[The author identifies seven clusters of volunteer contributions]. “Now I wonder, if all these voluntary contributions were to be estimated and monetized, what the current US$ 25.7 billion scholarly publishing industry would look like.”
Abstract: INTRODUCTION This study will explore the issue of pricing opacity associated with prices paid by academic libraries that have recently unbundled from the Elsevier Big Deal journal package. Additionally, this study will provide metrics for assessing the fair market value (FMV) of unbundled journal packages. The pricing metrics will assist academic libraries in negotiations of subscription and open access agreements. METHODS Pricing information was gathered from five academic libraries. The data was analyzed to arrive at two key metrics (adjustment from list price and the average cost per journal) for establishing comparables, i.e., prices paid by similarly sized institutions, to assess the collective FMVs for unbundled Elsevier journal packages. RESULTS & DISCUSSION The study results show that significant variations existed in the way institutions were charged for content. Additionally, the comparables show wide variations among institutions when measured by the overall adjustment from list price and the average cost per journal. CONCLUSION The pricing metrics developed in this study, adjustment from list price (ALP) and average cost per journal (ACJ), will help libraries assess their final net prices for individual journal subscriptions. The results will be useful to administrators, collection development personnel, and negotiating teams in understanding the prices paid by other institutions for unbundled journal packages to determine FMVs.
“A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to be a peer reviewer of a Spanish journal in category Q1. This is owned by a commercial academic publisher and charges the authors 835€ for publishing, adducing that this is the cost of translation and layout of the article. My response to the invitation was my rate fee proposal for this type of assignment….
I did not expect a response from the editor of this journal, however, it came, stating that this was the first time they had received such a response and that they would remove me from their database of possible peer reviewers since they did not have the policy of pay for this work. To this message I replied that although it could be the first time (although, I doubt it), I was sure they would continue to receive responses like mine and with a fee proposal. This given that they charged APC to the authors, and that per policy I was to no longer donate my time to journals that were profiting from my work as a reviewer without me receiving a payment for it….
As a final reflection, although it is true that as a reviewer these payments in kind mentioned by Mudditt are stimulating, I also maintain my desire to receive payment for my peer review work when requested by journals that belong to for-profit academic publishers. I do not consider it to be something nefarious or unethical, on the contrary, fair, and enforceable, as well as something that should be normalized. In the meantime, I will continue to refuse to do this work for free. Academic altruism is only applicable when the journal is authentic open access.”
“We are excited to share with you our vision for a more fair and sustainable future for independent open access publishing. In our white paper, we describe our learnings about the challenges of Open Access publishing and propose a new, cooperative, route to OA: Quartz Open Access….
We did our research and found the answers to our questions in many discussions and research pieces produced by our fellow academics as well as journalists. As we researched our way through the intricacies of the scholarly communication ecosystem, we became avid supporters of the open science movement and open access publishing. We also found that open access is not the same experience for everyone and some of the questions we asked above are more relevant for early-career researchers, those in the humanities and social sciences and those coming from less well-funded institutions as well as low- and lower-middle-income countries. We became increasingly aware of the existence of unintended consequences of the various OA policies resulting in increasing inequalities or perpetuating the same systems that have led to creating these inequalities in the first place. Independently, we came up with similar ideas to address these issues and then came together as a team to try and develop a solution to some of the barriers hampering the transition towards just, fair and sustainable open access publishing.
As newcomers, we looked into the different successful – and less so – initiatives, we explored the values associated with scholarly communication and academic research, we dug into the related publishing fields and found inspiration in some of the business models now applied in journalism and creative industries. We explored new technologies such as peer-to-peer networks and blockchain to see how these can help solve some of the problems in the transition towards open access academic publishing. We also drew inspiration from the proposed solutions to the crisis of accountability in big tech and the responsible innovation and value-sensitive design approaches to developing technological systems.
Our proposal to face these challenges is powered by three key components: 1) a platform cooperative allowing exchanges within the OA ecosystem, 2) a browser extension allowing readers to support open access content and communities, and 3) a crowdfunding infrastructure for OA….”
From Google’s English:
“Access to scientific texts free of charge and freely – this should soon become the standard. Scientific publishers are also trying to take advantage of the transition to Open Access, for example with fees for authors and data tracking. Tilman Reitz analyzes what the open access transformation means for science and what design options there are.”
Slides are available here:
Vanessa Proudman presents the results of ‘The Diamond Open Access Study’, a research study commissioned by cOAlition S. In her presentation, a new understanding of the OA Diamond sector and its maturity with respect to editorial quality assurance practices and Plan S technical requirements will be shared. Additionally, she will discuss key perceived challenges of OA Diamond journal editors and the current financial sustainability of the sector. Most importantly, she will be presenting the new OA publishing Commons, which seeks to bring together the world’s community-driven/governed journals and platforms, connect them and technically support them in a new, increasingly coordinated and sustainable way.
Next, Natalia Grygierczyk discusses an innovative model for Diamond Open Access scientific publishing, explaining not just its theoretical foundations, but also how it is actually implemented in the newly started OA Radboud University Press (OA RUP). Within the new cooperative model, the OA RUP aims to enable, guide, and support academic editorial boards in the transition process to Diamond Open Access. This presentation provides an overview of the new publishing model, its operational activities, and financial aspects. It concretely describes the collaborative process with various service providers, how the OA RUP is financially sustainable in the long term and how cost-effectiveness is achieved in the transition to Open Access.
Finally, Rebecca Wojturska provides insight into the world of launching a library-based Open Access book-hosting service. The presentation will reflect on the timeline, successes and learning points of the current University of Edinburgh library project and provide recommendations and conclusions to attendees. It will also discuss how to grow a book-hosting service and how it is useful in supporting teaching and learning. Finally, it will consider the technical requirements of such a project and share anecdotal evidence from academic and student users to document the successes of the University of Edinburgh library project and launch. As such, the primary audience for this presentation is the librarian who is beginning their own book-hosting service, or who is considering it, as well as those interested in Open Access publishing.
“The results of the bibliometric study reveal that the landscape of Nordic journals in SSH is diverse, with strong presence of both professional publishers and universities publishing journals. 75% of the journals publish all their content open access (OA) immediately, with a further 4% doing so after a delay. The open source editorial management software Open Journal Systems (OJS) was being used by at least 42% of the journals. Though the web survey only received a limited number of responses it provides indication that many journals function with sparse resources, rely on volunteer work to a high degree, and would like to see long-term funding opportunities for journals to develop….
The Nordic journal publishing space is very much in a state of change, driven both by the Nordic countries having national OA policies but also factors that relate to consolidation that has been happening in the broader international journal publishing space as well as technology maturity of open source software to support modern journal functions. A large proportion of Nordic SSH journals are run with low direct monetary funding, relying heavily on volunteer effort and in-kind support from universities, making their operations sensitive to even small changes in editorial membership or organizational support….
There has been a distinct movement towards collaborating with international commercial publishers among journals that reach outside of national scope, a change that often is accompanied by a name change and English-only publishing. Such journals are also often subscription-based while the rest of Nordic journals are more commonly OA. However, there is also another movement where universities and national journal portals publish journals on modern OJS-driven platforms and in such cases retain multilingualism in content. It would be important to align funding opportunities with this trend, allowing for cost-efficient OA journals to reach higher levels of operational and financial stability without necessarily involving a professional publisher…”
“The goals in this 3-year Strategic Plan speak to IOI’s work ahead in conducting research to provide strategic support and investment guidance to those looking to adopt, build, and sustain open infrastructure, and putting that work into action through convenings, pilots, and global coordination….”
“Over the past year or so my colleagues at Temple University Libraries and I have been engaged in a project to assess various open access publishing initiatives. Led by myself and Collections Analysis Librarian Karen Kohn, our goal was to develop a plan for how the Libraries might more strategically use the collections budget to support the global transition to open. Towards this end, we organized all-staff discussions, brought in a speaker, and did a lot of reading about what other libraries are doing.
Throughout this project, I have been struck by what I see as the central tension within this work: we want to experiment and support innovative approaches to open access but at the same time we need these initiatives to be sustainable for our organization….
After a year spent learning, thinking, talking, and writing, our group came up with four priorities that will guide future decisions as to which open publishing initiatives we support. These priorities include:
Non-APC or BPC-based models
Initiatives that focus on disciplines that are less likely to have researchers with grant funding
Initiatives spearheaded by university presses or scholarly societies
Models in which the cost is comparable to a similar paywalled product and/or the change in cost over time is predictable…”
“In the virtual 15th Conference of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE), a debate was held on the motion: Preprints are going to replace journals. I was asked to oppose the motion and this article is based on my arguments….
Regarding being disruptive, as Rob Johnson and Andrea Chiarelli showed, preprint servers are not threatening journals’ revenue. Although big publishers have been collaborating on (e.g., Springer Nature?Research Square and PLOS?Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory) and acquiring (e.g., Elsevier acquiring SSRN) preprint servers, while learned societies are building preprint communities, the overall investment in preprints still remains limited.
Are preprints destructive to publishers’ business? No way! Preprint servers’ current not-for-profit business model is not sustainable. Although 37 preprint servers were established between 2016 and September 2019, one preprint leader in biological sciences, PeerJ Preprints stopped posting preprints around the time COVID-19 hit the world, after a reality check on the costs required to do so. Since then, OSF Preprints has begun charging for previously free preprint platform services, leading to the shuttering of some preprint servers. Concerns over preprints as a source of misuse and misinterpretation of scientific information were raised before and during the pandemic. Due to significant health risks, manuscripts are being identified as ‘better not disseminated as preprints’. Acceptance of preprints, especially by the academic recruitment and promotion committees, is still far away from invading the space that has long been occupied by journal articles….”
“Our vision for PLOS Sustainability and Transformation is to present the broadest diversity of evidence-based solutions from around the world, to empower the transformation of countries and companies towards more sustainable development models, and to capitalize on emerging opportunities….
A key feature of PLOS Sustainability and Transformation is open science, which allows the research findings and thought leadership of our authors to reach a much wider readership and to inform policies and decisions in the government and corporate sectors….”
Abstract: With the passage of time, celluloid film degrades and valuable film history is lost, resulting in loss of cultural history which contributes to the shared sense of community, identify, and place at a local and national level. Despite the growth in digitised services for accessing cultural resources, to date no economic valuation has been performed on digital local history resources which are accessible online. Despite the recent emergence of online portals for digital cultural services in many countries (such as virtual tours of art galleries and digitisation of cultural archives) a shift which has accelerated in response to the Covid-19 epidemic, there remains a major literature gap around the value of digital culture. Failure to account for the value of digital archives risks sub-optimal allocation of resources to accessing and preserving these aspects of local cultural history. In response, we performed the first contingent valuation study to estimate willingness to pay for a free online film archive portal containing historical film footage for localities throughout the United Kingdom. Users were willing to pay an average hypothetical subscription for digital archive film services of £38.52/annum. Non-users in the general population were asked their willingness to pay a hypothetical annual donation to maintain free public access (£4.68/annum on average). The results suggest that positive social value is gained from online access to digital archive film, and from knowing that the cultural heritage continues to be digitally accessible by the public for current and future generations. We outline how this evidence aligns with a theoretical framework of use and non-use value for digital goods and services extending beyond those who currently use the portal, to those introduced to it, and those in the general public who have never directly experienced the online archive service. We also report what we believe is the first application of Subjective Wellbeing analysis to engagement with a digital cultural service. The advantage of applying methods from economics to value cultural activities in monetary terms is that it makes emerging modes of digital cultural goods and services commensurable with other costs and benefits as applied to cultural policy and investment decisions, putting it on a level footing with physical cultural assets.
“This is an important moment in time, in which open scholarship is more visible and widely-embraced than ever before. The urgency of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has led many researchers to eagerly embrace new, faster ways of sharing their research papers, data, and more via repositories and other open platforms. There is a renewed interest in community ownership of both infrastructure and content, and a spotlight on empowering author’s rights retention due to new funder requirements, such as Plan S. There is also a growing recognition of the pressing need to intentionally build channels for greater inclusiveness and diversity of voices in the research communication system, as underscored in the UNESCO draft recommendations which were developed through consensus by over 100 member countries.
Yet, against this backdrop of encouraging developments, the trend toward commercial concentration in the publishing industry continues unabated. This consolidation exacerbates a number of serious problems in the system, including unacceptably high and ever-increasing costs for subscriptions and APCs (article processing charges). It also contributes to a steady decline in the diversity of publishing outlets and options – decreasing bibliodiversity, which is fundamental for a healthy ecosystem….
With this context in mind, COAR and SPARC believe that it is a critical time to support and better organize the repository network in the US. This is part of an ongoing global effort led by COAR to work with national and regional organizations to enhance the role of repositories internationally. A strong vision for repositories in the US, along with collective actions that ensure their quality, sustainability and interoperability, will greatly benefit the scholarly community, and will contribute to the development of a global knowledge sharing system that is both open by default and equitable by design. …”
“At this webinar, attendees will learn about arXiv’s strategy and new sustainability model. This webinar will be recorded.”
by: Heather Morrison, Luan Borges, Xuan Zhao, Tanoh Laurent Kakou & Amit Nataraj Shanbhoug
This study examines trends in open access article processing charges (APCs) from 2011 – 2021, building on a 2011 study by Solomon & Björk (2012). Two methods are employed, a modified replica and a status update of the 2011 journals. Data is drawn from multiple sources and datasets are available as open data (Morrison et al, 2021). Most journals do not charge APCs; this has not changed. The global average per-journal APC increased slightly, from 906 USD to 958 USD, while the per-article average increased from 904 USD to 1,626 USD, indicating that authors choose to publish in more expensive journals. Publisher size, type, impact metrics and subject affect charging tendencies, average APC and pricing trends. About half the journals from the 2011 sample are no longer listed in DOAJ in 2021, due to ceased publication or publisher de-listing. Conclusions include a caution about the potential of the APC model to increase costs beyond inflation, and a suggestion that support for the university sector, responsible for the majority of journals, nearly half the articles, with a tendency not to charge and very low average APCs, may be the most promising approach to achieve economically sustainable no-fee OA journal publishing.
A preprint of the full article is available here: https://ruor.uottawa.ca/handle/10393/42327
The two base datasets and their documentation are available as open data: Morrison, Heather et al., 2021, “2011 – 2021 OA APCs”, https://doi.org/10.5683/SP2/84PNSG, Scholars Portal Dataverse, V1