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Social sciences directory liber conference (26.06.2013)

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A presentation given by Dan Scott, the founder of 'gold' Open Access publisher Social Sciences Directory Limited, as part of the workshop "Innovative Open Access Publishing Initiatives - and how Libraries/Library Consortia could support such initiatives" at the LIBER conference in Munich, 26th June 2013

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Social sciences directory liber conference (26.06.2013)

  1. 1. Social Sciences Directory Limited Dan Scott Quality, affordable open access journals 26th June 2013
  2. 2. Contents • Issues in publishing • Issues for academics • Social Sciences Directory concept • Successes to date • Institutional memberships • Consortium proposals • Next steps • Summary
  3. 3. Scholarly publishing issues • A flawed industry model in need of change – Restricted access to publicly-funded research • Paywalls • Copyright • DRM – Spiralling costs for library resources and monopolistic practices – Publication times of months and years • Reliant on ever-increasing amounts of public funding – Situation brought to a head by the GFC in 2008 – Widespread budget shrinkage • Hastened new thinking & mandates from governments and funders
  4. 4. Issues for academics • Funding such as REF conflates research quality with journals used to publish findings • Propagates need/desire to publish in high impact journals BUT • No of scientists and research output globally is growing exponentially so likelihood of publication will decline • There are not like-for-like OA journals with high impact factors in all subjects, so need to consider alternatives • Hybrid model adding to already unsustainable costs • Insistence on importance of journal titles is at odds with user behaviour • Future funding mandates likely to move away from impact metrics “No serious scientist that I know of decides to read an article just because it's published in a prestigious journal, or, perhaps even more to the point, decides not to read it just because it's published in a lesser journal. He or she tries to find must-read articles via searches, consulting colleagues, following references, often without realising or taking note of the journal in which they are published” Jan Velterop “We run a publication fund for our scholars to cover their article fees in Gold Open Access journals… It turns out that more and more scholars use PLoS ONE as a means to get out of that ‘journal roulette’. We asked them why they put their articles from important research projects into PLoS ONE. Roughly half of them stated that they had tried at one other journal and then got under time pressure to publish, almost all remaining ones stated that they couldn't waste time in the submission process of higher ranking journals. And at least one stated that he knew the article was good and therefore simply wanted it as fast and reliable as possible in front of his peers to read it, sacrificing potential reputation gain for speed” Margo Bargheer, Gottingen University
  5. 5. Social Sciences Directory concept • Keep what’s good – Editorial independence – Quality control – double blind peer review – Article structures – abstract, methodology, content, conclusion, references – Indexing and archiving • Improvements – Online-only content with unlimited pagination • Faster to publish • Less wasted material – Multi-disciplinary and international content to cross-fertilise ideas – Peer-reviewed articles augmented by valuable additional material – Affordability – Cost recovery made at the point of submission rather than re-couped
  6. 6. Successes to date • Built publishing platforms • Recruited two editorial boards • Contributions to the OA debate – articles, blogposts, conference speaking, social media > a thought leader • Published three issues (9 papers) in Soc Sci Directory • Special issues and conference proceedings pending • First article fee, institutional membership and consortium agreement • Built good awareness amongst librarians in UK • Set up Humanities Directory ahead of schedule
  7. 7. Enlightened self-interest • Break the monopoly of subscription publishers – Benefits a variety of stakeholders • Unrealistic to expect academia or the publishing industry to reform themselves • Govt and funder mandates can play a part • Consortia and universities need to take a lead in bringing about change
  8. 8. Institutional membership • University of Nottingham • Social sciences faculty liaison team approved support for an institutional membership • Allows unlimited number of submissions to be made for a 12 month period • Promotional material created to support agreement and drive submissions Tony Simmonds, Faculty Team Leader – Social Sciences at the University of Nottingham, commented: “Nottingham has long been a proponent of open access publishing, with an established research fund to pay open access charges. We believe this is a promising and bold venture, and one that deserves backing”
  9. 9. Consortium agreement Scottish Higher Education Digital Library (SHEDL) – Scottish university meetings (Nov 2012) – Presentation to SHEDL working group (Feb 2013) – Meeting at UKSG in Bournemouth (April 2013) – Approval by SCURL library directors (May 2013)
  10. 10. Consortium agreement Proposal 1 – all-for-all institutional membership offer to SHEDL members All SHEDL consortium members will be included in the agreement, allowing unlimited submissions to be made by any of them. In return for this commitment, Social Sciences Directory Limited will offer an incentivised discount, whilst also recognising that not all Scottish universities may require access to both Social Sciences Directory and Humanities Directory if their faculties do not conduct research in these fields. Fees per institution: Single Directory access - £1,800 Both Directories access - £3,300 For example, 18 universities taking both Directories @ £3,300 pa = £59,400
  11. 11. Consortium agreement Proposal 2 – opt-in institutional membership offer to SHEDL members SHEDL will negotiate on behalf of its members, but it will be up to each to decide whether they wish to be included in the agreement. A minimum of three universities are required to make the agreement effective. Fees per institution: Single Directory access - £1,900 Both Directories access - £3,400 For example, 5 universities taking one Directory each @ £1,900 pa = £9,500
  12. 12. Consortium agreement Proposal 3 – article purchase offer to SHEDL members SHEDL will negotiate an agreed number of paid-for articles, which can be used by universities on a first-come, first-served basis For example, 18 universities with an average of 20 submissions pa @ £100 = £36,000
  13. 13. Consortium agreement Final agreement • SHEDL purchased an agreed number of pre-paid APCs • Internally allocated to Scottish HEIs, based on research output • Aim to allow ‘testing’ and then full institutional memberships Dr Richard Parsons, Director of SHEDL, commented: “The change in the UK funding mandate that came in to effect in April 2013 gives us the need and opportunity to explore new publishing opportunities for Scottish research output. SHEDL has chosen to support Social Sciences Directory because we believe that it offers an opportunity to move to a new publishing solution which maintains quality standards whilst offering a more cost-effective model”
  14. 14. Library and consortia roles • University of Nottingham IM and SHEDL consortia agreement are highly significant – Demonstrates that the library and consortia side can play a critical role in decision-making about publishing choice • Global email campaign to HE consortia with proposals • Strong expressions of interest • Other agreements – JISC, Huddersfield pro-rata IM • Flexible – Price bands – Pricing that reflects GDP (special offers for EiFL and INASP)
  15. 15. Next steps • Broaden the Editorial Boards • Find inward investment • Increase marketing • Increase submissions • Achieve sustainability
  16. 16. Summary • Reform is required and has been mandated • Providing a progressive, affordable and flexible solutions • Benefit researchers and students worldwide Thank you dan.scott@socialsciencesdirectory.com

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