Open Book: We just have to do something! | Research Information

“Transformative agreements are where we can see most clearly how Different is a strategy for addressing not only the open research agenda but also other organizational challenges. It is no longer particularly newsworthy with a new Read and Publish agreement is announced. The press releases come across Twitter daily, sometimes multiple times a day. At the same time, however, it would be a mistake to miss that there are some interesting innovations within this general genre of agreements.

For example, the Read, Publish, and Join model pioneered by the American Physiological Society supports the open research agenda but also addresses the challenge many learned societies are facing with respect to membership and whether those who find value in publishing in a society’s journal are engaging with the society more broadly. The rebate structure of the Read and Publish agreement that University of Carolina Chapel Hill developed with SAGE seeks to attract funder investment in open access publishing and to make open access publishing available to those who either do not have external funds or whose funders decline to fund open access. And, in the largest scale experimental model operating in the United States, the University of California has architected a multi-payer model for both traditional subscription publishers and for full open access publishers. The resultant Read and Publish and Pure Publish agreements seek to support open access publishing but also keep monies from funders in the system.

Berghahn Open Anthro and other Subscribe to Open initiatives are certainly examples of Different, but it is reasonable to even categorise them as Impossible. Past attempts at Subscribe to Open had not succeeded but the context of implementation was quite different. With libraries signing up to The 2.5 per cent Commitment and the track record of Knowledge Unlatched, what was once Impossible has become possible.

Over the coming months and years, I expect we are going to see continued experimentation with business models for open research. We will see strategies that we will be able to categorise as Adapting, Different, and Impossible. Over time, we will see Cutting, of experiments that did not work out and of past practices that are no longer useful. Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Improving – doing the right things, doing them right, and doing them better over time – will then be the hallmarks of a robust ecosystem of open research.”