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Open Access is a terrible idea* (*unless it's done right)


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Open Access is a terrible idea* (*unless it's done right)

  1. 1. Open Access is a terrible idea* (*unless it is done right) Demmy Verbeke
  2. 2. Introduction What is Open Access? Why should we care? How do we do it? 2
  3. 3. What is Open Access? Open Access (OA) literature is: digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions OA removes price barriers (subscriptions, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees) permission barriers (most copyright and licensing restrictions) Academic publications articles in scholarly journals monographs with scholarly publishers 3 Peter Suber, Open Access Overview [] Peter Suber, Open Access (MIT Press, 2012)
  4. 4. Why should we care? 1. Ethical reasons 2. Academic reasons 3. Financial reasons 4
  5. 5. Why should we care? 1. Ethical reasons  results of scholarly research available to general public  results of scholarly research available for scholars all over the world regardless of whether they are affiliated with a university or not regardless of whether they are affiliated with an institution which can afford to buy a lot of academic publications or not 5 Stephen Curry, ‘Open access: the beast that no-on could - or should - control?’, in Nerlich et al., eds., Science and the politics of openness – Here be monsters (Manchester UP, 2018), pp. 33-53
  6. 6. Why should we care? 2. Academic interests  better for scholarship, better for the scholar  proven increase in visibility and use  proven positive effect on alt-metrics: research picked up easier by journalists, companies & policy-makers  academics are more or more obliged: OA mandates from funders/governments 6 The Open Access Citation Advantage []
  7. 7. Why should we care? 3. Financial reasons Cost of academic publishing Focus mostly on subscription cost (“serials crisis”) Rise in cost of monographs considered less problematic (but of course: if subscription costs rise, there is no budget for monographs) 7
  8. 8. Why should we care? Paul Jung, ‘Spending on subscriptions to journals rises by up to 50%’, THE, 2014 pace Kent Anderson, ‘Revisiting: Have Journal Prices Really Increased Much in the Digital Age?’, The Scholarly Kitchen, 2016 8 The amount of money paid by UK universities to subscribe to some large publishers’ journals has risen by almost 50 per cent since 2010
  9. 9. Why should we care? 9 Close to home: Arts Faculty library of KU Leuven € 0.00 € 50,000.00 € 100,000.00 € 150,000.00 € 200,000.00 € 250,000.00 € 300,000.00 € 350,000.00 2004 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 Budget vs. Subscription Cost Budget Subscription Cost
  10. 10. How do we do it? 1. Green OA 2. For-profit Gold OA 3. Non-profit Gold OA 10 Terminology in following slides partly based on R. Johnson, M. Fosci, A. Chiarelli, S. Pinfield and M. Jubb, Towards A Competitive And Sustainable OA Market In Europe – A Study Of The Open Access Market And Policy Environment (OpenAIRE, 2017) [doi:10.5281/zenodo.401029], pp. 20-23 Photo: Philip Bouchard
  11. 11. Green OA old paradigm solution for some, but not all problems 11
  12. 12. Green OA 12 Author him/herself deposits version in a digital archive (“repository”) Green OA version is rarely the only published version, it is an alternative version, next to the commercial one quite often: Green OA version is inferior to the commercial one (pre- or post- print) quite often: embargo (Green OA version is made available later than commercial version)
  13. 13. Green OA 13 • Ethical reasons for OA  Green OA provides solution • Academic reasons for OA  Green OA only provides partial solution => in most fields not really a challenge for the traditional publication model • Financial reasons for OA  Green OA does not provide a solution Photo: Howard Ignatius
  14. 14. Green OA 14 the old paradigm high hopes, e.g. Stevan Harnad: “the inevitable success of transitional Green OA” when no-embargo Green OA is universally mandated and provided, there will be a transition to Fair Gold OA, with peer-review being the only remaining service provided by publishers, and paid for by institutions out of a fraction of their subscription cancellation savings but also criticism, e.g. Michael Eisen: “the inevitable failure of parasitic Green OA” fundamental logical flaw: subscription publishers only give their blessing to Green OA so long as they don’t see it as a threat; proof: subscription publishers limit author self-archiving much more than they used to do, for instance by lengthening embargo periods in any case: high hopes not (yet) fulfilled, Green OA is no game-changer but in most cases an alternative next to the traditional publication model for Harnad vs. Eisen see Mike Taylor, ‘Green and Gold: the possible futures of Open Access’, 2015 [ access/] Bo-Christer Björk – David Salomon, Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges, 2014 [ effective-market-for-open-access-article-processing-charges-mar14.pdf]
  15. 15. For-profit Gold OA OA mandates risk making this the new paradigm (extremely) costly if not managed well 15
  16. 16. For-profit Gold OA 16 Author immediately publishes in OA Gold OA version is the final version, no reason to distribute inferior versions APCs/BPCs : producer pays (sometimes in combination with payment by consumer) 1. Gold Hybrid fee for OA article in a subscription-based journal or OA chapter in a commercial book “double dipping”: consumer and producer pay “the hybrid model, as currently defined and implemented by publishers, is not a working and viable pathway to OA” Gold Hybrid was explained away as a “transitional model” but don’t believe everything they tell you 2. Gold APC/BPC only producer pays Science Europe: Principles to Open Access to Research Publications, 2015 [ _WEB_ FINAL_20150617.pdf] Bo-Christer Björk, ’Growth of hybrid open access, 2009–2016’, PeerJ , 2017 []
  17. 17. For-profit Gold OA 17 academics are driven to for-profit Gold OA by OA mandates at great cost Example: state of OA publishing in the UK after “the spectacularly bad Finch report” “a clear policy direction towards support for publication in open access or hybrid journals, funded by APCs, as the main vehicle for the publication of research, especially when it is publicly funded” Green OA is permissible if the embargo period is <6 months for STEM and <12 months for HASS; otherwise funds are provided to pay for Gold OA Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications: publications, 2012 [] Danny Kinsley, ‘So did it work? Considering the impact of Finch 5 years on’, 2017 [] Gavia Libraria, ‘Finland joins the fray’, 2016 []
  18. 18. For-profit Gold OA Sounds good at first, but: more Gold Hybrid compared to the rest of the world 80% of the spend is on Gold Hybrid; the “flipping” plan has failed “publishers adapt their policies to maximise the ability of their journals to capture the additional funds being injected into open access, by either imposing non-compliant embargo periods or charging more for mandated licences” centrally-managed APC expenditure has continued to rise steeply (555% since 2012), 2017-18 RCUK block grant allocations to support the RCUK Policy on OA add up to more than £8 million largest number of payments was made … to commercial publishers; Elsevier and Wiley, i.e. two traditional subscription- based publishers, represent 40% of the total APC spend university libraries act as the middle men transferring government funds to commercial publishers – similar to the subscription model, but this time around it concerns even more money and they have more administration costs themselves 18 Monitoring the transition to Open Access, 2015 [] Danny Kinsley, ‘So did it work? Considering the impact of Finch 5 years on’, 2017 [] André Sartori – Danny Kinsley, ‘Flipping journals or filling pockets? Publisher manipulation of OA policies’, 2017 []
  19. 19. 19 any deal that stimulates Hybrid Gold OA is clearly no good but maybe we should offset APCs against subscription costs? only if: 1. offsetting agreement is transitional 2. offsetting deal is transformative 3. offsetting deal comes at the same cost or cheaper than the subscription deal 4. offsetting deal does not come at the expense of disciplines where the big publishers currently have a very limited market share 5. offsetting deal does not come at the expense of non-profit Gold OA initiatives Offsetting deals LERU statement "Christmas is over. Research funding should go to research, not to publishers!" - Moving forward on Open Access, 2015 [ Statement-Moving-Forwards-on-Open-Access2.pdf]
  20. 20. 20 in order to get a deal like that:  only enter negotiation if fully prepared (extensive and detailed analysis of publication and usage data)  failure (no deal) MUST be an option and remember: 1. offsetting deals are “complex, uneven and difficult to manage” 2. offsetting deals hold the risk of strengthening the oligopoly in fields where there already is a oligopoly and threatens to introduce an oligopoly in the few fields where there is still none (so introduce countermeasures) 3. it is extremely difficult to get a good deal, so you only stand a chance if you let your best and brightest spend a lot of time on this 4. every “victory” risks being a short-term victory Offsetting deals Danny Kinsley, ‘So did it work? Considering the impact of Finch 5 years on’, 2017 [
  21. 21. 21 do not expect a for-profit market for academic publishing funded by APCs/BPCS to be better than a for-profit market funded by subscriptions/book sales “The APC OA market is evolving rapidly and growing at about 30% a year. The overall APC revenue was estimated to be approximately 182 million USD in 2012 and growing at about 34% a year … Among the established OA publishers with journals listed in Scopus, the average APC grew by about 5% a year over the last two years.” For-profit Gold OA Bo-Christer Björk – David Salomon, Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges, 2014 [ effective-market-for-open-access-article-processing-charges-mar14.pdf] Photo: The Waving Cat
  22. 22. For-profit Gold OA 22 • Ethical reasons for OA  For-profit Gold OA provides solution (possibly at great cost) • Academic reasons for OA  For-profit Gold OA provides solution (possibly at great cost) • Financial reasons for OA  unregulated for-profit Gold OA will not provide a solution (quite the opposite) Photo: Howard Ignatius
  23. 23. For-profit Gold OA 23 Conclusion (so far):  traditional publication model (despite rising costs) seems better than non-regulated for-profit Gold OA model  add Green OA, but: o either only if it remains un-threatening o or with a strong international OA mandate for no-embargo Green OA  (for-profit) Gold OA is Fool’s Gold OA if we’re not careful  (for-profit) Gold OA is a terrible idea if it is not done right (so please, please, please, no more OA mandates without no-embargo Green OA provisions, with extra for-profit APC/BPC funding stimulating Hybrid Gold OA)
  24. 24. Non-profit Gold OA let’s try to make this the new paradigm (perhaps only the legal version?) cost-effective 24
  25. 25. Non-profit OA 25  Illegal distribution of scholarly publications e.g. Sci-Hub: “the first pirate website in the world to provide mass and public access to tens of millions of research papers”, willful copyright infringement, Sci-Hub provides access to scholarly literature via full text PDF downloads, coverage in some disciplines >90%  Abandon academic publishing as we know it e.g. Herbert Van de Sompel’s researcher’s pods: contributor-centric instead of document-centric  Fair Gold OA Author immediately publishes in OA Gold OA version is the final version, no reason to distribute inferior versions either cost-effective APCs/BPCs, or third party pays for (real) cost of publishing D.S. Himmelstein et al., ‘Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature’,eLife, 2018 [] Herbert Van de Sompel, ‘Scholarly Communication: Deconstruct and Decentralize?, 2017 []
  26. 26. Fair Gold OA Strict conditions preventing commercial exploitation of the publication of research results, ensuring that researchers remain in full and total control of the dissemination of the results of their research • The title is owned by the author, editorial board or by a learned society • Authors retain copyright and a CC-BY license applies • All articles/books are published in Full OA (no costs on the side of the consumer, no subscriptions, no “double dipping”) • Publishing costs are low, transparent, and in proportion to the value added by the publisher 26
  27. 27. Fair Gold OA 27 Martin Paul Eve, Saskia C.J. de Vries and Johan Rooryck, “The Transition to Open Access: The State of the Market, Offsetting Deals, and a Demonstrated Model for Fair Open Access with the Open Library of Humanities,” in: Expanding Perspectives on Open Science: Communities, Cultures and Diversity in Concepts and Practices, eds. L. Chan – F. Loizides (IOS Press, 2017), 118–128 [doi: 10.3233/978-1-61499-769-6-118]
  28. 28. Fair Gold OA Why would all pre-Green Gold OA be Fool’s Gold? (cf. Harnad) Why wait for the commercial publishers? (who would be fools to work against their own interests) Fair Gold OA university presses or even academic libraries: “Libraries have the potential to become the crucial nexus for knowledge flows on campus, working both—as they have long done—to collect the knowledge produced around the world for study on their campus and—as they are increasingly doing—to disseminate the knowledge produced on campus around the world.” Why would it be cheaper to produce a Fair OA publication? exactly the same attention to quality control: same efforts in organising peer review, in providing professional lay-out, professional archiving, professional distribution, etc. but intention is not to make (as much as possible) profit, but to work cost-effectively but you save money on subscription management, digital rights management, legal fees for licensing, marketing 28 Peter Suber, Open Access (MIT Press, 2012) Dan Cohen and Kathleen Fitzpatrick in Getting the Word Out: Academic Libraries as Scholarly Publishers, edited by Maria Bonn and Mike Furlough (ALA, 2015)
  29. 29. Non-profit Gold OA 29 • Ethical reasons for OA  Non-profit Gold OA provides solution • Academic reasons for OA  Non-profit Gold OA provides solution • Financial reasons for OA  Non-profit Gold OA provides solution Photo: Laura Sangha
  30. 30. Coda not only words 30
  31. 31. OA at KU Leuven Officially (until 2018): - investment in Green OA: both infrastructure (Lirias) and staff (OA support desk and student workers in KU Leuven Libraries) - very moderate support for Fair Gold OA (no APC/BPC): e.g. Open Library of Humanities - no support for for-profit Gold OA 31
  32. 32. OA at KU Leuven In reality: yearly spend on for-profit Gold OA (mostly APCs) estimated between €375.000 and €500.000 N.B. on top of (no OA) collection budget spent by KU Leuven Libraries – c. €8.000.000/year N.B. on top of other costs for academic publishing (e.g. submission fees) – cost unknown 32 Carl Demeyere et al., Analyse APCs 2015 KU Leuven, 2017 Photo: Alex Proimos
  33. 33. OA at KU Leuven strengthening the support for Fair Gold OA (no APC/BPC) e.g. not only Open Library of the Humanities but also Language Science Press KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA (since March 2018) BPCs for Fair Gold OA monographs published by Leuven University Press APCs for Fair Gold OA journal articles (regardless of publisher) 33
  34. 34. BPC of c. €6.500, representing real cost of publishing scientific value guaranteed: assessment for OA support completely separated from peer review assessment of manuscript open to all (not only authors from KU Leuven): KU Leuven-affiliation: 1/3 own means* + 2/3 from fund No KU Leuven-affiliation: 1/3 from fund + 2/3 own means * fee waiver possibility 34 KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA
  35. 35. APCs based on real publishing cost (typically less than €1.000) publication in full OA (no hybrid, no geo-blocking) copyright remains with author scientific value needs to be guaranteed (DOAJ, WoS/VABB-SHW) only open to authors from KU Leuven 35 KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA
  36. 36. 36 access/kulfondsfairoa @viroviacum