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Gates Foundation joins shift towards open access platforms

By Jack Grove on March 23, 2017.

One of the world’s biggest funders of scientific research is to establish an open access platform that will allow its grant winners to publish their findings, in a move that could be swiftly followed by the European Commission.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which invests about $1.2 billion (£960 million) a year in global health initiatives, said on 23 March that the Gates Open Research initiative would allow researchers funded by the US charity to publish their work on a free-to-access site, beginning this autumn. Read more…


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 …


Openness by Default

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation now requires all its grant recipients to make their published, peer-reviewed work immediately available to the public, the latest development in a larger push to make research more accessible.

The foundation rolled out the new policy in 2015, but allowed for a two-year transition period during which grant recipients could embargo their work for 12 months. That option went away on Jan. 1 — from now on, anyone who receives some funding from the foundation must make their research and underlying data available, for example by publishing it in an open-access journal or depositing it in a public repository. Read more…

Are there alternatives to traditional academic publishing models ? #OA

As shown by the myriad of events highlighted during International Open Access Week, the amount of talk and initiatives regarding open science and the transition toward an open access model for scholarly communications is growing at a remarkable pace. Advocates around the world are doing an amazing job at spreading the OA gospel!

Endeavours for the advancement of open access, however, are often met with concerns from paid scientific journals regarding the economic consequences of such a model. This past month, a couple of studies addressing these issues were released. Read more…

Commissioner Moedas and Secretary of State Dekker call on scientific publishers to adapt their business models to new realities

Sharing the same vision, Commissioner Moedas and Secretary of State Dekker recognized that scientific publishers need to make their business model of open access publishing fairer and fully transparent. Only a fair business model supports European research.

The Commissioner and the Secretary of State supported therefore stakeholder organisations such the League of European Research Universities (LERU) in their plea for fully transparent business models. They jointly called on the publishing industry to follow the example of new publishers that have adopted innovative business models for open access, and of those established publishers who have shown commitment to open access and developed new business models.   Read more…

The presence of High-impact factor Open Access Journals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) disciplines

The present study means to establish to what extent high-quality open access journals are available as an outlet for publication, by examining their distribution in different scientific disciplines, including the distribution of those journals without article processing charges. The study is based on a systematic comparison between the journals included in the DOAJ, and the journals indexed in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) Science edition 2013, released by Thomson Reuters.

The impact factor of Open Access (OA) journals was lower than those of other journals by a small but statistically significant amount. Open access journals are present in the upper quartile (by impact factor) of 85 out of 176 (48.8%) categories examined. There were no OA journals with an Impact Factor in only 16 categories (9%). Read more…

How many Open Access policies are there worldwide?

Do you need to know who has Open Access policies across the World?  Then you can make use of the following two links to find out more.

PASTEUR30A – Live data


This is a more comprehensive site.

The Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP) is a searchable international registry charting the growth of open access mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions and research funders that require or request their researchers to provide open access to their peer-reviewed research article output by depositing it in an open access repository.

Open Access: Which Direction? (II)

This spring, the Research Councils UK, on behalf of the Global Research Council (GRC) and working together with the British Library, hosted a London workshop that brought together publishers, funders, libraries and other stakeholders from across the world to discuss perspectives on Open Access (OA) communication in a global research environment.

A report, specially commissioned by RCUK, on attitudes to the future of commercial publishing in the light of open access, helped participants examine the current status of policy and practice and identify the next steps necessary to unlock the future. For the report, analyst Mark Ware interviewed 20 publishers of different types and scale: for-profit and not-for-profit; open access and subscription-based; commercial, society, university presses; and with representation from all scholarly fields. He detailed his findings in a recent webinar interview with CCC’s Chris Kenneally. 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…

The need for ‘Diamond Engagement’ around open access to high quality research output

Recommendations from Science Europe’s Scientific Committee for the Social Science.

This paper advocates for a co-ordinated cultural shift in their engagement with access to resources in order to make peer-reviewed articles available to a wider audience.

This Paper addresses two audiences: scientists, especially those who have been traditionally more resistant to the OA approach, and policy makers. The Scientific Committee is well aware of the difficulties that some research communities face in engaging with the OA approach and would like to offer a way forward to address the current status quo. Social scientists in particular have been struggling with the discussion on OA, given the length of time that the current quality standards and good practice for publication took to set up.

The community of researchers perceives that these standards are now guarded by the peer-reviewed ranked journals which do not offer OA for either articles or books, a situation that is certain to persist for some time. Read more…            Get the PDF

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