Open access to journal articles of the American Society of Criminology: A little study to illustrate concepts and costs · CrimRxiv

There can be 100% open access (OA) to criminology articles. It’d increase criminology’s scientificity and impact. Anything less is a social injustice. To advance open criminology, the American Society of Criminology’s (ASC) Scientific Integrity Committee hosted the Green Open Access Webinar. The advertisement makes a bold proclamation: “ALL journal articles can be made open access for FREE… yes, 100% FREE.” Is the proclamation true? Now? Legally? How? Who has the power? I answer these questions in this Pub. I conclude with thoughts on how to allocate scarce resources for the greatest good. ROI matters because we can’t support everything; we need to choose. Money spent on gold OA could have better ROI if invested in the systematic provision of green OA. Instead of pay publishers APCs, pay the money directly to authors, editors, learned-societies, and others who can multiply the quantity and quality of OA by emphasizing what’s green over gold. 

If you’d like to disagree with me, correct me, or whatever, please do! Among other ways, you can “Post a discussion” at the Pub’s end or in-line. You’re also welcome to engage me on Twitter/X at @SJacques83. (I don’t have a Mastadon or Bluesky account yet, sorry; but it’s on my to-do list.)

Applying Health Literacy Principles to Your Research – Advice From PLOS ONE Academic Editor Opeyemi Babatunde

In our final instalment for Health Literacy Month, PLOS ONE Academic Editor Dr. Opeyemi Babatunde provides advice on how you can apply health literacy principles to your own research.

Dr. Opeyemi Babatunde is based at Keele’s School of Medicine as a Senior Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis and Applied Health Research, where she supports production of evidence synthesis across a broad research remit including musculoskeletal, multimorbidity and comorbid long-term conditions.

Dr. Babatunde’s research expertise includes evidence synthesis, implementation science, knowledge mobilization, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and patient and public involvement in health research. She also works with Keele’s Impact Accelerator Unit and the Global Health Institute to improve the dissemination of evidence outputs to patients and the public, and to support mobilization of research knowledge into practice nationally in the UK, and internationally in low-and middle-income settings. She is currently leading West-Africa’s first guideline informed implementation project to improve care for osteoarthritis: JIGSAW-Africa project. She is also leading the establishment of The West-African Institute for Applied Health Research (WAFERs) to encourage interdisciplinary/intersectoral collaborative working and enable indigenous researchers to undertake full spectrum of applied health research as a critical infrastructure for evidence-informed practice in low resource settings.

Dr. Babatunde serves a number of research funding committees and holds membership of implementation and advocacy working groups internationally. She is a member of the UK Knowledge Mobilisation Alliance and Health Literacy UK. Dr. Babatunde is an editorial board member of PLOS ONE and BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. Her research has been published in various high impact scientific journals and she is a co-applicant on a number of grants funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funding streams.

For me, the golden rule is to ask, who are the users of this research? Where or how might they go to find information about this health issue, and what is the most natural way to get health information filtered through to them even when they are not actively seeking it? For each of these questions, I find answers from representatives of people to whom the research relates and follow their lead!

How did you become interested in health literacy?
My first interest in health literacy was not with the term “health literacy” per se but born out of my day-to-day encounters with patients from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds during my training and early career as a Physiotherapist in Africa. In such settings I dealt a lot with musculoskeletal pain and other long-term conditions, which often necessitate patient participation in their own care for best outcomes.

It didn’t take long to figure out that patients who had little understanding of the health information being given to them, and the services we offer as physiotherapists, often engage less with their care plans; they also had worse outcomes and often became trapped in a vicious cycle of ill-health, seeking help in and out of the healthcare systems. Of course, in such settings, paternalism in healthcare and cultural norms also played a role, such that people who had education and would be considered literate were not necessarily health literate.

Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

I have been fortunate to work alongside and learn from the best in this field including Prof. Joanne Protheroe, who was Chair of Health Literacy UK group, and has done a lot of work conducting research into the impact of low health literacy on health outcomes, raised awareness, as well as paved the way for clinicians to consider the health literacy of their patients in exploring their needs and putting in place effective care plans. Low health literacy widens inequalities and there is a mammoth amount of work needed to address these issues on a global scale, and especially in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs) where simple health literacy interventions could be the difference between life and death for many!

Ultimately, with many global health systems under pressure (across high-income countries and LMICs), and increasing prevalence of multiple long-term conditions among populations generally, self-management will become the cornerstone of care. The ability of patients to know how to access, understand, and make use of services and information to promote and maintain their health is becoming indispensable!

You are also interested in patient and public involvement in research. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) in the research process has a great history in the UK, contributing to improved relevance, legitimacy, and validity of research findings. Mechanisms for doing this have also improved over the years. Keele University’s Impact Accelerator Unit, led by Prof. Krysia Dziedzic, is at the forefront of PPIE research as well as public involvement in knowledge mobilisation. Fundamental results of public contributions to the research process include added perspective, broader capture, and prioritization of the public’s needs. However, of uttermost concern is that there appears to be a systematic non-capture of prioritized needs of certain sections of society, further widening inequalities.

Image by yanalya on Freepik

It is natural and expected that public contributors will bring to the table immediate needs and priorities of themselves and those in their circles and networks. What has been inadvertently left out are needs that are not in any way represented by those who are traditionally at the table. These are seldom heard voices and groups. Research cannot truly be of public benefit if it cannot benefit the diversity of the patient base, or if it can potentially harm segments of the population that have been systematically excluded from it. In all honesty, I believe there is a certain level of increasing awareness about this. However, as things evolve, avoiding tokenistic involvement from seldom heard groups is an ethical issue and will be crucial for true collaborative contributions of public to research, and reducing the widened inequality gaps in health and care outcomes.

As with health literacy, I am also interested in pragmatic approaches to improving patient and public contribution to research in LMICs.

Research cannot truly be of public benefit if it cannot benefit the diversity of the patient base, or if it can potentially harm segments of the population that have been systematically excluded from it.

What can researchers do to apply health literacy principles to the design and conduct of clinical studies?
I believe every step in the research cycle—from planning/design, to recruitment, informed consent process, participant retention, data provision and collection, reporting and dissemination—can be enhanced through consideration of health literacy principles. The obvious basics include using plain language, consideration for numeracy, use of graphics, images, and unambiguous design to enhance visualization of information and clear navigation through the research process. There are a plethora of published tools and techniques that can be used to integrate health literacy into clinical research (e.g. However, the true test of any application of these principles is enhanced participation, as represented by the diversity base of the respective patient population. We must also note that depending on the field and the research question, researchers will at different times need to make consideration for different patient participant groups. As such, there is no one size fits all approach.

Continuously in the research cycle or career journeys, the target goal for the researcher should be to enhance research participation for everyone irrespective of health literacy levels. This is because patients’ capacity and skill to navigate complex health systems and health information may be further stretched under certain health situations. It may be helpful to consider multi-layer presentation of evidence, with consideration for health literacy at all levels. Underpinning this, is the critical need for individual and collective sense of ownership of the responsibility to enhance research participation for everyone. Everyone involved in the research cycle from funders to principal investigators, research administrators, patient and public contributors, clinicians, and all stakeholders should be conscious of accessibility of research with regards to health literacy.

Image by on Freepik

PLOS ONE promotes alternative measures of impact beyond citation counting. How important is the dissemination of research to patients and the public?
In an ideal world, research is primarily for patient benefit. Even though health professionals and the healthcare organizations are responsible for direct use of evidence in guiding patient care, it is a moral right, and it makes every sense, to ensure that every research finding is accessible to the public. As researchers, we are trying but our best isn’t yet enough. Apparently, there is a natural tendency to prioritize citation counting and publication in high impact journals over dissemination to the public due to the current system of assessing impact and academic career. I suppose incentivizing dissemination of research to patients and the public in some way other than academic publications may accelerate targeted sharing of research evidence across a broad stakeholder community. This may be controversial, but it may just help in changing the current narrative and culture of over-prioritization of citation count on research articles.

How can researchers disseminate their research findings more widely?
As in the words of John le Carré, a former British MI5 and MI6 agent, “A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.” For me, the golden rule is to ask, who are the users of this research? Where or how might they go to find information about this health issue, and what is the most natural way to get health information filtered through to them even when they are not actively seeking it? For each of these questions, I find answers from representatives of people to whom the research relates and follow their lead!

Disclaimer: Views expressed by contributors are solely those of individual contributors, and not necessarily those of PLOS

This concludes our series for Health Literacy Month. However, if you would like to continue the conversation and are attending the European Public Health Conference this November, please come and say hello to staff editor Marianne Clemence!

The post Applying Health Literacy Principles to Your Research – Advice From PLOS ONE Academic Editor Opeyemi Babatunde appeared first on EveryONE.

The seed of a global federation for Diamond Open Access has been planted

By invitation, SPARC Europe recently attended the Global Summit on Diamond Open Access. Participants reflected on the current diamond OA publishing system and how to develop and sustain a solid scholar-led […]

The post The seed of a global federation for Diamond Open Access has been planted appeared first on SPARC Europe.

“Towards Responsible Publishing”: Early feedback survey | Coalition S

We invite you to take part in a brief survey developed by Research Consulting on behalf of cOAlition S.

The purpose of this survey is to capture early feedback from the scholarly community on cOAlition S’s “Towards Responsible Publishing” proposal. The proposal, which is available via Zenodo, seeks to facilitate the transition to an open, scholar-led communication ecosystem fit for the 21st century. The information entered in this survey will be used to inform any revisions of the cOAlition S proposal as well as to design further feedback mechanisms.

We welcome responses from anyone, but especially researchers and other stakeholders involved in scholarly communication.

The survey will remain open until Wednesday 29 November 2023 at 23.59 CET.

Project MUSE Accelerates Move to Open Access with Publisher S2O Commitments

“Leading humanities and social sciences platform Project MUSE announces that many of our university press and related scholarly publisher partners have already committed to participate in the launch of our Subscribe to Open (S2O) program for journals in 2025. Fifty journals from more than 20 publishers are confirmed for participation to date, with more expected to join before the end of the year.

S2O is an equitable and sustainable model that enables journals to open access to their current content without Article Processing Charges (APCs). MUSE’s S2O program is built around our familiar and trusted Journal Collections, making the transition from conventional subscriptions to support for open access seamless for libraries, while providing revenue stability for nonprofit publishers….”

“Heartbreaking” to read how researchers feel – Octopus founder | Research Information

“Research from the University of Bristol has found academic researchers are demoralised by a culture that disincentivises sharing and collaboration, encourages questionable research practices (QRPs), and increases the risk of bias. The researchers carried out a literature study, one-to-one interviews, and a survey of over 400 research professionals to understand how they felt about their work, careers, and the state of open research.

The work, “A snapshot of the academic research culture in 2023 and how it might be improved”, was conducted to create a benchmark to measure the effectiveness of the Research England-funded online publishing platform Octopus, which is also supported by Jisc, is designed to improve research culture by resetting the current incentive structure and removing sources of bias….”

What’s so bad about consolidation in academic publishing? | Samuel Moore

by Samuel Moore

Today’s Scholarly Kitchen blog post is an attempt by David Crotty — the blog’s editor — to quantify the increasing consolidation of the academic publishing industry. Crotty concludes:

Overall, the market has significantly consolidated since 2000 — when the top 5 publishers held 39% of the market of articles to 2022 where they control 61% of it. Looking at larger sets of publishers makes the consolidation even more extreme, as the top 10 largest publishers went from 47% of the market in 2000 to 75% in 2023, and the top 20 largest publishers from 54% to controlling 83% of the corpus.

Quantifying Consolidation in the Scholarly Journals Market

It’s helpful to have more data on the increasing power that a small number of academic publishers hold. Crotty charts this consolidation from the year 2000 onwards, from the concentration brought about by the effects of the Big Deal to the present day where 5 publishers now control 61% of the article output, brought about by the dominant business models for open access based on greater volume and technological scale. The author’s finger is pointed at Coalition S for instigating a ‘rapid state of change’ that allows author-pays open access to flourish.

I’m no fan of open access policies, Plan S especially, and I’m sure that policy interventions play a part in the consolidation at play. There are of course many ways of achieving open access without recourse to author fees, transformative agreements, or technologies that remove human expertise in place of automation and scale. But while there is nothing natural or necessary about the relationship between open access and consolidation, there is a much stronger connection between commercialisation and consolidation. The recent history of academic publishing has been of marketisation and, hence, consolidation.

I always bristle when I read that open access is to blame for the problems with the publishing market, not simply because open access does not have to be a market-based activity (and is better when it isn’t) but more because the explanation is so shallow. It is a position that usually takes as its starting point that the natural and proper way for academic publishing to be organised is as a commercial activity and any intervention that works against this is to blame for the deleterious effects of commercialisation. Publishing is and always is a business (possibly a reflection of the constituents that the Scholarly Kitchen represents), despite the fact that it is exactly the commercial nature of publishing that is the problem.



Provost Directs Additional Funding To Curb Textbook Costs – Texas A&M Today

“The affordability of attending college, especially when it comes to paying for high-priced textbooks, is squarely in the sights of Texas A&M University Provost Dr. Alan Sams. In one of his first acts as provost, Sams directed $500,000 in grant funding to support Open Educational Resources (OER) and underwrite the costs of developing free books, notes and other educational resources or revising courses to fit existing, openly available materials. The program is expected to reduce or eliminate textbook costs in 19 courses—saving Aggie students more than $1 million in just the first year.

“Open” textbooks are openly-licensed, digital textbooks that can be read, downloaded and printed online at no or low cost, for anyone to use and share freely.

Past university OER development grants for faculty and library staff have saved Aggies more than $1.5 million in textbook costs, and the latest grants aim to save students another $1 million each year.

Course professors in biology, business, computer science and computer engineering, ecology and conservation biology, history, mathematics, nursing and statistics have been working since the summer to develop free resources for students. Organic chemistry faculty are also working on OER books and notes as part of course redesign efforts….”

Using Manifold at Temple University Press and Libraries | North Philly Notes

“Founded in 1969, Temple University Press publishes books in the humanities and social sciences and is the premier publisher of books on Philadelphia and the surrounding region. The Press began reporting administratively to Temple’s libraries in 2010. With the 2018 launch of the libraries’ Center for Scholarly Communication and Open Publishing, the libraries and Press began to partner on new approaches to sharing scholarly output and developing services in support of our mission to advance learning and scholarship. One such service, launched in 2019, is North Broad Press (NBP), a joint Libraries/Press open access imprint that provides Temple faculty with an opportunity to author their own open textbook.

NBP primarily publishes high-quality open educational resources by members of the Temple community, with limited additional capacity to support scholarly monographs, edited volumes, and digital scholarly projects. Everything we publish is open access and goes through a traditional book production process, including peer review by two independent experts in the field. Copyediting, typesetting, and design are provided at no cost, and we allocate stipends to some Temple authors to support writing an original open textbook. To date, we have published five textbooks and have sixteen in varying stages of progress. All NBP titles are published our Manifold platform.

Temple began using Manifold when the NBP imprint was announced and at a time when the Press was strategizing on sustainable open access models for traditional titles. After evaluating the options for hosting and publishing open access books, including the ease of integration with our established procedures, support for digital enhancements, and cost, we applied for and were chosen as one of ten publishers to participate in a 2019 pilot program on using Manifold.  

We kicked off our Manifold collections in 2020 with four Press titles previously published as part of the American Literatures Initiative (ALI). Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ALI supported the publication of important scholarship in literary studies, which had become an underfunded and under-resourced discipline from which fewer titles were able to be published. Open access availability of these titles matched the spirit of the grant by expanding their reach and supporting their use in ways beyond the traditional print and electronic editions….”

Introducing Kitchen Essentials — Interviews with the Scholarly Infrastructure Community

Today, Alice Meadows and Roger Schonfeld introduce a new interview series – Kitchen Essentials – featuring leaders of some of the key scholarly infrastructure organizations globally.

The post Introducing Kitchen Essentials — Interviews with the Scholarly Infrastructure Community appeared first on The Scholarly Kitchen.

Semantic Reader Open Research Platform

“Semantic Reader Project is a collaborative effort of NLP + HCI researchers from non-profit, industry, and academic institutions to create interactive, intelligent reading interfaces for scholarly papers. Our research led to the creation of Semantic Reader, an application used by tens of thousands of scholars each week.

The Semantic Reader Open Research Platform provides resources that enable the broader research community to explore exciting challenges around novel research support tools: PaperMage, a library for processing and analyzing scholarly PDFs, and PaperCraft, a React UI component for building augmented and interactive reading interfaces. Join us in designing the future of scholarly reading interfaces with our open source libraries!…”

Webinar: Opening the Future and the Open Book Collective. Diamond Open Access for Books? Nov 29, 2023. 10am-noon (CET) | Information Event on November 29th, 2023

The event takes place on 29.11.2023, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (CET):

Guest are:

Dr. Joe Deville (Senior Lecturer Lancaster University & Managing Director Open Book Collective)
Tom Grady (Scholarly Publishing Outreach Officer, Birbeck, University of London, Opening the Future)
Dr. Andrea Hacker (Open Access Officer, Unversity Library Basel (Switzerland) & board member of the Open Book Collective)




Due to high prices charged by commercial academic publishers and limited funding opportunities, it is still more difficult for scholars to publish Open Access books than journal articles. But how could open access books be produced at fair prices or even BPC-free? The Copim community has been investigating this question since 2020. Two models have developed in this context:

Opening the Future enables the financing of Open Access books through a membership model: in return for an annual membership fee, academic publishers make a selection of their backlist (non-OA books) available to academic libraries. The income from these membership fees enables the realisation of new OA books. 

The Open Book Collective is a non-profit organisation that emerged from the COPIM project and connects libraries, publishers, scholars and OA professionals with the aim of facilitating access to diverse and fair OA publications. The OBC is based on a governance structure including all stakeholders (publishers, libraries, scholars), preventing a commecrial sell-out. For publication service providers and publishers, the OBC allows them to finance their operations through a membership model. Libraries and researchers can use the OBC online platform to research and find OA publications, order or download them, and manage orders and subscriptions.

In this event, we want to present these initiatives and discuss their potential from the perspective of academic libraries.

The event is held in English.

Quantifying Consolidation in the Scholarly Journals Market – The Scholarly Kitchen

“A key trend, obvious to any publishing consultant or acquisitions editor buried in a seemingly endless (and seemingly rising) stream of independent journals seeking a partnership with a larger publisher, is the ongoing and ever-increasing market consolidation that has been accelerated by the move to open access (OA). We all know this to be true, but where is the data?…

Overall, the market has significantly consolidated since 2000 — when the top 5 publishers held 39% of the market of articles to 2022 where they control 61% of it. Looking at larger sets of publishers makes the consolidation even more extreme, as the top 10 largest publishers went from 47% of the market in 2000 to 75% in 2023, and the top 20 largest publishers from 54% to controlling 83% of the corpus….”