“Over the past few months, the team at Information Power has been hard at work with our latest project. On behalf of cOAlition S and ALPSP, we have created four Task & Finish Groups and are planning two public events in order to help facilitate Open Access Agreements between Libraries/Consortia and small, independent publishers that can be used universally.
During September and October, we advertised our working groups and over 100 people signed up! This was an excellent result and was really heartening to see so many people that wanted to volunteer their valuable time and expertise to help an important project that could really benefit many people all over the world.
The first Task & Finish Group started in late September and is centred around devising a set of shared principles to underpin Open Access arrangements involving small publishers. The group has met three times so far and each meeting has been immensely successful, with lots of spirited debate and a new draft set of principles….”
“We value feedback from researchers, institutions, funders, and publishers and based on it we always seek to improve the Journal Checker Tool (JCT) to ensure that all users get access to clear advice for Plan S compliance. The latest changes (dated 13th October 2021) include visual modifications, language simplification in the description of results and a new feature to share the results….”
The document presents a summary of the Voices From the Open Access Books Community sessions: a series of virtual workshops in which the OA books community discussed how a possible Plan S for books could look like.
cOAlition S has just issued its statement on Open Access (OA) for academic books. With this statement, cOAlitition S sets a clear direction for academic books to become OA. It recommends that “All academic books based on original research that was directly supported with funding from cOAlition S organisations should be made available open access on publication”. This is great news!
The OA Books Network (OABN), steered by OAPEN, SPARC Europe, OPERAS, and ScholarLed) salutes this clear support from cOAlition S for OA to books. While OA policies for journal articles have been developing rapidly for years, progress on the OA book side has been rather slow. However, this cOAlition S statement combined with the recently launched UKRI open access policy indicates that there is great potential for things to accelerate for OA books, too.
Academic books – defined here to include monographs, book chapters, edited collections, critical editions, and other long-form works – are an important mode of publication for scholars, especially in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Several studies have pointed out the benefits of Open Access (OA) book publishing. In 2019, Science Europe published five principles for OA to academic books and recommendations for six types of research stakeholders. Springer Nature has recently shown that OA books receive 2.4 times more citations and are downloaded 10 times more than non-OA books.
Principle 7 of Plan S acknowledged that the timeline to achieve Open Access for books requires a separate and due process. The Implementation Guidance specified that “by the end of 2021, a statement on Plan S principles would be issued as they apply to monographs and book chapters, together with related implementation guidance”.
Since the Plan S principles for research articles were published, many cOAlition S funders have developed their own OA policies around academic books. (For an overview of cOAlition S funders with an existing OA books policy, see Annex A). On critical elements, like embargoes and licences, policies of cOAlition S organisations have already converged. Most cOAlition S funders have adopted or advise CC licences, and embargoes range between 0 and 12 months.
cOAlition S recognizes that academic book publishing is very different from journal publishing. Our commitment is to make progress towards full open access for academic books as soon as possible, in the understanding that standards and funding models may need more time to develop. Rather than to decree a uniform policy on OA books, we have therefore decided to formulate a set of recommendations regarding academic books – in line with Plan S principles – that all cOAlition S organisations will seek to adopt within their own remits and jurisdictions.
Vanessa Proudman presents the results of ‘The Diamond Open Access Study’, a research study commissioned by cOAlition S. In her presentation, a new understanding of the OA Diamond sector and its maturity with respect to editorial quality assurance practices and Plan S technical requirements will be shared. Additionally, she will discuss key perceived challenges of OA Diamond journal editors and the current financial sustainability of the sector. Most importantly, she will be presenting the new OA publishing Commons, which seeks to bring together the world’s community-driven/governed journals and platforms, connect them and technically support them in a new, increasingly coordinated and sustainable way.
Next, Natalia Grygierczyk discusses an innovative model for Diamond Open Access scientific publishing, explaining not just its theoretical foundations, but also how it is actually implemented in the newly started OA Radboud University Press (OA RUP). Within the new cooperative model, the OA RUP aims to enable, guide, and support academic editorial boards in the transition process to Diamond Open Access. This presentation provides an overview of the new publishing model, its operational activities, and financial aspects. It concretely describes the collaborative process with various service providers, how the OA RUP is financially sustainable in the long term and how cost-effectiveness is achieved in the transition to Open Access.
Finally, Rebecca Wojturska provides insight into the world of launching a library-based Open Access book-hosting service. The presentation will reflect on the timeline, successes and learning points of the current University of Edinburgh library project and provide recommendations and conclusions to attendees. It will also discuss how to grow a book-hosting service and how it is useful in supporting teaching and learning. Finally, it will consider the technical requirements of such a project and share anecdotal evidence from academic and student users to document the successes of the University of Edinburgh library project and launch. As such, the primary audience for this presentation is the librarian who is beginning their own book-hosting service, or who is considering it, as well as those interested in Open Access publishing.
This week, cOAlition S endorsed the Subscribe to Open (S2O) business model.
This group of international funders is committed to a complete transition to open-access publishing. To date, critics have claimed that the cOAlition has been too wedded to the (inflationary) Article Processing Charge business model, although Plan S is theoretically neutral on this matter. However, coupled with their recent publication on “Diamond” OA, this endorsement marks a milestone for open access without author-side payments.
“cOAlition S – an international consortium of research funding and performing organisations committed to making full and immediate Open Access a reality – welcomes the decision by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to update their publishing agreements.
As stated in today’s press release by AAAS, researchers working under a Plan S Open Access policy can make their Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAMs) freely available through an OA repository, at the time of publication and under a CC BY (or CC BY-ND) licence….”
AAAS, which publishes the Science family of journals, announced today it will offer its authors a free way to comply with a mandate issued by some funders that publications resulting from research they fund be immediately free to read. Under the new open-access policy, authors may deposit near-final, peer-reviewed versions of papers accepted by paywalled Science titles in publicly accessible online repositories.
“Groups representing young researchers have expressed surprise at the decision of the European Research Council’s governing Scientific Council to withdraw its support from the Plan S open-access initiative.
Under Plan S, a group of funders known as Coalition S will require researchers they support to make their work openly available immediately from 2021 in outlets that meet certain criteria. The requirements are being adopted in the EU’s 2021-27 R&D programme Horizon Europe, including the ERC.
The ERC Council, an independent body of researchers that helps to set the strategic direction of the EU funder, had previously expressed its support for Plan S, but on 20 July it announced a U-turn, saying the impact of Plan S on young researchers and countries with limited funds had been underestimated. In particular, the ERC Council expressed concern about Plan S terms for publication in hybrid journals that offer both subscription and open-access options….”
“cOAlition S remains firm in its view that support for hybrid journals has failed to accelerate the transition to full and immediate Open Access over the past two decades. The already scarce funding in the Horizon Europe Framework Programme should not be used for the payment of publication fees in hybrid journals. Indeed, outside of transformative agreements, the hybrid model has no effective means to keep double-dipping by publishers in check. For this reason, many European countries, from Germany to Hungary, have recently put in place transformative agreements with publishers.
Maintaining the current status quo on hybrid journals will exacerbate inequalities among European researchers, since only those that benefit from generous funding will be able to cover expensive publication fees. In contrast, the cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy which provides Open Access in compliance with Plan S via the repository route, will empower all researchers to publish in their journal of choice, including subscription and hybrid journals.
cOAlition S is particularly attentive to the concerns of Early Career Researchers (ECR). We are grateful for the support of many ECR organisations, including the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), the Global Young Academy (GYA), the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) and the Young Academy of Europe (YAE). These organisations are closely collaborating with cOAlition S in order to further shape Plan S, to monitor its implementation, and to evaluate potential effects for the next generation of researchers….”