Assessing the Effect of Article Processing Charges on the Geographic Diversity of Authors Using Elsevier’s ‘Mirror Journal’ System

Journals publishing open access (OA) articles often require that authors pay article processing charges (APC). Researchers in the Global South often cite APCs as a major financial obstacle to OA publishing, especially in widely-recognized or prestigious outlets. Consequently, it has been hypothesized that authors from the Global South will be underrepresented in journals charging APCs. We tested this hypothesis using >37,000 articles from Elsevier’s ‘Mirror journal’ system, in which a hybrid ‘Parent’ journal and its Gold-OA ‘Mirror’ share editorial boards and standards for acceptance. Most articles were non-OA; 45% of articles had lead authors based in either the United States of America (USA) or China. After correcting for the effect of this dominance and differences in sample size, we found that OA articles published in Parent and Mirror journals had lead authors with similar Geographic Diversity. However, Author Geographic Diversity of OA articles was significantly lower than that of non-OA articles. Most OA articles were written by authors in high-income countries, and there were no articles in Mirror journals by authors in low-income countries. Our results for Elsevier’s Mirror-Parent system are consistent with the hypothesis that APCs are a barrier to OA publication for scientists from the Global South.

Transform to Open Science (TOPS) | Science Mission Directorate

“From 2022 to 2027, TOPS will accelerate the engagement of the scientific community in open science practices through events and activities aimed at:

Lowering barriers to entry for historically excluded communities
Better understanding how people use NASA data and code to take advantage of our big data collections
Increasing opportunities for collaboration while promoting scientific innovation, transparency, and reproducibility….”

Job: Publishing Officer (Scottish Universities Open Access Press). Fixed Term 2 Years, 1.0 FTE. Application deadline: Nov 3, 2021 | University of Dundee

We are recruiting for an exceptional individual to join us as a Publishing Officer (Scottish Universities Open Access Press) within our Research and Resources Division, LLC&CI to implement a new Open Access University Press for Scotland.

This post is to implement a new Open Access University Press for Scotland. A non-commercial press with shared ownership member institutions of the Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries. The scope of the platform will initially focus on monographs, set within a broader context of developing new library-led open access publishing services and initiatives.

Your priorities will include:

Regular reporting to Management Board of the press.
Establish and support editorial board and commissioning processes, and ensure scalability.
Embed academic-led advocacy strategy to engage potential authors.
Establish brand and marketing strategy, including support of events like book launches or publicity events.
Clearly document workflows covering stages of publications for various formats or options.

Please see the job description (available on the university’s website, accessed by the apply button) for full details of the duties associated with this role.

Who we’re looking for:

Evidence of strong communication skills both written and verbal with proven ability to build effective relationships..
Ability to talk through business and operational challenges clearly with partners at various experience levels.
Ability to liaise with a wide variety of stakeholders and authors and to demonstrate excellent support service skills.
Ability to plan own work and responsibilities over the short and medium term, with an awareness of longer-term issues, and meet deadlines.
Proven ability to work independently using initiative and judgement to deliver successful outcomes.

Please see the person specification for full details of the skills and experience required for this role.

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee – an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

For further information about this position please contact Hannah Whaley, Assistant Director, Research & Resources at

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well as a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

Brianna Schofield joins the Libraries as the Director of the new Office of Scholarly Communication | Stanford Libraries

“I am thrilled to announce that Brianna Schofield has joined the Stanford Libraries as director of the new Office of Scholarly Communication. Brianna will support faculty, researchers, students, and staff with their scholarly communications concerns, including providing information on their intellectual property rights and responsibilities, implementing Stanford’s new Open Access Policy, and strategizing to improve access to Stanford’s scholarship and research outputs. Brianna looks forward to working with Stanford Libraries colleagues to advance new scholarly publishing models.

Prior to joining Stanford, Brianna was the Executive Director of Authors Alliance, a nonprofit organization representing the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly. She is the co-author of a handbook that helps users evaluate whether works are in the public domain, a guide that helps authors revert copyrights, a guide to open access, and a guide to fair use in nonfiction. In addition, Brianna served as an editor to a guide to negotiating publication contracts and a forthcoming guide to navigating the third-party permissions process.

Brianna holds a JD from UC Berkeley, School of Law and a BSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a passionate advocate of access to knowledge. She brings expertise and commitment that will serve the scholarly communications needs of the Stanford community. I look forward to working with Brianna to promote the Libraries’ mission to expand open access publishing opportunities for Stanford faculty and students.”

Guest Post – Transforming the Transformative Agreement – The Scholarly Kitchen

“At Cambridge University Press, we’ve been engaged in a major expansion of our TAs with US institutions. Agreements with 130 institutions came into effect this year with a diverse mix of organizations, including state university systems, liberal arts colleges, and major research universities. These agreements follow the “Read and Publish” model (R&P) we kicked off in the US with the University of California system; repurposing institutions’ existing subscription spend to open up access to important scholarly content and to extend the reach of their researchers’ work. The success this year in the US now gives us real scale — we have over 100 TAs covering 1000 institutes in 30 countries — and a critical mass of customer, author, and stakeholder feedback has given us a much better sense of what we will need to prioritize moving forward.

Yet even as we’ve actively sought to build momentum for change through R&P arrangements, we know that the evolution of TAs is essential to a long-term transition. While there are still many challenges we must solve for collectively, we are focusing our external engagement on four main areas.

Funder mandates should not be the only drivers of change….

Increased scale must come with better use of resources….

Equity and diversity must be supported in new ways….

Open is a means, not an end….”

Introducing the PLOS ONE Energy Materials Collection – Author Perspectives, Part 2

New and modified materials for future energy production, storage and use is an active area of research, where the progress made will shape society and support a sustainable future.  In August of 2021, PLOS ONE published a new collection of Energy Materials papers, showcasing state-of-the-art research in this exciting field. We interviewed some of the authors whose research is part of this collection, in order to shed further light on the discoveries they have made and the challenges they continue to tackle.

Sascha Raufeisen

Sascha is currently a PhD student at Institute of Technical and Environmental Chemistry at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. B.Sc. in chemistry (topic bachelor’s thesis: “Synthesis of a thiofunctionalized phosphoramidite for DNA synthesis”). M. Sc. in environmental chemistry (topic master’s thesis: “Investigation of the pyroelectrocatalytic oxidation capability of lithium niobate and lithium tantalate in an aquatic system“). Research focus: new advanced oxidation processes (AOP’s) and combinations (e.g. ultrasound with electrochemistry or photocatalysis) and pyrocatalysis (mechanism elucidation, modelling, application, catalyst development/synthesis) analytical chemistry and water analytics.

Sascha Raufeisen’s paper in this collection: Raufeisen S, Stelter M, Braeutigam P (2020) Pyrocatalysis—The DCF assay as a pH-robust tool to determine the oxidation capability of thermally excited pyroelectric powders. PLoS ONE 15(2): e0228644.

Can you tell us a bit about the beginning of this project that led to your PLOS ONE paper? If you weren’t involved in the study from the start, what was your first impression of the study?

SR: In 2014, I worked on a research module on the topic of electrochemical COD determination as part of my master’s degree in environmental chemistry. During my literature research, I read a lot on the topic of new and innovative advanced oxidation processes. By chance, I came across an article by Gutmann et al. In this article, they presented for the first time a wastewater treatment process based on thermally excited pyroelectric materials. I was immediately fascinated by the underlying mechanism and the prospect of exploiting the huge residual heat potentials in industry for the purification of wastewater. When, by chance, the first author of this study was also working in Jena and we exchanged ideas with him about the topic, I was hooked. I decided to change the topic of my master’s thesis and set out on the stony path of working on a completely new topic. After many missteps, corrections, and minor successes, I finished my master’s thesis with ten times more questions than when I started. Consequently, I decided to investigate pyrocatalysis further as part of my doctoral thesis. In the course of this work, I came to the conclusion that the methodology of the DCF assay needs to be fundamentally revised, which eventually resulted in my PLOS ONE paper.

Pyrocatalysis is a very exciting new research area. Do you envision that it will be possible in the future to apply this to energy generation applications of different kinds, in addition to wastewater remediation?

SR: In my opinion, further potential fields of application are H2 generation and the disinfection of (waste)water. Pyrocatalytic H2 generation could contribute to the supply of industry (e.g. steel production) with sustainably produced H2. Pyrocatalytic disinfection may gain importance especially with regard to future pandemic prevention. At the moment, however, the application of pyrocatalysis in all these three fields of application is highly dependent on the further development of pyroelectric catalysts. The DCF assay presented in the PLOS ONE paper can make a valuable contribution here.

As an early career scientist, how did you prepare yourself for the review process when submitting your first few papers? Is there anything you know now that you wish you’d known before that first submission?

SR: In order to prepare myself, I consulted more experienced scientists at our institute. They explained what I had to pay attention to in the cover letter, the abstract and the introduction. They also helped me with the suggestion of reviewers. The communication with the reviewers went smoothly. The most challenging part of my first two publications was choosing the right journal. With such a new topic at the cross section between environmental/water chemistry and materials science, I received many rejections due to the lack of fit.

What hopes do you have for the future of research into sustainable energy solutions? Do you have a clear sense at this point where you would like to go in your career?

SR: I hope that all industrialized countries will finally recognize that we must increase our efforts extremely in order to slow down climate change as much as possible. An essential point here is the conversion of our entire energy demand (electricity and heat) to a regenerative basis. Since this is not possible with current technologies, research in this area must be accelerated. In addition to storage technologies, I believe that concepts for the use of residual heat must also be further developed. One technique could be pyrocatalysis, which could be used for wastewater treatment and H2 generation at the same time. I want to contribute to this transformation with my research.

Jeremi Dauchet

Jeremi Dauchet is a physicist who received his PhD in chemical engineering in 2012. He is expert in transport physics and radiative transfer in particular (including electromagnetic theory applied to the determination of radiative properties), with special emphasis on the Monte Carlo method. Associate professor at Pascal Institute (France), his research is applied to photoreactive processes engineering.

Jeremi Dauchet’s paper in this collection: Supplis C, Dauchet J, Gattepaille V, Gros F, Vourc’h T, Cornet J-F (2021) Radiative analysis of luminescence in photoreactive systems: Application to photosensitizers for solar fuel production. PLoS ONE 16(7): e0255002.

Can you tell us a bit about the beginning of this project that led to your PLOS ONE paper? If you weren’t involved in the study from the start, what was your first impression of the study?

JD: This work was initiated by experimental results obtained by Caroline Supplis during her PhD. We observed unexpected yet significant impact of luminescence when studying bio-inspired H2 production in a benchmark photoreactor. The analysis of those experiments led us to carry the thorough radiative study presented in our PLOS ONE paper.

We noticed that you shared your Monte Carlo algorithm with your PLOS ONE paper. What motivated you to do this? Do you have any experience of using other researcher’s code from publications, or know of anyone who has used the code you’ve shared?

JD: Indeed, we are dedicated to open research and distributing open source codes and databases is part of that approach. We often provide the codes used in our publications as supplementary material or as links directed to our websites. Ensuring that these codes and databases will be available to readers in the long run is a concern. We know that our codes and databases are used by other researchers because they contact us when they need advises (or when it is no longer available at the provided url!). When those codes are mature enough, we work with Meso-Star for software development, support, maintenance, integration and distribution under GNU general public license ( Conversely we routinely use other researcher’s codes, for example the famous Mie code for electromagnetic scattering provided by Craig F. Bohren and Donald R. Huffman as an appendix in their book “Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles”.

Was there anything that surprised you during this study, or did everything go exactly according to plan?

JD: This entire study had not been envisaged when Caroline’s PhD research-plan was being drawn up! Photoreactive processes are controlled at different scales by radiative transfer and therefore, we knew that radiative analysis will be an important part of the work. But we did not anticipate such significant effects of luminescence, which led Caroline to 3 years of investigations.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by contributors are solely those of individual contributors, and not necessarily those of PLOS.

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Changes in Access to ClinicalKey | Dana Medical Library

“The University Libraries are disappointed to announce that ClinicalKey, a large collection of biomedical books and journals, will no longer be available to the UVM community, starting on Friday, October 22nd. Unfortunately, negotiations with Elsevier, the publisher behind these resources, came to an unfruitful conclusion. Our budget cannot bear the quadrupled price increase Elsevier proposed…” New Support for Scientific Publication Projects

The (German) wants to change this and advocates fair, diverse and public spirit-oriented publishing. In doing so, it is committed to and involved in Open Access journals, book publishers and blogs which are run collaboratively by scientists in order to give the diverse community of publication initiatives a voice. The network aims to be an advocate for independent, non-profit-oriented Open Access and to ensure sustainability in a field which is often characterised by project-based funding. In the interview, network co-founders Juliane Finger and Marcel Wrzesinski introduce the initiative and discuss its challenges, goals and initial plans.

Not Open For All: Accessibility of Open Textbooks

In order for open educational resources (OERs) to be truly open to all, they must be accessible to learners with disabilities, including those with visual, auditory, physical and cognitive disabilities. This study sought to determine the accessibility of a randomly selected sample of 355 open textbooks using a custom rubric based upon the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), version 2.1, primarily at the Levels A and AA. Included books fell into one of four format types: HTML files/websites, PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and EPUBs. The average number of ‘fails’ – instances in which they ran afoul of a rubric category – across the whole sample was 5.93 and the median was 6, out of a total of 14 or 15 categories, depending on the format type. Overall, most of the books did not meet basic accessibility requirements, such as including alternative text for any images, properly coding/tagging any tables and following a logical heading order structure.

Michigan Publishing and ScienceOpen Begin a New Partnership Around the University of Michigan Press’ Open Access Books

University of Michigan Press is the flagship imprint of Michigan Publishing, publishing highly curated and peer-reviewed monographs in humanities and qualitative social sciences. Areas of particular focus are performing arts and media studies; classical studies; political science; American studies (especially disability and class studies); and Asian studies.

Using citizen science data to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals: a bottom?up analysis – CS Track

“This research explores whether citizen science data could be used to improve the monitoring of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By investigating this issue from the perspective of citizen science, this research finds that citizen science projects see both valuable opportunities as well as deep-rooted barriers in linking their data to the SDGs….”

OE Awards 2021 Open Assets Winners facilitate access to Open Education – OEGlobal

“In 2021, the Open Education Awards for Excellence celebrates its 10th anniversary. 

Every year for ten years, Open Education Global has recognized the brilliance within the Open Education sector through its Open Education Awards for Excellence. The winners of these awards represent works that encapsulate the aspirations of the movement, further inspire outstanding achievements, and add immeasurably to the shared wealth of the open education community. 

Celebrating the growth, diversity, and impact across the Open Education sector, this year there are four major focuses with 16 award categories in total. Each year, the awards categories grow to ensure relevance to the community and recognize the full range of open education activities, projects, resources, and practices. This year we are excited to introduce the Open Infrastructure Award highlighting the importance of a wider ecosystem that supports open education. 

At the end of September, on the last day of the OEGlobal 21 online conference, the first of of the Open Education Awards for Excellence winners were announced with the award for UNESCO OER Implementation was announced as a communal award to every one of the 294 presenters at the Open Education Global 2021 online conference for their “exemplary leadership in advancing the UNESCO OER Recommendation in their own practices”….”

Plan S & Scholarly Publishing Future: Challenges & Opportunities

“With ambitious promises to reshape scholarly publishing, Plan S supported by cOAlition S affects authors, publishers, libraries and all stakeholders in between.

Where are we now?

What Plan S challenges have been addressed?

What new obstacles have materialised?

This webinar aims to take stock of the journey made since the launch of Plan S, focusing on the evolution of Publishers, Open Access (OA) business models and the challenges and opportunities that remain open. Join a balanced panel of experts including publishers, researchers and cOAlition S policy makers to discuss Plan S implications moving forward. The webinar will be followed by a live Q&A session.”