"The Cost of Open Access: Comparing Public Projects’ Budgets and Article Processing Charges Expenditure"


Thus, this research tries to estimate the percentage of the budget of the projects funded by the Spanish State Plan for the Generation of Knowledge and Scientific and Technological Strengthening of the R&D&I, Spain’s two main public project funding calls in Spain. The period studied is 2013-2019. Additionally, we study the relationships between publication intensity, funding attraction, and the availability of OA journals with APC expenditure at the area level. The results show that €43.67 million were spent on APCs, with most projects spending 3-8% of their budgets. However, numerous outliers with rates over 10% suggest further study on the role of APCs in the financial performance of the research activity.

https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/98j5p

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"To Preprint or Not to Preprint: A Global Researcher Survey"


Open science is receiving widespread attention globally, and preprinting offers an important way to implement open science practices in scholarly publishing. To develop a systematic understanding of researchers’ adoption of and attitudes toward preprinting, we conducted a survey of authors of research papers published in 2021 and early 2022. Our survey results show that the United States and Europe led the way in the adoption of preprinting. The United States and European respondents reported a higher familiarity with and a stronger commitment to preprinting than their colleagues elsewhere in the world. The adoption of preprinting is much stronger in physics and astronomy as well as mathematics and computer science than in other research areas. Respondents identified free accessibility of preprints and acceleration of research communication as the most important benefits of preprinting. Low reliability and credibility of preprints, sharing results before peer review and premature media coverage are the most significant concerns about preprinting, emphasized in particular by respondents in the life and health sciences. According to respondents, the most crucial strategies to encourage preprinting are integrating preprinting into journal submission workflows and providing recognition for posting preprints.

https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24880

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Advancing Ireland’s Open Repository Landscape: A Strategic Roadmap


This report presents an in-depth analysis and strategic roadmap for advancing the open repository landscape in Ireland. Drawing on comprehensive data from interviews, surveys, self-assessments, and both national and international initiatives, the document outlines the current status, challenges, and future prospects for open repositories in Ireland. Key findings highlight significant advancements in open access adherence. Despite these successes, persistent challenges such as metadata quality, resource limitations, and sustainability issues underscore the need for concerted effort and strategic planning.

The report proposes a forward-looking roadmap spanning from 2025 to 2030 and beyond, prioritising the enhancement of repository infrastructures, metadata quality improvement, open mandates promotion, technological advancements, capacity building, and fostering collaborative partnerships. This strategic vision aims to develop and encourage Ireland’s transition to open research, leveraging innovative practices and collaborative efforts to facilitate a more open, inclusive, and sustainable research environment. By addressing current limitations and embracing future opportunities, the roadmap sets the stage for a transformative shift in Ireland’s scholarly communication landscape, with potential significant impacts on researchers, institutions, and society at large.

https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10810233

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"Supporting Open Access Monographs: Penn State University Libraries’ Participation in the TOME Initiative"


In 2017, Penn State pledged to participate in the then newly established Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME) Initiative. TOME was launched by the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) as a five-year pilot with two main types of participants: colleges and universities and university presses. Penn State was one of the first universities to commit funds to participate in TOME, which was designed to support peer-reviewed, open access monographs in the humanities and social sciences. Each participating university committed $225,000 total for the five-year pilot, split out into $45,000 per academic year to support three grants of $15,000 per monograph. This number was established based on the recommendation from the Ithaka S+R Report "The Costs of Publishing Monographs."

https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.85.3.66

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"Are Price, Value, and Openness the Most Important Scholarly Communication Priorities?"


Specifically, academia has an enormous stake in imperatives like ensuring the trustworthiness of the scholarly record, providing for the platforms through which humans and machines will engage with scholarship, and addressing the atomization of the scholarly article. These topics demand collaboration by academia and research publishers. The current investments in developing AI-powered tools that support scholarly communication — and in resisting some of the challenges posed by the use of AI — makes these kinds of partnerships only more important and urgent. But how can academia and publishers build the basis for stronger collaboration when so much of the relationship in recent decades has been adversarial?

https://tinyurl.com/ppmucwn5

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"The ‘Must Stock’ Challenge in Academic Publishing: Pricing Implications of Transformative Agreements"


While several contract designs exist, the ‘publish-and-read’ (PAR) scheme is the one that comes closest to the ideal of an entirely open access environment: Publishers are paid a fixed case-by-case rate for each publication, which includes a fee for their extensive libraries. In turn, all subscription payments are waived. I theoretically derive that this contract design benefits the included publishers regardless of whether the number of publications in these publishers’ journals grows or declines. Consequently, widespread PAR contracts are likely to raise entry barriers for new (open-access) competitors even further.

https://arxiv.org/abs/2403.03597

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"Wiley Sees Light at the End of the Tunnel"


The Research group had more mixed results. Revenue rose 1%, to $256 million, but EBITDA fell 1% due to higher editorial and marketing costs and the continuing impact of the reorganization of its Hindawi unit. (Last year, Wiley suspended Hindawi’s open access publishing operations after its discovered a number of "compromised" articles; the company is in the processing of “sunsetting” the Hindawi brand and merging its operations into other Wiley groups).

https://tinyurl.com/mwkzw4xa

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"CACM [Communications of the ACM] Is Now Open Access"


For almost 65 years, the contents of CACM have been exclusively accessible to ACM members and individuals affiliated with institutions that subscribe to either CACM or the ACM Digital Library. In 2020, ACM announced its intention to transition to a fully Open Access publisher within a roughly five-year timeframe (January 2026) under a financially sustainable model. The transition is going well: By the end of 2023, approximately 40% of the ~26,000 articles ACM publishes annually were being published Open Access utilizing the ACM Open model. As ACM has progressed toward this goal, it has increasingly opened large parts of the ACM Digital Library, including more than 100,000 articles published between 1951–2000. It is ACM’s plan to open its entire archive of over 600,000 articles when the transition to full Open Access is complete.

https://tinyurl.com/yuph6ec3

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"Innovative Open Research Publisher PeerJ Joins Taylor & Francis"


PeerJ is best known for its multidisciplinary flagship title PeerJ Life & Environment serving the Biological, Medical and Environmental Sciences and PeerJ Computer Science (covering all areas of computer science, including AI, quantum, and robotics). In addition, PeerJ offers five titles in the Chemical Sciences, meaning that in total Taylor & Francis will welcome 7 new journals to its open research program.

All PeerJ journals offer high-quality peer review and rapid publication, supported by PeerJ’s own submission and peer review platform, and dedicated contributor support. Articles are selected on scientific value and methodological soundness, providing a forum for world-class research addressing many of the globe’s current challenges. PeerJ also hosts a digital hub for the International Association for Biological Oceanography, promoting the advancement of knowledge of the biology of the sea.

https://tinyurl.com/ms2unw2b

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"De Gruyter Brill Begins Here"


De Gruyter and Brill have joined forces to form De Gruyter Brill, a leading academic publisher in the humanities and beyond. To mark the occasion, a new corporate website has been launched today at degruyterbrill.com.

With combined pro forma revenues of approximately €140 million and 750 employees, De Gruyter Brill is uniquely positioned to offer outstanding services and technological infrastructure tailored to the needs of academic authors, librarians, and institutions around the world. Together, De Gruyter Brill publishes well over 3,500 books and 800 journals per year, with a particularly strong focus on the humanities and social sciences, while extending to subject areas in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

https://tinyurl.com/27e8szc2

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"Choice of Open Access in Elsevier Hybrid Journals"


Open access articles in hybrid journals have recently increased despite high article processing charges. This study investigated the impacts of grants and transformative agreements on authors’ choice of open and non-open access articles by comparing two article types. The samples were hybrid journals launched independently by Elsevier. The results revealed that the authors who received more grants in countries with transformative agreements were more likely to choose open access articles. By contrast, authors in developing countries were likely to publish non-open access articles. These findings imply that authors’ choices depend on the funding systems and open access policies in individual countries. Consequently, open access may become a barrier to the dissemination of work for researchers who have financial difficulty choosing open access, although it enables everyone to access articles free of charge.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s12109-024-09978-0

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"eLife’s New Model: One Year On"


On January 31 2023, we launched our new model for publishing, combining the speed and transparency of preprints with the expert scrutiny and evaluation of peer review. We committed to publish everything that we reviewed. We would publish preprints together with public reviews and assessments. By doing so we would reshape the purpose of a journal. . . .

More than 6,200 teams of researchers have submitted their research (fig.1), choosing our journal and publishing model. Our month-on-month submissions have been stable since launch, but this January marks the highest number so far with 615.

At present, 27.7% of submissions (fig. 2) to our new model are sent for review. This is compared to 31.4% of submissions sent for review in our legacy model (from February 1, 2022–January 31, 2023). . . .

Reviewed Preprints help researchers share their peer-reviewed and assessed research faster. For a Reviewed Preprint, the median time from submission to publication of the first version with reviews and eLife assessment is 91 days (fig. 3). This is over two and a half times faster than the median submission to publication time in the legacy model. . . .

By the end of January 2024 we had published 1332 Reviewed Preprints, and this figure rises to 1836 when we include revised versions. These articles have been viewed over 850,000 times by more than 320,000 readers.

https://tinyurl.com/yknkm2fn

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"How Open Are Hybrid Journals Included in Transformative Agreements?"


This study presents a novel approach based on open data, which leverages metadata on over 700 agreements and nine million journal articles to estimate the extent to which transformation agreements contribute to the transition of this journal business model. The results highlight a strong growth in open access between 2018 and 2022, driven by an increasing number of institutions that had transformative agreements in place. However, the majority of research literature published in hybrid journals in this five-year period remained behind publisher paywalls. Growth in the adoption of open access in hybrid journals, in particular through transformative agreements, can be largely attributed to three large commercial publishers — Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley — but varies substantially across journals, publishers, disciplines, and country affiliations. Despite the limitations of the data, the findings indicate that the current level of implementation of transformative agreements is insufficient to bring about a large-scale transition to fully open access.

https://arxiv.org/abs/2402.18255

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"Plan S: Annual Review 2023"


Plan S is an initiative for Open Access (OA) publishing, which requires that from 2021 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. . . .

In this annual review, we provide an overview of our activities in 2023, along with the latest advancements in our policies. Furthermore, we delineate ongoing initiatives that will significantly influence our future steps. The review sheds light also on specific actions taken by cOAlition S funders in the realm of scholarly communication.

http://tinyurl.com/5n8nkc7y

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"Does It Pay to Pay? A Comparison of the Benefits of Open-Access Publishing across Various Sub-Fields in Biology"


Authors are often faced with the decision of whether to maximize traditional impact metrics or minimize costs when choosing where to publish the results of their research. Many subscription-based journals now offer the option of paying an article processing charge (APC) to make their work open. Though such "hybrid" journals make research more accessible to readers, their APCs often come with high price tags and can exclude authors who lack the capacity to pay to make their research accessible. Here, we tested if paying to publish open access in a subscription-based journal benefited authors by conferring more citations relative to closed access articles. We identified 146,415 articles published in 152 hybrid journals in the field of biology from 2013–2018 to compare the number of citations between various types of open access and closed access articles. In a simple generalized linear model analysis of our full dataset, we found that publishing open access in hybrid journals that offer the option confers an average citation advantage to authors of 17.8 citations compared to closed access articles in similar journals. After taking into account the number of authors, Journal Citation Reports 2020 Quartile, year of publication, and Web of Science category, we still found that open access generated significantly more citations than closed access (p < 0.0001). However, results were complex, with exact differences in citation rates among access types impacted by these other variables. This citation advantage based on access type was even similar when comparing open and closed access articles published in the same issue of a journal (p < 0.0001). However, by examining articles where the authors paid an article processing charge, we found that cost itself was not predictive of citation rates (p = 0.14). Based on our findings of access type and other model parameters, we suggest that, in the case of the 152 journals we analyzed, paying for open access does confer a citation advantage. For authors with limited budgets, we recommend pursuing open access alternatives that do not require paying a fee as they still yielded more citations than closed access. For authors who are considering where to submit their next article, we offer additional suggestions on how to balance exposure via citations with publishing costs.

https://peerj.com/articles/16824/

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"How Transformative Are Transformative Agreements? Evidence from Germany across Disciplines"


Research institutions across the globe attempt to change the academic publishing system as digitization opens up new opportunities, and subscriptions to the large journal bundles of the leading publishers put library budgets under pressure. One approach is the negotiation of so-called transformative agreements. I study the "DEAL" contracts between nearly all German research institutions and Springer Nature and Wiley. I investigate 6.1 million publications in 5,862 journals covering eight fields in the years 2016–2022 and apply a causal difference-in-differences design to identify whether the likelihood of a paper appearing in an eligible journal increases. The effect strongly depends on the discipline. While material science, chemistry, and economics’s tend to shift towards these journals, all other disciplines in my sample do not react. Suggestive evidence hints at the market position of the encompassed publishers before the "DEAL" was established: Springer Nature and Wiley appear to benefit more from the contracts in disciplines in which they possessed a higher market share ex ante. The transformative vigor of these agreements in terms of publication behavior seems to be limited. It and highlights that the developments in this intertwined market require further examination.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-024-04955-y

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"Taylor & Francis Extends Wikipedia Editor Access to All Journals"


The work of Wikipedia’s volunteer editors has been given a significant boost with the announcement they now have free access to all Taylor & Francis and Routledge journals. Through The Wikipedia Library, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, the global non-profit that hosts Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, active Wikipedia editors will be able to read and cite millions of peer-reviewed journal articles across every discipline, from anthropology to zoology.

http://tinyurl.com/mv2af6hf

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"Scaling up Open Access Publishing through Transformative Agreements: Results from 2019 to 2022"


  • The Biochemical Society’s transformative Read & Publish (R&P) agreements follow an all-inclusive and unlimited model (developed in collaboration with other society publishers) that cover all titles, both hybrid and fully open access (OA), and does not place caps on article numbers.
  • This case study shows that these R&P agreements have significantly boosted OA uptake in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
  • It also shows that the agreements are most effective in regions where there is adequate funding, high research output and a willingness from institutions to engage collectively (through consortium agreements).

https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1601

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"Guest Post — There is More to Reliable Chatbots than Providing Scientific References: The Case of ScopusAI"


In October, my institution was granted access to the Beta version of ScopusAI. I have tested it using a concept connected to my PhD dissertation in physics, an "electromagnon". In this post, I want to share my experience and use it to illustrate the many dimensions the design and assessment of such tools need to consider. . . .

[The author provides an extensive description and analysis of the performed tests as well as their broader implications.]

And if AI is only as good as its underlying data, let’s not forget who owns the scholarly data and regulates access to it. Big scholarly publishers have long been using content as a resource to capitalize on. AI tools amplify existing imbalances in access to scholarly text: if a publisher owns the exclusive right to a text, they can train their own AI on it and make this content unavailable to competing AI projects, profiting from the copyright yet again. Currently, most AI research assistants are grounded with abstracts, but the real value is contained in the full text of articles, and accessing them remains very difficult.

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"Citation Amnesia: NLP and Other Academic Fields Are in a Citation Age Recession"


This study examines the tendency to cite older work across 20 fields of study over 43 years (1980–2023). . . . Our analysis, based on a dataset of approximately 240 million papers, reveals a broader scientific trend: many fields have markedly declined in citing older works (e.g., psychology, computer science). . . . Our results suggest that citing more recent works is not directly driven by the growth in publication rates. . . even when controlling for an increase in the volume of papers. Our findings raise questions about the scientific community’s engagement with past literature, particularly for NLP, and the potential consequences of neglecting older but relevant research.

https://arxiv.org/abs/2402.12046

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"Platformisation of Science: Conceptual Foundations"


The digital platforms we are dealing with in this article are auxiliary tools that do not produce anything themselves but provide an infrastructure for service providers and users to meet. They have potentially unlimited scaling potential and have become the central places of exchange. In academia, we can also observe that research and its communication become more digital and that digital services are aiming to become platforms. In this article we explore the concept of digital platforms and their potential impact on academic research, firstly addressing the question: To what extent can digital platforms be understood as a specific type of research infrastructure? We draw from recent literature on platforms and platformisation from different streams of scholarship and relate them to the science studies concept of research infrastructures, to eventually arrive at a framework for science platforms. Secondly, we aim to assess how science platforms may affect scholarly practice. Thirdly, we aim to assess to what extent science is platformised and how this interferes with scientific understandings of quality and autonomy. At the end of this article, we argue that the potential benefits of platform infrastructure for academic pursuits cannot be ignored, but the commercialization of the infrastructure for scholarly communication is a cause for concern. Ultimately, a nuanced and well-informed perspective on the impact of platformisation on academia is necessary to ensure that the academic community can maximize the benefits of digital infrastructures while mitigating negative consequences.

http://dx.doi.org/10.53377/lq.16693

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"A Guide for Social Science Journal Editors on Easing Into Open Science"


Journal editors have a large amount of power to advance open science in their respective fields by incentivising and mandating open policies and practices at their journals. The Data PASS Journal Editors Discussion Interface (JEDI, an online community for social science journal editors: www.dpjedi.org) has collated several resources on embedding open science in journal editing (www.dpjedi.org/resources). However, it can be overwhelming as an editor new to open science practices to know where to start. For this reason, we created a guide for journal editors on how to get started with open science. The guide outlines steps that editors can take to implement open policies and practices within their journal, and goes through the what, why, how, and worries of each policy and practice. This manuscript introduces and summarizes the guide (full guide: https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/hstcx).

https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-023-00141-5

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"On the Challenges of Open Access Monitoring"


Monitoring systems are essential for tracking the progress in open access (OA) and particularly the goal of transitioning from paywalled to OA publications in many European countries. In this work, we express our opinion about the challenges faced by monitoring dashboards in providing a complete view of the OA status, ensuring accuracy in measuring OA production and achieving efficiency in the entire process. We analyze the characteristics of various monitoring systems from European countries, including the sources of data, formats, visualization methods, update frequencies, granularity and types of access recorded. We conclude by underlining the importance of monitoring systems in showcasing policy implementation, aiding decision-making, ensuring compliance and measuring impact in the pursuit of a more open scholarly landscape.

https://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.641

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