Open Access to High-Energy Physics Journals: Greater Western Library Alliance Expresses Interest in SCOAP3 Project

The Greater Western Library Alliance, a consortium of 31 research libraries, has expressed interest in the SCOAP3 project. The Greater Western Library Alliance joins a growing list of U.S. institutions interested in the SCOAP3 project.

Here's an excerpt from Towards Open Access Publishing in High Energy Physics: Executive Summary of the Report of the SCOAP3 Working Party that explains the project:

The proposed [SCOAP3] initiative aims to convert high-quality HEP journals to OA, pursuing two goals:

  • to provide open and unrestricted access to all HEP research literature in its final, peer-reviewed form;
  • to contain the overall cost of journal publishing by increasing competition while assuring sustainability.

In this new model, the publishers’ subscription income from multiple institutions is replaced by income from a single financial partner, the "Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics" (SCOAP3). SCOAP3 is a global network of HEP funding agencies, research laboratories, and libraries. Each SCOAP3 partner will recover its contribution from the cancellation of its current journal subscriptions. This model avoids the obvious disadvantage of OA models in which authors are directly charged for the OA publication of their articles. . . .

In practice, the OA transition will be facilitated by the fact that the large majority of HEP articles are published in just six peer-reviewed journals from four publishers. Five of those six journals carry a majority of HEP content. These are Physical Review D (published by the American Physical Society), Physics Letters B and Nuclear Physics B (Elsevier), Journal of High Energy Physics (SISSA/IOP) and the European Physical Journal C (Springer). The aim of the SCOAP3 model is to assist publishers to convert these "core" HEP journals entirely to OA and it is expected that the vast majority of the SCOAP3 budget will be spent to achieve this target. The sixth journal, Physical Review Letters (American Physical Society), is a "broadband" journal that carries only a small fraction (10%) of HEP content; it is the aim of SCOAP3 to sponsor the conversion to OA of this journal fraction. The same approach can be extended to another "broadband" journal popular with HEP instrumentation articles: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A (Elsevier) with about 25% HEP content.

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