The curious internal logic of open access policymaking – Samuel Moore

“This week, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) declared 2023 its ‘Year of Open Science‘, announcing ‘new grant funding, improvements in research infrastructure, broadened research participation for emerging scholars, and expanded opportunities for public engagement’. This announcement builds on the OSTP’s open access policy announcement last year that will require immediate open access to federally-funded research from 2025. Given the state of the academic publishing market, and the tendency for US institutions to look towards market-based solutions, such a policy change will result in more article-processing charge payments and, most likely, publishing agreements between libraries and academic publishers (as I have written about elsewhere). The OSTP’s policy interventions will therefore hasten the marketisation of open access publishing by further cementing the business models of large commercial publishers — having similar effects to the policy initiatives of European funders.

As the US becomes more centralised and maximalist in its approach to open access policymaking, European institutions are taking a leaf out of the North American book by implementing rights retention policies — of the kind implemented by Harvard in 2008 and adopted widely in North America thereafter. If 2023 will be the ‘year of open science’ in the USA, it will surely be the year of rights retention in Europe. This is largely in response to funders now refusing to pay APCs for hybrid journals — a form of profiteering initially permitted by many funders who now realise the errors of their ways. With APC payments prohibited, researchers need rights retention to continue publishing in hybrid journals while meeting their funder requirements….”

On the culture of open access: the Sci-hub paradox | Research Square

Abstract:  Shadow libraries have gradually become key players of scientific knowledge dissemination, despite their illegality in most countries of the world. Many publishers and scientist-editors decry such libraries for their copyright infringement and loss of publication usage information, while some scholars and institutions support them, sometimes in a roundabout way, for their role in reducing inequalities of access to knowledge, particularly in low-income countries. Although there is a wealth of literature on shadow libraries, none of this have focused on its potential role in knowledge dissemination, through the open access movement. Here we analyze how shadow libraries can affect researchers’ citation practices, highlighting some counter-intuitive findings about their impact on the Open Access Citation Advantage (OACA). Based on a large randomized sample, this study first shows that OA publications, including those in fully OA journals, receive more citations than their subscription-based counterparts do. However, the OACA has slightly decreased over the seven last years. The introduction of a distinction between those accessible or not via the Sci-hub platform among subscription-based suggest that the generalization of its use cancels the positive effect of OA publishing. The results show that publications in fully OA journals (and to a lesser extent those in hybrid journals) are victims of the success of Sci-hub. Thus, paradoxically, although Sci-hub may seem to facilitate access to scientific knowledge, it negatively affects the OA movement as a whole, by reducing the comparative advantage of OA publications in terms of visibility for researchers. The democratization of the use of Sci-hub may therefore lead to a vicious cycle against the development of fully OA journals.

 

event: The next 10 years of Open Data, 13th December 2022 | Digital Science

“As 2022 draws to a close, join us for a Figshare webinar that looks ahead to the next 10 years of open data. What should the roadmap of open data uptake look like in academia? Figshare celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2022 and have been reflecting on 10 years of providing leading repository software to universities, publishers, funders, government agencies, pharmaceutical organizations, labs and more. As we embark on the next phase of our journey, this webinar will take stock of the current landscape of Open Data and what the coming years could bring for Figshare and the community as a whole. 2022 also saw the so-called ‘seismic’ OSTP memo and in January 2023, the NIH’s new Data Management and Sharing Policy will take full effect. During our webinar we’ll discuss the rise of national and international open data mandates and what they mean for publishers, universities and importantly researchers themselves….”

Nature’s Take: what’s next for the preprint revolution

“In this first episode of Nature’s Take, we get four of Nature’s staff around microphones to get their expert take on preprints. These pre-peer-review open access articles have spiked in number over recent years and have cemented themselves as an integral part of scientific publishing. But this has not been without its issues.

In this discussion we cover a lot of ground. Amongst other things, we ask whether preprints could help democratise science or contribute to a loss of trust in scientists. We pick apart the relationship between preprints and peer-reviewed journals and tackle some common misconceptions. We ask how preprints have been used by different fields and how the pandemic has changed the game. And as we look to the future, we ask how preprints fit into the discussion around open access and even if they could do away with journals all together….”

What to expect from post-pandemic publishing – Research Professional News

“Luckily for the world, as the world’s scientists grappled to understand Covid-19, the publishing situation is very different to Sars. The Covid-19 pandemic prompted what Barbour calls “an outpouring of research”, and most of it was rapidly available online and on preprint servers.

This time around scientists were able to disseminate early data and release initial findings in preprints, publications which are not peer reviewed and are a relatively recent innovation in the research landscape. Traditional journal publishing processes could not keep pace with the pandemic.

Post-Covid, says Barbour, publishing should be heading for a permanent change.

“My view is that the pandemic has reinforced [the view] that traditional journals on their own can’t respond to the rapid flow of information that’s needed in an emergency,” she says. “Traditional journals will have a role in that system, but it’s a limited one and should not be the dominant method.”

The tide appears to be turning in favour of novel forms of academic publishing. In December 2021, the Australian Research Council performed a major U-turn and uncancelled 32 applicants who had been disqualified from entry to the ARC Future Fellowships and Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards because their applications contained references to preprints.

If this is progress, though, there are already questions about whether it can be maintained….”

Death of academic journal greatly exaggerated, says ERC president | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Publishing in highly selective journals will remain important to

scientists in future because academics will always recognise the value
added by scholars attached to such publications, the new president of
the European Research Council has said.

Dismissing predictions that traditional scholarly publishers will not
be needed in the near future as preprint and other open access
platforms grow in popularity, Maria Leptin said she did not foresee a
world without journals.

Even in decades to come, researchers “will still be submitting
articles for peer review in the same way as they do now”, said
Professor Leptin, who took over the European Union’s research funder
in November, having been director of the European Molecular Biology
Organization (EMBO), which publishes a select number of journals,
since 2010….”

Perspectives on Open Science and The Future of Scholarly Communication: Internet Trackers and Algorithmic Persuasion | Research Metrics and Analytics

The current digital content industry is heavily oriented towards building platforms that track users’ behaviour and seek to convince them to stay longer and come back sooner onto the platform. Similarly, authors are incentivised to publish more and to become champions of dissemination. Arguably, these incentive systems are built around public reputation supported by a system of metrics, hard to be assessed. Generally, the digital content industry is permeable to non-human contributors (algorithms that are able to generate content and reactions), anonymity and identity fraud. It is pertinent to present a perspective paper about early signs of track and persuasion in scholarly communication. Building our views, we have run a pilot study to determine the opportunity for conducting research about the use of “track and persuade” technologies in scholarly communication. We collected observations on a sample of 148 relevant websites and we interviewed 15 that are experts related to the field. Through this work, we tried to identify 1) the essential questions that could inspire proper research, 2) good practices to be recommended for future research, and 3) whether citizen science is a suitable approach to further research in this field. The findings could contribute to determining a broader solution for building trust and infrastructure in scholarly communication. The principles of Open Science will be used as a framework to see if they offer insights into this work going forward.

Strong open access growth set to continue – report | Research Information

“Around a third of all global research articles are now published open access, according to a new report from the STM association. Recent strong growth in OA publishing is projected to continue – with some countries, such as the UK, on track for 90 per cent of their researchers’ output to be published OA within a year due to business model and operational innovations.

STM (the Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers) published the latest edition of The STM Report, the organisation’s  overview of the scientific and scholarly publishing market. The revised report, which adopts a new supplement format to be issued in regular thematic updates, reveals significant publisher-driven growth in OA and ‘continued dynamism’ in the scholarly communication ecosystem.

For the past 15 years, the STM Report has provided data and analysis for all involved in the global activity of research, highlighting and exploring the trends, issues and challenges facing scholarly publishing. The latest edition in the series: ‘STM Global Brief 2021 – Economics and market size’ provides an update on the size and shape of scholarly publishing and offers the latest global market values for the industry across scientific and technical, medical, and social sciences and humanities fields….”

Content at Scale – The Third Wave – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Third Wave – 2020s – AI and Open Content

This decade will see the tipping point reached for open research content between the [top down] expansion of OA initiatives from commercial publishers and the [bottom up] support for Open Science efforts from within the academy. Having more content freely available and more content on the same platforms enables large scale analyses. The economic models are shifting from the value of the content at the unit level to the deployment of tools to uncover intelligence in a large body of content….”

Universities without walls: A vision for 2030

“Open Science, making research accessible to all, will be the default way of producing knowledge. Universities will support a diverse non-commercial publishing system and will, themselves, be directly involved in such a system, by promoting and supporting non-commercial and smaller publishing initiatives. Data and other outputs resulting from research will be made FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Scientists will be adequately rewarded for the processing and publishing of data. Europe’s scholarly information infrastructure will facilitate cross-border, multidisciplinary research with advanced digital services and tools….”

Universities without walls: A vision for 2030

“Open Science, making research accessible to all, will be the default way of producing knowledge. Universities will support a diverse non-commercial publishing system and will, themselves, be directly involved in such a system, by promoting and supporting non-commercial and smaller publishing initiatives. Data and other outputs resulting from research will be made FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Scientists will be adequately rewarded for the processing and publishing of data. Europe’s scholarly information infrastructure will facilitate cross-border, multidisciplinary research with advanced digital services and tools….”

Open Access Book Publishing 2020-2024 – Research and Markets

“In today’s global market, it’s more important than ever to understand the evolution of academic publishing. Rely on the Open Access Book Publishing 2020-2024 to build your strategy in this emerging market for this year and beyond.

This report explains the origins of the open access movement, gives a timeline for its development, but most importantly, Simba Information quantifies open access book publishing as a market segment. Simba used the information it gathered through primary and secondary research to develop a financial outlook for open access book publishing with market projections through 2024. This research was conducted in conjunction with a larger study of the overall market for scholarly and professional publishing. Open Access Book Publishing 2020-2024 contains separate chapters covering the market, notable publishers and programs, and issues and forecast that include:

Exclusive analysis of market size and structure
Title growth metrics
Open access book publishing by discipline
A look at key geographic markets that are pushing the development of open access books
Exclusive market projections to 2024 and more.

Publishers and investment professionals can trust Open Access Book Publishing 2020-2024 to provide the inside intelligence needed to evaluate growth potential, understand trends affecting the industry, and size up the competition. Examples of some of the issues discussed include:

The continued evolution of open access
The impact of open access in social science and humanities vs. scientific, technical and medical
Prevailing business models and experiments
Open access mandates spread to books
Opportunity for monographs and conference proceedings
Emerging markets fertile ground for open access….”

Serials Price Projection Report 2021

“At the time of writing, we expect the overall effective publisher price increases for academic and academic medical libraries for 2021 (before any currency impact) to be in the range of 2 to 3 percent for individual titles. Also important is the role of e-journal packages in the information marketplace. More than half of EBSCO’s sales for 2020 were from e-journal packages; likewise, library budgets are, in large part, spent on these collections. As a result, their impact on the overall serials price increase is significant. We expect the overall average price increase for e-journal packages, including provisions for mandatory take-over titles, upgrades, etc. to be in the range of 1 to 3 percent….”

 

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back – The Pandemic’s Impact on Open Access Progress – The Scholarly Kitchen

“2019 was a watershed year for progress in the transition of research publishing to open access (OA). The shakeup caused by Plan S had some time to sink in, cancellations of big subscription deals ramped up, and as I noted last October, the conversation had shifted from “eventually things will move to OA,” to instead a sense of urgency, “we’re on the clock for a move to OA.” The value of open science (increased transparency, open data, open access to research results) has become increasingly obvious during the current global health crisis. Both the positives (rapid reporting and sharing of information) and the negatives (the glut of bad science being issued as preprints and promoted via mainstream media without proper curation) are now evident, with the good generally outweighing the bad. Despite the daily evidence of the importance of shifting to an open science environment for research, the economic fallout from the pandemic is going to make necessary progress difficult and slow….

Business models beyond the APC may have an even bigger struggle ahead. Because of the many shortcomings of the APC model, a variety of OA business models that can be applied in different contexts and that are appropriate for each community and research field are needed for long-term sustainability. Right now, most of the non-APC models in-play rely upon voluntary spend from someone. Will the cost paid for publication of a Diamond-OA journal out of a library make the cut when budgets are being slashed? Collective action strategies that rely upon libraries voluntarily paying for memberships or subscribe-to-open models are going to be similarly hard to justify, given that you receive all the same benefits of the model whether or not you choose to pay….

Open access relies on the concept that knowledge is a public good, but acknowledges that there are costs and efforts necessary to produce and maintain that public good. The global health crisis has the potential to bring stakeholders together in support of improving the way we communicate research results, but the accompanying economic downturn may create significant roadblocks to those efforts.”

Gold Open Access, Organizational and Discipline-Specific Barriers to its Adoption and Business Model Viability | Open Research Community

“Thus, transformative Gold Open Access agreements do not necessarily produce win-win results for publishers and universities, since they likely demand capital investment, protracted inter-organizational negotiations, and expertise-related costs. This indicates the likely continued importance of Green and hybrid Open Access for the scholarly publishing market and a significant role for innovative business models in this sector.”