FREE UKSG webinar – Making Open Access Book Funding Work Fairly: Central European University Press and Opening the Future | UKSG

“Open access monograph publishing needs to be sustainable not just for publishers, but also for libraries. CEU Press’ collective library funding programme ‘Opening the Future’ was designed to be low-cost and simple, slotting into acquisitions budgets and existing library purchasing workflows. Several months into launch, we assess how this has fared and discuss how we can scale without increasing the administrative and decision-making burden already on collections and scholarly communications teams, who are already picking through a tangle of transformative agreements, pay-to-publish deals, author affiliations, and legacy subscriptions. The session will be set in context of the recent UKRI monograph policy announcement.”

Genuine open access to academic books requires collective solutions | Impact of Social Sciences

UKRI, the UK’s national research funding agency, and cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders, recently reaffirmed their commitments to delivering open access to academic books. However, whilst an open trajectory has been clearly set, how this is to be achieved remains unclear. In this post Lucy Barnes argues that for academic books to be genuinely open, an emphasis should be placed on collective funding models that limit the prospect of new barriers to access being erected through the imposition of expensive book processing charges (BPCs).

Researchers and publishers respond to new UK open-access policy – Physics World

“The largest funding body in the UK has announced a new open-access policy that will come into effect on 1 April 2022. UK Research and Inno­vation (UKRI) – the umbrella group for the UK’s seven research coun­cils – will from that date mandate that all published papers written by researchers containing work carried out using UKRI cash must be free to read immediately upon publication. Yet the announcement has been met with concern by some publishers and researchers….”

 

UKRI’s new open access policy will hinder open science | Times Higher Education (THE)

“The final published version – known as version of record, or VOR – is not some artificial construct of publishers. We know from our recent research with 1,400 researchers, as well as an analysis of article usage, that it is overwhelmingly the VOR that researchers want to read and cite – and it is also the VOR of their own research that, as authors, they want others to read and cite. They find the VOR easier to read, more reliable, and more authoritative and credible because of the reassurance provided by peer review and the stamp of credibility provided by proof of publication in a recognised journal.

Researchers also highlighted the value added to the VOR through the publication process, compared with earlier article versions (the submitted manuscript or the accepted manuscript), including copy-editing and typesetting. Critically, VORs include figures and links to relevant open data, open code and open protocols. This facilitates open science for the whole research system – which is the main goal of making research articles OA in the first place.

Green OA typically revolves around posting the accepted manuscript, but the cost of creating these is, in essence, borne by library subscriptions given that they are created as part of the process of being published in paywalled journals. This is a problem in itself: OA should be about removing paywalls, not becoming dependent on them. Attempts to make accepted manuscripts more widely available do not reflect researchers’ needs and could set back the transition to full (gold) OA and the realisation of the benefits of open science.

Second, as good as transformative agreements are, they have their limits. The industry-standard contract stipulates that a paper’s eligibility for gold OA depends on whether the corresponding author’s institution is part of the agreement. But the UKRI OA policy applies to all co-authors it funds in whole or in part. This is significant. We estimate that between 30 and 40 per cent of papers that have at least one UK author do not have a UK corresponding author and therefore wouldn’t be covered by existing transformative agreements. Those co-authors risk of being left without a viable funded OA publishing route….”

 

Reflections on the new UKRI open access policy | UKSG

by Samuel A. Moore, Scholarly Communication Specialist, Office of Scholarly Communication, Cambridge University Libraries & Niamh Tumelty, Head of Open Research Services, Office of Scholarly Communication, Cambridge University Libraries

At Cambridge University Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communication, we have been supporting Cambridge researchers to comply with a variety of open access policies for many years. The policy landscape has evolved considerably in the past decade and affects increasing numbers of UK-based researchers, not only through the Research Excellence Framework but also through Plan S and charitable funder policies. Earlier this month, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) – the UK’s principal government research funder – released its new policy on open access relating to publications arising from UKRI-funded research. In this editorial we explore and assess some of the policy’s implications. 

The Subscriptionization of Everything | Clarke & Esposito

“But all that to the side [current progress toward OA], would an individual researcher pay $15 a month for access to all of Elsevier’s scholarly content? Could such a model sit alongside, or bypass entirely, the institutional site license business that has reached a point of maturity? …

While UKRI may not have made up its mind yet about supporting Transformative Journals, the program continues to advance – though some of the reporting requirements for publishers are more onerous than publishers anticipated. David wrote a piece last month for The Scholarly Kitchen about the challenges that (especially smaller, independent) publishers are having with the requirements for compliance. As described in the post, cOAlition S requires journals qualifying for “Transformative” status to provide a set of data reports that can be expensive and time consuming to develop.  

 
The rationale for the data requirements is also puzzling. The stated purpose is that they will “help determine whether open-access content has broader reach than subscription content.” The data being collected, however, will not provide that help – as so often (and frustratingly) seems to be the case when it comes to open access studies, experimental design and adequate controls are not put in place. Good experimental design eliminates or controls for confounding factors. In this case there are a lot of differences between the articles being compared beyond just their OA status. (For example, in hybrid journals, OA often comes at a significant cost which only well-funded labs can afford, so perhaps the difference in performance between the articles can be attributed to the authors’ funding levels, rather than the articles’ OA status.) These confounders can be controlled for, and if cOAlition S wants to better understand the actual impacts it is having (including on market consolidation), then it should sponsor carefully designed studies, rather than requiring the expensive and time-consuming collection of data that will likely prove inconclusive.
 
Meanwhile, the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) continues to be a point of contention. As Shawn Khoo recently wrote, the RRS is not quite the “magic text” some believe it to be, and researchers need to take care not to sign conflicting contractual agreements, lest they put themselves in legal jeopardy.
 
Complicating the picture with regard to the RRS is the fact that publishers, understandably, do not view the scheme as a take-it-or-leave-it policy decision but rather (as we have discussed before in The Brief) an author request to be accepted or rejected on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, a publisher may accept a paper (for publication in a hybrid journal) with RRS language but only on condition of payment of an APC – which cannot be paid from cOAlition S funds but can be paid from other funding sources (in this sense, the RRS is a Plan S policy that has the result of shifting publication costs to other funding sources). In other cases, the publisher may decide to waive such an APC. In still other cases, the publisher may decide to suggest transferring the paper to a fully OA title. And of course the publisher might reject the paper entirely (and that rejection might or might not be based on inclusion of the RRS language – and if it is, the publisher might or might not state that in the rejection letter). In this regard, the RRS is similar to a (well-funded) author requesting an OA APC waiver for publication in a hybrid journal. Authors are free to ask for lots of things – waive all charges on my article, put my picture on the cover, promote my article to journalists so that I can impress my friends and family when it is covered on the evening news – but it is also within the rights of the publishing journal to decline those requests on a case-by-case basis….”

ALPSP Copyright Committee responds to UKRI Open Access Policy | STM Publishing News

“The ALPSP Copyright Committee is concerned that the announcement of the UKRI’s new open access policy will have a negative impact on progress made to date.  Limiting the opportunity for funded articles to publish in hybrid journals does not benefit learned society authors as it restricts their choice on where to publish.  Whilst many ALPSP members are investigating whether a transformative/transitional agreement may be a viable option, many learned societies have found that the complexities involved in setting up and maintaining these agreements can be extremely  difficult, particularly for smaller societies who may only publish a few journals.  This may inadvertently put these smaller publishers at a distinct disadvantage and result in their journals no longer being selected by UKRI funded authors.

Additionally, making hybrid journals fully gold open access may not be possible in the near future if there is insufficient gold open access content to include in these journals.  This could well lead to major economic difficulties for many learned and professional societies.  Finally, requiring the publication of Accepted Manuscripts with no embargo and under a CC BY licence fails to recognise the significant investment learned societies will have made in getting to that version, including in terms of peer review and related value added publishing services.  As an unintended consequence, this would dilute the Version of Record and slow the speed of transition towards open access, as publishers and societies would continue to recover their investment through subscriptions.  Ultimately, without significant additional funding being added to the ecosystem in the short term to cover this, we are very concerned about the impact of this new policy on the UK publishing industry generally and on learned societies in particular….”

Academic publishers warn over UKRI Open Access impact | The Bookseller

“Academic publishers say they have concerns around funding, embargoes and timing following the announcement of the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Open Access policy last week….”

Only the lede is OA. 

UKRI Open Access protocols: August 2021 | Historical Transactions

“Is to publish the research article in a subscription journal and deposit EITHER the Author Accepted Manuscript OR the Version of Record (where the publisher permits) in an institutional or subject repository at the time of final publication. This loosely corresponds to Green Open Access, though whereas this has hitherto operated with an embargo period, the policy now requires immediate Open Access to the deposited article. It is worth noting that some publishers, particularly outside the UK, do not currently permit a zero embargo period: authors will need to request this, which publishers will consider on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, submissions under Route 2 must include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter / note accompanying the submission: ‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising’.

Importantly (and in response to input from humanities and social science stakeholders), an exemption is permitted to the CC BY licence. CC BY ND (no derivatives) may be used where this can be justified by the author….”

COPIM response to new UKRI Open Access Policy | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

COPIM (Community-led Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) welcomes the announcement of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s open access (OA) policy, which will:

include monographs, chapters & edited collections from 1 January 2024;

require the final version of a publication or accepted manuscript to be made open access via a publisher’s website, a platform or a repository, within a maximum of 12 months of publication;

and recommend Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licensing, while other Creative Commons permissions such as Attribution Non-Commercial (BY NC) and Attribution Non-Derivative (BY ND) licences are also permitted.

At COPIM, we believe that a shift to open access for academic books is not only possible, but necessary. We — together with a larger network of projects committed to community-led and not-for-profit approaches to scholarly publishing — are developing infrastructures and business models to support publishers and authors in making their long-form research output openly available without relying on embargoes or author-facing charges (otherwise known as Book Processing Charges or BPCs). These infrastructures are already supporting university and scholar-led presses to publish open access books without these constraints.

We are pleased to note that both UKRI’s summary of the responses to its consultation on the new policy and its explanation of its policy changes emphasised that COPIM is well positioned to support a transition towards open access for long-form academic work, and we look forward to doing so.undefined

The experience of our consortial partners who publish open access books is that there is a wide and deep appetite among readers for open access to long-form academic research. Furthermore, given the importance of the book to the creation and dissemination of Humanities and Social Science research, it is vital that we achieve immediate and equitable open access routes for books. The alternative is a future in which access to Humanities and Social Sciences research is limited and expensive, and these disciplines increasingly marginalised.

In this response, we would like to briefly outline how COPIM and COPIM’s consortial partners are already supporting embargo- and BPC-free open access for books, and in what ways the infrastructures and models built by COPIM will help to support other presses to do so. We would also like to outline how we feel the UKRI open access policy could be extended further, and what we would like to see from any future policies for open access books, based on our initial response to the UKRI open access consultation.

ALPSP Copyright Committee Responds to UKRI Open Access Policy

“The ALPSP Copyright Committee is concerned that the announcement of the UKRI’s new open access policy will have a negative impact on progress made to date.  Limiting the opportunity for funded articles to publish in hybrid journals does not benefit learned society authors as it restricts their choice on where to publish.  Whilst many ALPSP members are investigating whether a transformative/transitional agreement may be a viable option, many learned societies have found that the complexities involved in setting up and maintaining these agreements can be extremely  difficult, particularly for smaller societies who may only publish a few journals.  This may inadvertently put these smaller publishers at a distinct disadvantage and result in their journals no longer being selected by UKRI funded authors.

Additionally, making hybrid journals fully gold open access may not be possible in the near future if there is insufficient gold open access content to include in these journals.  This could well lead to major economic difficulties for many learned and professional societies.  Finally, requiring the publication of Accepted Manuscripts with no embargo and under a CC BY licence fails to recognise the significant investment learned societies will have made in getting to that version, including in terms of peer review and related value added publishing services.  As an unintended consequence, this would dilute the Version of Record and slow the speed of transition towards open access, as publishers and societies would continue to recover their investment through subscriptions.  Ultimately, without significant additional funding being added to the ecosystem in the short term to cover this, we are very concerned about the impact of this new policy on the UK publishing industry generally and on learned societies in particular….”

UKRI’s support for green open access is the right way forward | Times Higher Education (THE)

New guidelines have rightly rejected publisher claims that gold is the only sustainable path for open access, say Stephen Eglen and Rupert Gatti