Transformation at work – introducing Europe’s digital champions: Astrid Verheusen, transforming the research cycle | Europeana Pro

“As Executive Director of LIBER – the Association of European Research Libraries – I implement our strategy and manage our network of 450 libraries across 42 countries, as well as the office of seven staff in The Hague. Our strategy is about progressing the open science cause and powering sustainable knowledge in the digital age. We envision a world in 2022 in which open access will be the dominant form of publishing. A world in which research data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR).  We believe that by developing digital and participatory skills for research, the cultural heritage of tomorrow can be built on today’s digital information. …”

The Future of OA: A large-scale analysis projecting Open Access publication and readership | bioRxiv

Understanding the growth of open access (OA) is important for deciding funder policy, subscription allocation, and infrastructure planning. This study analyses the number of papers available as OA over time. The models includes both OA embargo data and the relative growth rates of different OA types over time, based on the OA status of 70 million journal articles published between 1950 and 2019. The study also looks at article usage data, analyzing the proportion of views to OA articles vs views to articles which are closed access. Signal processing techniques are used to model how these viewership patterns change over time. Viewership data is based on 2.8 million uses of the Unpaywall browser extension in July 2019. We found that Green, Gold, and Hybrid papers receive more views than their Closed or Bronze counterparts, particularly Green papers made available within a year of publication. We also found that the proportion of Green, Gold, and Hybrid articles is growing most quickly. In 2019:- 31% of all journal articles are available as OA. – 52% of article views are to OA articles. Given existing trends, we estimate that by 2025: – 44% of all journal articles will be available as OA. – 70% of article views will be to OA articles. The declining relevance of closed access articles is likely to change the landscape of scholarly communication in the years to come.

 

What history can tell us about the future of scholarly society journals: Interview with Aileen Fyfe

“Open access policies and initiatives introduced in recent years, Plan S among the latest, have put increasing emphasis in academia on discussions about what the future of scholarly publishing should look like. There are mounting debates around whether universal OA is an achievable goal, and how publishers should transition journals to OA models. Many scholarly societies, in particular, have expressed concerns that widening OA mandates could compromise their operations because they rely on subscription journal revenues to cover costs.

It seems that the only real consensus among scholarly societies and other stakeholders in the great OA debate is that the way forward isn’t obvious, and traversing the developing OA landscape remains a daunting endeavor for many societies. However, despite the absence of a clear path ahead, there is some direction to be gained by retracing the steps taken to get to this point. Most have heard some form of the adage, you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. For scholarly societies, in particular, looking to the history of society and association journal publishing, which far pre-dates the current predominantly subscription-based and corporate-controlled publishing system, could yield greater perspective in debates around the future of journals and research access.

Aileen Fyfe, professor of modern history at the University of St. Andrews, knows the history of scholarly publishing and its many implications for the present-day inside and out. She has focused her research on the publishing and popularization of the sciences from a historical lense. Recent projects that Fyfe has worked on include a briefing titled “Untangling Academic Publishing: A history of the relationship between commercial interests, academic prestige and the circulation of research,” and a collaborative project, “The Secret History of the Scientific Journal.” In the below interview, Fyfe shares an abridged history of journal publishing at scholarly societies and her thoughts on how scholarly publishing’s past can influence its present….”

Academic Libraries’ Stance toward the Future

Abstract:  The literature about academic libraries takes a strong interest in the future, yet little of it reflects on academic libraries’ underlying stance toward the years ahead: is there a sense of change or continuity? Is there optimism or pessimism? Consensus or divergence? This article explores these questions using data from interviews with a broad range of practitioners, commentators, and experts. Some see libraries as fundamentally unchanging, while others perceive innovation as a given. There is little consensus about upcoming trends. Some interviewees doubt libraries’ ability to deal with change, but others feel considerable optimism.

 

Where is the Publication Puck Going? Making Research Available “Upstream” of Publication – The Scholarly Kitchen

“If (for example) the seeds of Plan S were sown when funders began to introduce requirements and funding around access to research publications, what do today’s funder preferences and requirements tell us about how to prepare for tomorrow? Here is a handful of insights from the project….

95% of respondents considered that being able to demonstrate broader communications and impacts is important to their future funding and career progression….

The dialogue, and thus the focus of publisher efforts at the moment, continues to be around open access and data sharing – but funders’ focus seems to be moving on to other aspects of communication, with dissemination / impact plans, knowledge exchange / transfer and broader audiences all more commonly required by respondents’ funders than open access and data sharing. This may be an early indicator of emerging opportunities for publishers – helping researchers with knowledge exchange, knowledge transfer, and research commercialization….”

The Future of FAIR, as Told by the Past – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The scholarly record is evolving to incorporate a widening range of research outputs, with stakeholders, systems, practices, and norms both adapting to and shaping this evolution. Stewardship of research data has received particular attention, evidenced by an ever-thickening network of services, resources, and consensus- or standards-building activities dedicated to making data sets accessible and reusable. One prominent initiative is FAIR: a set of principles that describe how to make data sets Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. It is still early days for FAIR – the principles were introduced in a 2016 article in Scientific Data. The future of FAIR is therefore very much to be determined; however, publishers, funders, researchers, and other stakeholders can draw some helpful lessons from history….

Changing data management practices is just as much about changing mindset and culture as it is about technical solutions – perhaps more. FAIR is a valuable tool for advocacy, in the sense of communicating the high-level goals of open, reusable data. FAIR is a valuable resource for education, by providing a shared framework within which new perspectives on responsible data management can be formed – even if those perspectives are not uniform, or easily operationalized. And FAIR is a valuable marker for how seriously the community is taking up the issue of open data: even if repositories declare their data FAIR without formal compliance or certification protocols, at least they are gesturing to the importance of the issue, and maybe even doing something substantive about it.

So the experience of OAIS tells us we should not place all our emphasis on formal implementation of FAIR as the final yardstick of its value to the community. FAIR can be, and I expect will be, a powerful catalyst in moving the research data community as a whole in the right direction….”

New ALPSP boss: academic publishing ‘could return to non-profit’ | Research Information

“Academic publishing could be about to return to a not-for-profit enterprise.

That is the view of Wayne Sime, new chief executive of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), who was interviewed in Research Information this month.

Sime was previously director of library services for the Royal Society of Medicine, and has also worked in the NHS and financial sector. He has been a chartered librarian since 2001 and became a fellow of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals) in 2009.

When asked what he believes will change in the industry over the next 10 years, Sime predicted an expectation that all scholarly communications will be freely distributed, and that search engines and social communities will be primary sources of useful information.

He continued: ‘We will need to adjust our practice and business model to reflect this new reality. The best way, I believe, to see the future is to expect a rapid drop in all kinds of government backing from the economy and to figure out a publication system that will adapt. 

‘We must remember that when we look back at the history of publishing, it has only been a recent development (mid-20th century onwards) that academic publishing become a profit-making enterprise. History may be about to repeat itself!’ …”

The gold rush: Why open access will boost publisher profits | Impact of Social Sciences

“An important justification for transitioning from a subscription based journal publishing system to an open access journal publishing system, has been that whereas printing and distributing physical copies of journals is an expensive process, the cost of digital publication and dissemination are marginal. In this post Shaun Khoo argues that whilst a shift to gold (pay to publish) open access would deliver wider access to research, the lack of price sensitivity amongst academics presents a risk that they will be locked into a new escalating  pay to publish system that could potentially be more costly to researchers than the previous subscription model….”

Plan S end game

“Now that the Plan S comment period is over and the comments made public, we can see that there is a raging debate over whether journals ought to comply or not. So it is time to consider the possible end games, which range from a lot of journals complying, to just a bunch, to almost none. The differences are pretty stark….

Everything depends on how many journals choose to comply, which in turn may well depend on how many articles fall under Plan S. At this point China and India look like the wild cards in the game….

The abstract question for a journal is this: What fraction of submissions has to be precluded by Plan S to make it a good decision to comply? I pointed out early on that if you have an 80% rejection rate that fraction can be large before damage occurs. On the other hand, journals do not want to write off large numbers of authors as unpublishable. It is a hard choice….

The abstract question for a journal is this: What fraction of submissions has to be precluded by Plan S to make it a good decision to comply? I pointed out early on that if you have an 80% rejection rate that fraction can be large before damage occurs. On the other hand, journals do not want to write off large numbers of authors as unpublishable. It is a hard choice.

Assuming that something more than a few journals do make the leap, but many do not, we get a rather strange world in which Plan S authors can only publish in a specific subset of journals. This may be the most likely outcome, but it seems to be little discussed. The impact on the Plan S authors is probably adverse, especially if the top journals choose not to comply….”

Plan S end game

“Now that the Plan S comment period is over and the comments made public, we can see that there is a raging debate over whether journals ought to comply or not. So it is time to consider the possible end games, which range from a lot of journals complying, to just a bunch, to almost none. The differences are pretty stark….

Everything depends on how many journals choose to comply, which in turn may well depend on how many articles fall under Plan S. At this point China and India look like the wild cards in the game….

The abstract question for a journal is this: What fraction of submissions has to be precluded by Plan S to make it a good decision to comply? I pointed out early on that if you have an 80% rejection rate that fraction can be large before damage occurs. On the other hand, journals do not want to write off large numbers of authors as unpublishable. It is a hard choice….

The abstract question for a journal is this: What fraction of submissions has to be precluded by Plan S to make it a good decision to comply? I pointed out early on that if you have an 80% rejection rate that fraction can be large before damage occurs. On the other hand, journals do not want to write off large numbers of authors as unpublishable. It is a hard choice.

Assuming that something more than a few journals do make the leap, but many do not, we get a rather strange world in which Plan S authors can only publish in a specific subset of journals. This may be the most likely outcome, but it seems to be little discussed. The impact on the Plan S authors is probably adverse, especially if the top journals choose not to comply….”

‘Up to half’ of European papers to be open access under Plan S | Times Higher Education (THE)

European countries signed up to Plan S can expect to have about half their total research output published in open access format, according to new analysis that offers a snapshot of the scheme’s potential global impact.

The Plan S Footprint: Implications for the Scholarly Publishing Landscape, published by research data analysts Clarivate, examines the extent to which existing publications comply with the guidelines for Plan S, under which participating funders will require all the research that they had supported to be made freely available at the point of publication from next January….

While the papers funded by Plan S backers account for only about 6.4 per cent of total annual academic output, researchers found their impact to be much wider, with compliant papers racking up more citations on average, across all fields.

In molecular biology and genetics, for example, 2017 papers authored by one or more researchers supported by Plan S signatories received an average of 7.7 citations, compared with the total subject average of 4.7….

The paper estimates that about 90,000 papers funded by Plan S supporters which are currently published in hybrid or subscription journals would need to be “rehoused” if the titles did not flip to full open access.

“The relocation of content to open access titles would represent a 29 per cent overall movement in the volume of well-cited papers in the existing compliant venues,” the researchers add, which “could be disruptive in some subjects, and suitable compliant venues are not always available”. …”

 

‘Up to half’ of European papers to be open access under Plan S | Times Higher Education (THE)

European countries signed up to Plan S can expect to have about half their total research output published in open access format, according to new analysis that offers a snapshot of the scheme’s potential global impact.

The Plan S Footprint: Implications for the Scholarly Publishing Landscape, published by research data analysts Clarivate, examines the extent to which existing publications comply with the guidelines for Plan S, under which participating funders will require all the research that they had supported to be made freely available at the point of publication from next January….

While the papers funded by Plan S backers account for only about 6.4 per cent of total annual academic output, researchers found their impact to be much wider, with compliant papers racking up more citations on average, across all fields.

In molecular biology and genetics, for example, 2017 papers authored by one or more researchers supported by Plan S signatories received an average of 7.7 citations, compared with the total subject average of 4.7….

The paper estimates that about 90,000 papers funded by Plan S supporters which are currently published in hybrid or subscription journals would need to be “rehoused” if the titles did not flip to full open access.

“The relocation of content to open access titles would represent a 29 per cent overall movement in the volume of well-cited papers in the existing compliant venues,” the researchers add, which “could be disruptive in some subjects, and suitable compliant venues are not always available”. …”

 

The Plan S footprint: Implications for the scholarly publishing landscape – Clarivate

This report, the second in the Global Research series from the Institute for Scientific Information, examines recent patterns of publications funded by Plan S supporters, exploring potential impacts on funders, subjects, countries, publishers, and journals.

Based on journal data taken from Web of Science Core Collection, the report looks to provide an unbiased and data-driven background analysis to inform the debate around a potentially transformative change in research policy. ‘The Plan S Footprint’ raises several questions for consideration by funders, publishers and institutions when exploring possible ways to implement Plan S….”