Should open access lead to closed research? The trends towards paying to perform research

Abstract:  Open  Access  (OA)  emerged  as  an  important  transition  in  scholarly  publishing  worldwide during the past two decades. So far, this transition is increasingly based on article processing charges (APC), which create a new paywall on the researchers’ side. Publishing is part of the research  process  and  thereby  necessary  to  perform  research.  This  study  analyses  the  global trends towards paying to perform research by combing observed trends in publishing from 2015 to 2020 with an APC price list. APC expenses have sharply increased among six countries with different  OA  policies:  the  USA,  China,  the  UK,  France,  the  Netherlands,  and  Norway.  The estimated global revenues from APC among major publishers now exceed 2 billion US dollars annually. Mergers and takeovers show that the industry is moving towards APC-based OA as the more profitable business  model.  Research publishing will be closed  to  those who cannot make an institution or project money payment. Our results lead to a discussion of whether APC is the best way to promote OA.

UiT’s Open Access policy

“At UiT The Arctic University of Norway, all academic publications shall be accessible in open access journals or open repositories.

The following applies to scientific work with a publication date of 1. January 2022 or later: Regardless of the publication channel, full-text copies of scientific articles written by employees and students at UiT shall be uploaded (deposited) in the national register (currently called Cristin).

If the article is published with open access with the publisher (gold open access), the publisher’s PDF (Published version, Version of Record) must be uploaded.
If the article is published in a closed channel (subscription journal) that does not allow self-archiving of the publisher’s PDF, the latest peer-reviewed manuscript version (accepted manuscript, Author’s Accepted Manuscript, postprint) must be uploaded.

All uploaded full-text copies will be made openly available in the institutional archive (currently called Munin). Authors who wish to make a reservation against making a full-text copy available in Munin can apply for an exemption. More information about this can be found under Self-archiving.

By not applying for an exemption, UiT’s employees and students give the institution permission to make full text copies available in the open institutional archive (currently called Munin) under a Creative Commons license, in line with prevailing international practice in gree Open Access infrastructure. Read more about the rules and procedures in Principles for open access to scientific publications at UiT Norway’s Arctic University….”

How UiT The Arctic University of Norway protects researchers’ freedom to choose whatever publication venue they want | Plan S

In 2008 Harvard’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously to adopt a ground-breaking open access policy. Since then, over 70 other institutions, including other Harvard faculties, Stanford and MIT, have adopted similar policies based on the Harvard model. In Europe such institutional policies have, so far, been slow to get off the ground.

We are beginning to see that situation change. In 2021 the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) adopted an Open Access policy that came into force on 1st January 2022.

Here, UiT members Camilla Brekke (Prorector for Research and Development), Johanne Raade (Library Director), Tanja Larssen (Open Science Advisor) and Per Pippin Aspaas (Head of Library Research and Publishing Support), tell us about the process of creating and implementing their policy….”

Introducing level X in the Norwegian Publication Indicator | Nordic Perspectives on Open Science

Røeggen, Vidar. 2021. “Introducing Level X in the Norwegian Publication Indicator: Involving the Research Community When Evaluating Journals Operating in the Borderland Between Predatory and Reputable Practice”. Nordic Perspectives on Open Science, December. https://doi.org/10.7557/11.6376.

By introducing the Norwegian Publication Indicator in 2004 Norway became part of an international development in which the allocation of basic funds to research institutions is increasingly linked to performance indicators (Dansk center for forskningsanalyse, 2014). Denmark and Finland have also implemented what is frequently labeled as “The Norwegian Model”. The model has inspired changes in similar national models in Flanders (Belgium) and Poland, and it is used for local purposes by several universities in Sweden and by University of Dublin, in Ireland (Sivertsen, 2018). The research community has been deeply involved in designing and adopting the model in Norway, and the annual processes evaluating journals depend on involvement by panels in every field of research. The indicator has an interactive webpage where researchers can communicate and discuss publication channels openly, and the final decisions made by panels when nominating journals to the highest level (level 2) are transparent and openly available at the webpage.

The indicator depends on information from a national registry of approved publication channels that is managed by The Directorate of Higher Education and Skills (HK-dir.). As of November 2021, The Norwegian register for scientific journals, series and publishers contains 26 127 journals at the basic level (level 1) and 2 193 journals at the highest level (level 2), and level 2 journals are identified by research panels in 84 different fields of research. Researchers can suggest new publication channels to the registry and these suggestions are examined according to our four criteria:

Journals/series must:

Be identified with a valid ISSN, confirmed by The International ISSN Register (demand from 2014)
Have an academic editorial board (or an equivalent) primarily consisting of researchers from universities, institutes or organizations that do research
Have established procedures for external peer review
Have a national or international authorship, meaning that maximum 2/3 of the authors can belong to the same institution

Publishers must:

Be organized in an editorial way to publish publications in accordance with the definition of a scientific publication
Have a scientific publishing program with external advisors and aiming for distribution to scholars and research institutions
Have a national or international authorship, meaning that maximum 2/3 of the authors can belong to the same institution

New suggestions are prepared by the secretariate at the register, and then finally approved by The National Board of Scholarly Publishing (NPU). So, the research community is deeply involved, both in the operations and further development of the indicator.

The secretariate at HK-dir. processes approximately 1 600 new proposals annually and NPU observe a new tendency in recent years: that an ever-increasing number of the incoming suggestions represents channels where there is uncertainty about approval or rejection. On the one hand, an examination of the available information on these journals’ webpages shows that the journals apparently satisfy our criteria. However, NPU sometimes identify ongoing discussion in the research community as to whether editorial practice is in accordance with how the journals describe their own routines. In addition, researchers often inform both NPU and the secretariate at HK-dir. about their own (bad) experience with a journal and ask us to investigate further.

Researchers often refer to these journals as “predatory journals” or the activity they represent as “predatory publishing”. But what does predatory publishing mean in 2021? The term has been co-opted to describe a range of activities including lack of rigorous peer review to exploitative publishing models (Hanson, 2021). Journals or publishers are not either predatory or representatives of high standards – they are rather on a continuum from predatory to high standards of research integrity and practice. Therefore, NPU discuss where to draw the line on this continuum.

Diamond Open Access in Norway 2017–2020

Abstract:  We see from information published elsewhere that Gold OA is on the increase globally. The OA Diamond study indicates that Diamond OA is an important component of scholarly communications, with an estimated 8–9% of the total global scholarly output. These numbers, however, are on a global scale and are not necessarily representative of any given country; country case studies are needed to find this information. Norway is a country where the government has declared a 100% OA goal and most research has public funding. Norway has good financing structures for various models of OA, and it has a national CRIS system. This study tries to find and present numbers for articles in scholarly journals to describe both recent developments and relative numbers for Norway as a whole, and for scholarly fields in Norway, with regards to Diamond OA. Numbers for and development of Gold OA will also be given and commented upon to some extent. View Full-Text

 

Diamond Open Access in Norway 2017-2020

We see from information published elsewhere that Gold OA is on the increase globally. The OA Diamond study indicates that Diamond OA is an important component of scholarly communications, with an estimated 8–9% of the total global scholarly output. These numbers, however, are on a global scale and are not necessarily representative of any given country; country case studies are needed to find this information. Norway is a country where the government has declared a 100% OA goal and most research has public funding. Norway has good financing structures for various models of OA, and it has a national CRIS system. This study tries to find and present numbers for articles in scholarly journals to describe both recent developments and relative numbers for Norway as a whole, and for scholarly fields in Norway, with regards to Diamond OA. Numbers for and development of Gold OA will also be given and commented upon to some extent.

An Institutional Rights Retention Strategy | Open Science Talk

Abstract:  Prorector for research and development at UiT The Arctic University of Norway informs about the institution’s new Open Access Policy, in which Rights Retention takes a prominent place. All authors employed by UiT retain the rights to their peer-reviewed manuscripts, which can now be uploaded and be made available without any embargo period in the institutional repository, Munin, regardless of the policies of the publisher. In case an individual author refuses, (s)he is free to opt out, but no publisher shall have the right to force her/him to not make a manuscript publicly available in green open access through the institution’s open repository. The original Norwegian policy document (“Prinsipper og retningslinjer for åpen tilgang til vitenskapelige publikasjoner ved UiT”) is available through the website uit.no/publisering; an English translation will follow soon at en.uit.no/publishing.

 

Program 2021 – Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing

“The Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing has a history going back to 2006. In connection with the official opening of Munin, the institutional repository of the University of Tromsø, two seminars were arranged. The first was in September marking the launch of Munin, the second was held in the end of November, looking at the effects of the Norwegian system for financing institutions in part based upon the publishing volume (and quality) of the institutions. This last seminar has evolved into the annual Munin conference.

In the years following 2006, the Munin Conference was held in Norwegian, often having a Norwegian focus, but gradually looking further and losing the local focus. From 2010 on the conference has been held in English only, previously we had some presentations in English and some in Norwegian. This all-English policy has enabled keynotes and other speakers to participate fully in the whole program, and to make Europe, not only Norway, the “market” for the conference.

Themes for the conferences have always been some aspect of scholarly/scientific publishing and communication, overwhelmingly with Open Access (OA) as an important aspect, but Open Access in itself has not been the only theme. Some of the themes for the conferences have been Entering the Next Stage (2013), New Trends in Scholarly Publishing (2012), Enhancing publications (2011), Open Access: The Competitive Advantage (2010), Time to review the peer review? (2009) and Money Talks: New institutional policies in scholarly publishing (2008). See the list of our keynotes since the start in 2006….”

Workshop “Universell utforming i OJS-tidsskrift” | 22–23 November 2021 | Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing

Google translate: “Workshop “Universal design in OJS magazine” This workshop is offered as an in-person event in Tromsø and the language of the event is Norwegian Date: 22. – 23. November Venue: UiT Norwegian Arctic University, campus Tromsø Open journals should be available to as many people as possible also when it comes to universal design, and should not exclude users based on functional ability. In addition, the Norwegian publishing services must comply with the requirements of the Regulations on universal design of ICT solutions, which apply from 1 January 2021. The University Library in Tromsø is organizing a workshop on universal design in journals using the Open Journal Systems (OJS) software. The workshop is aimed at support staff for OJS-based publishing services / publishers who publish open journals. The workshop is mainly intended for national participants, for the sake of ev. coronary restrictions – the language of the event thus becomes Norwegian. The number of participants is limited to 25 people. The event is free, but participants will have to buy lunch themselves….”

Attracting new users or business as usual? A case study of converting academic subscription-based journals to open access | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press

Abstract:  This paper studies a selection of 11 Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies. By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014–2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase, which can be attributed to the conversion. Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors. The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict policies targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access.

 

 

Attracting new users or business as usual? A case study of converting academic subscription-based journals to open access | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press

Abstract:  This paper studies a selection of 11 Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies. By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014–2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase, which can be attributed to the conversion. Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors. The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict policies targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access.

 

 

Attracting new users or business as usual? A case study of converting academic subscription based journals to open access

Abstract:  This paper studies a selection of eleven Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies. By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014-2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase which can be attributed to the conversion. Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors. The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict polices targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access. 

Attracting new users or business as usual? A case study of converting academic subscription based journals to open access | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press Journals

Abstract:  This paper studies a selection of eleven Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies. By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014-2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase which can be attributed to the conversion. Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors. The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict polices targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access.