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Changing the Structure of Scholarly Publishing: Open Access, Open Archives, and Author Self-Archiving
 

Changing the Structure of Scholarly Publishing: Open Access, Open Archives, and Author Self-Archiving

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Presentation given to Caltech librarians, November 18, 2003

Presentation given to Caltech librarians, November 18, 2003

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  • Commercial based publishing houses are publicly or privately owned businesses whose objective is to provide a good or service for sale. Their good is academic research articles that are submitted by authors. Commercial publishers provide the infrastructure to organize a particular journal on a subject, serve as a central clearinghouse for research on that subject, provide an editorial board to oversee the content, assist with setting up a peer review system to ensure quality of the product, and provide marketing, sales, and distribution services. Society publishers are, no surprise, publications centered around a particular scholarly society that is published by the society. Typically a society, once it establishes a publishing arm of its society, will publish increasing numbers of journals on a range of topics of value to the membership. They provide many of the same services that a commercial publisher provides, except, in many occasions, they can price their titles at a lower rate, since they do not have a revenue line to build. University publishers are more and more like society publishers nowadays. But an interesting example of University based publishing are the Japanese journals commonly published by their university press whose content is focused on the research output of the faculty in a particular department, division, or school. The subjects can vary quite a bit between papers and publishing can be sporadic.
  • Why are we now talking about new models of publishing? Doesn’t the current system work? It was just two years ago that I had this class, and the issues we’re talking about here today were only mentioned superficially. Now, they are on the top of the list of most library conference, proceedings, and news. I think there are basically three reasons why we’re talking about this now: advantages brought about by electronic publishing, the economic pressures on research libraries over the past two decades, and an increasing ability to produce research information individually. We don’t need to dwell on the advantages of electronic access to research articles – we, as students, know how convenient and quick it is to download that article at home at 11 pm the night before class. But even more importantly, these same advantages are multiplied 100 fold to the research scientist stuck in their labs, the doctoral students working on their literature reviews, and the corporate engineer working on a patent application. Inextricably bound into this, our research community now has an advanced skill set when it comes to finding information online, producing electronic information, and communicating electronically. Word processing services, document conversion tools, and desktop publishing make it entirely possible for a group or individual to produce high quality documents electronically with a minimum of advanced skills. In addition, building and maintaining electronic document storage systems has become of interest to programmers and scholars in the library and information science communities as a method of experimentation and testing of theory and software. Lastly, the “serials crisis” in American academic research libraries has prompted librarians, scholars, programmers, and even senators to look for new ways to publish scholarly materials outside of the traditional printed journal model. Also wrapped up in all three reasons to look for new models are the increased expectations of information consumers. The role of the Internet has fundamentally changed our expectation of information. We want movie listings, maps, directions, news, weather, and pictures of our friend’s kids almost immediately and at any time. In addition, we expect to have access to information that we did not have before. In the past, the largest universities built huge libraries collections in order to attract faculy, attract students, and enhance their reputations. Now, all universities and their faculty and students have an expectation that they should have unfettered access to the same research materials that they never subscribed to in the print world.
  • Defining these three new models can be difficult. Not everyone agrees on a common definition for any of these models. But I’ll give it a stab – Open Access is a model that attempts to retain all the aspects of traditional scholarly publishing: editorial boards, peer review, and subject based journal aggregations. But the marked difference is that all, or a portion, of the content is free to readers. This may mean that it is free from the initial publication point or that it “becomes free” after a short period of time. The model does not preclude costs to everyone though – some Open Access publishing ventures are completely free of cost to everyone (aside from the costs associated with the producers of the information), but others seek to switch the burden of cost from the reader to the author (or their proxy). We’re talking about a model very close in concept to the Society Publishing model of page charges or supplementary charges for added value services like color images or extra length articles. Variations on this model include institutional memberships that pay author costs, publication charges written into grants and contracts, or other agencies paying publication costs for research. Other variations in addition to cost are in content: content is free from the start, become free after a short embargo period, or content is free after a period of years. Open Archives is a similar new publishing model. Open Archives has grown out of a technical solution to the issue of converting non-research article material. As our access to software and hardware has increased in libraries, so has our technical skills and our desire to create new research collections and preserve our brittle or non-accessible collections. More specifically, Open Archives grew out of a recognition that standards (and promotion) were needed to confederate the interoperability of a growing number of electronic pre-print servers that were started in the sciences in the early 1990s. The Sante Fe Convention in 1999 was a meeting to establish the Open Archive Initiative and prescribe standards for pre-print systems to federate them into interoperable systems that can be exploited by common search engines and interfaces. Open Archives systems can be anything from an institutional repository with a broad range of materials and subjects covered to a very specific, fixed-in time, set of materials like a set of conference proceedings. Open archives can be pre-peer review materials made available for comment, post-peer review copies of research articles published elsewhere, or anything in between. But one functional requirement is that the material be made free to all readers and is free to all authors. Author Self-Archiving is perhaps the easiest new publishing model to establish at the onset, but may also be the most chaotic and hardest to sustain option. Author self archiving can be defined almost by its name – it’s a model where authors simply place their research output on a common, publicly accessible, place on the Web. The collection is obviously author based, and therefore probably subject based material. It can be any type of material – pre-prints of research articles, post-prints of research articles, conference papers, data, or anything else. Again,the biggest functional requirement for this model is that the material be made available for free to the reader.
  • So just what are the advantage of an Open Access journal system or publisher? Well, first, the costs are shifted away from the consumers of information to the producers (or their proxies). Why is this better for researchers? Well, the research intensive institutions will bear the brunt of the costs of publication for research journals and those costs can be built into their research funding. This makes them consider carefully the costs of production and be more selective in their research output in quantity and quality (or venue). It retains editorial and peer review processes, ensuring the same continuity of quality as previously established. In addition, they are “journal-like” publications, built around similar subject content and a electronic and print counterparts. Some disadvantages: Cost shifted to producer of information. Are producers willing and able to pay? Will they choose not to publish if they can’t pay? Can a reasonable cost to the producer still result in a reasonable revenue to allow the publication to continue? Is the quality of the publication assured? Will authors still submit to it even if it’s new and unknown and relatively un-cited (therefore having a low impact factor)? Will the academic reward structure still view these types of publication as favorably as more traditional publications? Is it scalable for all academic research publishing? PLoS – subsidized with a huge grant from the Mellon foundation. Huge disputes over how much a reasonable cost is – theirs is $1500, but Science officials estimate it would be $10,000 per article, while others, such as Nature, and the NEJM estimate somewhere between $5000-$10,000 per published article.
  • Open archives models are still heavily focused on technological innovation in electronic publishing. The issues surrounding it include standards for formats and language (XML, etc.), systems for discovery and interoperability, and questions of collections. But because most Open Archives have been established in academic settings (libraries or computer science departments), innovation in many aspects of information dissemination still abounds. For example, creating citation linking, developing advanced use metrics, and automatic indexing are current issues being worked on in the OAI community. Cost is still free to the reader. Direct Cost is often free to the author (indirect costs of system maintenance, hardware, software, etc. is placed on another (institution or group)) Publication can also be much faster, indeed immediate, when compared to traditional publishing or even open access. In addition, truly compliant OAI systems can aid in discoverability and dissemination of research. The major disadvantage of OAI systems lies in the lack of assurance of quality. This is not to say that OA material is not high-quality or research publication quality, just that it has (in most cases) not been vetted through the traditional system of editors and referees. There is usually no printed version and no aggregation into subject or temporally based collections. There are also risks of plagiarism, libel and many other quality control issues that are contrary to scientific publishing and enterprise (submitting with false names, pseudonyms, false credentials, changing the text of submission, etc.). In addition, discoverability (despite the technical advances made in automatic indexing) remains a problem.
  • Author self-archiving is probably the simplest and most pervasive model currently in existence. It’s a very simple concept and one that has actually grown out of the academic tradition of scientific communication through the invisible college. In fact, it’s almost synonymous with the act of providing reprint articles to colleagues and other interested researchers. ASA really became prominent as authors moved towards drafting what is called “camera-ready copy” before submitting an article for publication. Coupled with producing high quality digital documents was the move to providing research materials, course materials, and career materials on an author’s personal webspace as a way to organize their research output and promote their accomplishments. This type of publishing accomplishes a number of objectives: the cost to the reader is nil, authors are able to preserve their own output, and are able to disseminate it to as many people as possible. In addition, publication can be immediate instead of waiting for print or electronic vetting. There are a number of disadvantages to this model. There is no assurance or indicators of quality – materials may be peer reviewed, gone through an editorial process, or simply be author preprints. In addition, material is subject to questions of version control, changing or updates as authors see fit, and permanence – its only available as long as the author keeps it up (which is no small trick).
  • What do these new models really need to be able to do in order to be viable publishing alternatives? Basically, they need to satisfy the intrinsic and extrinsic objectives that authors, the scientific community, and other stakeholders already have in regard to scientific information dissemination while simultaneously minimizing any real or perceived disadvantages. We must look at differences in the different sets of objectives that each party has already. What might those be? Authors: rapid and wide dissemination of their work, have quality indicators associated with it, a measure of permanence to the publication. They’d also like other performance impact metrics – citation indicators, usage metrics, etc. for their publications. Consumers: rapid and wide and free retrieval of needed research, have quality indicators associated with it (journal reputation, impact factor, peer reviewed status, etc.), and a measure of permanence (later retrievability). In addition, they require easy discovery, usable interfaces, and value-added services like citation linking, related articles, cited by services, etc. Others: Librarians & Publishers: what are their objectives? Librarians – closely aligned with consumer objectives, but especially interested in issues of permanence, usability, and economics. Publishers – more closely aligned with objectives of authors, but not especially. Issues: commercial survival – permanence, economics, usability, and quality are all used to meet the main objective – to make money to ensure company lasts. Societies – a little different than commercial publishers in that they don’t have the same pressures to make money. Some societies use their publications to fund non-publishing activities, while others use their other activities to subsidize their publishing activities. They are more interested in meeting membership objectives, which are a mix of author and consumer objectives.
  • How does Open Access meet these objectives? The outcome of OA could result in quality controlled, rapidly published and wide disseminated research. But it costs money and no one can predict the economic viability of this model. Also, making authors pay for publication can lead to reduced production, bias and fraud through changing research results to pay for publication, or authors influencing publication (what if I pay extra to have my article as first in an issue, etc.)
  • Open Archives may partially satisfy author, librarian, and consumer objectives. It could result in rapidly published, widely available, and free information. But there are still questions of quality assurance, discoverability, and usability.
  • Author self-archiving might be the least viable option as a scalable system. Providing research articles via personal webpages could result in free, widely available and rapidly published material. It also results in a minimum of effort and cost to the producer and the consumer of the information. But there are real issues associated with this model – is there enough discoverability and interoperability, is there an assurance of quality, is there version control, is there permanence?
  • Overall, I believe that these models are here to stay and will be incorporated into the normal activity of academic research publication. Their acceptance will hinge on difference between disciplinary cultures, issues relating to economics and funding, and interplay between quality assurance and the academic reward system. Disciplinary cultures: some disciplines embrace technology & e-publishing, some do not some material is more suited to electronic publication (journals rather than books) some disciplines use and produce materials that are more suited to electronic publication Funding: publishing can be expensive, and academics don’t really know how expensive it can be or if the savings that they predict from moving away from a commercial model can make up the difference will authors embrace paying for publication? Will funding agencies embrace the model? Will universities and private corporations? Will authors be rewarded for publishing in the new models? Will authors who publish in unknown or non-peer reviewed locations still be rewarded as having published?

Changing the Structure of Scholarly Publishing: Open Access, Open Archives, and Author Self-Archiving Changing the Structure of Scholarly Publishing: Open Access, Open Archives, and Author Self-Archiving Presentation Transcript

  • Changing the Structure of Scholarly Publishing: Open Access, Open Archives, and Author Self-Archiving John McDonald Acquisitions Librarian Electronic Publishing November 18, 2003
  • Traditional Scholarly Publishing
    • Commercial
    • Subject based journals, Editorial board, and peer review
    • Varying quality, quantity, and influence
    • Typically high prices
    • Society
    • Subject based journals, Editorial board, and peer review High quality, high quantity, and great influence
    • Range of prices from high to low
    • University
    • Journals based on the research output of the faculty
    • Varying quality, quantity (especially), and influence
    • Usually free
  • Impetus for new models…
    • Electronic publishing advantages
      • speed
      • location
    • Increasing Awareness / Ability of Authors to publish
      • authors can now produce camera-ready copy for publication
      • authors & librarians can now publish scholarly material
    • Serials Pricing vs. Library Budgets
      • inflation of serials rises faster than budget increases
      • increased expectations of consumers of information
  • New Publishing Models
    • Open Access
    • A publishing model that retains all the structure of traditional scholarly publishing, except that all or a portion of the content published is available, free of charge, to all readers.   
    • Open Archives
    • A publishing model that allows authors or their agents to deposit an article in a digital repository that is available, free of charge, to all readers.   
    • Author Self-Archiving
    • A publishing model where authors publish their own research in a common space, that is accessible to all for free, on the Internet.
  • Open Access
    • Advantages (over Traditional Publishing)
    • Cost shifted away from the consumer of the information
    • Retains Editorial and Peer Review Processes
    • Retains subject based journal content & printed version
    • Disadvantages
    • Cost may be shifted to the producer of the information
    • Quality of the publication is not established/assured
    • Examples
    • PLoS Biology http://www. plosbiology .org
    • Learned Publishing http://www. alpsp .org/ volcont . htm
  • Open Archives
    • Advantages
    • Cost shifted away from the consumer of the information
    • Speed of publication
    • Interoperability of systems assists in discoverability
    • Disadvantages
    • Cost may be shifted to the producer of the information
    • Quality of the publication is not established/assured
    • May not retain Editorial and Peer Review Processes
    • No printed version, and may not be subject based aggregations
    • At risk for plagiarism, libel, and other quality control issues
    • Examples
    • Caltech CODA http://library.caltech.edu/digital/
    • UC eScholarship http://repositories.cdlib.org/escholarship/
  • Author Self Archiving
    • Advantages
    • Cost shifted away from the consumer of the information
    • Speed of publication
    • Disadvantages
    • Quality of the publication is not established/assured
    • May not retain Editorial and Peer Review Processes
    • No printed version, and is not subject aggregated
    • Version control problems (preprint/post print/etc.)
    • Examples
    • Eugene Garfield http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/
  • Issues of Viability
    • New models need to:
    • satisfy author objectives
    • satisfy community objectives
    • satisfy other stakeholders objectives
    • while minimizing any disadvantages that are incurred.
  • Possible outcomes
    • Open Access
    • Should satisfy librarians, authors, & consumers
    • May satisfy Commercial & Society publishers
    • Disadvantages: continuing funding of the model
    • Other Issues?
  • Possible outcomes
    • Open Archives
    • Should satisfy librarians & consumers
    • May satisfy authors
    • Disadvantages: ensuring quality & content discovery
    • Other Issues?
  • Possible outcomes
    • Author Self Archiving
    • May satisfy librarians, authors, & consumers
    • Disadvantages: discoverability, quality, version control
    • Other Issues?
  • Predictions
    • A continued mix of scholarly publishing models,
    • that are not wholly satisfactory to librarians, authors, & consumers, or publishers.
    • Disadvantages: organization, discoverability, quality assurance, version control, marketing, and access