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The OA interviews: Philip Cohen, founder of SocArXiv

Re-posted From Open and Shut – – March 13, 2017

Fifteen years after the launch of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) the OA revolution has yet to achieve its objectives. It does not help that legacy publishers are busy appropriating open access, and diluting it in ways that benefit them more than the research community. As things stand we could end up with a half revolution.

But could a new development help recover the situation? More specifically, can the newly reinvigorated preprint movement gain sufficient traction, impetus, and focus to push the revolution the OA movement began in a more desirable direction?  Read more …



Max Planck and Taylor & Francis Group sign open access agreement

The Max Planck Digital Library and Taylor & Francis Group have signed an agreement which enables researchers based in Max Planck institutes to publish open access in 2,390 journals, under a centrally funded arrangement. This applies to peer-reviewed papers in full and hybrid Taylor & Francis Group journals, including Routledge and Cogent OA titles.

The agreement offers an increase in open access publishing options for Max Planck researchers, with Taylor & Francis’ portfolio of titles stretching across the sciences, medicine, social sciences and humanities. All corresponding authors based at a Max Planck Institute will now be eligible to have their manuscript published gold open access under a CC BY license.  Read more…

Mystery as controversial list of predatory publishers disappears

A popular blog that lists “potential, possible, or probable predatory” publishers and journals has disappeared, but it is not clear why.

The blog—started in 2010 by librarian Jeffrey Beall of the University of Colorado in Denver (CU Denver)—now states: “This service is no longer is available.”

Beall declined to comment. But a CU Denver spokesperson told ScienceInsider that Beall made a “personal decision” to take down his list of low-quality journals that charge authors a fee to publish, often with little or no review or editing. The spokesperson says the blog was not hacked, nor was it taken down as a result of legal threats, and Beall will remain on the school’s faculty. The spokesperson could not confirm whether the blog’s removal is permanent. Read more…



Ralf Schimmer’sblog“Making the moves for large scale transition toward Open Access” makesthe case to achieve such a transition by means of offsetting deals. The urgency for such atransition is emphasized by the recently announced ambition of the EU to have “Open Access toscientific publications as the best option by default by 2020”i. This should be done “in a cost-effective way, without embargoes, or with as short as possible embargoes”. In this blog, we explore and analyse the scenario whereby this transition will be brought aboutby successful offsetting deals, meaning that ultimately all articles in the hybrid journals willbecome Open Access by changing the business models of these journals into APC-based OpenAccess journals. Success means also that the offsetting de
als will be transformed in pay-as-you-publish pre-finance-agreements. What effect would such a success have on the scholarly journalsystem. How would it look like in terms of numbers and type of journals? Which preconditionsand drivers would be needed to
achieve such a success? And finally, we speculate about possiblenext steps and their cost-
effectiveness. Read more…

Open access fees hike universities’ journal bills

Today in THE – Times Higer Education – they published a graph indicating the cost of journal subscriptions. The graphic also shows the cost of open access article processing charges (APCs) that the universities paid to “hybrid” journals, which offer both open access and subscription-only content, plus administrative costs. The figures shed light on the scale of “double dipping”, where universities must pay both subscription fees and APCs to a publisher. Read more…

How to negotiate with publishers: an example of immediate self-archiving despite publisher’s embargo policy

Here is a personal case study from Dr Pandelis Perakakis on how he managed to negotiate  and change a 12 month embargo on his published paper into a 6 month embargo with his post-reviewed author’s copy, with the publishers Springer.

“In this post I share a recent experience as an example of how to negotiate with a publisher your right to make your research freely available without having to pay any money. Hope it proves useful to more researchers in a similar position. I also offer my personal opinion on how researchers can change the current inefficient and unethical system of scholarly communication by gradually developing an alternative model that will foster collaboration instead of competition.”  Read more…


Updated on 01 Oct 2015.

In a personal communication from Dr Perakakis his negotiation ended in a no-embargo agreement and not a 6 month embargo agreement.


Pay-to-Play Publishing

OPINION PIECE: The Internet has enabled the dissemination of information at lightning speed. This information revolution has created tremendous business opportunities for online publishers, but not all of them maintain proper quality-control mechanisms to ensure that only good information is being shared. Instead, many publishers aim simply to make money by whatever means possible, with no regard for the ramifications for society at large.

When greedy publishers set up shop online, the primary goal is to publish as much as possible, often at the cost of quality. In this vein, many publishers start numerous online journals focused on overlapping disciplines—to increase their total number of published papers—and hire young business managers who do not have any experience in either science or publishing. In some cases, online publishers even forgo peer review, while still presenting themselves as scientific journals—a scam designed to take advantage of scientists who simply want to share their research. In the most egregious cases, counterfeit publications use the same name as legit journals that are not published online (for example, Archives des Sciences and Wulfenia). Read more…

Aligning publishing technology with the funder view of impact

There are few topics in digital publishing that cause so much debate as that of research impact. A lot of this debate – within the publishing world, at least – has tended to focus on ways of improving (or improving on) existing mechanisms. How can we make Impact Factor work better? Should we put less emphasis on the journal and more on the article – or on the author?

Funders, meanwhile, seem to be in a different galaxy.

In UK higher education, changes to the REF (the mechanism by which many research grants are allocated) manifest a desire on the part of funders to know about the practical impact of research work beyond the scholarly bubble – and beyond even the media reaction to published research: they want to know what impact it has had, what difference it has made, in the ‘real’ world.

This difference of perspective was highlighted during a ‘Research Impact Spotlight’ event hosted by Digital Science recently, as reported by Research Information. Reading about this gave a lot of food for thought – not just about the real meaning of impact, but also about how we structure our technology architecture. Read more…

Cross-border Transfer of Content Delivery : Licensed to fill

Quality research requires access to a broad range of research materials. We know that world class research requires an information infrastructure that supports easy access to international research results. And we also know that lack of access means missed opportunities and delayed discoveries.

International document delivery is a vital supplementary service in meeting the particular information needs of individual researchers, students and scholars. See why it is important that a copyright exception to support international inter-library document delivery is needed. Read…

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