The cost of academic publishing has increased substantially despite the ease with which information can be shared on the web. Open Access publishing is a key mechanism for amplifying research access, inclusivity, and impact. Despite this, shifting to a free-to-read publishing environment requires navigating complex barriers that vary by career status and publishing expectations. In this article, we investigate the motivations and preferences of researchers situated within our large research institution as a case study for publishing attitudes at similar institutions. We surveyed the publishing priorities and preferences of researchers at various career stages in STEM fields as they relate to openness, data practices, and assessment of research impact. Our results indicate that publishing preferences, data management experience and research impact assessment vary by career status and departmental approaches to promotion. We find that open access publishing is widely appreciated regardless of career status, but financial limitations and publishing expectations were common barriers to publishing in Open Access journals. Our findings shed light on publishing attitudes and preferences among researchers at a major R1 research institution, and offer insight into advocacy strategies that incentivize open access publishing.
“PROSE is a project scoping the development of an Open-Source Ecosystem (OSE) surrounding PreTeXt and Runestone software products that enable the authoring and publishing of accessible Open Educational Resources in STEM. Through a series of virtual and in-person roundtable discussions, office hours, and workshops, we will engage instructors, authors, publishers, and researchers using these products to develop a vision and strategic plan for our OSE….
PreTeXt is an open-source language that allows STEM textbook authors to describe their content in a single source. This content can include words, images, embeddable videos, applets, and much more. Our open-source software is able to convert this single source into a printable PDF, accessible and interactive HTML, tactile braille code, and more formats. These documents can then be deployed to freely-available static web hosts, with GitHub Pages support built-in.
Runestone is a Learning Engineering Analytics Portal (LEAP) built with open-source software that enhances PreTeXt-authored HTML, providing an all-inclusive solution for managing a course. Students and instructors are able to log into Runestone-hosted textbooks, allowing instructors to assign content from the book for students to complete online. Going beyond a traditional learning management system, Runestone applies evidence-based principles and methods from educational technology and the learning sciences to create engaging and effective learning experiences, supporting the difficulties and challenges of learners as they learn. Runestone’s deep analytics not only help students and instructors optimize learning, but also support authors and researchers that want to study how books are being used, and evaluate interactive pedagogical features of online books that improve student learning….”
Abstract: This study investigated Gold Open Access journal publication by science and engineering faculty at the authors’ university from 2013 to 2022. Specifically, did Gold Open Access (OA) by these faculty increase, and did the publication rate vary between disciplines? The authors found that Gold OA publication increased by 176% over the past 10 years, and that an important factor was the Libraries’ creation of an Open Access Publishing Fund in 2017. Disciplinary differences in publication rates were also notable, with life sciences research showing the highest rates of open access publication. An analysis of where our faculty are publishing found that MDPI is the most popular Open Access publisher in STEM fields, but many of the new Gold Open Access journals from traditional STEM publishers are also being chosen.
“Knowledge is best shared openly, it’s the most impactful and our preferred mode of publishing research. The present-day reality in the fields we publish in, however, is a different one. While open access is by far the fastest growing business model, the vast majority of our revenues is still generated by paid access models such as subscription or outright purchase. We push to be more open, and we need to push harder to make sure the “openness gap” between Humanities/Social Sciences (HSS) and STM is not widening. Customers are increasingly aware of the negative impacts caused by the slower transition of HSS and are supportive of establishing sustainable models that work for all fields of research. This is a good development and Brill has benefited from this development in recent years. In 2023 we will get close to having published 1,200 gold OA books; what our small OA team has achieved together with our editorial department, makes me very proud.”
The Cureus Journal of Medical Science has been acquired by Springer Nature. With its innovative business model, Cureus solves the challenge of open access (OA) publishing of peer-reviewed articles by medical professionals without access to research grant funds.
Objectives: Article Processing Charges (APCs) for articles published in for-fee, gold open access journals are paid in a number of ways at this institution. These include a library-managed Open Access (OA) Fund, grant accounts, faculty professional development funds, departmental discretionary funds, and private faculty funds. The institution is currently considering several new approaches to providing authors with OA funding assistance, and the main objective for this research project was to determine an estimate for the total annual cost of APCs to the campus. Secondary goals included determining the financial impact of APCs on the institution’s research grants and corresponding authors. Methods: We conducted an affiliation search in Web of Science for the institution to identify articles published by authors at the university. We chose to limit results to articles published in 2019, as we wanted a sample year that would reflect the typical publishing output for the authors since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted research and publishing patterns during 2020 and into 2021. We then selected only the articles that were designated as gold open access, as those articles were published openly in their final versions and were either supported by APCs or published by no fee OA journals. The results list (n=421) was then exported to a spreadsheet and our team analyzed each article using the following criteria to determine which articles would be included: Was the corresponding author for the article affiliated with the institution? If the article provides a funding acknowledgement, does it acknowledge a grant to the institution? What is the current APC for the journal as stated on the publisher’s website (in U.S. Dollars)? Results: Of the 421 articles our team analyzed, 168 had a corresponding author affiliated with the institution [combined APC total: $430,959 US]; of these, 143 were published in journals indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) [combined APC total: $349,699.89]; 100 of the DOAJ-index articles acknowledged grant funding to the institution [combined APC total: $274,688 USD]. Conclusions: Based on the findings of our research, if our university wanted to cover all APCs by corresponding authors published in DOAJ-indexed, “Gold OA” journals, the anticipated cost would be approximately $350,000 USD annually (with projected increases of 6% per year). These results highlight major concerns about the sustainability of current funding models for open access research and publishing in science, technology, engineering, and medicine.
Khanna , S., Ball, J., Alperin, J. P., & Willinsky, J. (2022). Recalibrating the Scope of Scholarly Publishing: A Modest Step in a Vast Decolonization Process. In SciELO Preprints. https://doi.org/10.1590/SciELOPreprints.4729
Abstract: By analyzing 25,671 journals largely absent from journal counts and indexes, this study demonstrates that scholarly communication is more of a global endeavor than is commonly credited. These journals, employing the open source publishing platform Open Journal Systems (OJS), have published 5.8 million items and represent 136 countries, with 79.9 percent publishing in the Global South and 84.2 percent following the OA diamond model (charging neither reader nor author). More than half (54.6 percent) of the journals operate in more than one language, while publishing research in 60 languages (led by English, Indonesian, Spanish, and Portuguese). The journals are distributed across the social sciences (45.9 percent), STEM (40.3 percent), and the humanities (13.8 percent). For all their geographic, linguistic, and disciplinary diversity, the Web of Science indexes 1.2 percent of the journals and Scopus 5.7 percent. On the other hand, Cabells Predatory Reports includes 1.0 percent of the journals, while Beall lists 1.4 percent of them as predatory. A recognition of the expanded scope and scale of scholarly publishing will help ensure that humankind takes full advantage of what is increasingly a global research enterprise.
The Commons team is delighted to have been awarded one of the inaugural FAIROS RCN grants from the NSF, in order to establish DBER+ Commons. That’s a big pile of acronyms, so here’s a breakdown: the NSF is of course the National Science Foundation, one of the most important federal funding bodies in the United States, and a new funder for us. The FAIROS RCN grant program was launched this year by the NSF in order to invest in Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable Open Science (FAIROS) by supporting the formation and development of Research Coordination Networks (RCN) dedicated to those principles.
We have teamed up with a group of amazing folks at Michigan State University who are working across science, technology, engineering, math, and more traditional NSF fields, all of whom are focused on discipline-based education research (DBER) as well as other engaged education research methodologies (the +). Our goal for this project is to bring them together with their national and international collaborators in STEM education to create DBER+ Commons, which will use — and crucially, expand — the affordances of the HCommons network and promote FAIR and CARE (Collective Benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility, Ethics) practices, principles, and guidelines in undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, graduate, and postdoctoral science education research activities.
” It seems that many reviewers see their primary role as deflating the arguments and methodologies of the manuscripts they receive, often without any concern for the way the author will receive the comments or whether the critique can be addressed and revised….
A format that might be appealing, not only to authors and reviewers but to publishers as well, takes a page out of the work of HSS book publishers and how they review manuscripts.
One of the main differences between the STEM journal and HSS book submission process is that book acquisitions editors get involved in the process before the manuscript is complete (and sometimes before there is a manuscript at all). This process starts at a relatively early stage in the writing process, creating a situation whereby editors are incentivized to help authors and sign them up before other publishers can swoop in and publish it themselves. Consider the potential parallels with the increasing use of journal preprints, as a place where journal editors could hop in and start the process of working with authors at an early stage in the process. (It may also help that you can submit book proposals to multiple publishers simultaneously)….”
“A new global study from AIP Publishing, the American Physical Society (APS), IOP Publishing (IOPP) and Optica Publishing Group (formerly OSA) indicates that the majority of early career researchers (ECRs) want to publish open access (OA) but they need grants from funding agencies to do so….
67% of ECRs say that making their work openly available is important to them. Yet, 70% have been prevented from publishing OA because they have not been able to access the necessary monies from funding agencies to cover the cost. When asked why ECRs favor OA publishing, agreeing with its principles and benefitting from a wider readership were cited as the top two reasons….”
“The Working Group on Open Research in the Humanities was chaired by Prof. Emma Gilby (MMLL) with Dr. Rachel Leow (History), Dr. Amelie Roper (UL), Dr. Matthias Ammon (MMLL and OSC), Dr. Sam Moore (UL), Prof. Alexander Bird (Philosophy), and Prof. Ingo Gildenhard (Classics). We met for four meetings in July, September, October and December 2021, with a view to steering and developing services in support of Open Research in the Humanities. We aimed notably to offer input on how to define Open Research in the Humanities, how to communicate effectively with colleagues in the Arts and Humanities (A&H), and how to reinforce the prestige around Open Research. We hope to add our perspective to the debate on Open Science by providing a view ‘from the ground’ and from the perspective of a select group of humanities researchers. These disciplinary considerations inevitably overlap, in some measure, with the social sciences and indeed some aspects of STEM, and we hope that they will therefore have a broad audience and applicability.
Academics in A&H are, in the main, deeply committed to sharing their research. They consider their main professional contribution to be the instigation and furthering of diverse cultural conversations. They also consider open public access to their work to be a valuable goal, alongside other equally prominent ambitions: aiming at research quality and diversity, and offering support to early career scholars in a challenging and often precarious employment landscape.
Although A&H cover a diverse range of disciplines, it is possible to discern certain common elements which guide their profile and impact. These common elements also guide the discussion that follows….”
“On June 24, 2022, the 5th Forum for World STM Journals, hosted by the Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the People’s Government of Hunan Province, opened in Changsha. SciOpen (https://www.sciopen.com/home), an international digital publishing platform for STM journals independently developed by Tsinghua University Press, was officially launched at the opening ceremony of the forum….”
There’s lots to unpack in the Brembsian alternative proposed here. One cornerstone is the adoption of open standards that—as best I understand it—would enable university repositories and nonprofit, community-led platforms like Open Library of Humanities (OLH) to form a kind of global, interoperable library. A second cornerstone is a regulated market for services. In an open procurement process, publishers and other firms—nonprofit or otherwise—would submit bids for peer review services, for example, or for copy editing or even writing software. The idea is that a regulated marketplace will, through competition enabled by open standards, discipline the overall system’s cost.
It’s a fascinating proposal, one that—as the paper notes—could be implemented with existing technologies. The problem is the lever of change. The incumbent publishers’ entrenched position, Brembs et al explain, renders a first move by libraries or scholars impractical. That leaves funders, whose updated rules and review criteria could, the paper argues, tip the incentive structure in the direction of an open, journal-free alternative.
“The Swiss-based Plazi NGO has received a grant of EUR 1.5 million from Arcadia Fund– a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – to further develop its Biodiversity Literature Repository(BLR) established in collaboration with Zenodo, the open science repository hosted and managed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and the open-access scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft. The Arcadia-supported project helps rediscover known biodiversity by liberating taxonomic treatments, material citations and images trapped in scholarly biodiversity publications, and making them FAIR and open. The project engages the community in the huge and decisive challenge to understand and preserve the biodiversity of our planet. Our knowledge about biodiversity is largely imprisoned in a corpus of more than 500 million pages of scientific research publications that is growing daily. Many of these publications are only available in print, and others are PDFs behind a paywall. These data are not FAIR; they are not findable, accessible, interoperable, or reusable. They cannot be linked to new digital resources such as gene sequences, citizen science observations, taxonomic names, or specimens of digitized natural history collections. Extracting and using text and data from such PDFs comes at very high cost, if possible at all. Through itsTreatmentBank production service, Plazi is a leader in providing access to biodiversity data liberated from publications. Thanks to the Arcadia Fund support and in collaboration with Pensoft, Zenodo and the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics Literature Services (SIBiLS), Plazi provides access to over 750,000 taxonomic treatments, 450,000 figures and over 1.1 million material citations from over 53,000 publications in the BLR….”