Open access update June 2014

This blog is a short update of events and developments in open access to the end of June 2014. It includes: Cost of scholarly publishing under scrutiny, Publisher news, Monograph developments, Altmetrics articles, Other published research, News, Events – past, Events – upcoming, Resources.

Cost of scholarly publishing under scrutiny

Shining a light on the big deal – 20 June 2014

Evaluating big deal journal bundles” published in PNAS has concluded what we all knew: that comparable academic institutions pay different prices for journal access. While this is not really news at least it is now in the public domain. Not surprisingly this has caused a lot of comment including:  “Secret bundles of profitScience 20 June 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6190 pp. 1332-1333  and for those not at an institution subscribing to Science can read this commentary in The Scientist: “Journal Price Tags Revealed

FoI requests by New Zealand libraries – 5 June 2014

Official Information Act requests sent to New Zealand universities revealed similar responses to those received by Tim Gowers in the UK. “Official Information Act requests in the style of Tim Gowers

Where is the money for open access going?

Following from Wellcome Trust’s revelation of where their funds are spent, the spending of the RCUK open access block grant in 2013-14 on article process charges for the top five publishers shows that Elsevier and Wiley are streets ahead in terms of overall spend and amount they charge for APCs. Way back follow-ups are PLOS, Nature Publishing Group and BioMed Central.

Publisher news

Interesting development – STM licenses

The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) have developed some Open Access Licensing templates because: “STM believes that publishers should have the tools to offer a wide variety of appropriate licensing terms dependent on their economic model and business strategy. To that end, the Association has produced sample licences for a variety of uses within open access publishing.”

Publisher imposes censorship on article about open access – 5 June 2014

An article in Prometheus that criticised the profits of publishers was delayed, the publisher names redacted and a long disclaimer added to it before publishing. The Editorial Board threatened to resign over the incident.

Publisher apologises about the censorship issue – 19 June 2014

The Prometheus editors withdrew threat to resign after Taylor & Francis apologised for obstructing report critical of industry practices. The previous story went viral meaning the first paper was the most read paper in the journal’s online history.

Monograph developments

Monograph solution 1 – Proposal to make HASS monographs sustainable

This is a proposal to encourage partnerships among scholarly societies, research libraries, and other institutional partners with a plan to convert traditional subscription publication formats, including society-published journals and books or monographs, to OA. The financial model is based on an annual or multi-year payment made by every institution of higher education, no matter what its size or classification, and by any institution that benefits from the research that is generated by those within the academy.

Monograph solution 2 – Seed money? – 27 June 2014

The solution from the American Association of University presses is described by Donald J. Waters, of the Mellon foundation’s scholarly-communications program as “a set of ideas to stimulate discussions with a broad range of constituents—presses, scholars, university leaders, libraries, and others.” There are several options, including the possibility that Mellon could provide seed money to universities to pay for the digital publication of some faculty members’ work and to make it openly accessible online.

Monograph solution 3 – Home institution pays for first book

An Association of American Universities and the Association of Research Libraries Prospectus for an Institutionally Funded First-Book Subvention describes an idea of a “prospectus for an institutionally funded first-book subvention” that would shift the burden of payment to authors’ home institutions.

Altmetrics articles

Special issue on alternative metrics – June 2014

The June issue of the Elsevier-produced Research Trends is all about altmetrics, with articles including: A brief history of altmetrics; Scholarly blogs are a promising altmetric source; Downloads versus citations and the role of publication language and many others.

Altmetrics for institutions have been released – 12 June 2014

This is an interesting initiative from Altmetric that will prove very useful to research administrators – institutional altmetrics. This partly arises from a paper published in Ariadne in January: “Realising the Potential of Altmetrics within Institutions”.

Other published research

Learned Societies and open access report – 27 May 2014

This survey appraised attitudes toward Open Access amongst learned society publishers with findings including: Learned societies overwhelmingly agree that Open Access will inevitably place some learned societies’ journals into financial jeopardy, and Collaboration between learned societies could help in the transition to Open Access, by pooling resources and sharing complex tasks. Press release.

Researchers change their publication to fit the assessment – 8 June 2014

A new series of quarterly reports has been launched by Digital Research to look at research data. The first report, called Evidence for Excellence addresses publishing behaviour of researchers submitting to the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), finding there has been a change in publication formats, with Engineering moving away from submitting conference reports to (almost exclusively) submitting journal articles, and for Social Sciences to submit far fewer books in favour of more journal articles. Of a total 200,000 unique items submitted for the RAE in 2008, 165,000 were journal articles.

Availability of journal articles on the internet – 15 June 2014

Out of a sample of 1,463 articles published 2011-2013, 32% were openly accessible at the end of 2013. Bruce White (eResearch Librarian at Massey University, NZ) has published a Library Review article “Total Availability of Journal Articles to Internet Users” The blog post summarises the  main findings “Open Access Journal Articles – How Much Access Do Internet Users Actually Get?

Google Scholar trumps Web of Science – 9 May 2014

A recent article in PLOS ONE (The number of scholarly documents on the public web) estimated that at least 27 million (24%)  of the 100 million or so scholarly articles online are freely available since they do not require a subscription or payment of any kind. Apparently Web of Science only indexed 50 million of these documents.


Collecting UK research in one spot – 13 June 2014

The UK research councils are combining to adopt unified digital platform for capturing research outputs called Researchfish, to capture the outputs of the £4.5bn of research they fund every year across the UK in a consistent way. Researchfish works by connecting researchers together with the funding bodies and the universities that support them. Through the service interfaces, funding bodies can capture the outputs from specific research grants, allowing funders to see the value their funding is achieving both now and well beyond the lifetime of the grant.

The only way is up for OA journals – June 2014

A total of 399,854 articles were published with the CC-BY license by members of OASPA during the period shown above, with 120,972 of those being published in 2013 alone. These numbers only include articles that were published in journals whose entire content is Open Access, so articles that were published in hybrid OA journals are not included. Growth of fully OA journals using a CC-BY license was published by the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association

User beware – Publication Integrity and Ethics

The Publication Integrity and Ethics (P.I.E.) is sending invitation emails to people in academia. If you receive one you might want to read the following before joining: “Strange email of the week”, ‘The Strange Case of “Publication Integrity and Ethics”‘ and “Duplicate Publication, Integrity and Ethics (PIE Part 4)

Academic identity theft – 6 June 2014

This story from Times Higher Education is about someone who has won a legal argument to get his name off the board of a journal he has never heard of. “Lecturer’s name removed from board of ‘predatory’ journal”. This is a serious problem – Deakin University academics are listed on this conference’s editorial board without them having any awareness of it

More licenses for publishers to open research

International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) have developed some Open Access Licensing templates because “STM believes that publishers should have the tools to offer a wide variety of appropriate licensing terms dependent on their economic model and business strategy. To that end, the Association has produced sample licences for a variety of uses within open access publishing.” These need some in depth analysis.

Plan to link data – 30 April 2014

The Data Conservancy, IEEE, and Portico have announced their partnership to design and prototype a data curation infrastructure that connects published research and associated data sets for the long-term benefit of researchers worldwide. The two-year project is supported by a $602,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will result in the development of a service that will build, store, update, and retrieve the connections among publications and data, and preserve those connections over the long-term.

Events – past

Ockham’s Razor on Radio National – 15 June 2014

Emeritus Professor Tom Cochrane, the Patron of the AOASG spoke on the topic of “Open Access” in the Ockham’s Razor program on Radio National on 15 June 2014

Open Access Publishing in Asia – 2-3 June 2014

Australia’s Emeritus Fellow Colin Steele flew the Australian flag at the OASPA 1st Asian Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing with his talk Open Access in Australia: National and Global Perspectives

Global Research Funders discussing Open Access – 26-28 May 2014

The topics for discussion at the Global Research Council Meeting held in Beijing on May 26-28 2014 included Open Access for Publications and Shaping the Future: Supporting the Next Generation of Researchers. Approximately 60 Heads of Research Councils from around the world participated including Professor Aidan Byrne, the CEO of the Australian Research Council.

How to get published – 15 May 2014

CSIRO’s Executive Manager of Communications & Publishing and Director of CSIRO Publishing, Andrew Stammer, gave a presentation on the publishing process within CSIRO; how journal articles are selected; skills that will assist researchers in the publishing process, and suggestions for pitching book proposals.

Events – upcoming

Webinar – PLOS: open data, ORCIDs and Article Level Metrics – 3 July 2014

This ANDS webinar features Dr Virginia Barbour, Chief Editor of PLOS Medicine, discussing the new PLOS data policy, the introduction of ORCID Identifiers to the people records in the PLOS manuscript submission system, and the development of PLOS article level metrics to measure the impact of research.

A festival of events in October/November – block out your diaries!

  • 20-26 October: Open Access Week (Australia-wide)
  • 27-31 October: eResearch Australasia conference (Melbourne)
  • 5 November (AM): AOASG presents a facilitated discussion on disciplinary aspects of open access (Sydney)
  • 5 November (PM): ANDS event “An afternoon of talks featuring Heather Piwowar, Impact Story” (Sydney)
  • 6-7 November: CAUL Repository Community Days (Sydney)

Reinventing university publishing international symposium 17-19 March 2015

Presented by the Council of University Librarians, this promises to be an exciting event, the call for proposals will go out soon, and those interested in being kept up to date on the event can click here.


Open Access Journal Options Flowchart – 24 June 2014

In case you missed it, this flowchart aimed at researchers making choices about publication has generated a huge response, with the AOASG website’s biggest single day of 803 views.Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 3.12.56 pm

Location of Academic Knowledge – June 2014

In this graphic Australia is the same level of impact (but larger output) than China. It shows how big US, UK & The Netherlands are in this space. New Zealand is punching well above its weight. And what is going on in Denmark? A small but very dark blue box.

Tweeterati advice

Is Twitter right for every scientist?” – a Q&A with Jeffrey Hiday who directs the Office of Media Relations for RAND Corporation and works with people to help them get comfortable with Twitter. Tips include: “You can’t put everything across in 140 characters. But you certainly can entice folks to click through and read your research in that number of characters”

Published 1 July 2014
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed by AOASG under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International 

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