As mentioned earlier in this blog, Joachim Schöpfel and I will publish the anthology „Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access“ in Spring 2018. The book itself will not be published in Gold Open Access, but all authors retain the right to make their contribution openly available on a repository (or elsewhere).
Here is the bibliographic information on Open Divide: Open Divide? Critical Studies on Open Access Editors: Ulrich Herb and Joachim Schöpfel Price: $35.00 Expected: Spring 2018 Publisher: Litwin Books ISBN: 978-1-63400-029-1
Joachim Schöpfel and I encourage all authors to publish their texts Open Access and in this blog I will provide a list of links to theses full texts.
An important topic in Open Divide is the ongoing commercialisation of Open Access. In Germany, the DEAL project is trying to promote Open Access and in particular to counteract this commercialisation by setting up Open Access consortia with major scientific publishers. However, it is sometimes feared that DEAL can intensify precisely this commercialization. Here are two hints that may be useful in this context:
Stockholm University Library has monitored gold and hybrid publication charges (or Article Processing Charges APCs) for Open Access publishing at Stockholm University. The results are published on OpenAccess.se in a short posting by Lisa Lovén and Liisa Hänninen.
The University of Stockholm has spent 2.967.093 Swedish Krona (SEK) between January and August 2017 for APCs. Of this total, 60% were paid for Hybrid Open Access APCs and 40% were paid for Gold Open Access APCs. The data show that these four publishers have received more than half of all paid APCs, 1.662.896 SEK:
Elsevier: 639.054 SEK
Wiley: 583.826 SEK
Frontiers: 234.672 SEK
Nature Publishing Group: 205.344 SEK
By the way, Springer ranks eleventh with 67.857 SEK, behind BioMed Central (74.535 SEK).
Lisa Lovén and Liisa Hänninen comment this as follows (translated by the author of this article): „The results reinforce the image that has been reported so far, both nationally and internationally, and show that the commercial approach of Elsevier and Wiley is top of the league, long before anyone else“
Similar concentration effects can also be found in Germany (see slides 9 to 13 of this presentation), where in 2016 49.59% of the APC payments reported by the OpenAPC project went to Springer Nature, Elsevier, and Wiley. If one considers frontiers as part of Springer Nature, the share increases to 55.5%.
Toby Green published an article dealing with new impulses for Open Access. The starting point is the success of Sci-Hub. First, he explains his key points:
„Sci-Hub has made nearly all articles freely available using a black open access model, leaving green and gold models in its dust“
„Why, after 20 years of effort, have green and gold open access not achieved more? Do we need ‘tae think again’?“
„If human nature is to postpone change for as long as possible, are green and gold open access fundamentally flawed?“
„Open and closed publishing models depend on bundle pricing paid by one stake-holder, the others getting a free ride. Is unbundling a fairer model?“
„If publishers changed course and unbundled their product, would this open a legal, fairer route to 100% open access and see off the pirates?“
He notes that the success of Sci-Hub and Guerilla Open Access proves that Open Access Gold and Green Open Access failed. According to Green, the unbundling known from aviation could strengthen Open Access: „In the traditional airline industry model, to get to B from A, one used to purchase a ticket, which covered the cost of a travel bundle: you were carried, fed, watered, entertained, and could take as much or as little baggage as you wanted. Today, led by low-cost airlines, the product has been unbundled: food, drinks, seat allocation, baggage, changing tickets, and even the way you pay are now being priced as extras to the core service of getting you to B from A.“
From the conclusion: „I suggest that we might be encouraged by the airline industry and unbundle the product. This would make all content free to read, answering the plea that the results of publicly funded research be available to the public, reveal the true values for the existing bundle’s component parts, and lead to a situation where each stakeholder has the choice to pay for the particular benefit they get from the scholarly communication process. This might prove to be a fairer, cheaper, more sustainable, and less controversial model in the long run.“
This is the bibliographical information for Toby Green’s article:
Vor knapp einem Jahr klagten Wissenschaftler der Universität Konstanz gegen die Open-Access-Satzung ihrer Hochschule. Seit der kürzlichen Beschlussfassung des Verwaltungsgerichtshofs Baden-Württemberg in Mannheim steht fest, dass der Konflikt nationale Reichweite hat.
„Der Urheber eines wissenschaftlichen Beitrags, der im Rahmen einer mindestens zur Hälfte mit öffentlichen Mitteln geförderten Forschungstätigkeit entstanden und in einer periodisch mindestens zweimal jährlich erscheinenden Sammlung erschienen ist, hat auch dann, wenn er dem Verleger oder Herausgeber ein ausschließliches Nutzungsrecht eingeräumt hat, das Recht, den Beitrag nach Ablauf von zwölf Monaten seit der Erstveröffentlichung in der akzeptierten Manuskriptversion öffentlich zugänglich zu machen, soweit dies keinem gewerblichen Zweck dient.“ Sind diese Bedingungen erfüllt und, so die Satzung der Universität, „sind die wissenschaftlichen Beiträge im Rahmen der Dienstaufgaben entstanden, sind diese zwölf Monate nach Erstpublikation auf dem hochschuleigenen Repositorium öffentlich zugänglich zu machen.“
Die rechtliche Norm, auf der die Satzung beruht ist, ist jedoch nicht das UrhG, sondern §44 (6) des Landeshochschulgesetzes (LHG) Baden-Württemberg, der die Hochschulen zum Erlass entsprechender Satzungen ermuntert:
„Die Hochschulen sollen die Angehörigen ihres wissenschaftlichen Personals durch Satzung verpflichten, das Recht auf nichtkommerzielle Zweitveröffentlichung nach einer Frist von einem Jahr nach Erstveröffentlichung für wissenschaftliche Beiträge wahrzunehmen, die im Rahmen der Dienstaufgaben entstanden und in einer periodisch mindestens zweimal jährlich erscheinenden Sammlung erschienen sind.“
Nun hat der Verwaltungsgerichtshof aufgrund der mündlichen Verhandlung vom 26. September beschlossen, das Verfahren über den Normenkontrollantrag gegen die Satzung der Universität Konstanz auszusetzen: Die Rechtsnorm des §44 Abs. 6 des LHG sei eine Regelung des Urheberrechts – womit der Bund für eine diesbezügliche gesetzliche Klärung zuständig sei. Die Folge: Die Rechtswirksamkeit der Satzung, die auf Basis des Paragraphen erlassen wurde, hängt nach Ansicht des Verwaltungsgerichtshofs von der Verfassungskonformität der gesetzlichen Regelung im LHG ab – ob dies der Fall ist, muss vom Bundesverfassungsgericht geklärt werden. Der Verwaltungsgerichtshof formuliert seine Einschätzung folgendermaßen: „§ 44 Abs. 6 LHG ist nach der Überzeugung des 9. Senats mit dem Grundgesetz unvereinbar, weil dem Landesgesetzgeber insoweit die Gesetzgebungskompetenz gefehlt habe.“
Das Bundesverfassungsgericht wird nun in einem Zwischenverfahren prüfen, ob §44 Absatz 6 des LHG, der die Hochschulen dazu auffordert, ihre Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler zur Wahrnehmung ihres Rechts auf nichtkommerzielle Zweitveröffentlichung zu verpflichten, mit dem Grundgesetz vereinbar ist: Ist dies der Fall, stünde die Tür zu analogen Regelungen auch in anderen Ländern offen.
Here is a short publication notice: One year after publication in German, an anthology edited by Peter Weingart and Niels Taubert has now also been published in English – „The Future of Scholarly Publishing: Open Access and the Economics of Digitisation“.
The bibliographic data of the book which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence are:
Here is a longer piece from the intodruction (written by the editors) to outline the scope of the book:
„The formal scientific communication system is currently undergoing significant change. This is due to four intertwined developments: the digitisation of formal science communication; the increasing relevance of profit-making on the part of many academic publishers and other providers of information (in short: ‘economisation’); an increase in the self-observation of science by means of publication, citation and utility-based indicators; and an intensified observation of science by the mass media (‘medialisation’). Previously, these developments have only been dealt with individually in the literature and by science-policy actors. In fact, they not only affect the scientific communication system in the form of simple, individual causal chains but also in the form of long feedback loops and partly intertwined processes.
This book documents the materials and results of an interdisciplinary working group (IWG) commissioned by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) to analyse the future of scholarly publishing and to develop recommendations on how to respond to the challenges posed by these developments. The IWG served a three-fold purpose: first, the connections between the abovementioned developments were described; second, further relevant research on understanding recent developments was undertaken; and third, recommendations on the design of a future scholarly publicationsystem were formulated.
Aside from the analysis of these interactions, the IWG also set out to take diverse framework conditions, standards and perspectives from different scientific fields into consideration, the goal being to formulate recommendations in the name of science as a whole and for science as a whole. Thus, in addition to the factors of influence, the heterogeneity of the publication cultures in different disciplines and fields of research was to be taken into account. In order to become familiar with these conditions and to be able to develop this mass of information into a concise format, interviews with members of the BBAW were conducted. These provided valuable information on the communication habits of different disciplines and fields of research, and revealed significant differences in these habits. Given the limitations of this approach and of the information gained in this process, an online dialogue was conducted which invited all German-speaking scientists and academics to participate in the development of the recommendations. Almost 700 participants responded with great interest and provided the IWG with important information about current problems and challenges in the formal communication system. Moreover, this procedure helped in identifying a normative consensus on what constitutes a good communication system. In addition to the views of the scientists, perspectives of experts from publishing companies and libraries were surveyed in order to gain a multi-layered and more complete picture of the publication landscape. Finally, three expert reports on central issues were commissioned.
By means of a multi-level evaluation and decision-making process, the Academy adopts recommendations of working groups so that – in cases of approval – they are published in its name. In spite of efforts to involve scientists early on in the development of recommendations in order to learn about their perspectives, standards and interests, protests emerged during the final process of acceptance. Several Academy members from the humanities called the recommendations unbalanced insofar as the role of digital publication was overly emphasised while that of printed publications was neglected. These arguments were taken into consideration in a revised version. In our opinion, the debates during the course of acceptance indicate one thing in particular: there is a need for further extensive discussion about how to deal with the current challenges in the scientific communication system. This issue will continue to occupy science within and outside the Academy.
As per the IWG’s intention, the focus was mainly on the sciences and humanities in Germany. However, in the course of the work it became clear that the issues discussed by the group are also relevant for academic publishing in other countries. This was corroborated by the fact that when presenting some of the findings at a conference at Stellenbosch University in September 2016, interest was expressed by the director of Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Professor Johann Mouton, to publish an English translation. This interest is based on two grounds: first, the academic publishing system is at the base of CREST’s core activity, especially bibliometric studies of world-wide scholarly publishing, and second, Professor Mouton’s role at the South African Academy of Science in reporting on the state of scholarly publishing in South Africa.“
Today the Radical Open Access Website was launched, the initiative aims to promote non-for-profit Open Access and focuses especially on humanities and social sciences. The following text is taken from a posting by Samuel Moore on the Radical Open Access mailing list.
„We’d like to share with you the new Radical Open Access Collective website, which has been launched this week:
Formed in 2015, the Radical OA Collective is a community of scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other open access projects in the humanities and social sciences. We represent an alternative open access ecosystem and seek to create a different future for open access, one based on experimenting with not-for-profit, scholar-led approaches to publishing. You can read more about the philosophy behind the collective here: https://radicaloa.co.uk/philosophy/
As a collective, we offer mutual reliance and support for each other’s projects by sharing the knowledge and resources we have acquired. Through our projects we also aim to provide advice, support and encouragement to academics and other not-for-profit entities interested in setting up their own publishing initiatives. The current website contains a Directory of academic-led presses, which showcases the breadth and rich diversity in scholar-led presses currently operating in an international context and across numerous fields, and an Information Portal with links to resources on funding opportunities for open access books, open source publishing tools, guidelines on editing standards, ethical publishing and diversity in publishing, and OA literature useful to not-for-profit publishing endeavours. We will be further developing this into a toolkit for open access publishing in order to encourage and support others to start their own publishing projects. If you run a not-for-profit OA publishing initiative or are interested in starting your own scholar-led publishing project, we encourage you to join the Radical OA mailing list and get involved with the discussion!
Please do get in touch if you would like further information on the project or would like your publishing project to be involved.“
Here is an impressive list of the collective’s members:
From the posting: „The OpenAIRE EC FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot is pleased to announce a new call for bids, this time to support open access publishing initiatives (see definition below) that intend to experiment with sustainable funding models alternative to author facing article/book processing charges (APC/BPC, hereafter referred to as ‘author fees’). The first call was focused on facilitating technical improvements for existing OA journals and platforms (the results are available in this final report)
With this second call, we want to acknowledge the efforts that are being made, within the OA publishing landscape, to develop, pilot, and apply business models other than author fee based ones. We want to support ongoing and new initiatives that put an effort in investigating or experimenting with sustainable and scalable alternative business models. We want to support both start-up initiatives during the planning and launching stages and/or publishing initiatives that want to transition from one business model to another. We also welcome Research & Development initiatives, provided that the results will be made public and reusable.
As this call is embedded within the OpenAIRE project, all eligible initiatives will have to prove that a number of FP7/H2020 publications will be published by it. The total budget available is € 200 000.“
Elena Šimukovič published the data and transcripts of a study on Open Access on Zenodo. The title of the publication is „Mutually dependent, yet highly asymmetric? Conversations about the relations and futures of Open Access academic publishing“. The abstract is: „The research data in this dataset contains verbatim transcripts in PDF and ODT formats each (for reading and broader re-use purposes, respectively) as well as original audio recordings of two interviews. These semi-structured interviews form part of materials for a doctoral research project on recent developments in and possible implications of Open Access publishing models. Further information and full description of the research proposal are available online at http://hdl.handle.net/10760/29265“
These are the bibliographic information of the deposit:
Joachim Schöpfel (Lille University, France) yesterday posted a message on the „Jussieu Call for Open Science and Bibliodiversity“ in the Global Open Access List (GOAL). Indeed the Jussieu Call is worth reading, since he is taking a distant look at the commercialization of Open Access, here is the text of Joachim Schöpfel’s message:
„This Call was drafted on the campus Jussieu in Paris by a French group comprising researchers and scientific publishing professionals working together in Open Access and Public Scientific Publishing task forces of BSN (Bibliothèque scientifique numérique, or Digital Scientific Library).
This Call is aimed at scientific communities, professional associations and research institutions to promote a scientific publishing open-access model fostering bibliodiversity and innovation without involving the exclusive transfer of journal subscription monies to APC payments.“
As Niels Stern on the Goal Mailinglist the „biggest landscape study on the conditions and potentials for Open Access books yet has just been published“: A landscape study on open access and monographs: Policies, funding and publishing in eight European countries.
Some more information from the announcement: „The study builds on i.a. 73 in-depth conversations, conducted across eight different countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Norway and Austria) to understand current developments among three stakeholder groups: Publishers, funders and libraries. The importance of author attitudes, scholarly reward and incentive systems is also raised throughout the study by numerous interviewees.