Another belated event report as I attended this in May. Recent events, such as the UK Government taking on most of the Finch Report recommendations (e.g. to make publically funded research results open access by 2014) have taken over the Open Access (OA) discussion. However, I think many of the points made below are still relevant:
Review of the traditional commercial pricing models for accessing electronic content
James Pawley, Regional Sales Manager, SAGE Publications
-James started with a historical reminder of why people publish in the first place – the same reasons as the first journal ‘Philosophical Transactions’ was published by the Royal Society.
– To share knowledge while providing evidence for, and getting credit for your discoveries. – in the past this might get you patronage, now it might get you finding…
– The publishing ecosytem has developed since the introduction of ejournals in the 1990s and now the main competitors for publishers are Amazon & Google as these raise user expectations.
– Business costs – editorial board (to ensure scope, quality, prestige), platforms & discoverability tools – electronic publishing is not cheaper than publishing in print due to the metadata, user platform, citation tools, stats provision etc.
– Publishers need to be at cutting edge to keep submissions and quality high.
– E is also not cheaper than print due to VAT regs, complicated subscriptions models and being governed by different contract law to print.
What is Open Access and how does it differ?
Charlie Rapple, Associate Director, TBI Communications
– Religion, politics & money – affects OA & for some OA is a religion!
– OA is young in publishing terms so not enough data yet to assess how viable a business model & data available is biased.
– Have to make your own mind up & keep an open mind…
– Green & Gold levels – green = self-archiving/OA repositories, gold = publisher version is OA or hybrid solutions
– OA is not… non-profit, the death of peer review (though may undertake it in a different way), not embraced by majority of academics at this point (it is not a priority for them – they want speedy publication, high impact etc), a panacea that will create savings everywhere (costs just move to a different place), not the only answer to the problems of scholarly publishing
– Benefits of OA – human genome project (funding this & making it OA had an enormous economic & research impact), some evidence for higher citations (but would that be true if everything OA?), might save money (but might just move costs elsewhere)
– Viable funding model? Author funding – shifts costs but costs still there, Membership funding – OA membership fees will be an easy target for cost cutting.
– Politicians getting involved – politicised: makes is harder to discuss in a sensible manner but has got OA on the agenda
– I want to break free! Current promotion system for academics is driven by publishing in high impact journals – if this doesn’t change then academic publishing won’t change.
– Don’t want to lose the skills, knowledge and value that publishers add – throwing the baby out with the bath water?
– Library skills may need to change in an OA world? Become repository managers instead of content purchasers?
Exploring open access scholarly monographs in the humanities and social sciences
Caren Milloy, Head of Projects, JISC Collections
– Arts & Hums project looking at scholarly monographs
– Needs to be talked about as it often ignored in favour of STEM journal OA
– Been a decrease in print monograph sales to libraries – so less published – concern for AHSS researchers in terms of getting their research disseminated
– Pilot – 5 publishers, submitted matched pairs of monograph titles, steering group chose titles to include, one of the pair in control group & one in experimental group, 58 titles. Control group made available as standard by publisher & experimental group made available OA under CC license (PDF version for free) through OapenUK library – can be put into institutional repositories etc as well & in Google books
– Key areas identified across focus groups:
– Metadata (needed for discoverability, auditing, who creates it? who maintains it? what is needed for OA? is it put into the supply chain, and whose version? most find things by searching so metadata vital)
– Versioning, preservation & archiving (CC commons license means people can re-use, mash-up – researchers felt threatened by this option & wanted preservation of their original version. who preserves & archives? )
– Methods of delivery (where should it be available? central platform, or anywhere? format & functionality?)
– Usage (collection of data & standards for that data – vital for assessing value & impact & for researchers to know)
– Quality & prestige (perceptions of brand, reputation, quality & maintaining excellence. High concern about the quality of monographs being lowered)
– What do authors want? (Researchers say they want prestige, while publishers thought authors wanted financial reward)
– International issues (territories & markets)
– Changing roles (what stays, what goes – authors value the marketing from publishers. Authors do not want to do own marketing)
– Impact on processes (policies, mandates & behaviour)
– Ways of Making OA profitable, Risk, Funding
Repositories Support Project
The work of the RSP in supporting repository development in the UK
Jackie Wickham, Open Access Adviser , University of Nottingham
– Supports public access to public funded data – serves UK Higher Education
– OA repository benefits for institutions – showcase for research output, marketing mechanism, REF/research management, complying with funding mandates, management & preservation of assets, encourages collaboration.
– Benefits for academics – in principle academics support OA, but not in practice due to pressure for high impact publishing, faster dissemination, wider readership, increased citations.
– Benefits if they do deposit in repositories = compliance with funding mandate, secure storage environment, personalise services (stats on downloads, personal profiles/bibliographies as webpages etc)
– Study by Swan, A suggested OA citation advantage (but people disagree with the rigour of these studies!)
– Creative arts research – repositories for arts material can help with visibility & preservation
– RSP based at Notts Uni – offers advice, visits to institutions to support installations, advocacy, evaluations, telephone & email service, advocacy materials & briefing papers on website, buddy scheme, events programme, webinars, embedding repositories project to look at how this can be done (see website), skills training,.
BioMed Central (+ SpringerOpen)
Bev Acreman, Commercial Director, BioMed Central
– OA Journals = Journal publishing just a different business model.
– Business model – article processing charge APC (also membership, digital sales, events etc)
– BMC offers several package options = prepaid funds, supporter fund (discount on APC), shared support split between author/institution.
– Hindawi = flat rate fee based on size of institution
– PloS = flat rate fee based on size of institution
– Subjects BMC support the authors are used to paying page rates & often built into research bids
– New journal – peerJ are offering a $99 life membership compared to the $1-3k APC of other OA publishers.
– SCONUL survey 2011 – 13% institutions manage OA payments centrally
– 2014 REF – 20% weighting to societal & economic research impact – easier to show if OA as research open to re-use & sharing
– Why funders support OA? Public access to funded research, wide dissemination, APCs are expected as part of research process, some have a charitable remit e.g. Wellcome Trust
– APCs waive fees to low-income countries but all authors can apply for a waiver e.g. lone researcher outside institution
– Growth in fee waived APCs e.g. Pakistand, Eygpt researchers
– Costs – pay academic editors, societies, writing workshops in China (China now has mandate for researchers to publish in western journals) & developing world, customer service, targeted digital marketing, sales team, editorial office & office systems, IT development
– Common misconceptions:
– Will publish anything = No, need to ensure quality & credibility & keep impact high
– All OA equal = no, there are certain companies who sign up to code of conduct, be wary of those that haven’t.
Nature Publishing Group
David Hoole, Director of IP Policy and Licensing, Nature Publishing Group
– OA at Nature – focusing on it for business development but not something that’s easy to transition to.
– Recognise there is a shift in the balance of rights back towards authors – no longer ask for copyright, just exclusive publication rights.
– 2009/10 started turning most academic journals hybrid & more fully OA journals = sister journals to existing journals.
– Nature Communications born/launched in 2010 as hybrid – Nature branding with OA policy
– 2011 Scientific Reports – seen as competitor to PLoS one
– High rejection rate so looking at what can be done for good research that’s not appropriate for their top journals & efficient use of editorial teams.
– Nature & Nature Research journals are not OA due to the amount of money that is spent on editorial duties rejecting manuscripts (90% rejection rate) – if introduced APC rates would be phenomenal.
– APC for Nature Communications ~£3k – still a 60-70% rejection rate.
– Large amount of editorial input in Nature titles e.g. redrawing of diagrams & restructuring of articles which adds huge amount of value.
– Their OA journals are small & targeted – they are launching new OA journals instead of subscription titles.
– Scientific Reports – all areas of natural sciences, peer-reviewed, 100% OA, rapid dissemination (less editorial input/added value), external editorial board (no other Nature journals have this), online only.
– Should sub prices lower to reflect the amount of OA? APCs don’t generally make up for the loss of revenue if subscription prices are lowered.
– Top tier, high impact journals – high editorial cost as every submission read, high circulation – cannot transition to APC model – APC would be £20-30k per article!
– Nature is 143 years old & does its job well, especially in communicating with the media & dissemination.
– Genome articles in Nature titles are OA because of human genome project being OA & authors insisting on it & have CC licenses for those articles.
– Encourages green self-archiving – can opt-in on many titles for submission to PubMed Central – self-archive after 6 months post publication.
Managing Open Access in the library
Wendy White, Head of Scholarly Communication, University of Southampton
– At Southampton OA repository is designated a core system – good for institutional support but tends to put academics off.
– Not just about the library – also need IT, legal, research services, faculty admins etc
– Requirements & Encouragements (carrot & stick) – requirements to deposit where permitted by publisher, emphasis on author involvement over compliance, University mandates will not win people over, funder mandates then funders need to work with repository staff and academics, focus on author benefits.
– Cost & sustainability needs to be considered in future
– Repositories good at making available grey lit e.g. reports, conference papers, theses, art items
– Downloads & uploads – people want to know how often their work downloaded, need stats, RSS & twitter alerts – marketing & discoverability, Google analytics. Even amount of uploads – don’t want big deadlines & backlogs.
– Adding value & support – need to be part of researcher workflow so provide tools to make things easy – lots of ways of importing & exporting between systems.
– Adding value by gaining expertise – guidance on copyright & versions, quality assurance for metadata, engaging with researchers about developments in OA etc, linking the repository to other relevant services & uses in the Uni & professional development for library staff so they can communicate with researchers.
– Individual & group support – training for PGRs and research community, embedded where possible, bespoke session for Depts, session for copyright for teaching materials & OA educational objects, one-to-one support, enquiry service, support for new staff – does require resources.
Managing Open Access fees
Chris Middleton, Head of Academic Services, Information Services,
University of Nottingham
– Centrally managed fund for OA fees – challenges & admin issues:
– Drivers for institutional funding is the benefits of OA & the funder mandates.
– Notts have policy for OA e.g. deposit and encouraging OA publishing – need to back up with appropriate funding.
– Research income can be channelled to OA fund – build into research grant application e.g. in the indirect costs in the funding bid (retrospective – institution has to pay and then claim back – quite a complicated and not transparent in funding guideline)
– Notts OA fund is managed by research office but advocated by library
– Nottingham – had fund since 2006, which includes advocating the use of Wellcome Trust money
– Embedded in Faculty Team librarians remit when talking to researchers
– Total number of requests over 5 years = 615. From 27 requests 2006-7 to 262 in 2010-11
– Total costs = £714,244
– Average cost per article = £1,216. Highest = £3,095 (Elsevier/Springer) & Lowest = ~£200
– Mainly medicine & life sciences
– Apart from BMC then only 9 publishers received 10 or more payments (70 publishers overall)
– Biggest challenge = future publishing = costs high
– Changes might come from Research Councils, REF, repositories, future publishing models?
– Challenges of advocacy = OA and high impact are mutually exclusive, lack of awareness of funding options, stigma associated with “vanity publishing” (paying to publish), OA seen as not as high quality
– Repository & central fund is managed within existing staff resource, which is a strain.
– Lots of interest in how to set-up a central fund, do you fund first author or any author, split between several institutions if multiple authors? What’s the best value OA model if subscribing as a membership – may depend on area of publication & rate of publication. How to make sure the right fund is used e.g. central fund or Wellcome fund. Nottingham fought hard to say central fund should be funded from research money as it’s a research related cost (not from library journals fund).