Debate about conditions relating to APC fund allocations

An interesting discussion has come up on the SCHOLCOMM list about applying rules to the allocation of APC funds. I’ve summarised it here and put in the links to some universities’ OA fund criteria which might be of interest to anyone thinking about putting together some criteria for their own institutions.

The first query was from University of orleans saying they were thinking of setting up a fund to pay for APCs and were considering putting in a requirement that the department chair approve the journal choice.

Florida State University replied that there are more objective standards offering their OA fund criteria – https://www.lib.fsu.edu/tads/open-access-fund

Emory University mentioned ‘quality’ considerations, and sent a link to their fund requirements are here: https://open.library.emory.edu/authors/oa-fund/ “The referral to a department chair is part of an internal document signed off on by our Library Policy Committee, which serves as our faculty advisory committee for the fund.”

University of Northern Carolina also have quality criteria such as being listed in the DOAJ. Their LibGuide on information on application and review procedures; it also provides advice for applicants on evaluating the quality of OA journals: http://libguides.unco.edu/content.php?pid=557453&sid=4594837. Also they said “Department chairs are required to sign off on the application to reflect their support for the fund request, so they could informally vet the journal although this is really considered the job of the review committee. We haven’t run into any issues with this approach, but are still less than a year into the program.”

Grand Valley State University require that department chairs review the applications for our open access publishing fund. We use that in combination with other criteria (see http://gvsu.edu/library/sc/open-access-publishing-support-fund-3.htm). They noted that department chairs were less confident in their own ability to identify predatory publishers. We talk through those concerns and have tried to provide our faculty with tools that assist in evaluating open access journals (http://gvsu.edu/library/sc/open-access-journal-quality-indicators-2.htm).

Two people said there would be issues about ‘academic freedom’. One noted: It also occurs to me that journal publishers would not be very happy about this kind of requirement – I know that journal publishers in Canada are very concerned about library OA funds only funding APCs for “big” OA journals.

That last comment is rather concerning.

Danny

AOASG Open Access Forum – The Researcher’s Perspective

The Australian Open Access Support Group is pleased to announce its inaugural ‘must attend’ face to face Forum, to be held on the morning of Wednesday 5 November at ACU’s North Sydney Campus.

The forum will consist of two morning sessions, one a facilitated discussion featuring researchers from a range of disciplines discussing the benefits and challenges of sharing their work through making it open access and communicating it through social media. The other session will focus on national and international trends in open access.

This event will precede the ANDS afternoon of talks featuring Dr Heather Piwowar and is held the day before the CAUL Research Repository Community Days commence.

Registration fees will cover costs and morning tea will be provided. Lunch will be provided for those staying for the afternoon ANDS events.

Registrations are not yet open, but we will send out notification to the lists as soon as we can. Please note the date, and starting time of 9:00 am (8:30 registration), in your diary for when you are booking your travel to the CAUL research Repository Community Days and/or the ANDS workshop.

AOASG Open Access Forum – The Researcher’s Perspective

Date

Wednesday November 5th

Cost

$45 for staff or students of AOASG member institutions (http://aoasg.org.au/membership/)

$90 for others

Location

Tenison Woods House, 8-20 Napier Street, North Sydney, NSW which is part of the North Sydney Campus of the Australian Catholic University

Further details of the Forum will be made available via the aoasg.org.au website, or contact eo@aoasg.org.au

Related events

There will be two other events at ACU of likely interest to those attending the Forum.

• On Wednesday afternoon, November 5, the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) will be presenting an afternoon of talks exploring open access, data, data reuse, data citation and research impact featuring guest speaker, Dr Heather Piwowar. Those staying for this event will be provided with lunch. More details from ANDS (www.ands.org.au/events/index.html)

• On Thursday and Friday the CAUL Research Repositories Community Days (www.caul.edu.au) will be held at the same venue.

Open access update June 2014

This blog is a short update of events and developments in open access to the end of June 2014. It includes: Cost of scholarly publishing under scrutiny, Publisher news, Monograph developments, Altmetrics articles, Other published research, News, Events – past, Events – upcoming, Resources.

Cost of scholarly publishing under scrutiny

Shining a light on the big deal – 20 June 2014

Evaluating big deal journal bundles” published in PNAS has concluded what we all knew: that comparable academic institutions pay different prices for journal access. While this is not really news at least it is now in the public domain. Not surprisingly this has caused a lot of comment including:  “Secret bundles of profitScience 20 June 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6190 pp. 1332-1333  and for those not at an institution subscribing to Science can read this commentary in The Scientist: “Journal Price Tags Revealed

FoI requests by New Zealand libraries – 5 June 2014

Official Information Act requests sent to New Zealand universities revealed similar responses to those received by Tim Gowers in the UK. “Official Information Act requests in the style of Tim Gowers

Where is the money for open access going?

Following from Wellcome Trust’s revelation of where their funds are spent, the spending of the RCUK open access block grant in 2013-14 on article process charges for the top five publishers shows that Elsevier and Wiley are streets ahead in terms of overall spend and amount they charge for APCs. Way back follow-ups are PLOS, Nature Publishing Group and BioMed Central.

Publisher news

Interesting development – STM licenses

The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) have developed some Open Access Licensing templates because: “STM believes that publishers should have the tools to offer a wide variety of appropriate licensing terms dependent on their economic model and business strategy. To that end, the Association has produced sample licences for a variety of uses within open access publishing.”

Publisher imposes censorship on article about open access – 5 June 2014

An article in Prometheus that criticised the profits of publishers was delayed, the publisher names redacted and a long disclaimer added to it before publishing. The Editorial Board threatened to resign over the incident.

Publisher apologises about the censorship issue – 19 June 2014

The Prometheus editors withdrew threat to resign after Taylor & Francis apologised for obstructing report critical of industry practices. The previous story went viral meaning the first paper was the most read paper in the journal’s online history.

Monograph developments

Monograph solution 1 – Proposal to make HASS monographs sustainable

This is a proposal to encourage partnerships among scholarly societies, research libraries, and other institutional partners with a plan to convert traditional subscription publication formats, including society-published journals and books or monographs, to OA. The financial model is based on an annual or multi-year payment made by every institution of higher education, no matter what its size or classification, and by any institution that benefits from the research that is generated by those within the academy.

Monograph solution 2 – Seed money? – 27 June 2014

The solution from the American Association of University presses is described by Donald J. Waters, of the Mellon foundation’s scholarly-communications program as “a set of ideas to stimulate discussions with a broad range of constituents—presses, scholars, university leaders, libraries, and others.” There are several options, including the possibility that Mellon could provide seed money to universities to pay for the digital publication of some faculty members’ work and to make it openly accessible online.

Monograph solution 3 – Home institution pays for first book

An Association of American Universities and the Association of Research Libraries Prospectus for an Institutionally Funded First-Book Subvention describes an idea of a “prospectus for an institutionally funded first-book subvention” that would shift the burden of payment to authors’ home institutions.

Altmetrics articles

Special issue on alternative metrics – June 2014

The June issue of the Elsevier-produced Research Trends is all about altmetrics, with articles including: A brief history of altmetrics; Scholarly blogs are a promising altmetric source; Downloads versus citations and the role of publication language and many others.

Altmetrics for institutions have been released – 12 June 2014

This is an interesting initiative from Altmetric that will prove very useful to research administrators – institutional altmetrics. This partly arises from a paper published in Ariadne in January: “Realising the Potential of Altmetrics within Institutions”.

Other published research

Learned Societies and open access report – 27 May 2014

This survey appraised attitudes toward Open Access amongst learned society publishers with findings including: Learned societies overwhelmingly agree that Open Access will inevitably place some learned societies’ journals into financial jeopardy, and Collaboration between learned societies could help in the transition to Open Access, by pooling resources and sharing complex tasks. Press release.

Researchers change their publication to fit the assessment – 8 June 2014

A new series of quarterly reports has been launched by Digital Research to look at research data. The first report, called Evidence for Excellence addresses publishing behaviour of researchers submitting to the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), finding there has been a change in publication formats, with Engineering moving away from submitting conference reports to (almost exclusively) submitting journal articles, and for Social Sciences to submit far fewer books in favour of more journal articles. Of a total 200,000 unique items submitted for the RAE in 2008, 165,000 were journal articles.

Availability of journal articles on the internet – 15 June 2014

Out of a sample of 1,463 articles published 2011-2013, 32% were openly accessible at the end of 2013. Bruce White (eResearch Librarian at Massey University, NZ) has published a Library Review article “Total Availability of Journal Articles to Internet Users” The blog post summarises the  main findings “Open Access Journal Articles – How Much Access Do Internet Users Actually Get?

Google Scholar trumps Web of Science – 9 May 2014

A recent article in PLOS ONE (The number of scholarly documents on the public web) estimated that at least 27 million (24%)  of the 100 million or so scholarly articles online are freely available since they do not require a subscription or payment of any kind. Apparently Web of Science only indexed 50 million of these documents.

News

Collecting UK research in one spot – 13 June 2014

The UK research councils are combining to adopt unified digital platform for capturing research outputs called Researchfish, to capture the outputs of the £4.5bn of research they fund every year across the UK in a consistent way. Researchfish works by connecting researchers together with the funding bodies and the universities that support them. Through the service interfaces, funding bodies can capture the outputs from specific research grants, allowing funders to see the value their funding is achieving both now and well beyond the lifetime of the grant.

The only way is up for OA journals – June 2014

A total of 399,854 articles were published with the CC-BY license by members of OASPA during the period shown above, with 120,972 of those being published in 2013 alone. These numbers only include articles that were published in journals whose entire content is Open Access, so articles that were published in hybrid OA journals are not included. Growth of fully OA journals using a CC-BY license was published by the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association

User beware – Publication Integrity and Ethics

The Publication Integrity and Ethics (P.I.E.) is sending invitation emails to people in academia. If you receive one you might want to read the following before joining: “Strange email of the week”, ‘The Strange Case of “Publication Integrity and Ethics”‘ and “Duplicate Publication, Integrity and Ethics (PIE Part 4)

Academic identity theft – 6 June 2014

This story from Times Higher Education is about someone who has won a legal argument to get his name off the board of a journal he has never heard of. “Lecturer’s name removed from board of ‘predatory’ journal”. This is a serious problem – Deakin University academics are listed on this conference’s editorial board without them having any awareness of it

More licenses for publishers to open research

International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) have developed some Open Access Licensing templates because “STM believes that publishers should have the tools to offer a wide variety of appropriate licensing terms dependent on their economic model and business strategy. To that end, the Association has produced sample licences for a variety of uses within open access publishing.” These need some in depth analysis.

Plan to link data – 30 April 2014

The Data Conservancy, IEEE, and Portico have announced their partnership to design and prototype a data curation infrastructure that connects published research and associated data sets for the long-term benefit of researchers worldwide. The two-year project is supported by a $602,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will result in the development of a service that will build, store, update, and retrieve the connections among publications and data, and preserve those connections over the long-term.

Events – past

Ockham’s Razor on Radio National – 15 June 2014

Emeritus Professor Tom Cochrane, the Patron of the AOASG spoke on the topic of “Open Access” in the Ockham’s Razor program on Radio National on 15 June 2014

Open Access Publishing in Asia – 2-3 June 2014

Australia’s Emeritus Fellow Colin Steele flew the Australian flag at the OASPA 1st Asian Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing with his talk Open Access in Australia: National and Global Perspectives

Global Research Funders discussing Open Access – 26-28 May 2014

The topics for discussion at the Global Research Council Meeting held in Beijing on May 26-28 2014 included Open Access for Publications and Shaping the Future: Supporting the Next Generation of Researchers. Approximately 60 Heads of Research Councils from around the world participated including Professor Aidan Byrne, the CEO of the Australian Research Council.

How to get published – 15 May 2014

CSIRO’s Executive Manager of Communications & Publishing and Director of CSIRO Publishing, Andrew Stammer, gave a presentation on the publishing process within CSIRO; how journal articles are selected; skills that will assist researchers in the publishing process, and suggestions for pitching book proposals.

Events – upcoming

Webinar – PLOS: open data, ORCIDs and Article Level Metrics – 3 July 2014

This ANDS webinar features Dr Virginia Barbour, Chief Editor of PLOS Medicine, discussing the new PLOS data policy, the introduction of ORCID Identifiers to the people records in the PLOS manuscript submission system, and the development of PLOS article level metrics to measure the impact of research.

A festival of events in October/November – block out your diaries!

  • 20-26 October: Open Access Week (Australia-wide)
  • 27-31 October: eResearch Australasia conference (Melbourne)
  • 5 November (AM): AOASG presents a facilitated discussion on disciplinary aspects of open access (Sydney)
  • 5 November (PM): ANDS event “An afternoon of talks featuring Heather Piwowar, Impact Story” (Sydney)
  • 6-7 November: CAUL Repository Community Days (Sydney)

Reinventing university publishing international symposium 17-19 March 2015

Presented by the Council of University Librarians, this promises to be an exciting event, the call for proposals will go out soon, and those interested in being kept up to date on the event can click here.

Resources

Open Access Journal Options Flowchart – 24 June 2014

In case you missed it, this flowchart aimed at researchers making choices about publication has generated a huge response, with the AOASG website’s biggest single day of 803 views.Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 3.12.56 pm

Location of Academic Knowledge – June 2014

In this graphic Australia is the same level of impact (but larger output) than China. It shows how big US, UK & The Netherlands are in this space. New Zealand is punching well above its weight. And what is going on in Denmark? A small but very dark blue box.

Tweeterati advice

Is Twitter right for every scientist?” – a Q&A with Jeffrey Hiday who directs the Office of Media Relations for RAND Corporation and works with people to help them get comfortable with Twitter. Tips include: “You can’t put everything across in 140 characters. But you certainly can entice folks to click through and read your research in that number of characters”

Published 1 July 2014
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This work is licensed by AOASG under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International 

Open access update May 2014

This blog is a short update of events and developments in open access to late May 2014. It includes: Open Access NewsNew open access policies – internationalReports & ResearchAlternative ways to value journals and Events

Open Access News

AOASG a signatory on COAR Statement about embargoes – 29 May 2014

AOASG has become a signatory to the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) ‘Statement about embargo periods’, joining other international associations. The statement says embargo periods are a transitional mechanism to help facilitate a wholesale shift towards Open Access.

Open Access Week 2014 theme is Generation Open

SPARC have announced the theme for Open Access Week 2014 – Generation Open – with a focus on early career researchers and students. This provides considerable potential for activities and events.

Predator-watch 1 – ‘Hijacked’ journals list – 18 May 2014

This is a new predatory scam where someone will create a counterfeit website that pretends to be the website of a legitimate scholarly journal. The website creators then solicit manuscript submissions for the hijacked version of the journal, pocketing the money. In some cases the legitimate versions of the journals are only published in print form and they may not have websites.Jeffrey Beall now has a new list- Hijacked Journals

American Society Of Civil Engineers Issues take down notices – 16 May 2014

There have been over 1200 requests to Google to take down content. This move reflects Elsevier’s requests to take down the publisher’s versions of work at the end of 2013. It has caused considerable discussion including “Publisher targets university researchers for ‘pirating’ their own research

Librarians should be across OA & APC payment options – May 2014

That’s the conclusion of Christine Fruin and Fred Rascoe in their article “Funding open access journal publishing: Article processing charges” in College and Research Library News Vol 75, pp.240-243

Elsevier expenditure – 24 April 2014

Cambridge mathematician Tim Gowers sent out a series of FoI requests to find out what UK libraries are spending on Elsevier. His comprehensive blog on his findings notes “A striking aspect of these amounts is just how much they vary.” This has sparked considerable discussion, not least “The cost of academic publishing”.

Predator-watch 2 – another ‘sting’ – 21 April 2014

Another predatory journal ‘sting’, from a Canadian journalist who wrote a rubbish paper and had it accepted by several open access publishers. His article about it was publishing in Ottawa Citizen “Blinded by scientific gobbledygook

Declaration on open access for LIS authors – March 2014

This Declaration for LIS authors states the “undersigned, pledge to make ALL OF OUR WORK open access by all means possible, including especially placing versions of our work in institutional and disciplinary repositories, publishing in open access journals”. The text is being crowdsourced.

Complying with mandates – March 2014

The final version of the Guide to Tagging Institutional Repository Records Related to ARC/NHMRC Grants  is now available on the CAUL website. This document was prepared by: Paula Callan (QUT), Mark Gregson (QUT), Kerrie Burn (ACU) and Tony McCall (ACU).

Predator-watch 3 – Beware VDM publishing – 23 March 2014

A good read and clear warning for PhD graduates considering publishing with VDM Publishing from Joseph Stromberg: “I Sold My Undergraduate Thesis to a Print Content Farm” in Slate: Future Tense

New open access policies – international

Chinese Academy of Sciences Open Access Policy – 16 May 2014

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) open access policy will require its researchers and graduate students to deposit final, peer-reviewed manuscripts of research articles into the open access repositories of their respective institutes within 12 months of their official publication in academic journals.

Mexico national legislation on open access and repositories – 8 April 2014

Mexico is the third country in the region which now has national legislation related to the issue of open access. This legislation is intended to place Mexico into an ‘information society’. The Act provides for the establishment and operation of the National Repository of Science, Technology and Innovation Information.

Reports & Research

Open-Access Repositories Worldwide, 2005–2012 – 2 May 2014

This study Open-Access Repositories Worldwide, 2005–2012: Past Growth, Current Characteristics, and Future Possibilities by Stephen Pinfield et al reviews the worldwide growth of open access finding they typically use open-source OAI-compliant software but have immature licensing arrangements. Major factors affecting both the initial development of repositories and their take-up include IT infrastructure, cultural factors, policy initiatives, awareness-raising activity, and usage mandates.

British Academy study on OA journals in HASS – April 2014

The report Open Access Journals in Humanities and Social Science is a British Academy Research Project by Rebecca Darley, Daniel Reynolds and Chris Wickham

UKSG special issue on OA monographs – April 2014

This OA monograph supplement to the UKSG journal Insights (Vol 27, Supplement 1) is fully open access

Aligning repositories – March 2014

The report from the COAR Aligning Repository Networks Meeting in March 2014 is now available – “Towards a Seamless Global Research Infrastructure

Analysis of deposit rules of 100 largest journals

The study found 80.4% allow deposit of author’s manuscript or publisher’s pdf within 12 months of publication. Mikael Laakso’s Green open access policies of scholarly journal publishers: a study of what, when, and where self-archiving is allowed” also found that publishers are substantially more permissive with allowing accepted manuscripts on personal webpages (78.1% of articles) or in institutional repositories (79.9%) compared to subject repositories (32.8%).

Alternative ways to value journals

Journal Openness Index

In Librarian, Heal Thyself: A Scholarly Communication Analysis of LIS Journals, Micah Vandegrift and Chealsye Bowley propose a new metric to rank journals, the J.O.I. Factor (Journal Openness Index) which grades journals based on how “open” they are, as opposed to citation impact or h-index.

JournalGuide

For biomedical researchers a new beta release JournalGuide provides a matching service for authors to help them identify the right journal for their article. Information on a journal’s scope, speed of rejection or approval, publication speed and cost plus the open access policy.

Quality Open Access Market

A European initiative Quality Open Access Market aims to provide ‘Journal Score Cards’ ranking quality of service against price and also lists the publication fees of journals. The score is out of five and attained by author’s input ranking on: Editorial info, Peer review, Process and Governance.

Open Review

This new service from ResearchGate offers a way of researchers reviewing a published paper.

Events

Stop blaming open access: what’s wrong with scholarly communication and why it’s not the fault of open access, Dr Danny Kingsley, Executive Officer, Australian Open Access Support Group
6.00 – 7.30pm Thursday 12 June Ainslie Football Club, 52 Wakefield Ave, Ainslie ACT. Presented by Canberra Skeptics

Recent Developments in Open Access and Scholarly Communication: The case of History in Britain. Professor Miles Taylor  – Institute of Historical Research, University of London.
12.30 – 1.30pm Wednesday 18th June McDonald Room, Menzies Library, Australian National University

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Open access update April 2014

This blog is a short update of events and developments in open access to late April 2014. It includes: International open access news, Publisher OA newsReports & ResearchAustralian open access newsAOASG news

International OA news

Holding back funds results in compliance with OA policies – 9 April 2014

This news article from Nature shows compliance has increased for NIH and Wellcome Trust  since withholding funds for non-compliers. Wellcome Trust withheld funding on 63 occasions last year because of non-compliance with their policy. The NIH’s compliance rate — the percentage of papers placed in the PubMed Central database for public access no later than a year after publication — now stands at 82%. It had flatlined at around 75% for two years, says Neil Thakur, who oversees policy for the NIH’s Office of Extramural Research. The Wellcome Trust’s compliance rate is 69%, up from 55% in March 2012, says Robert Kiley, head of the trust’s digital services.

Policy for OA in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework – March 2014

This policy states that to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection. The requirement applies only to journal articles and conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number. It will not apply to monographs, book chapters, other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs, or data. So… If they don’t deposit it in AT TIME OF ACCEPTANCE they can’t count it. This is big news for open access in the UK.

Paying for hybrid does not mean article is OA – 27 March 2014

The UK’s Times Higher Education ran this story: “Elsevier: bumps on road to open access” – that is, they are keeping paid hybrid OA articles behind paywalls .

The State of Open Access – 21 March 2014

Richard Poynder has written his perspective on the State of Open Access – which follows on from his series of 19 interviews last year with prominent people on the open access space (including AOASG’s Dr Danny Kingsley). His views are interesting – he is a journalist not an OA advocate. Basically, he says the research community needs to get organised or the OA future will be controlled by publishers.

OERRH Ethics Manual – 5 March 2014

The OERRH Ethics Manual provides an overview of ethical issues that arise in research and offers strategies for best practice. It discusses some of the particular challenges for openness in research, including confidentiality of data, implications for dissemination strategies, and discusses some of the challenges that may be brought about specifically by ‘working in the the open’.

Blog to help library management of OA – 4 March 2014

A Wiki/blog has been launched to help direct librarians faced with managing OA workflows. The blog notes the current situation is similar to the early years of the Big Deal and librarians are struggling to implement new workflows to manage both green and APC-funded Gold OA.
The site provides basic information about article processing charges and the management of them plus information about open access generally. The wiki allows people to contribute to the site.

Publisher OA news

Nature launches ‘partner’ OA journals – 2 April 2014

new development from Nature – a ‘partner¹ series of OA journals. They have teamed up with a series of research groups and universities to create these journals. With a $4000 APC they are sitting at the pricey end of open access journals – presumably it is the Nature brand that justifies this cost. It seems the Nature brand is the benefit to the partners, who “also have the option of NPG’s internal editorial office to manage and administer the peer-review process”. The website does not indicate where the APC goes, to Nature one suspects rather than to the partner.

New application form for DOAJ – 19 March 2014

DOAJ have launched a new and much extended form for journals wishing to be included in the DOAJ. The form has been structured to collect upfront from the publishers as many quality indicators as possible about the journal. These indicators will be assessed as part of a journal’s application. The form also introduces the DOAJ Seal, a mark of approval that shows how a journal strives towards Best Practice.

Elsevier STM publishing profits rise to 39% – March 2014

An OA blog has discussed the March Reed Elsevier annual report, noting the revenue and adjusted operating profit for the Scientific, Technical & Medical portion of the business. The profit margin of 39% includes a $76 million USD increase in profit in the past year. The blog notes the number of researchers that could be employed for that alone.

Wiley goes (embargoed) green – February 2014

Since 1 January 2014 Wiley have changed their policy and now allow authors to make their Accepted Manuscript available in a repository after 12 months (24 months for Social Sciences and Humanities). They have been making the relevant changes to the language of their Copyright Transfer Agreements during February February 21, 2014. Good news. Well done Wiley, it is a very good step in the right direction.

Elsevier launches its text and data mining policy – 31 Jan 2014

Elsevier’s text and data mining policy now allows researchers in a subscribing institutions to register at the Elsevier developers’ portal to receive a key to the Application Programming Interface (API) of ScienceDirect, which provides full-text content in XML and plain-text formats optimal for TDM. Some commentators like the European Association of Research Libraries have indicated this policy restricts researchers rather than opens up the research by forcing people to use a specific tool.

Reports & Research

Nature – Can author pays compete with reader pays? – 14 April 2014*

This article compares the publishing industry with the car industry noting that publishers receive money from the consumer and the supplier (even in subscription journals – through page charges). (*NOTE – This article first appeared in 2006, it arose in another discussion on 14 April. Thanks to Pippa Smart for identifying this date discrepancy).

Monitoring Progress towards Open Access in the UK – 7 April 2014

This report stemmed from a recommendation of the Finch Report that a working group of representatives of the different stakeholder groups should collect reliable, high-quality indicators on the key features of the changing research communications landscape, including the precise configuration of the indicators, data definitions, protocols and methodologies.

The Value & Impact of Data Sharing and Curation – 2 April 2014

This synthesis report aims to summarise and reflect on the findings from a series of recent studies, conducted by Neil Beagrie of Charles Beagrie Ltd. and Prof. John Houghton of Victoria University, into the value and impact of three well established research data centres – the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), and the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC). It provides a summary of the key findings from new research and reflects on: the methods that can be used to collect data for such studies; the analytical methods that can be used to explore value, impacts, costs and benefits; and the lessons learnt and recommendations arising from the series of studies as a whole.

Developing an effective market for APCs – March 2014

Report Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges looks at the article processing charges (APC) situation coming up with three scenarios for discussion within the industry. Suggestions include: the reduction of subscription cost for a particular institution in line with the amount they have spent in APCs with that publisher, funders offering a level of funding for APCs based on the ‘value’ the publisher provides, and funders having a cap on what they will fund with the author having to find the remaining money. Read a blog about it.

Wellcome Trust publish spend on funded OA articles – March 2014

Robert Kiley from Wellcome Trust has published a spreadsheet of every single paper they have sponsored as paid (“Gold”) open access. In the fiscal year 2012-2013 the Wellcome Trust spent over US$6.5million on OA publication fees.  Peter Murray Rust however noticed that at least some of the Elsevier ‘OA’ papers are still offered as paid access on their journal website.

Australian OA news

Note the AOASG now has a webpage listing Australian OA Developments which is constantly being updated.

Victoria University partners with CLOCKSS – 4 April 2014

The CLOCKSS Archive  has partnered with Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, to preserve their ejournals and ebooks in CLOCKSS’s geographically and geo-politically distributed network of redundant archive nodes, located at 12 major research libraries around the world. This action provides for content to be freely available to everyone after a “trigger event” and ensures an author’s work will be maximally accessible and useful over time.

CAUL updates its statement on open scholarship – 26 March 2014

CAUL has an Open Scholarship page which covers developments such as open access, open science, open education and other “open” initiatives.  CAUL’s Statement on Open Scholarship explores the idea that the free flow of information and ideas underpins excellence in scholarship in detail.

NHMRC revises its OA Policy webpage – 25 February 2014

The NHMRC have expanded their advice and information about their Open Access Policy on the  Dissemination of Research Findings. There is more detailed information on how to report the open access status of published funded work, plus a new useful Guide for Authors.

ALIA open access statement – 24 February 2014

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has adopted a full open access policy. This means they will provide full access for the majority of their own reports, conference papers and other grey literature; member-only access for certain unique, high value materials, and green open access for our scholarly journals. ALIA supports Australian libraries in their efforts to work towards open access.

New open access journal – 12 February 2014

Victoria University recently launched a new open access journal,  the Victoria University Law and Justice Journal (VULJ). The journal uses the Online Journal Systems (OJS) platform which enables journal editors to manage the stages of issue creation from author submission through to publication. The University offers technical set-up,  and support with referencing, indexing, peer review models, copyright, licensing, ISSN and DOI registration. It is assumed that peer review and editorial tasks are performed by the journal’s editorial committee/board.

New OA journal for Flinders University – February 2014

Writers in Conversation is an international online open-access literary journal specialising in well-researched, in-depth interviews with writers in all literary genres (including criticism), concentrating on their work, their ideas and related matters, to be published jointly by Flinders University and the University of Central Lancashire. The journal will be published twice each year, in February and August.

AOASG News

AOASG gets a rap

Open Science campaigner Peter Murray Rust wrote in his blog:

  • If you are confused by “Open Access” you are in good company. So am I. It’s horrendous. Here Danny Kingsley and the  Australian Open Access Support Group (AOASG) have created an excellent series of blog posts on Open Access. They are readable and authoritative. After it you will be less confused and more authoritative. But it will still be horrendous.

See what he’s raving about: the AOASG Paying for Publication series is comprehensive and wide ranging.

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This work is licensed by AOASG under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

An effective market for APCs?

Worldwide, the recent increase in open access policies has led to funds supporting the costs of open access publishing in OA journals (or hybrid OA in a subscription journal). This trend towards paid gold open access has raised concerns over rising costs to research-intensive institutions paying multiple article processing charges.

A recent report called Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges aims to address some of these issues.

Discussion starters for administrators

The Report, by Professor Bo-Christer Björk of the Hanken School of Economics, Finland, and Professor David Solomon of Michigan State University, USA, is intended for research funding organisations and policy makers. It aims to “ensure a competitive and transparent market for scholarly journal article processing charges (APC)s”.

The authors suggested three scenarios as a starting point for discussion on how funding agencies might influence the APC market to encourage transparency and competition:

Scenario A addresses double dipping. This scenario does not suggest a change to article processing charges but the publisher comes to an arrangement where the individual institution is given some saving in subscription costs when researchers pay to publish in their hybrid journals.

Scenario B looks at ranking journals according to the ‘value’ they provide the author. This scenario suggests a price cap system based on the service provided by the journal. Those that provide high value (quality peer review, fast turnaround etc) have a higher cap than those which do not meet these standards. The funder only provides the money up to the cap for the particular journal. If the journal charges more than the funded cap it would be up to the author to find the money for the gap if they wished to publish in the journal.

Scenario B is very interesting from the perspective of the reward system in academia. Currently journals are ranked as being of high or low quality from a count of the citations of their articles – the Journal impact Factor. But this proposed ranking system would be considering the publisher’s ability to do their job well – the process of publication – as a means for assessing a journal’s ‘value’.

Scenario C is where the funders agree to only pay a fixed proportion of the article processing charge. By asking authors and their institutions to cover a portion of the cost of an APC this scenario ensures cost is one of the considerations in the choice of where to publish. The goal is to to provide an incentive for keeping the APC market (both full OA and hybrid) competitive and reasonably priced.

While Scenario C would be administratively very difficult to manage at an institutional level, the advantage of having only part of the article processing charge covered is it introduces an incentive for authors and their institutions to evaluate the benefit of publishing the article in question. This is, indeed one of the advantages of a move from subscriptions to article processing charges generally, they open up the researchers to the costs of the scholarly publication system. (For more discussion on this issue, the AOASG Managing APCs page).

Each scenario is discussed in full in the Report, with a full background rationale and an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).

The authors argued that irrespective of which scenario is chosen “that funding agencies should set minimum standards that must be met before APCs are paid to any journal.” To that end the authors provided two sets of journal criteria: one for fully OA journals, another for hybrid OA in a subscription journal.

Issues with management of article processing charges

The authors suggest that one of the major impediments to a switch Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 12.18.33 pmfrom a subscription model to funded OA publication can be put down to a “lack of effective administrative and work-flow structures for payments”.

Some of the broader issues relating to management of article processing charges, they argue, include the considerable transaction costs for handling the payments – both for publishers and the institutions of the authors. This was also noted in the 2012 Finch Report http://www.researchinfonet.org/publish/finch/.

There are also challenges posed by management of funds – such as situations where:

  • articles have authors from many institutions and countries
  • articles are published outside the time limits of the grants they stemmed from
  • managing the rules for waivers for authors without access to funds to pay, and
  • the added issue that decision making about rationing the use of funds will fall on the administrators of such funds, given that there is likely to be a scarcity of money to meet all requests.

The authors speculated what the APC market would look like if it worked on similar terms as the subscription market. They concluded it would result in a loss of transparency and would be very detrimental to smaller OA publishers and innovative companies wishing to break into the market.

The mega journal revolution

The Report observed that mega journals have become the fastest growing segment of the APC funded OA journal market. There are now at least 19 mega journals with another eight slated to begin publication within a year. PLOS ONE continues to lead this market,  publishing over 30,000 articles in 2013.

It is worth noting that many of these mega journals use a model where the journals accept papers that have been rejected from other journals in the publisher’s catalogue (with the accompanying reviews). This is referred to as the ‘cascade model’ in the case of the Royal Society’s new Royal Society Open Science, which accepts “articles referred from other Royal Society journals”.

While there are some advantages to this cascade approach – it does prevent people wasting precious time re-reviewing articles – the issue is it gives the impression to the academic community that these mega journals are the ‘slops bucket’ for rejected papers.

A cascade model for mega journals risks devaluing the open access brand.

Uptake of open access

The Report analysed the uptake of open access globally, noting that 11% of all articles indexed by Scopus were published in full OA journals (APC funded and others). Sixteen delayed OA journals add another 5% as well as an estimated 1% in hybrid journals. The authors extrapolated these findings to 2014, and estimated a share of almost 15% for gold OA, which would increase to around 20% if they added delayed OA journals.

The authors concluded: “It is evident that the article volumes of established OA journals are approaching the average of subscription journals”.

The Report found hybrid was quite prevalent – it is available for most subscription journals (at least from the bigger publishers). But the overall uptake of hybrid OA is still very low. A recent Elsevier report mentions an uptake for all publishers of only 0.5 % of Scopus articles.

The Report did attract some criticism from the publishing industry. In a news report from the Times Higher Education Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association, is quoted as saying the Report’s claim of low take-up of hybrid open access options was not borne out by publishers’ experience. He is quoted: “We haven’t got hard and fast figures but, anecdotally, some publishers are seeing three-figure percentage increases in take-up since April 2013”.

Wellcome Trust expenditure on APCs

Possibly coincidently, in the same week as the release of the report “Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges”, the Wellcome Trust released details of its open access spend in the year 2012-2013. The Wellcome Trust has been an early supporter of open access, and since 2005, the Trust has provided funds to pay article processing charges within their research grants.

The Wellcome Trust open access spend was released as a raw data set, which Cameron Neylon from PLOS subsequently analysed and released back out as Wellcome Trust Article Processing Charges by Article 2012/13. This analysis has itself been re-analysed by Ernesto Priego to standardise the publisher names, released as Wellcome Trust APC spend (2012-2013) Spreadsheet with Publisher Names Refined.

The numbers are almost staggering at first glance. In the fiscal year 2012-2013 the Wellcome Trust spent over US$6.5million on OA publication fees. This paid for 2,127 articles, with an average cost of US$3,055 per article. This is equivalent to the subscription spend of a medium sized university.

Five publishers received 63% of the APCs in that year, in order: Elsevier, Wiley, PLOS, Springer/BMC and Oxford University Press. Elsevier ‘s share was 25%. This heavy weighting towards some publishers has resulted in calls by some commentators that the ‘Matthew Effect’ is dominating in this field.

Kent Anderson commented:

It’s interesting to contemplate exactly what Wellcome bought with its US$6.5 million, as many subscription journals in the fields covered are subject to 12-month embargoes. One could argue that Wellcome paid an average of US$254 per month per article to make the articles free early. Put even more starkly, Wellcome is now paying the equivalent of US$542,000 per month in aggregate this year to make these 2,127 articles free for the 12 months we’re in, rather than paying no APCs and allowing the articles to be published in a subscription journal that honors 12-month embargoes.

Another blogger noted that the figures indicate there is a ‘mere inversion of the business model’ where the high prices traditionally charged to libraries is shifting to researchers (through their funding agencies). The blog concludes: “Aren’t we clearly rushing towards a new “OA serials crisis”, where publishing is still dominated by the same major publishers who partly led to the serials crisis in the first place?”

The release of both the Wellcome Trust figures and the APC management report highlights some of the many substantial issues in the payment of article processing charges (many of which have also been explored in the AOASG Paying for Publication series).

The Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges report was commissioned by a consortium of major research funders by the Wellcome Trust: Research Councils UK, Jisc, Research Libraries UK, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the FNR (Luxembourg) and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics.

Dr Danny Kingsley
Executive Officer, AOASG

Open access update March 2014

This blog is a short update of events and developments in open access to mid-March 2014. It includes: International open access news, Reports & Research, Australian open access news, Wraps of 2013, New open access policies – international, EventsAOASG news and feedback from AOASG followers.

International open access news

Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers – 25 February 2014

Last year OA copped a bad name because of the ‘sting’ by Bohannon where some of the (only OA journals) that were sent a scientifically unviable article accepted it for publication. At least that article was in English.

On 25 February Nature reported: “The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.” These gibberish articles were supposed to be ‘peer reviewed’ and were available under subscription, published mainly in conference proceedings.

Publishers launch free journal access for UK libraries – 3 February 2014

Academic publishers have launched their scheme to allow free access to research journals at UK public libraries. This was one of the concessions the publishing industry made in the Finch Report.  Users have to walk into the library to have this access.  The project will initially run as a two-year pilot while interest is monitored.

Data availability statement for PLOS articles – 3 February 2014

Articles submitted to any PLOS journal will need to have a ‘data availability statement’ for the data. The release said: “The new Data Policy will be implemented for manuscripts submitted on, or after, March 1st. The main change is that all PLOS journals will require that all manuscripts have an accompanying data availability statement for the data used in that piece of research. We’re well aware that this may prove to be a challenge, but we think that this thorny issue needs to be tackled head-on. Ultimately, an Open Access paper for which the underlying data are not available doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

T&F supplemental material open access on Figshare – 6 February 2014

T&F supplemental material is now available in a new online format as tables, datasets, filesets, videos and graphs become instantly viewable on Taylor & Francis Online, easily discoverable from search engines and quickly hosted on Figshare.

T&F extend Library & Information Science Author Rights pilot scheme – 23 January 2014

The pilot began in 2011 and as part of the pilot, a survey was conducted by Routledge to canvas opinions on the Library & Information Science Author Rights initiative and also investigated author and researcher behaviour and views on author rights policies, embargos and posting work to repositories. The survey elicited over 500 responses, including: “Having the option to upload their work to a repository directly after publication is very important to these authors: more than 2/3 of respondents rated the ability to upload their work to repositories at 8, 9, or 10 out of 10, with the vast majority saying they feel strongly that authors should have this right”.

Elsevier sends take down notices to Academia.edu and universities – December 2013

Elsevier sent a series of take down notices to Academia.edu and individual universities requesting take down of the Published Version of their works on these websites. Understandably this caused a great deal of discussion. Click here to see an example post.

Reports and Research

Major report on article processing charges – 12 March 2014

The report “Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges” was commissioned by several major UK and European funding bodies and examines the current status of the APC market, concluding that hybrid is twice as costly as fully open access and describing three possible scenarios suggesting ways to improve the market into the future.

UNESCO publishes Guidelines to compare Institutional Repository Software – 17 February 2014

The Guidelines to compare Institutional Repository Software is being published as part of the UNESCO’s Open Access Strategy. It compares the features of the major platforms and is intended to help libraries focus on which features will help facilitate the success of their repository. NOTE: The authors were from bepress which fares very well in the comparisons.

Journal usage half-life – 18 December 2013

The study was by an independent research Dr Phil Davis who analysed the half-life of 2812 journals. Half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for articles in a journal to receive half of their lifetime total downloads. Some findings are not surprising – that these vary widely, and the timeframes are quite long (certainly in particular fields). What is perhaps surprising is that “Only 3% of journals in all fields have half-lives of 12 months or less”. A news story about the study is here.

Have digital repositories come of age? The views of library directors – December 2013

The report from the research group, CIBER, by David Nicholas, et al surveyed 150 library directors and has come to the conclusion that there is still considerable development required in the growth of institutional repositories.

It found that 70% had a digital repository, and 23% were planning one. It found that institutional repositories are mostly small affairs, operating on small budgets with one or two full time staff, and usually costing only about 1.8% of the total library budget. Their main objectives, according to the article conclusions, are to provide a shop front for the institutional output, with increasing global access to research a close second objective.

Finally, the article found that librarians see Gold OA as likely to supplant Green, and that subject based repositories will continue to outshine institutional ones. The article is published in Webology, Volume 10, Number 2, December, 2013

Australian open access news

University of Wollongong OA policy

The University of Wollongong has released its open access policy which applies to all research outputs including those that are non-peer reviewed. The policy is here.

Open Access Policy requirements spelt out in ARC funding rules

The ARC 2015 Discovery Project funding rules have been standardised across the Australian Laureate Fellowships, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award and Discovery Indigenous schemes  The rules say: “The Final Report must address compliance with the ARC Open Access Policy as detailed at A11.5” and later: “In accordance with this policy, any publications arising from a Project must be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a twelve month period from the date of publication.”

Copyright report tabled

The Copyright and the Digital Economy (ALRC Report 122) was tabled 13 February. One news story about it: “Brandis likely to knock back relaxed copyright rules”.

Wraps of 2013

2013 the year that was science & technology

This article from The Conversation is a good wrap of what has happened in Science & Medicine in 2013, including an honourable mention for Matthew Todd at the end.

AOASG in 2013: That was the year that was

2013 marked the first year of activity for the AOASG. This blog summarises the activities and achievements of the group throughout the year.

Open access 2013: A year of gaining momentum

This blog from Scientific American is an excellent roundup of what happened in the open access area worldwide during 2013. It includes the comment that “July also marked the date that publications from research funded by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) were due to start appearing in repositories.”

New open access policies – international

[All open access announcements are added to the AOASG 'Statements about OA page']

Italy requires OA for young researchers – 23 January 2014

Italian Ministry of Education University and Research (MIUR) has launched SIR (Scientific Independence of young researchers) which includes a clause mandating OA for publications and data based on the Horizon 2020 grant agreement (in Italian- only)

US Congress passed FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill – 13 January 2014

The FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill has a requirement for the Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education And Related Agencies (LHHS). Section 527 (p1020) states each Federal agency or each bureau of multiple bureaus with funding of $100 million or more are required to provide a machine-readable version of the Accepted Manuscripts to peer reviewed journals to the agency and these must be freely accessible online no later than 12 months after official publication, complying with all relevant copyright laws.

Joint Research Centre adopts open access policy – 6 January 2014

The JCU is the European Commission’s in-house science service and in accordance with the EU’s new open access policy for scientific publications, JRC articles in peer-reviewed publications where JRC staff members are first or corresponding author will be freely and publicly available, making the majority of JRC scientific results accessible online. JRC researchers are now expected to publish any new peer-reviewed research paper in journals that are compliant with the updated policy. The JRC supports both gold and green routes to open access. In line with the Horizon 2020 requirement, the JRC accepts an embargo period no longer than six to twelve months.

Upcoming events

The “Canberra Data Citation Workshop” from ANDS and ANU will be held: Wednesday, 9 April 2014 from 9:15am to 12:30pm in: RG Menzies Building 15, McDonald Room ANU

The workshop is free to attend and will run from 9.30-12.30 (registration open from 9.00). As places are limited, if you register, and then find you can’t attend, please email karen.visser@ands.org.au so we can open up your place to someone on the waitlist. To book click here.

AOASG news

The Australian Open Access Support Group (AOASG) exists to: Advocate, Collaborate, Raise Awareness and Lead & Build Capacity in open access

The AOASG held a Strategic Planning Day in January, finalising the Constitution, determining Strategic Priorities for 2014 and reworking the Terms of Reference. Click for the full document.

Website – aoasg.org.au

The AOASG is currently publishing a series on ‘Paying for Publication’ which aims to demystify some of the aspects of payment for publication, beginning with publication costs and a description of the hybrid model. Pages released to date include the cost of hybrid, addressing double dipping, asking if OA funds support hybrid and noting not all hybrid is equal.

The AOASG website undertook a major reconfiguration in later 2013, with a separate section for the FAQ about open access and a cleaned up Resources page (including useful links to information to help with promoting open access, understanding publisher agreements, repositories, open access journals and measurement & metrics)

Additional pages include ‘0pen access policies’ and Resources ‘about open access’.

Twitter – @openaccess_oz

The Twitter account @openaccess_oz celebrated its 500th follower on Twitter just before Christmas and by March this had grown to 565 followers.

Feedback from AOASG followers

Just wanted to send my appreciation for this series. Your OA Support group blog is always a go-to resource as I figure out this work at Florida State. Thanks!  Micah V.

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This work is licensed by AOASG under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.