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Author Topic: Open Access  (Read 1970 times)
turing_complete
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2013, 8:42:29 PM »

Thanks for posting this, TC. Can you say more about what you mean, when you write that you would be interested to see what would happen?  Are you talking about compliance with such a policy?

I think that unless the NSF does it first, any attempt by NSERC to enforce OA will fail.  Top publication venues that are currently not OA will not bend to NSERC.  Harvard's example is telling: when they first implemented their OA mandate, publishers agreed to it at the beginning.  But then a couple of publishers would not bend, and Harvard had to create an exception.  Once the exception existed, all publishers demanded authors obtain the exception, and the OA mandate was gutted.

In my subfield, there are some top publication venues that are OA (but not pay-to-publish), but many (of course) that are not.  I would love to see more of them convert to OA, to avoid locking up science behind paywalls.  NSF is the big dog here; if they made an OA mandate, there would be some pressure to change.  The two main professional associations in my field are currently not OA, but there's some pressure on each already.  One would think that organizations made up of colleagues would be less profit-focused than publishers like Elsevier.  They're just used to the income stream, and use the selling of access to volunteer-produced science to fund their other activities.
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collegekidsmom
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2013, 2:42:51 AM »

Many publishers are supportive of open access. The majority of publishers (>60%) allow posting of final author versions in repositories. Millions of articles are legally deposited in digital repositories (examples are PubMed, SSRN, arxiv,hundreds of institutional repositories) that are crawled by Google and searchable by Google Scholar, OIASTER and other search engines. Public access is the goal of most oa initiatives, but many scholars want the enhanced visibility for their work, and others deposit due to mandates or policies, either from institutions or funders.

There is always confusion between "green" open access, or the repository route (institutional or subject repositories) and the "gold" route (OA journals, either those that charge APCs or those that are subsidized and free to authors and readers). Many mandates are in place that promote green OA (NIH, HHMI, Wellcome Trust,as well as many institutional OA policies, for example) and there are a few recent actions that are promoting gold OA over green (RCUK, Finch for example).
NSF does have a policy/mandate at present for open access to data-right now they require a data management plan toward that end. I work on many aspects of this, and the open access movement is indeed alive and well and is only growing. There are many disciplinary differences, but recent public statements by organizations such as MLA have been moving humanities more toward open access, and disciplines like physics not only have arxiv, but also initiatives like SCOAP3. It can take some investigation of publishers through a website like Sherpa/Romeo to see the extent of open access allowable by publishers in individual disciplines. Things are changing, and publishers are working on offering various business models and everything is a moving target.

One of the challenges in discussing open access is to be able to show the various options-that publishers allow more than authors sometimes know in terms of depositing articles in repositories. Many authors assume that open access means that journals themselves must be OA, but often traditional publishers have liberal self-archiving policies. The major science publishers all allow this kind of public access to final author versions, and in some cases, publisher branded versions. People can choose to publish in excellent OA journals as well, and pay fees in many cases (if there are fees charged) out of grants or institutional open access funds.Some open access journals are the highest impact journals in their fields (PLoS Biology). Some OA journals are not credible, but some are very high quality.
Many social sciences/humanities publishers also allow posting of final author versions in repositories. If you check your publisher's policies, you will find a lot of open access-friendly publishers out there. Your institution may be passing open access policies that will facilitate a greater availability of its research literature. This is a complex topic but there are many stakeholders working on all aspects. The comments about Harvard do not take into account how much work is going on there to promote OA; there is certainly no failure.
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frogfactory
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2013, 4:50:19 AM »

Quote from: bibliothecula link=topic=122559.msg2499325#msg2499325 date=

Frogfactory, if you want to see anything from my journal--policy statements, white papers, the site, whatever, let me know. I don't know if any of this info is useful to you in re: a science journal.


Yes! While I've been on the edge of the discussion for a while, I'm pretty new to this in lots of ways, and I'd love to learn more about how the various models work.
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bibliothecula
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« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2013, 4:27:14 PM »

Quote from: bibliothecula link=topic=122559.msg2499325#msg2499325 date=

Frogfactory, if you want to see anything from my journal--policy statements, white papers, the site, whatever, let me know. I don't know if any of this info is useful to you in re: a science journal.


Yes! While I've been on the edge of the discussion for a while, I'm pretty new to this in lots of ways, and I'd love to learn more about how the various models work.

I'll contact you through That Other Site, where I can send you attachments. :)
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2013, 7:00:56 PM »

What is the BRT?

The legend begins here: http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,29482.msg397172.html#msg397172.

It is up to you to decipher.
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totoro
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2013, 7:29:00 PM »

There is little interest in open-access in economics and business because we already have RePEc and SSRN where you can read preprints/working paper versions of most published papers worth reading.

In theory open-access is more economically efficient as the marginal cost of providing a paper online is very low and so it makes sense to provide that to as many people as possible, however, low their willingness to pay. However, there are important fixed costs in a business along the lines of the current journal publication model and someone has to pay for that. It's the standard provision of public goods problem. I don't understand the rhetoric coming from some in the bio community like Mike Taylor that it is more ethical/moral to publish open access if that model is going to be supported by hefty author fees that might exclude less well supported researchers from publishing. That is inequitable in a different way to charging for access and not necessarily efficient either to exclude their work. So this is a weird argument.

PeerJ though has very low membership fees and so might overcome these issues. Seems they are backed by venture capital money at the moment. Not clear what their long-term business model is.
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collegekidsmom
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2013, 11:11:45 AM »

PeerJ may have some of those issues also in terms of equity. RePEC and SSRN are making open access happen and it's great they continue to be so successful. SSRN even has a humanities channel.
Open access journals is another thing, and too bad RCUK and others are jumping on that bandwagon. OA journals work perfectly well in some cases, populations and disciplines, but not so well for others. This is why there is such a focus in many corners on green open access, the repository route. It's not perfect, but it costs readers and authors and libraries less. With every paper, usually there is a way to make at least some version OA if the author (or institution) wants. More than 60% of publishers (including commercial) agree and are willing to allow authors to keep at least some rights to post their work. Author rights is also an attractive aspect-allowing an author to have the ability to post the final version (the one with which he or she is happy) on the web in repository crawled by Google or other search engines.
totoro, do you think authors will find that "lifetime" fee for PeerJ attractive?
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totoro
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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2013, 5:56:05 PM »

I'm not in the life sciences but a $99 or $199 is really not much though every author needs a membership and biomed etc. papers have a lot of authors. Still its going to be a lot cheaper than PLoS. I see some people publish papers in PLoS ONE all the time... So they would be a good market.
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frogfactory
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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2013, 5:28:58 AM »

Well, you can go OA after six months or so, (green) in most cases.    But, six months.


We charge an order of magnitude more, totoro, for our gold model journal.  In the UK this is paid mostly from institutional funding.  I don't know much about how it's paid for elsewhere, but we do waive fees for a lot of people. To which I'm certainly not opposed, but might raise complaints about our model "propping up" pubs from places that don't often pay.  We're talking national funding bodies, so taxpayers' money and so forth.

Can I admit to also being conflicted about open review?  Or is that another thread? 
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totoro
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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2013, 9:09:42 AM »

I'm guessing your fee is $1700?
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smshieber
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« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2013, 11:11:54 AM »

Harvard's example is telling: when they first implemented their OA mandate, publishers agreed to it at the beginning.  But then a couple of publishers would not bend, and Harvard had to create an exception.  Once the exception existed, all publishers demanded authors obtain the exception, and the OA mandate was gutted.

I'm the faculty director of Harvard's Office for Scholarly Communication (http://osc.hul.harvard.edu/), the office that oversees the open-access policies at Harvard. The Harvard policies, and those at the many institutions that have enacted similar policies, involve default rights retention, implemented by faculty granting a nonexclusive license to the university for our scholarly articles, with a waiver provision for individual articles at the author's sole discretion. The policies have not been changed since their enactment. The policy does not require publishers to "agree" nor to change their practices or "bend". We have never "created an exception" for any particular publishers. Less than a handful of publishers systematically require that authors obtain a waiver for articles that they publish; there has been no stampede by publishers to emulate these few. The waiver rate is exceptionally low, around 5% for Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences and likely lower in Harvard's other schools, hardly a "gutting" of the policy. In sum, your characterization of the Harvard policy and its history is incorrect. I urge those interested to read the pertinent posts at my blog (http://bitly.com/bundles/shieber/3) for more accurate information.

Because of the policy, Harvard's DASH repository (http://dash.harvard.edu/) now distributes about 9,000 articles by Harvard authors, which have been downloaded over a million times from almost every country in the world. I would hate for people to be misled by this comment in thinking that open-access policies of the sort enacted at Harvard are ineffective. I'd be interested in where this misinformation came from.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2013, 11:27:53 AM »

In theory open-access is more economically efficient as the marginal cost of providing a paper online is very low and so it makes sense to provide that to as many people as possible, however, low their willingness to pay. However, there are important fixed costs in a business along the lines of the current journal publication model and someone has to pay for that. It's the standard provision of public goods problem.
I am on the board of an OA/no fees journal.  The fixed costs are actually quite low: (1) Web hosting, which is being provided free to us by an OA-committed university; (2) Referee time, which of course is free (as it is for pretty much all journals); (3) Editorial time, which is minimized by automated submission software and standardized TeX style; (4) Indexing fees, which are the one fixed fee that could screw us up in the end.  Even though they are currently low (I think we paid around $250 last year), the money has to come from somewhere, and I think if we get reduced to passing the hat among the editors we will have to call it a failed experiment.

smshieber: my university adopted your policy almost verbatim, and so far it is working very well for us.  Thank you. - DvF
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usukprof
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« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2014, 11:06:59 AM »

I'm Bumping this thread as a place for generic OA discussion rather than starting a new one.  A thread on the MDPI journals & open access thread is turning toward more generic OA issues.

As a reminder, Beallís List is a good starting point to see the worst of the worst.
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bibliothecula
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« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2014, 5:22:04 PM »

It's rather disconcerting to me (and perhaps others of us) to see a thread started by frogfactory restarted. Could we just start a new thread that links to this one, please?
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usukprof
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« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2014, 5:59:21 PM »

It's rather disconcerting to me (and perhaps others of us) to see a thread started by frogfactory restarted. Could we just start a new thread that links to this one, please?

I was originally going to start a new thread along the lines of Open Access:  Experiences, Questions, and Answers.

I thought having a long-lived thread might be a tribute to Froggy.

I'm going to start a separate poll.
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