Systemic reforms and further consultation needed to make Plan S a success

Posted in Research on December 12th, 2018 by steve

“ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, published an initial response to Plan S, an initiative for open access publishing supported by a consortium of research funders. The ALLEA statement welcomes the ambition of the proposal and identifies a number of challenges to be considered by funding agencies in order to prevent perverse incentives and unintended consequences in the scientific publishing sector and the research evaluation system when moving towards open access …” (more)

[AlphaGalileo, 12 December]

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Plan S: Impact on Society Publishers

Posted in Research on December 5th, 2018 by steve

“Last week cOAlition S released guidance on how they anticipate their open access (OA) mandate, Plan S to be implemented. While this implementation guidance provides many new details about the plan, it has not provided reassurance to anxious society publishers …” (more)

[Michael Clarke, The Scholarly Kitchen, 5 December]


In Response to Criticism the Plan S Adopts a Flexible Stance Toward Paywall-Based Journals and Hybrid Open Access

Posted in Research on November 29th, 2018 by steve

“On November 27, 2018, the cOAlition S, which is behind the Plan S for switching to Open Access in multiple European countries, has published guidelines that elaborate on the initial principles of the plan, while reformulating its more contentious points …” (more)

[Pablo Markin, AlphaGalileo, 29 November]

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Plan S for Open Access: Guidance and Feedback

Posted in Research on November 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Those of you interested in the topic of Open Access Publishing, and Open Science generally, will no doubt already have heard of ‘Plan S’. For those that haven’t it is a proposal by 11 European Nations to give the public free access to publicly funded science …” (more)

[In the Dark, 27 November]


Elsevier Gets Blocked in Sweden After it Legally Requires Internet Providers to Make Sci-Hub Locally Inaccessible

Posted in Research on November 26th, 2018 by steve

“As the largest player in the journal publishing market, Elsevier is significantly exposed to the risk that illegal file downloading, such as of its paywall-protected articles through Sci-Hub, a platform for illicit sharing of copyright-protected content …” (more)

[AlphaGalileo, 26 November]

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Learned Societies and Open Access

Posted in Research on November 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Tuesday’s quick post about a letter of opposition to Plan S generated some comments from academics about the role of ‘Learned Societies’ in academic publishing. I therefore think it’s relevant to raise some points about the extent that these organizations (including, in my field, the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics) rely for their financial security upon the revenues generated by publishing traditional journals …” (more)

[In The Dark, 8 November]


Chemists against Plan S

Posted in Research on November 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There’s an ‘Open Letter’ doing the rounds which rails against the European Plan S for open access to research papers. You can find it here on Google Docs. It is apparently initiated by some chemists, and there are very few signatories who are not chemists …” (more)

[In The Dark, 6 November]


Are Mirror Journals a Better Path to the Open Access Flip?

Posted in Research on October 29th, 2018 by steve

“Once seen as the gateway to full open access (OA), hybrid journals have either been wildly successful or a total failure. A hybrid journal is when authors can publish a paper in a subscription journal and choose to make it OA, typically by paying an article processing charge (APC). If the goal of hybrid OA was to facilitate a global flip to full OA, the goal has, at least so far, failed after decades of trying …” (more)

[Angela Cochran, The Scholarly Kitchen, 29 October]

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Paywall: The Business of Scholarship (2018)

Posted in Research on October 28th, 2018 by steve

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship is a documentary which focuses on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google …” (video)

[LSE Impact Blog, 27 October]

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PhD theses – drawing attention to the often overlooked articles in open access repositories

Posted in Research on October 28th, 2018 by steve

“Earlier this Open Access Week, university library staff throughout the UK celebrated #ThesisThursday, a day of focused attention on the less talked-about articles in open access repositories, PhD theses. Camilla Griffiths and Nancy Graham describe the work the LSE Library has led to digitise the theses of the School’s doctoral alumni, outlining the benefits of greater visibility, widespread indexing, and robust URLs …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 27 October]

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Thoughts on ‘Plan S’, ‘cOAlition S’ and Open Access Publishing

Posted in Research on September 23rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Those of you who have been following my recent updates on progress with The Open Journal of Astrophysics may be interested to hear about ‘Plan S’, which is a proposal by 11 EU Nations to give the public free access to publicly funded science free …” (more)

[In the Dark, 22 September]


Scientific publishing is a rip-off. We fund the research – it should be free

Posted in Legal issues, Research on September 13th, 2018 by steve

“Never underestimate the power of one determined person. What Carole Cadwalladr has done to Facebook and big data, and Edward Snowden has done to the state security complex, Alexandra Elbakyan has done to the multibillion-dollar industry that traps knowledge behind paywalls. Sci-Hub, her pirate web scraper service, has done more than any government to tackle one of the biggest rip-offs of the modern era …” (more)

[George Monbiot, Guardian, 13 September]

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Read and Publish: Is It Good for the Academy?

Posted in Research on September 4th, 2018 by steve

“With Elsevier cutting off access to its licensed content products at dozens if not hundreds of German and Swedish universities as a result of contract lapses, the European dynamics are taking another interesting turn …” (more)

[Roger C Schonfeld, The Scholarly Kitchen, 4 September]

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Denialism on the Rocks: It Just Got a Lot Harder to Pretend that Predatory Publishing Doesn’t Matter

Posted in Research on August 7th, 2018 by steve

“If you don’t want predatory publishing to tarnish the open access (OA) movement, you basically have two choices: an easy but ineffective one, and a difficult but more effective one. The easy but ineffective strategy is to deny that predatory publishing is a real issue and try to stop people talking about it … ” (more)

[Rick Anderson, The Scholarly Kitchen, 7 August]

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DCU announces Ireland’s first open access university press

Posted in Research on July 25th, 2018 by steve

“Dublin City University (DCU) has announced the launch of DCU Press, Ireland’s first open access university press. DCU Press aims to increase barrier-free access to university related publications. DCU Press is set to make university research available to the public without paywalls or subscriptions …” (more)

[Thomas O’Reilly, Trinity News, 24 July]

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Will Europe Lead a Global Flip to Open Access?

Posted in Research on June 26th, 2018 by steve

“From a distance, you might think that journal publishers should be celebrating their success in Europe. They are being offered the open access (OA) crown, locking in OA contracts and article flows. But, European policy targets are adding complexity …” (more)

[Roger Schonfeld, The Scholarly Kitchen, 26 June]

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Open access – are we almost there for REF?

Posted in Research on June 14th, 2018 by steve

“A report published today by Research England (on behalf of the research councils, Jisc and Wellcome) shows that UK universities are working hard to ensure that they are compliant with funders’ open access policies. The support from authors, professional services staff and academic libraries has been crucial in implementing open access …” (more)

[David Sweeney, Wonkhe, 14 June]

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Sweden cancels Elsevier contract as open-access dispute spreads

Posted in Research on May 18th, 2018 by steve

“Swedish universities have moved to cancel their contract with journal publisher Elsevier as concern over slow progress towards open access spreads. The Bibsam Consortium, which represents 85 higher education and research institutions in the country, said that its current agreement with Elsevier would not be renewed after 30 June …” (more)

[Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education, 16 May]

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French say ‘no deal’ to Springer as journal fight spreads

Posted in Research on April 9th, 2018 by steve

“French research institutions claim they are saving millions of euros in subscription costs after refusing to agree a new deal with the publisher Springer. The impasse is a sign of rising assertiveness towards big publishers across Europe, fuelled by anger over high costs and slow progress towards open access …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 9 April]

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Is it time to nationalise academic publishers?

Posted in Research on March 5th, 2018 by steve

“After decades of free-market ideological dominance on both sides of the Atlantic, nationalisation (or at least anti-monopoly state intervention) is back on the agenda. ‘Rail, water, energy, Royal Mail, we’re taking them back’, shadow chancellor John McDonnell​ (above) told a Labour Party on the brink of power last year …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 2 March]

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