need to develop infrastructure and to increase funding to support their operations. Securing sufficient and stable funding from sources who would not gain profit from publishing may at least partly be facilitated by decreasing the costs and the overall budget of the journal. More than 70% of diamond OA journals have an annual budget lower than 10 000 euro. This, however, contradicts the increasing demands of the scientific community for fast, simple, and high-quality publishing process. A variety of informatics tools designed for handling manuscripts, correspondence among authors, editors and reviewers, as well as on-line publishing with concomitant abandoning printed versions may lead to less expensive dissemination of scientific results. Development of such tools and their distribution among journals, as w

The Rise of Platinum Open Access Journals with Both Impact Factors and Zero Article Processing Charges

It appears that open access (OA) academic publishing is better for science because it provides frictionless access to make significant advancements in knowledge. OA also benefits individual researchers by providing the widest possible audience and concomitant increased citation rates. OA publishing rates are growing fast as increasing numbers of funders demand it and is currently dominated by gold OA (authors pay article processing charges (APCs)). Academics with limited financial resources perceive they must choose between publishing behind pay walls or using research funds for OA publishing. Worse, many new OA journals with low APCs did not have impact factors, which reduces OA selection for tenure track professors. Such unpleasant choices may be dissolving. This article provides analysis with a free and open source python script to collate all journals with impact factors with the now more than 12,000 OA journals that are truly platinum OA (neither the author nor the readers pay for the peer-reviewed work). The results found platinum OA is growing faster than both academic publishing and OA publishing. There are now over 350 platinum OA journals with impact factors over a wide variety of academic disciplines, giving most academics options for OA with no APCs.

The CNRS encourages its scientists to no longer pay to be published | CNRS

As part of the CNRS open science policy, scientific articles must be available in open access. The CNRS encourages its researchers to turn to free publication models for both authors and readers. Deputy Director General for Science, Alain Schuhl details these recommendations.

 

Alternative Publishing Platforms · Alternative Publishing Platforms

“In the title of the activity and this scoping paper we use the term ‘alternative’ with which we precisely envision those publishing platforms and projects that follow different paths (e.g. in equitable publishing models, quality control, technical features, open source, iterative publishing workflows, etc.) compared to the already mentioned legacy publishers. Although we use the term alternative, we recognize that this can also lead to narrowing or even ambiguity. Where necessary, we try to address this in the right way or to make it explicit in our results.

Alternative forms of publication have been explored by multiple stakeholders in the last two decades, with open access publishing being the most widely known, which encompasses, for example, the publication of peer-reviewed articles in full open access (with or without article processing charges (APCs)) journals, in hybrid journals (subscription based journals which allow open access publishing upon payment of an APC), or via deposit of the research output in a repository (green route). One issue that has emerged from making research findings publicly available for free is that a large commercial sector has relied on journal publishing as a income stream with often large profit margins. These commercial players have developed considerable power over academia because academic research assessment has become intrinsically entangled with journal publications, making them almost the be-all and end-all for researchers. Hence research organisations spend large proportions of their budgets on access to journal publications, through academics themselves paying for APCs or research organisations signing up to transformative agreements)….

Not all diamond journals can be considered as alternative publishing (platforms), but diamond journals can definitely make use of alternative publishing platforms such as infrastructure (including new, more inclusive, governance models). In addition, alternative publishing platforms can have diamond models. The connection between diamond journals and alternative publishing platforms is that they both can play a role in fulfilling the need that is felt for a form of open access that is characterised by lowering costs and keeping control of publishing, in terms of public and academic led governance. In addition to the problem of cost, there are several researchers’ needs which aren’t being met when publishing in traditional journals and why alternative platforms are seeing the light….”

Libraries and Diamond Open Access | The Scholarly Tales: For and by researchers, librarians and other scholarly folk at KU Leuven’s Faculty of Arts

The following is the redacted text of a statement given by Demmy Verbeke at the “The Diamond Open Access Model: what impact on research?” webinar organized by Academia Europaea Cardiff, KU Leuven Libraries and the Young Academy of Europe on March 28, 2022.

 

France’s Scientific Publishers Back an ‘Open Science’ Report

 

The scientific and academic publishers of the Syndicat national de l’édition (SNE-France) and the Fédération Nationale de la Presse Spécialisée (FNPS) today (April 8) have welcomed the findings and recommendations of a report on open science.

 

The study was made by a parliamentary office for scientific evaluation, and its findings were first made in preliminary form on March 11.

These two reports recognize the essential role of private and public scientific publishers in publication and distribution of research results. They recommend a balanced approach to French open-science policy that guarantees pluralism and diversity, “respects the prerogatives of parliament,” and preserves the fundamental legal bases of copyright and academic freedom.

 

Information for publishers about the Open Access Community Framework

“We have developed the open access community framework (OACF) to provide an efficient way for publishers offering innovative open access (OA) content models to seek financial support from our institutional members. The OACF also reflects interest from our members in supporting a more diverse range of OA content providers and initiatives and aligns with our view that diversity is at the core of a well-functioning scholarly communication market. By presenting options via the framework the OACF helps institutions make strategic decisions about the use of their funds, e.g., OA or collections budgets, towards new content initiatives. We are piloting the OACF during 2022….”

LYROpen Fair Session 2: Exploring Open Content | LYRASIS @ Aviary

 

There are myriad models for supporting open publications, and keeping track of all the terminology can feel overwhelming. What is the difference between green, gold and diamond OA? Is Subscribe to Open the same thing as Opening the Future? And what exactly do people mean when they talk about transformative agreements?

No one model can sustainably transition all scholarly content to open, so in this session we will attempt to remove confusion surrounding the various options being offered to libraries. In this introductory webinar the presenters will simply and clearly explain the different revenue models for supporting open content, specifically related to electronic open books and open journals, as well as provide an overview of which models are currently being supported through LYRASIS Open initiatives. Handouts will be distributed during this session as a reference guide for future decision making.

Koala

“In the KOALA [Konsortiale Open-Access-Lösungen aufbauen] project, consortial solutions for financing open access are being established. Collaborative funding of open access journals and book series by academic libraries is an alternative to the dominant APC model (article processing charges), where articles are paid for individually by authors or their institutions. During the project period, the TIB will work with the Communication, Information, Media Centre (KIM) of the University of Konstanz to establish at least one corresponding consortium as a funding partner for open access periodicals. Within this framework, further analyses will be carried out and conversions of periodicals to open access will be accompanied. In addition, a central helpdesk for editors who need help with the transition to open access or with finding sustainable funding will be created. The infrastructure created by KOALA enables fair and sustainable financing of quality-assured open access publications. It contributes to removing financial hurdles for authors and thus facilitates participation in open access publications.”