“The Wellcome Trust has announced it will keep a vigilant eye on how Oxford University Press complies with open-access policies, after data showed that the publisher’s adherence fell significantly last year….
The data show that overall compliance with the fund’s policies has fallen from 91 per cent in 2016 to 87 per cent in 2017….
In particular, compliance by Oxford University Press fell “significantly”, according to the trust, because the publisher has been experiencing problems with converting outputs to a format that is compliant with Europe PubMed Central’s technical requirements.
Wellcome said it would monitor the situation over three to six months, to ensure that it was resolved, and seek compensation from the publisher “for the poor service delivered to researchers, institutions and funders over the last 12 months”, it said.
A total of 34 per cent of articles paid for by the Charity Open Access Fund in 2016-17 and published by Oxford University Press were non-compliant—compared with 5 per cent the previous year. The second and third-most non-compliant publishers were Elsevier at 11 per cent and Wiley at 10 per cent….
Overall, the trust calculates that the cost of open-access publishing has seen “a significant increase”, and that the average cost of journal article-processing charges has risen by 11 per cent since last year….”
“This is an open letter concerning the many problems that are currently ongoing at Oxford University Press (OUP). This will be emailed to OUP, as well as Nature News, Science (AAAS) News, Times Higher Education and other relevant academic news organisations….”
“OUP took some risks with this book, notably agreeing to go Open Access from day one. That is a huge leap from the traditional publishing model of publishing only the hardback for a year, then deciding when to go into paperback. Some people, particularly cash-strapped students used to reading on screen, are likely to take the OA route, but OUP hoped the buzz around open access would generate some sales, or people would start reading the pdf, and then see enough to buy a copy.
So what happened? Turns out that Open Access doesn’t harm book sales and if anything, promotes them. So far, OUP has sold 3,500 hardbacks and Oxfam has distributed a further 1,500 of a paperback edition at events, to staff etc..
Obviously, there’s no clear counterfactual as all books are different, but OUP are pretty convinced that OA has generated more of a buzz than a simple hardback ever could. It’s certainly better than I’ve had with any of my previous books.
The Open Access numbers are also really interesting (at least to me): 5,700 downloads of the full pdf, mainly from the Oxfam site; over 2,000 book views on Oxford Scholarship Online; and 115,000 page views on Google Books, with the average visitor reading 10 pages. Somewhere in between comes the £2 kindle version – just a couple of hundred so far.
So big tick on Open Access, and props to OUP for being willing to take the risk. Glad it’s paid off so far….”