Public access to published science is under threat in the US | InPublishing

Eight science publishers have signed a letter to the House Appropriations subcommittee to raise the dangers of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill’s draft language.

Frontiers says The US House Appropriations Committee has released its 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. It proposes new spending of $58 billion and seeks to “rein in the Washington bureaucracy by right-sizing agencies and programs.”

A group of eight science publishers have signed a letter to the House Appropriations subcommittee to raise the dangers of the bill’s draft language. If enacted, it would block federally funded research from being freely available to American taxpayers without delay on publication.

Individual Americans would be prevented from seeing the full benefits of the more than $90 billion in scientific research they fund each year via taxes. Science for the few who can access it – as opposed to the many who pay for it – is inefficient as scientific or democratic governmental policy.



JMIRx Med: Preprint Overlay Journal Accepted in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

“JMIR Publications is pleased to announce that JMIRx Med has been accepted and indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). DOAJ applies strict criteria to review and index open access journals, which include licensing and copyright criteria, quality control processes, journal website technical and usability setups, and editorial evaluation. 

JMIRx Med (ISSN 2563-6316) is an innovative preprint overlay journal for medRxiv and JMIR Preprints. Conceived to address the urgent need to make highly relevant scientific information available as early as possible without losing the quality of the peer review process, JMIRx Med is the first in a new series of “superjournals” from JMIR Publications. Superjournals (a type of “overlay” journal) sit on top of preprint servers offering peer review and everything else a traditional scholarly journal does. …”

University of California Libraries and JMIR Publications Renew Multi-Payer Open Access Agreement

“JMIR Publications has announced the renewal of our multi-payer agreement with the University of California (UC) for an additional year. Renewal of the agreement continues UC’s funding support for its affiliated authors who choose to publish in JMIR’s unique portfolio of journals, which focus on digital health and public health, and include a new generation of overlay journals (JMIRx). 

The pilot agreement was originally signed in 2020 and was the first multi-payer deal completed by UC with a fully open access publisher. According to the agreement, the 10 UC campus libraries contribute the first USD $1000 of any JMIR article processing charge (APC) for eligible authors. Protocols can be published free of charge for the authors. Authors are asked to pay the remainder of the APC from their research funds, if available. 

This cost-sharing model is designed to enable the UC libraries to stretch their available funds to support as many authors as possible. If an author does not have research funds to cover the balance, the UC libraries will pay the entire APC on their behalf, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish in JMIR’s open access journals. Under the renewed deal, UC authors will continue to benefit through December 31, 2022….”

JMIRx Med first overlay journal accepted for PubMed and PubMed Central

“MIR Publications is proud to announce that our first-of-its-kind overlay journal, JMIRx Med, has been accepted for indexing in PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed.

As the first overlay journal in PMC and PubMed, JMIRx Med becomes the standard-bearer of this important innovation in scholarly publishing. Editors of overlay journals select content already posted on preprint servers such as medRxiv and bioRxiv. They then select manuscripts that match the scope and quality parameters of their publications and offer authors a rapid peer review and possible publication of their preprints, coupled with all the traditional elements of a journal publication. JMIRx Med enters the ranks of PubMed-ranked scientific publications following the US National Library of Medicine’s (NLM’s) rigorous evaluation criteria. Papers published in JMIRx Med will be in PubMed by mid-summer 2022, after legacy files are prepared and deposited….”

Plan P: Can institutions facilitate open access?

“Some universities in the United States and United Kingdom are eyeing a scheme, due to be rolled out in 2022, that could see them pay their academics’ article-processing charges more often, instead of the costs coming out of the researchers’ own grant funding.

Under Plan P, universities that have signed up to the initiative will agree to pay US$500 for the peer review of every manuscript its academics submit to the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) and its sister journals, which are run by JMIR Publications in Toronto, Canada….

Rooryck also likes the idea that in Plan P’s proposed manuscript marketplace, a paper’s referee reports are made available to more than one publication—a process often dubbed ‘portable peer review’, that already exists at some journals and publishers to reduce duplication of efforts. A November 2021 study estimated that adopting portable peer review across all journals could save 28 million hours of peer-review time annually, in the United States alone….”

University of California and JMIR Publications launch pilot to advance open access to UC research – Office of Scholarly Communication

“The University of California and JMIR Publications today announced a two-year partnership that will make it easier and more affordable for researchers from all 10 UC campuses to publish in one of JMIR’s 30+ open access journals. The pilot, which provides subsidies for faculty who publish with JMIR, is UC’s first such agreement with a native open access publisher.

Under the agreement, the UC Libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the open access publishing fee, or article processing charge (APC), for all UC authors who choose to publish in a JMIR journal. Authors who do not have research funds available can request financial assistance from the libraries for the remainder of the APC so that they can publish completely free of charge….”

After talks with Elsevier stalled, the University of California has been working to advance open access. Here’s how. | UC Berkeley Library News

“UC is in negotiations with Wiley and Springer Nature to renew contracts that expired on Dec. 31. In each case, UC and the publisher have a shared desire to reach a transformative agreement that combines UC’s subscription with open access publishing of UC research. Both publishers have extended UC’s access to their journals, under the terms of their previous contracts, while negotiations are underway….”

JMIR – Preserving the Open Access Benefits Pioneered by the Journal of Medical Internet Research and Discouraging Fraudulent Journals | Wyatt | Journal of Medical Internet Research

Abstract:  The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) was an early pioneer of open access online publishing, and two decades later, some readers and authors may have forgotten the challenges of previous scientific publishing models. This commentary summarizes the many advantages of open access publishing for each of the main stakeholders in scientific publishing and reminds us that, like every innovation, there are disadvantages that we need to guard against, such as the problem of fraudulent journals. This paper then reviews the potential impact of some current initiatives, such as Plan S and JMIRx, concluding with some suggestions to help new open-access publishers ensure that the advantages of open access publishing outweigh the challenges.