Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Transitioning to open access series

The Transitioning to open access series is designed to explore a variety of issues likely to emerge during the transitional period, make recommendations to smooth the transition process for publishers, librarians, and others, and occasionally suggest research on transitional issues.

High profits for commercial publishers, or jobs for academics? Let's #occupyscholcomm

Full open access articles with 70% cost savings for libraries

On the wide disparity in publisher cost-efficiency

Elsevier's 2009 $2 billion profit could global open access at $1,383 USD per article.

U.S. systemic savings from full shift to open access: $3.4 billion annually. Reanalysis of data published by Donald King.

For subscription journals: calculating open access success, and considering your options

Research Brief: Library Savings from a Full Flip to Open Access via Article Processing Fees could be two thirds - or more. Based on data supplied by Mark Ware in a recent report commissioned by STM, it is estimated that libraries could save two thirds of journal acquisitions budgets by flipping from subscriptions to full OA via article processing fees at PLoS One rates. Please note: the majority of OA publishers do NOT charge article processing fees, this data is meant simply to illustrate how affordable open access can be.

Humanities and Social Sciences Journals: thoughts on transition to OA. Inspired by Waltham's brave preliminary study, this post explores means and feasibility for HHS publishers to move to OA, including considering the marketing advantage, engaging members and subscribers in the transition, and re-analysis of Waltham's data, suggesting greater economic feasibility than there appears to be at first.

Taylor & Francis: free, free, free?. Is Taylor & Francis working to position itself for a future where information is free? If so, here are a couple of tips for how T & F might approach the transition.

Molecular Biology of the Cell, or Why Open Access by Article Processing Fees Sometimes Just Makes Sense. Re-analysis of data provided by the publisher illustrates how OA by article processing fee could be a very natural fit for this journal, as when the costs of print per se are taken out of the picture, virtually all of the costs are already covered by article processing fees (page and colour charges).

Drop print to save money, print-on-demand for those who like print. OA journal Communications in Information Literacy is using POD to EARN modest revenue.

Pre-submission peer review to reduce journal costs
When authors submit work to colleagues for review even before submitting for publication, the result is likely to be a higher quality submission, with less work involved in coordinating peer review and copyediting. For some journals, this can mean cost savings which can be passed along to customers as price reductions.

Who benefits from the University of Calgary Open Access Authors' Fund? This was one of the really good questions asked at a talk by U of C's Andrew Waller. In my opinion, there are two main beneficiaries - faculty and senior students at U of C without funding for OA article processing fees, who now at least have a place to go to ask for assistance; and all of us, as the lessons learned by the U of C - like supporting only fully open access journals and hybrids that reduce library subscription fees to reflect OA revenue - provide a great model for any library to follow.

Should university presses adopt an open access model for all of their scholarly books? Greco and Wharton presents a compelling case for why university presses should adopt a fully open access model for all of their scholarly books - for economic reasons.

Announcing the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association

Competing in the open access environment: will the smalls have the advantage?
There are reasons to think that the small publisher or journal, especially the small not-for-profit, has the competitive advantage in an open access environment.

Springer to acquired BioMedCentral.
Springer, one of the world's largest commercial for-profit publishers in the area of science, technology, and medicine (STM) announced plans to acquired BioMedCentral, a major open access publisher. This is a major milestone for OA, now, no longer just the ideological choice, but also the smart business move, too.

Sherpa RoMEO: even white is looking very green!. Even many publishers with no formal support for self-archiving (white publishers), are showing plenty of support for authors who must self-archive to meet research funders' open access mandates (the Sherpa list is full of green checkmarks).

The Society for Reproduction and Fertility has developed a Free Access policy which is noteworthy for publishers considering a transition to open access. Highlights include re-use rights on payment of the Free Access fee, and an embargo of only 6 months for authors making use of the free self-archiving option.

IEEE and Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society OA Panel
Report of a panel discussion on OA I participated in, August 2008. IEEE, long a leader in green OA for personal web servers and IRs (though oddly enough, not disciplinary repositories), is beginning to explore options for moving to gold OA alternatives. It will be very interesting to watch further developments; when there is a need for change - engineers have no lack of ideas!

Kudos to Oxford: Transitioning to Open Access. Oxford continues to lead the way for traditional publishers to transition to OA, providing discounts to authors at subscriber institutions, new discounts for consortial subscribing authors, and fee adjustments reflecting OA income for the third year in a row.

Kudos: Nature Self-Archiving on Behalf of Authors

Nature Publishing Group has announced that they will archive for open access (with a 6-month embargo) on behalf of authors, to institutional or disciplinary repositories.

The library as publisher: an emerging norm

A recent (April 2008) ARL study shows that 44% of the 80 ARL libraries surveyed are involved in publishing, with another 21% planning to become income - two thirds of libraries altogether.

Open Access: Roles for the Aggregators

There are important role for vendors of aggregated databases in the transition to open access, from increasing access and impact by indexing the journals to supporting DOAJ to providing economic support for inclusion of OA journal content in aggregated databases. This is a potentially win-win-win situation: great content at unbeatable prices for the aggregators; more impact, and economic support for the journals; and more robust search tools for libraries, too!

Taking the plunge: from print to online open access. Kevin D. Haggerty of the open access Canadian Journal of Sociology on the process of moving the journal to an online-only, open access version.

American Society of Civil Engineers and Open Access

This post explores ASCE as an example of a publisher obviously making some moves towards open access. Clear info for authors on posting papers to the internet is a strength; requiring copyright transfer and a 90-day embargo on the author's posting of their own postprint are weaknesses. Like many society publishers, ASCE's subscription prices are reasonable, suggesting a competitive advantage in an open access environment.

High Energy Physics Goes Open Access

The SCOAP3 Consortium aims to shift the entire field of High Energy Physics to open access publishing. This global collaboration already has more than half the commitments needed, and is growing quickly! Peter Brantley has blogged some notes on the important February 29, 2008 meeting on the SCOAP3 Consortium at Berkeley.

nowpublishing.com and Authors Advantages

nowpublishing.com has Advantages for Authors - including Liberal Copyright, Wide Access, and an honorarium, too! Librarians will like now's plans to provide librarians with value for money, through the use of modern web-based marketing and manufacturing techniques to minimize costs.

Whither white, fair RoMEO?

This blogpost explores the potential future for a publisher / journal with no open access archiving-friendly policy in an environment where research funding agencies require open access to the results of research they fund. The future does not look bright for such a Journal of Unfunded Research!

Combining subscriptions and open choice

The Max Planck Society and Springer have come to an agreement on a package combining subscription access and open choice.

Oxford Open: A Model for Transitioning to Open Access

Oxford Journals is decreasing subscription costs for some of the journals participating in the Oxford Open Choice program. Costs are determined on a journal-by-journal basis; the more the update in the Open Choice program, the better the chances the price has decreased and/or the larger the decrease.

SCOAP3, Accreditation, and Access to Research Laboratories

The SCOAP3 consortium led by CERN aims to flip the entire high energy physics community from subscription to open access. This method explores means of ensuring that payments for publishing in an open access environment are kept up. That is, institutions offering degrees in physics might reasonably to expected to contribute to physics knowledge to qualify for accreditation. Expecting participation of institutions whose researchers would like to take advantage of key research facilities such as those at CERN is another way to increase the likelihood of ongoing participation.

National open access journal subsidy. Jean-Claude Guédon, in a recently posted preprint, talks about how open access has the potential to overcome the divide between the mainstream and the peripheral in science, particularly important for developing countries. An often-overlooked model for open access publishing, national OA publishing subsidies, is already working very well in many latin countries. Heather suggests that it is not just governments that should be looking into subsidizing journals; there is a role here for libraries too.

Rethinking Collections and Transitioning to Open Access: First Monday
Two of my major works on transitioning to open access have been published in the October 2007 First Monday, a special issue devoted to papers arising from the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference. Rethinking Collections presents a vision for libraries and librarians in an open age, and ideas on how to get from here to there. Transitioning to Open Access, a group writing effort, is a report of the CLA/CARL/SPARC-sponsored preconference to the PKP Conference by this name.

Opposition to open access continues, while anti-OA coalition attempt implodes.
Opposition to open access continues, and so we OA advocates continue to have much work to do, to educate people about open access, and to counter misconceptions. However, in my opinion, the failure of PRISM is so complete as to suggest the possibility that the effort to build a publishing industry anti-OA coalition has imploded. If correct, this could be an important moment in the transition to open access; publishers who are no longer united in the fight against OA, are very likely to have more time and inclination to figure out how to make OA work.

Flipping journal subscriptions to open access
Peter Suber interviewed Mark Rowse, former CEO of Ingenta, about an intriguing idea: simply flip journals, publishers, or the whole publishing industry - from subscriptions to open access. Change the line of the invoice from "subscriptions renewal notice" to "this year's open access publication charges".

From interlibrary loans to institutional repository department: a natural transition
As open access grows, it makes sense that the need for interlibrary loan should decrease. Staff in the ILL department have skills that would transfer well to support for an IR; this could be a natural and thoughtful transition, that might benefit not only OA, but morale and organizational culture, too.

NIH Public Access Policy: Is the Funding for an OA Transition Already There?.
Some funders such as Wellcome Trust have designated funding for open access publishing. This is not strictly necessary for any publisher, as open access can be achieved through self-archiving. However, funding for transition to open access publishing may be already available from some funders, under existing grant conditions. One example is the US National Institutes of Health, which currently spends about $30 million per year on publication-related charges, and has provision for "indirect costs" of grants, which currently cover such items as library subscriptions and site licenses.

Are open access journals ten times more likely to survive?

Recent data from Ulrich's strongly suggests a survival advantage for open access journals.

A potential positive cycle: more access, more funds


Hypothesis: a process of transitioning to open access can unleash funds, creating a positive cycle of increasing access and freed funds to create more open access; the very opposite of the negative serials pricing spiral of recent decades, which featured increasing prices and decreasing access.

As support for this hypothesis, this post looks at the potential for open access if libraries were to focus on high-priced journals (US $1,000 or more for an institutional subscription), and succeed in working with their faculty to convert just 10% to a volunteer / in-kind support model.

It is estimated with such a scenario, that individual libraries could save up to $450,000 US from their budgets after spending on open access journal support is factored in. The cumulative savings for libraries are potentially huge; for example, if the ARL libraries subscribed to just a quarter of these journals each, the annual savings for ARL would be in the order of $13.8 million annually. This would only be a fraction of the savings for libraries, as ARL is only a subset of libraries, albeit large ones. The true collective savings for libraries would have to factor in libraries around the globe, including libraries in Europe and the somewhat smaller libraries in North America. If these savings were invested in further open access initatives, libraries would save even more, freeing up more funds to create more access.

Publishing software, publisher independence, and open access
Originally posted to the Society for Scholarly Publishing list, this post explores the potential of new publishing software to facilitate both publisher independence and open access.

University Presses, Open Access, and Internal Reallocation of Funds
A recent statement by the American Association of University Presses (AAUP) on open access indicates a willingness to talk about transitioning to open access. AAUP sees a gift economy as possible, through internal reallocation of funds, for example from library purchasing to subidized publishing. AAUP suggests that we look at more than journal articles; perhaps monographs could be open access as well? This is definitely food for thought. Librarians, if the publishers are ready to talk about this - are we?

Scenarios about paying for open access
This post summarizes discussion about scenarios for open access article process fees (APF). Depending on the approach, supporting APFs could stimulate healthy competition in the scholarly publishing industry - or reward inefficiency. Many thanks to Jim Till for summarizing my comments to the American Scientist Open Access Forum. For Jim's own comments, additional links, and discussion, please see Be Openly Accessible or Be Obscure.

Elsevier Revenue to Open Access
Is there enough revenue in the current scholarly publishing system to fund an open access system? This post explores what would happen if Reed Elsevier's revenue were redeployed to support for open access, and the answer is a resounding yes! For example, Reed Elsevier's 2005 revenue was sufficient to pay for over 6 million BioMedCentral articles.

Open Access, Scholarly Communications, and the Processing Fee Model
There are arguments that the processing fee model approach to open access could introduce much needed competition into the scholarly publishing industry, and that this approach could simply result in a replacing a subscriptions crisis based on a price spiral with a processing fee price spiral. In my opinion, both arguments are correct. This post, based on a discussion on the American Scientist Open Access Forum, explores the key factor in creating incentives for competition, and looks at some examples of scenarios that could stimulate competition, or reward inefficiency.

Scholarly Publishing: High Quality at Low Cost
Advances in computing technology - hardware, software, and connectivity, combined with the age-old tradition of voluntary contributions to scholarship, mean that it is now possible to produce high quality peer reviewed journal articles at low cost.

This is a very different environment from that of a few years ago, when high quality publishing was very difficult without highly specialized equipment and skills...

Year-End Investments Towards Open Access: DOAJ!
This is an addition to the Year-End Investments Towards Open Access post, focusing on the newly announed DOAJ Membership program.

Year-End Investments Towards Open Access
Libraries and other organizations finding themselves with a little extra funds at fiscal year-end have many options that will help to leverage the transition towards open access. This post explores a few options: buying a LOCKSS box; buying a server and hardware for hosting open access journals and/or repositories; investing in ongoing open access to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; and, hosting a workshop or workshops on open access publishing or self-archiving.

The Ouellette Declaration
Canadian open access leader Francis Ouellette has some suggestions to help with the transition, such as one-time funding for a year or two to help libraries during these tough times when we still need subscriptions, but want to support open access. My thought...one time funding to create a permanent good public - is government listening? Francis also has some great tips for researchers on how to support open access.

Stop fighting - and free funds for open access!
Nature reporting that the American Association of Publishers (AAP) spent between $300,000 - $500,000 to a "media pitbull" to develop anti-open access messages in 2006. This post explores the potential if publishers were to redirect funds from such efforts, into open access publishing. This one expenditure could provide hosting and support services for 785 open access journals. Elsevier's annual U.S. lobbying budget is sufficient to fund hosting and support for over 3,000 open access journals - more than Elsevier publishes!

Ulrich's and DOAJ: an idea

Transitioning to Open Access: Beyond Fear of Change

Publishing Cooperatives: Another Seminal Work by Raym Crow

Pre-Submission Peer-Review: Transitioning to Open Access

From buying to producing: transitioning to open access
August 27, 2006

Transitioning to Open Access. Prediction (hypothesis): Journals with strong support for open access, high quality and no or reasonable processing fees will see increasing article submissions. Strong support for open access could mean either open access publishing, or very friendly, easy to find, understand and follow self-archiving policies.
August 7, 2006.

Open Access: the Membership Fee Subsidy Model
June, 2006

This post was created Augutst 20, 2006, and backdated to June 20 for organizational reasons.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

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