Open access: A watershed moment – Gennaro – Journal of Nursing Scholarship – Wiley Online Library

[A paywalled article. Not even an abstract is OA.]

“We all want transparency and open access to knowledge. The cost of publishing has decreased. However, many questions still re-main as to what is the fairest way to support the work that does have to be done to get a quality journal published. This is the time that decisions are being made in many countries about the future of open access and at this watershed moment it is imperative that each of us pay attention and let our representatives know that we support open access and support the desire to have it be available such that the burden of paying for open access is fairly distributed. Clearly, we will all benefit from more transparency and quicker dis-semination but want to do this with maintaining high standards, pro-tecting authors intellectual property, and not pricing out scientists from poorer countries. Today being a scientist means ensuring that you pay attention to how your work will be disseminated. At Sigma (as the honor society of nursing), we will continue to provide infor-mation about trends in publishing and urge you to, in this watershed moment, follow and be part of the public conversations about open access.”

All Things Must Pass | Research Information

“Andrew Barker and Elaine Sykes reflect on Lancaster University’s shift to an open research culture

We begin this opinion piece with a statement of confidence, ambition and intent: this is the best and most exciting time to be a librarian; universities are progressing towards a new research culture, a culture that puts openness and equity at its centre – and librarians are using our knowledge, skills, relationships and our ambitions to be at the centre of that progressive shift. That shift includes, but is not limited to, the future of scholarly outputs, data, digital scholarship and citizen science engagement opportunities. This piece will outline thoughts from Lancaster University on what we are going to do to support the move to an open research culture, but it also make it clear that the status quo has to change, and we are explicit that now is the time to accept that change and for the sector to work together on a range of activities that cut across the different parts of our sector….”

Don’t Blame Copyright for Declining Revenue. It Won’t Help Authors | Canadian Federation of Library Associations

“Libraries and librarians support education in colleges and universities across Canada and they support authors through their purchases.

That important message is being drowned out by the barrage of accusations from author groups and publisher organizations that libraries are threatening the economic viability of authors. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Those hundreds of millions of dollars in access and subscription fees, paid by libraries, should be going to authors of the licensed works. Copyright is not part of that transaction and tweaking the Copyright Act won’t change the economic plight of Canadian authors….

There has been a digital revolution in the educational publishing sector. Access to most course materials is now digital, not print, and governed by licences negotiated directly with publishers. While some of these electronic books and journal articles are openly licensed (at no cost to the user), most are subject to terms and conditions that provide students and educators with the right to reproduce the content for educational purposes. As such, the fair dealing and reprographic licences are not in demand as they once were.   

This isn’t because students and educators are stealing content. The educational right to reproduce most commercially available course materials is paid directly by libraries to publishers or aggregate content providers. Continuing to attack libraries and educators for their lawful use of course materials won’t solve the issue of authors’ income….”

Will Building LLMs Become the New Revenue Driver for Academic Publishing? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Are scholarly publishers primed to become the critical content suppliers for the big Generative AI companies such as OpenAI, AI21 Labs, NIVIDIA, and Anthropic? …

In a world where peer-reviewed content holds value for Generative AI companies, the question arises whether content that is locked behind a paywall has greater value than OA content….

“Some publishers may be less willing to accelerate the transition to full open access if they consider licensing content to generative AI companies to be a more lucrative or secure revenue opportunity”, notes James Butcher, author of the Journalology newsletter….

If our curated content is as valuable as I believe it can be when properly leveraged, might we even see GenAI companies looking at scholarly publishers as potential targets of acquisition?”

Is the Tide Turing in Favour of Universal and Equitable Open Access? – International Science Council

“The current scientific publishing system is not prepared to evolve accordingly. With so many advancements in digital technologies, why stick to an outmoded system which is hindering the progress of science? The International Science Council (ISC) recognized the urgency of reforming the entire publishing system. Based on an analysis in the ISC position paper: Opening the Record of Science: making scholarly publishing work for science in the digital Era, the ISC steering group established 8-core principles as guiding concepts to maintain integrity and ensure an equitable and universally accessible system.”

“Preprints present an opportunity for a fairer, more transparent, and streamlined approach to disseminating research. As the concept of preprints continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly evident that they could become the way forward for academic publishing if the research community takes on the responsibility of ensuring rigorous validation and is credited in the research assessment process as the legitimate output.”


Wiley journal editors resign en masse, fired chief editor speaks – Retraction Watch

“Two-thirds of the associate editors of the Journal of Biogeography, a Wiley title, have resigned in a dispute with the publisher, and more resignations are likely, according to those involved. 

Most of the resignations, reported first by Times Higher Education, were effective immediately, but a portion of the associate editors set August 28 as their effective date in hopes Wiley may negotiate with them about their concerns….

The Journal of Biogeography is not fully open access, but charges APCs of $4,800 for authors who wish to make their articles freely available.

Such fees are “excessive,” and “not affordable,” said Krystal Tolley, one of the associate editors who put in her resignation for the end of the month. Tolley is based in South Africa, and said she and other researchers in the Global South “just don’t have those kinds of funds.” 

Wiley and other major publishers often waive fees for authors in low-income countries, and “transformative agreements” in which funding agencies or universities pay publication fees rather than authors….”

Open access is inevitable – only the ‘how’ remains| THE Campus Learn, Share, Connect

“Having already commanded the available monies, the scientific publishers eventually realised that whether they were paid for analogue subscriptions or for open-access article publishing charges made little difference, as long as the sums remained comparable. The outcome is that the sciences are well on their way to publishing the bulk of their output open access. Indeed, for the sciences, publishing charges are but a minor annoyance – some 2 per cent of total research costs. That is the good news.

The bad news is that this leaves the humanities and social sciences adrift. Without research funds to meet publication charges, they cannot easily switch to open access. Since library budgets have been gutted, first for journal subscriptions and now for article publishing charges, either these monies must be clawed back or new ones found.

Some solutions are visible. Libraries are banding together into purchasing consortia. If 100 libraries pay $100 each for an academic monograph or unite to pay the $10,000 an open-access publisher needs to make the work freely available is a wash for their budgets – but, for the world, the difference is enormous. In effect, digitality allows the most impactful bulk-purchasing conceivable, with a discount in the form of universal access. Library budgets may no longer be sufficient for all the needed monographs, but those they buy can now be opened for all to read….”

‘Open data for regional growth: showcasing a real-life success story’ |

“Are you eager to learn more about the power of open data and how it can be transformed into innovative solutions? Join the workshop ‘Open data for regional growth: showcasing a real-life success story’ on 11 October from 14.30 to 15.30 CET. Book your place here, click on ‘register’ and create your profile to get in touch with other participants, schedule one-to-one meetings and build your personal agenda.

The workshop is part of the European Week of Regions and Cities 2023: Thriving Regions, Stronger Europe (#EURegionsWeek), taking place from 9 to 12 October 2023. It is the biggest annual Brussels-based event dedicated to regional and urban policy, organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and the European Committee of the Regions. The event serves as a communication and networking platform, bringing together regions, cities, politicians, administrators, experts and academics from all over Europe.

This year’s edition is closely linked to innovation during transitionary times, focusing on retaining talent for regional growth, sustainability and promoting social innovation. Sharing open data can help drive regional development and support decision-making across borders. During the workshop, the participants will learn more about the power of open data and how it can support innovative solutions to boost economic growth, ensure food security or address the energy crisis….”

Shifts to open access with high article processing charges hinder research equity and careers

“We, as Associate Editors (AEs) for the Journal of Biogeography, have serious concerns about the widespread shifts by John Wiley & Sons Ltd (Wiley) and other academic publishers to full Open Access (OA), which appears to be imminent for journals in the Wiley portfolio (Rieseberg et al., 2023) and has been discussed as a possibility for the Journal of Biogeography itself. We commend the philosophy of OA—to make research freely available online, but for many journals that shift to full OA, article publication is accompanied by expensive article processing charges (APCs) payable by the authors (see Laakso et al., 2011; Tennant et al., 2016). This creates a financial burden that falls heaviest on early career scientists and scientists from low- to middle-income countries, erecting barriers to equity in publishing. The typical APC fees for OA range from 2000 to 3500 USD but can even surpass 11,000 USD, while the Journal of Biogeography APC is currently 4800 USD per article. A shift from subscription-based to full OA-based business models with APCs also clearly shifts the economic incentives for journals away from quality and toward quantity. High-throughput and high-output publishing models in academia severely risk lowering research standards and jeopardise the reputation of journals that adopt this practice.

As a way of signalling the depth of our concerns, 85% of the AEs of the Journal of Biogeography recently carried out a work stoppage, during which we refused to handle any new manuscript submissions. We view this as a temporary measure, as a way of encouraging further dialogue between Wiley, the publisher of the Journal of Biogeography, and the chief editorial team charged with ensuring journal quality….

Wiley, the owner and publisher of the Journal of Biogeography, has had a reported annual revenue in recent years of over 2 billion USD per annum with a gross profit margin averaging nearly 70%….”

Medical advances typically begin with a study. Now, universities are struggling to afford them | CBC News

“Prices to access studies from peer-reviewed journals paid by universities — which are heavily subsidized by taxpayers — have risen more than 400 per cent over the past two decades, according to a study citing Statistics Canada data published in 2021. That’s the latest national information tracking cost increases over time, four specialists said.

Those rising costs have implications far beyond the ivory tower. Academic studies are a lifeblood of knowledge creation: from improved cancer treatments to debates about foreign policy or charting the advances of artificial intelligence, new information enters the public domain through peer-reviewed research….

The typical Canadian university library spends about 75 per cent of its acquisitions budget for new material on journal subscriptions, said Susan Haigh, executive director of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), an umbrella group representing this country’s largest university libraries….

Van Raay and his colleague, Prof. Andreas Heyland, are part of a growing trend of researchers trying to wrest control over information from the big publishing firms. 

Their project, Peer Premier, is the first-ever professional peer review service intended to be independent of any journal or publisher, according to the University of Guelph….

To use the service, an author pays $1,100 to the organization, in contrast to more than $10,000 to publish in some top journals, Heyland said.

Of that money, $300 goes to each of the article’s three independent reviewers and the remaining $200 is used for project administration. Researchers who submit get fulsome comments from the reviewers and leave with an edited, peer-reviewed manuscript that can be submitted elseware for publication, he added….”

How to make academic book reviews sustainable in a pay to publish environment | Impact of Social Sciences

“Book reviews, let alone academic book reviews, have received many premature notices of their demise. However, as Christina Lembrecht and Vassiliki Gortsas, discuss alongside a crisis in authorship, reviews also run the risk of being excluded from funding for open access publication….

In fact, four in every five (79%) of our authors said that book reviews – especially in journals – are the main way they keep up to speed with emerging scholarship in their field. Not only do book reviews serve as an important source of information, receiving them is still highly prized. The survey also found that 74% of our humanities authors judge the success of their book on the basis of how widely it gets reviewed….

As humanities scholars receive far less funding – or none at all for some types of content – the APC model could pose a major threat for the sustainability of book reviews as well as many other types of academic material….”

Exploring faculty perspectives on open access at a medium-sized, American doctoral university – Insights

Abstract:  Faculty hold widely varying perspectives on the benefits and challenges afforded by open access (OA) publishing. In the United States, conversations on OA models and strategy have been dominated by scholars affiliated with Carnegie R1 institutions. This article reports findings from interviews conducted with faculty at a Carnegie R2 institution, highlighting disciplinary and individual perspectives on the high costs and rich rewards afforded by OA. The results reiterate the persistence of a high degree of skepticism regarding the quality of peer review and business models associated with OA publishing. By exploring scholars’ perceptions of and experiences with OA publishing and their comfort using or sharing unpublished, publicly available content, the authors highlight the degree to which OA approaches must remain flexible, iterative and multifaceted – no single solution can begin to accommodate the rich and varying needs of individual stakeholders.


The Cost of Success: Exploring the Impact of Textbook Costs at a Hispanic-Serving R1 Institution – Open Praxis

Abstract:  The cost of textbooks is a significant concern for undergraduate students, particularly at institutions serving marginalized populations. This study explores this issue at the University of New Mexico, a Hispanic-Serving R1 institution. A comprehensive survey was conducted among undergraduate students to understand their perceptions of textbook costs and its impact on their academic success. The survey covered aspects such as the perceived reasonableness of costs, budgeting practices, and strategies to manage expenses. The results revealed that high textbook costs significantly affect students’ financial well-being and academic success. Many students perceive these costs as unreasonable, leading to financial strain. Students employ various strategies to manage these expenses, including purchasing from vendors other than the campus bookstore, renting, or sharing books with classmates. This study underscores the need for enhanced support and resources to alleviate the financial burden of textbook costs on students, contributing valuable insights to the literature on this subject.


Report from Equity in Open Access workshop #4 – Part 1: money flows & trust signals in ‘OA for all’ – OASPA

“Harking back to a debate from workshop #1 around whether an ‘APC + waiver’ system could ever be equitable, a set of draft principles around APCs & waivers was discussed in OASPA’s third Equity in OA workshop. The hope was to determine what actions could help make the APCs + transformative agreements system more equitable in the here and now (given how prevalent the ‘charge for publishing’ route has become). Clarity around waiver-eligibility, upfront and clear messaging on sites and in submission workflows as well as minimizing emotional and administrative burdens (including via automation wherever possible) were agreed as short term fixes. Certain principles, as proposed, were considered challenging to even discuss, let alone adopt. Many feel that there is no way to preserve waiver processes and successfully uphold equity or author-dignity. On balance, a “whole new system” seems to be required. In this workshop, the scale of the task of increasing equity in OA publishing was undeniable if it had not been before, by virtue of the many stakeholders with divergent views. …

The approaches are variously described and applied across the publishing sector. Whether we lump them together under a single descriptor called ‘Diamond’ is debatable, but partnerships, subsidies, memberships, supporter models and more besides are already in use for delivering OA in ways that are more equitable than large swathes of the current system. As a taster of what exists: 

Collective approaches pull in library/consortial funding to support OA publishing.
Membership models do a version of the above, but supporters are provided very specific membership benefits in return for their funds.
Subsidy models seek grant funding or support from smaller numbers of institutions and/or government bodies. 
Conditional models open content on the basis of a threshold revenue/sustainability target being realized, such as seen in Subscribe to Open offerings.
Discipline-specific partnerships involve collective action towards open access programs in clearly defined subject areas. 
Shared, community-owned infrastructure: while not usually a revenue-generating approach in itself, the cost reduction/cost efficiency derived by this path helps to enable sustainable OA publishing, and supports the goal of APC-free open access, especially when used in combination with one or more of the above….”


Abstract:  We review the literature on the academic publishing sector with a particular focus on the questions raised by open access. Dwelling on insights from the literatures on two-sided markets and certification, we discuss the various options to promote open access as well as possible policies to regulate the publishing market….

While the gold regime seems the most natural way to achieve open access, a generalized switch to open access may also have undesired consequences: projections indeed suggest that a massive move towards the gold regime would generate an explosion in the amount of APC unless there are controls to limit market power.41 Beside the sharp increase in APC, the shift to gold open access may create conflicts of interest for publishers given that their income comes from authors and may alter the quality of publications. The green regime, by introducing competition between the journal’s version of an article and a free public version, seems an efficient way to reduce market power while expanding access. In this light, a potentially powerful and harmless policy would be to systematically encourage authors to post a working paper version of their works in public repositories or on their webpages.