Open Access book pilot – Flip it Open

“Welcome to our exciting new Open Access books initiative, Flip it Open. We will publish and sell a selection of 28 books through our regular channels, treating them at the outset in the same way as any other book; they will be part of our library collections for Cambridge Core, as well being sold as hardbacks and ebooks. The one crucial difference is that we are making an upfront commitment that when each of these books meets a set revenue threshold we will make them available to everyone Open Access via Cambridge Core.  

At the point where titles go Open Access, we will also be releasing an affordable paperback edition. Both the digital and paperback new editions will contain a page calling out and thanking the institutions who bought the book at the outset, thereby contributing to its flipping to Open Access.”

DOAJ publisher size analysis: Long-tail and APC charging trends? | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs

Abstract:  The 2021 DOAJ (The Directory of Open Access Journals) publisher group comprises a large number of very small publishers (typically with only one journal), and very few large publishers. Our purpose is to demonstrate publishers’ long-tail tendency and reveal its connection with the tendency of APC (article processing charge) or NO APC publications. As a result, we ascertain a “long-tail” of publisher size in all three groups and a “the smaller, the NO-APCer” tendency.


Commercial Science Journals: A Luxury Market? – SBMT

“SBMT: Why are the “diamond/platinum” journals the least valued by editorial metrics and funding agencies?

Dr. TR Shankar Raman: I have no idea why this should be so. It feels like the academic community has just painted itself into a corner. There are lots of excellent diamond open access journals. The journals published by Indian Academy of Sciences  are a good example (although they have a weird co-publishing arrangement with Springer Nature, the journals and papers can be freely accessed via the Academy website and there are no charges for authors to publish either). Of course, the number of papers that a diamond open access journal may be able to publish may be lower and many are in niche areas of science rather than multi-disciplinary in scope and hence their reach may be lower than what big-budget commercial journals can achieve with their resources. But this only means that diamond open access journals should be supported more to achieve better reach, not shift to commercial publishers. All public and philanthropic funding for science has everything to gain by supporting and mandating publication in diamond open access journals….

SBMT: How to design a policy in defense of Southern science through the promotion of “diamond/platinum” journals?

Dr. TR Shankar Raman: As individuals, we can each take a stand, as I have tried to in my post—that I will not review for or publish in commercial journals, but will especially do so for diamond open access journals. Particularly, senior scientists and leaders in their fields must set an example by publishing, reviewing for, or accepting to be on the boards of diamond open access journals. But this will not go far unless we also collectively work to change overall policy. As a community, we must petition our academies, funders, and science administrators to change policies to give greater recognition to papers published in diamond open access journals. This can trigger a big change: especially if it begins to count towards jobs and promotions in academia. Impact factor should be trashed as outdated, harmful, and retrogressive. Recipients of public funds should be mandated to publish in diamond open access journals published by nonprofit scientific societies as this is the most cost-effective way to spend the available (limited) funds to achieve publication that is freely, openly, and widely accessible, while supporting and advancing science. Other initiatives such as Gold Open Access, self-archiving of submitted final versions, or pay-to-publish APC models are all half measures or discriminate and exclude large numbers of scientists around the world, who cannot pay the large fees involved. Policies should support membership fee support for scholars and new and tenured faculty to join learned academic societies that publish diamond open access journals so that the funds are kept within the community and to advance science rather than feed the profits of commercial companies….”

OLH reopens applications to flip subscription journals to open access | Open Library of Humanities

We are delighted to announce that the Open Library of Humanities is now 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).

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs). We are funded by an international consortium of libraries who have joined us in our mission to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future. Our mission is to support and extend open access to scholarship in the humanities – for free, for everyone, for ever.

The AAS goes for Gold | Published by The Open Journal of Astrophysics

“Yesterday there was a big announcement from the American Astronomical Society (AAS) , namely that all its journals will switch to Open Access from 1st January 2022. This transition will affect the Astronomical Journal (AJ), the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ), Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL), and the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series (ApJS). Previously authors were able to opt for Open Access but from next year it will apply to all papers.

The positive aspect to this change is that it makes articles published by the AAS freely available to the public and other scientists without requiring the payment of a subscription.

On the other hand, these journals will require authors to pay a hefty sum, equivalent to an Article Processing Charge (APC), that increases with the length and complexity of a paper. AAS journals have in the past levied “page charges” from authors for standard (non-OA) publications. In the new regime these are merged into a unified scheme….

What’s on offer is therefore a form of Gold Open Access that switches the cost of publication from subscribers to authors. In my view this level of APC is excessive, which is why I call this Fool’s Gold Open Access. Although the AAS is a not-for-profit organization, its journals are published by the Institute of Physics Publishing which is a definitely-for-profit organization….”

Tectonics and Structural Geology | Tektonika Diamond Open Access Journal

“Tektonika is a community-led Diamond Open Access journal (DOAJ) for tectonics and structural geology launching in early 2022. The journal will publish high quality peer-reviewed research that is free for authors and readers, offering an alternative to long-standing publishing models that conceal knowledge dissemination behind paid subscriptions. Community involvement is at Tektonika’s heart: from policy discussions, to transparent, community-driven decision making, the involvement of the community in all aspects of the journal is key. It will not only ensure the success of the project, but will also shape the most valuable and useful dissemination outlet possible while setting an example of transectionality and EDI….”

Interview with Editor-in-Chief: Professor Qinglong Peng – News – New Techno-Humanities – Journal – Elsevier

“Open access publishing has attracted huge momentum in recent years. Researchers in humanities now have more opportunities to publish as open access, not to mention for colleagues from science and medicine areas. Quite often authors will have to pay a big sum in order to publish open access and I know this may actually pose serious challenges to some of our authors as fundings in humanities studies are still not such common. I am very happy to see that Shanghai Jiao Tong University will fully sponsor the publication of this journal and thus authors do not need to pay for publication. I trust this sponsorship will provide more opportunities for researchers from those under-represented regions and disciplines. Meanwhile, open access will surely improve the visibility of our contributor’s works, expanding naturally their influence in the long run….”

FOASAS: Fair Open Access in South Asian Studies

“Profiteering and restricted access have led to a crisis in academic publishing. The Fair Open Access movement is best promoted by mobilizing individual disciplines. With this manifesto, we, an open group of scholars of classical and modern South Asian Studies, declare our support for Fair Open Access publishing….

The following publishers and journals meet many or all FOA criteria (see §7 of the FOASAS Manifesto). …”


Das | Zenodo

Fokusgruppe (2021). Das Zenodo.

English abstract (via We are the and are working collaboratively for a non-profit publishing culture beyond APCs and BPCs that is independent of major publishers. The manifesto sums up our central critique of the current scholarly publishing system in the German-speaking world and identifies areas of action for fair, planned, and diverse publishing.

German abstract: Wir sind das und setzen uns gemeinsam und kollaborativ für eine von Großverlagen unabhängige, nicht profitorientierte Publikationskultur jenseits von APCs und BPCs ein. Das bringt unsere zentrale Kritik am gegenwärtigen wissenschaftlichen Publikationssystem im deutschsprachigen Raum auf den Punkt und benennt Handlungsfelder für faires, planvolles und vielfältiges Publizieren.

Live document:

English version via Google Translate

Informationsplattform Open Access: scholar-led Open Access: Manifesto for fair publishing

In its manifesto, the focus group, which was established within the framework of the project, criticises the current scholarly publishing system in the German-speaking world and, at the same time, provides fields of action for the development of a fair, planned and bibliodiverse publishing culture.

Bring your OA game | Commonplace

by Agata Morka and Rupert Gatti

The end of June 2021 marked the finishing line for the OPERAS-P project, a European Union funded giant, in which multiple institutions came together to carve a path forward for Open Science in Social Sciences and Humanities. As part of the Work Package focused on innovation we investigated innovative business models for Open Access (OA) books. Our goal was ambitious: we aimed to develop, collate, and share knowledge on alternative (non-BPC) approaches to funding and publishing OA books. To fulfill this general goal, we wanted to better understand the perspectives of two crucial stakeholders in the book publishing ecosystem: libraries and publishers. Over the past fifteen months we have been researching, writing, and most importantly listening to the academic librarians and publishers to decipher their needs, hopes, and challenges they encounter when working with OA books. Coming from a publishing background, we felt that we had a relatively good understanding of this stakeholders group, so we started with the one we knew the least about: that of academic libraries. We wanted to know more about how they think, work, and decide for or against innovative projects for OA books.

UKRI’s support for green open access is the right way forward | Times Higher Education (THE)

New guidelines have rightly rejected publisher claims that gold is the only sustainable path for open access, say Stephen Eglen and Rupert Gatti

Supporting open access monographs without the costs of book processing charges | Jisc Research

This is a blog post by Caroline Mackay, licensing manager.

Unlike journals, funder support and models for publishing monographs open access (OA) have been slower to proliferate. However, the announcement of the new UKRI Open Access Policy on 6 August details requirements for in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.

Jisc welcomes the policy as a significant driver in the delivery of open access (OA) research in the UK. While we wait for further information on the policy, one of the main challenges Jisc is working on is how to fund OA publishing in monographs without incurring high book processing charges (BPC) in access of £11,000. Jisc’s 2018 briefing paper on OA monographs in the UK suggests the over reliance on models that involve book processing charges is a weakness. Institutions need sustainable models that better reflect their budgets – we hope they can provide a cost effective and open alternative to BPC based models long term, and reflect the diversity of OA publishing for books.

‘Open’ relationships: reflections on the role of the journal in the contemporary scholarly publishing landscape

“While many members of the CPH Editorial Board are supportive of the concept of open access, they are also concerned about the APC model of open access on offer. These concerns will be familiar to many of our authors and readers….

As stated succinctly by one Editorial Board member, the proposed APC model goes against the entire spirit of the journal….

For many, although strongly concerned about issues of access to the journal, the adoption of an APC-based approach risks compounding existing inequalities. Radical Community Medicine’s origins were in the need for a space to challenge public health orthodoxies, shifting the centre and breaking new ground (Scott-Samuel, 1998), a mandate continued by CPH (Bell & Green, 2015; Bunton, 1998). Critical scholars working from the epistemic margins – early career researchers, independent researchers, and social scientists within public health programmes – are most vulnerable to exclusion if funds are needed to publish. Moreover, despite Taylor & Francis’s promises of ad hoc fee waivers, it will clearly serve to reinforce centre-periphery dynamics in scholarly knowledge production, compounding the exclusion already experienced by scholars outside the global north (see Herb & Schöpfel, 2018). These systematic exclusionary practices would sit uneasily, to say the least, with our mission.

Corporate publishers have been highly successful in conflating ‘gold’ open access (a broad category describing open access delivered directly by journals versus repositories) with APC-based models (Fuchs & Sandoval, 2013). However, other versions of ‘gold’ open access exist, including what is now known as ‘diamond’ access – where the publication is free to the end user and there are no charges for the submitting author….

The difference is that these models are driven primarily by a cost-covering rather than a profit-generating approach to scholarly publishing….

Collectively, we need to decide what journals are for – and how fidelity to our communities can be protected….”