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Open Access Author Funds: A Problem or a Solution?


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Denise Koufogiannakis (speaker), Tony Horava (speaker)

Published in: Technology, Business
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Open Access Author Funds: A Problem or a Solution?

  1. 1. Open Access Author Funds: A Problem or Solution? Tony Horava & Denise Koufogiannakis Charleston Conference Nov. 8, 2013
  2. 2. Open Access Author Funds: Many Reasons to Support it Tony Horava AUL Collections University of Ottawa, Canada
  3. 3. Snapshot of the University of Ottawa  North America’s largest bilingual university (English/French)  One of Canada’s top 10 research universities  An ARL member  About 200 undergraduate programs and over 185 graduate programs  Fall 2013 : about 43,000 students  Four libraries ( Arts & Sciences, Health Sciences, Law, Management)  Collections budget: 15.7M  2,293,781 print books  727,610 Ebooks  ~ 775 research databases
  4. 4. Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE) Signatory universities commit to "the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in open access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.“ “It is important to keep in mind that the goal of the compact is not to increase access to the individual articles it underwrites. That goal is already reasonably satisfied by the possibility of open-access self-archiving that any author can unilaterally perform and that various open-access policies such as that of the National Institutes of Health promote. Rather, the goal of open-access funds as envisioned in the present proposal is to reduce the disincentives to authors and thus the risk to publishers of the processing-fee business model.” - Shieber SM (2009) Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing. PLoS Biology 7(8): e1000165. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000165
  5. 5. OA Authors Fund (begun in 2010) Eligibility criteria* Journal Articles: Authors are free to publish in the journal of their choice [NB - this is being reassessed this year] Eligible articles may be accepted for publication in open access journals, hybrid journals or traditional journals that allow self-archiving. Eligible open access journals must be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals or meet the DOAJ’s selection criteria (found in the "About" section of their site). Eligible hybrid and traditional journals must make articles available immediately and allow self-archiving of the publisher PDF immediately upon publication (no embargo period imposed). The fee schedule must be publicly available online *
  6. 6. Eligibility criteria (cont’d) Books: The Fund also covers open access books up to a maximum contribution of $2,500 per publication (research and scholarly books only, no textbooks). The contribution can be used for entire books or book chapters. Publishers must make content available immediately and allow self-archiving of the publisher PDF immediately upon publication (no embargo period imposed). Fund recipients must deposit their work in UO Research, the University’s institutional repository. Researchers can receive funding for a maximum of two (2) publications per fiscal year (May 1 to April 30).
  7. 7. We surveyed our authors in 2010
  8. 8. Question: “Why did you choose to publish your article in an open access or hybrid journal?”  I want my research to be viewed by the entire research community.  Wider dissemination  Speed of publication because its an online journal.  Hybrid. It was a good journal which I publish in anyways. Since the cost for open access was to be reimbursed through the program, this allowed me to publish it with open access.  Greater access to policy makers. Our work is more likely to be used and referenced in policy discussions and have a practical impact.  It was the right readership for the topic and there are no other similar journals with that focus.  Appropriate venue. Tried something new.  The concept is the way of the future! It also is very liberating to know that one's contribution can be accessed internationally. It makes research FUN and motivating!
  9. 9. More answers...  Speed of review and publication is a real plus. There is nothing SO frustrating than waiting 2-3 years for a journal to publish one's academic work.  It was by chance. I choose the journal for its quality, and it offered open access as an option. It is nice because I often get requests for reprints from people who do not have access to the some of the journals.  I decided to publish in a hybrid journal before deciding whether to apply to the Fund. When the article was accepted and I found out the program was still running and could cover all the fees for Open Access, I decided to apply to the program. Faster publication, Open access for developing country research partners, funder recommendations.  It allows people in developing countries to read articles. The fund supports activities of scientific organization that publish journals.  It is important to me to provide information to all in the speediest of ways and to everyone.  Speed of review process and the open access of the article.  Wider readership
  10. 10. 2012-13 data (by type of publication) Type of publication Number Dollars % OA 92 $179,884.01 71.7% Traditional with OA option 32 $63,366.66 25.3% Books/book chapters 3 $7,509.86 3% Total 127 $250,759 100%
  11. 11. Faculty Publication Data by Faculty (201213) Number of reimbursements Dollars % of total expenditures Arts Education Engineering Health Sciences 1 2 3 28 $5,000 $793.24 $6,639.05 $49,412.70 Medicine 60 $122,925.88 49 Population Health Social Sciences 6 $11,794.85 4.7 5 $10,188.44 4 Science 19 $36,529.71 14.6       Bruyère Research Institute   $1,925.25 0.76 1 $5,230.92 2.08 2 $3,090.60 1.23 OHRI 1   Ottawa Heart Institute     Research Institutes: 127 $253,530.64 2 0.3 2.6 19.7
  12. 12. Data organized by choice of major publishers Publisher BioMed Central PLoS Oxford Springer Frontiers Numbe Dollars r 35 $68,179.18 % 20 8 7 9 12.2% 9.1% 8.4% 5.6% $30,438.15 $22,832.32 $21,185.60 $14,124.33 27%
  13. 13. What are the benchmarks of ‘success’?  Increased awareness of scholarly communication issues  Greater dialogue/better relationship with the Library  Assisting faculty to publish who might not be able to otherwise, hence enhancing the mission of the institution to advance knowledge  General satisfaction with the Library/reimagining the role of the library  Increasing the proportion of the Collections budget dedicated to OA initiatives  Influencing the economics of publishing, eg:  Providing greater access to scholarly literature;  Reducing the double-dipping of commercial publishers;  Feeding into the broader public policy discourse on OA
  14. 14. Some arguments in favour of an OA Authors Fund....  Sowing seeds of awareness of scholarly communication issues and Open Access  Demonstrating Library leadership in promoting dissemination of scholarship as a public good; aligning with our mission as stewards of the scholarly record  Engaging with younger researchers & graduate students who need financial assistance to publish.  Ripple effect: as these researchers move upstream into faculty positions, this can be a catalyst for major changes in Promotion & Tenure committee criteria for assessing value, i.e. changing the cultural mindset re Open Access.  OA author funds can help build a groundswell of support for OA in the academic community (whether Gold or Green).  In three years, we have benefited about 200 researchers in disseminating their scholarship: http://
  15. 15. Promoting broader access to Scholarly Communications “We believe that institutions (and the sub-institutional units that manage collection funds) should be open to exploring alternative funding models for scholarly communication. Institutions should highly value funding models that promote universal access to their research output. And during an economic crisis, these institutions should question the extensive financial and human resource investments required by the subscription model, a model that both excludes non authorized users and entails large-scale and complex licensing and legal obligations. The time is now for broad-scale adoption of institutional OA funds.” [emphasis added] - Eckman CD, Weil BT (2010) Institutional Open Access Funds: Now Is the Time. PLoS Biol 8(5): e1000375. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000375
  16. 16. In Conclusion To echo the quote from Eckman and Weil: “The time is now for broad-scale adoption of institutional OA funds.” • Support your researchers in their goal to disseminate scholarship, and support OA Author Funds!
  17. 17. Problems with libraries paying open access author fees Denise Koufogiannakis University of Alberta
  18. 18. Snapshot of the University of Alberta Top 5 Canadian University ARL library ranking is 16th in North America 170 graduate programs, 200 undergraduate programs How we have supported OA Why we stopped paying author fees via memberships
  19. 19. What does paying author fees achieve? Immediate gold OA Helps out some individual researchers with costs
  20. 20. Assessing author fees
  21. 21. Assessing author fees Wildly divergent costs - $0 - $5000/article Only 26% of gold OA journals use an authors pay model (Solomon & Bjork, 2012) Average per article OA charge - $906 (Solomon & Bjork, 2012) What is the true cost of publishing? What is reasonable? $188.39 (Edgar and Willinsky, 2010) £1136 (Research Information Network, 2008) By just blindly accepting whatever fees publishers charge in order to reduce the “risk to publishers of the processing-fee business model” (COPE), we will drive fees even higher and make such high fees seem normal.
  22. 22. Why paying author fees isn’t a solution Libraries supporting two systems – not sustainable Same publishers making more money – the big ones control the most and have the highest fees Libraries preferencing the OA journals that do charge fees – what about the non-fee journals? No fundamental change to the way we disseminate scholarship Authors not taking ownership of “author fees” - unlikely to change.
  23. 23. Practical considerations and problems Randomness re: who receives the funding Randomness re: amount of funding given per article or per researcher Small numbers of faculty that can be supported in this way Cost of staff-time related to management of the fund and processing work involved Is it sustainable?
  24. 24. What libraries can do instead that may lead to greater change Support green OA initiatives Use money to support new initiatives, new models that may lead to change Publishing initiatives at the Library Level – make transformative change Work with faculty on making change to the scholarly communication system - ultimately the faculty drive this process.
  25. 25. In conclusion Support OA Don’t pay author fees!
  26. 26. Your turn!
  27. 27. What do you think? Questions to consider: Should libraries pay OA author fees? Why or why not? What has your experience been? What is the best way forward for academic institutions to effect change in scholarly communications system?