Impact of a new institutional medical journal on professional identity development and academic cultural change: A qualitative study – Hayes – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  We launched a new institutional open access journal, the Journal of Maine Medical Center (JMMC), in 2018. We sought to engender community support and engagement through purposeful design and implementation. An ad hoc group was formed of institutional members with diverse backgrounds. Editorial Board and Editorial Team members were drawn from within the academic community. The journal name, aims and scope, recognizable logo, cover page and images were all strategically selected in order to engender institutional and community support. Institutional funding was solicited to support an open-access, no-fee, model. We adopted a philosophy of supporting novice authors with revisions of manuscripts that show merit, as opposed to immediate rejection. We assessed success of community engagement through semi-structured interviews of authors and reviewers and qualitative analysis of the transcripts. As evidenced by their perceptions, we have made positive steps toward supporting the academic mission of our institution and the scholarly professional identity of our participants. We outline a number of elements that are relevant to the start of a new academic journal and community engagement that we feel would be of interest to others considering a similar undertaking.


A diamond mission | Research Information

“Diamond open access (OA), sometimes also referred to as platinum open access, is a form of gold open access – which means that there is permanent and unrestricted online access to an article in its final published form (or version of record). Diamond OA means there is no requirement for authors to pay article processing charges, writes May Copsey. 

The diamond model for open access has recently been in the spotlight, due to the publication of a report from Coalition S and Science Europe looking into the landscape of these journals that are free for readers and authors.1 Chemical Science, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, was one of the journals that fed into this report and as executive editor, I was interested to see the full picture of these journals across scientific publishing. 

The report shows that there are a huge number of relatively small diamond OA journals, run and managed by the scientific community themselves, usually on a volunteer basis. The costs of these journals are generally taken on by the institutions that run them, such as universities and societies. The study found there to be multiple scientific strengths with this model, however they face some key challenges, including indexing and archiving, governance and technical capabilities around editorial systems and publication platforms. …

So the conversation doesn’t always have to be about gold versus green or how much the APC will be. Societies, with the strong support of their communities, can help lead the way.”

The Scholcomm Chronicles #1. Rambling about Misconceptions of Open Access | Zenodo

Abstract:  This is a short essay/opinion-like article in comics form on some misconceptions of Open Access. “Rambling about Misconceptions of Open Access” is also the first installment of “The ScholComm Chronicles”, which will hopefully develop into an ongoing series.



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….”

cOAlition S endorsing Subscribe to Open is a great start. We need the same thinking about books from the beginning. | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

This week, cOAlition S endorsed the Subscribe to Open (S2O) business model.

This group of international funders is committed to a complete transition to open-access publishing. To date, critics have claimed that the cOAlition has been too wedded to the (inflationary) Article Processing Charge business model, although Plan S is theoretically neutral on this matter. However, coupled with their recent publication on “Diamond” OA, this endorsement marks a milestone for open access without author-side payments.


The Open Library of Humanities merges with Birkbeck — Birkbeck, University of London

“Today, extending their existing partnership, and cementing the future of the platform, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) has merged with Birkbeck. 

The merger allows OLH to maintain its charitable status, while ensuring its ongoing financial sustainability and reducing redundant administrative overhead….”

New Open Access Business Models – What’s Needed to Make Them Work? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The third CHORUS Forum meeting, held last week, is a relatively new entrant into the scholarly communication meeting calendar. The meeting has proven to be a rare opportunity to bring together publishers, researchers, librarians, and research funders. I helped organize and moderated a session during the Forum, on the theme of “Making the Future of Open Research Work.” You can watch my session, which looked at new models for sustainable and robust open access (OA) publishing, along with the rest of the meeting in the video below.

The session focuses on the operationalization of the move to open access and the details of what it takes to experiment with a new business model. The model the community has the most experience with, the individual author paying an article-processing-charge (APC), works really well for some authors, in some subject areas, in some geographies. But it is not a universal solution to making open access work and it creates new inequities as it resolves others….

Some of the key takeaways for me were found in the commonalities across all of the models. The biggest hurdle that each organization faced in executing its plans was gathering and analyzing author data. As Sara put it, “Data hygiene makes or breaks all of these models.” For PLOS and the ACM, what they’re asking libraries to support is authorship – the model essentially says “this many papers had authors from your institution and what you pay will largely be based on the volume of your output.” But disambiguating author identity, and especially identifying which institutions each represents, remains an enormous problem. While we do have persistent identifiers (PIDs) like ORCID, and the still-under-development ROR, their use is not universal, and we still lack a unifying mechanism to connect the various PIDs into a simple, functional tool to support this type of analysis.

One solution would be requiring authors to accurately identify their host institutions from a controlled vocabulary, but this runs up against most publishers’ desire to streamline the article submission process. There’s a balance to be struck, but probably one that’s going to ask authors to provide more accurate and detailed information….

[M]oving beyond the APC is essential to the long-term viability of open access, and there remains much experimentation to be done….”

Open Access Agreements with PLOS Biology and SAGE means no Article Processing Charges (APCs) for McMaster Authors | McMaster University Library

“The University Library is pleased to announce that McMaster has signed open access publishing agreements with PLOS Biology and SAGE through the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN).  As of January 1, 2021, McMaster authors do not have to pay Article Processing Charges to cover the cost of open access publishing in PLOS Biology or in over 900 SAGE Choice journals….”

Wiley and Crue-CSIC Alliance Sign Transitional Agreement to Advance Open Access in Spain

This read and publish agreement, initially for one year, is part of a longer partnership between Wiley and Crue-CSIC. The agreement allows researchers at participating institutions to both access Wiley’s journals and to publish accepted articles open access in Wiley’s hybrid journals, which contain both subscription and open access content. As a result of the agreement, an estimated 70% of articles published by participating institutions in 2021 will be open access, enabling more research from leading Spanish institutions to be read, cited and built upon.

Criminology Open Association of Diamond Outlets (COADO)

“COADO increases the utility of criminology journals that are free to read and publish in. This involves increasing their impact, improving their production quality, and lowering the costs of publishing them. The association is a collaboration between Criminology Open and member journals. Through the sharing of expertise, commitment to shared quality standards, and comarketing, COADO is advancing the free and timely dissemination of criminological knowledge. This is to the benefit of all stakeholders—researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners, journalists, and the general public.”

Thread by @petersuber on “Gold OA”

“I’d put this historically. “Gold OA” originally meant OA delivered by journals regardless of the journal’s business model. Both fee-based and no-fee OA journals were gold, as opposed to “green OA”, which meant OA delivered by repositories….”

Major OA Diamond Journals Study completed: Report emphasizes diversity and sustainable pathways for diamond Open Access – OASPA

OASPA is pleased to announce the publication of an in-depth report and associated recommendations arising from a study of open access journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as “OA diamond journals”. 

Funded by Science Europe and commissioned by cOAlition S in order to gain a better understanding of the OA diamond landscape, the publication of the study is the culmination of work undertaken from June 2020 to February 2021 by a consortium of 10 organisations (including OASPA) led by OPERAS. The study uncovers a vast archipelago of up to 29,000 journals, most of which (60%) are in the humanities and social sciences, serving the needs of multiple scientific communities across the world.

Demography journal now open access – with Penn Libraries support | Penn Libraries

“The Penn Libraries support open access publishing through funding for the ejournal Demography.

The Population Association of America has moved its journal Demography to platinum open access. The journal’s changeover coincides with its shift to Duke University Press from Springer Publishing….”

Reflections on the OA Diamond Journals Study | Plan S

“Earlier this month, cOAlition S and Science Europe published an in-depth study of diamond open access journals, so called because they charge neither author(s) nor readers. The study comes in five parts, each of which can be a lot to digest. What I thought I’d try and do with this post was to pick some of the highlights from the study findings.

The first sensible question everyone always asks about diamond OA is: how? How can a journal afford to sustainably operate if it charges neither readers nor author(s)? The findings report reveals that there are a great variety of organisations that are willing to financially support the operation of diamond OA journals including universities, museums, government agencies, and learned societies. One I am familiar with is the European Journal of Taxonomy (est. 2011) which is financially supported by a consortium of ten European natural history institutions across seven different countries. Each year it publishes roughly a hundred articles and remains a well-regarded journal in taxonomy. To take a different example, the excellent Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry (est. 2005) is financially supported by the Beilstein Institute for the Advancement of Chemical Science, a German non-profit foundation. It makes sense for organisations to take on these costs and they are highly manageable.

The second question people tend to ask is, what about the costs? How can organisations afford to financially support journals, isn’t it costly? The report reveals that diamond OA journals tend to be run in a very economically efficient manner – one of the most obvious distinguishing factors here is the use of open source software. By using OJS, Lodel, Janeway, or some other open source system there is no recurrent charge owed to license expensive proprietary publishing platforms such as Silverchair or Literatum or RVHost that are more typical of commercial paywalled or APC-OA journals. The study’s survey found that over 60% of diamond OA journals reported annual costs in the previous year under $/€10,000, including in-kind contributions. …

Fascinatingly, we don’t even have a firm grip on just how many diamond OA journals there are out there on the world wide web. A key result from the study is the estimate that there are between 17,000 to 29,000 diamond OA journals currently in existence. The majority are small-scale and annually publish just 23 articles, compared to 25 articles (by median) for APC-OA journals. Yet collectively, by article volume diamond OA accounts for an impressive 8-9% of the total number of scholarly journal articles published per year, a close rival to the 10-11% of articles that are published in APC-OA journals. Diamond open access, at the article-level thus comprises 44% of all articles that are in fully open access journals – a significant and perhaps hugely underappreciated force in open access journal publishing….”

A collaborative approach to preserving at-risk open access journals | Zenodo

Abstract:  In the September 2020 preprint “Open is not forever”, (Laakso et al.) discuss the high number of Open Access journals that disappear from the web. It is a known problem in the digital preservation world that long-tail journals are especially at-risk of disappearing. Five leading parties are now collaborating to address this problem: the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), CLOCKSS, Internet Archive, the Public Knowledge Project Preservation Network (PKP PN), and International ISSN / Keepers Registry. Building from the existing DOAJ infrastructure, we are establishing a central hub where preservation agencies can harvest consistent metadata, and access full-text. Each of the preservation partners offers somewhat different solutions for publishers to preserve their content. The project will offer free and low-cost options for preservation and access. In the first phase, the target is diamond OA journals (those with no author processing charges), because these are the journals that are least likely to participate in a preservation service and hence are most at-risk of disappearing. The project is currently coordinating technical designs, service development, infrastructure, and sustainability planning.