[Duraspace] Fwd: [GOAL] Re: Elsevier journals - some facts

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Fri Apr 25 15:05:08 SAST 2014


*Hilton Gibson*
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum at gmail.com>
Date: 25 April 2014 14:27
Subject: [GOAL] Re: Elsevier journals - some facts
To: "Global Open Access List (Successor of AmSci)" <goal at eprints.org>

The only effective way to make inflated subscriptions unsustainable is for
funders and institutions to mandate Green OA self-archiving.

Tim Gowers<http://gowers.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/elsevier-journals-some-facts/>
quite right that “ the pace of change is slow, and the alternative system
that is most strongly promoted — open access articles paid for by article
processing charges [“Gold OA”] — is one that mathematicians tend to find
unpalatable. (And not only mathematicians: they are extremely unpopular in
the humanities.)… there is no sign that they will help to bring down costs
any time soon and no convincing market mechanism by which one might expect
them to.”

This is all true as long as the other form of OA (“Green OA” self-archiving
by authors of published articles in OA repsositories, mandated by funders
and institutions) has not prevailed.

The current Finch/RCUK
preferring Gold OA, has had its predictable perverse effects:

1. sustaining arbitrary, bloated Gold OA fees
2. wasting scarce research funds
3. double-paying publishers [subscriptions plus Gold]
4. handing subscription publishers a hybrid-gold-mine
5. enabling hybrid publishers to double-dip
6. abrogating authors' freedom of journal-choice [based on cost-recovery
model, embargo or licence instead of on quality]
7. imposing re-mix licenses that many authors don't want and most users and
fields don't need
8. inspiring subscription publishers to adopt and lengthen Green OA
embargoes [to maxmize hybrid-gold revenues]
9. handicapping Green OA mandates worldwide [by incentivizing embargoes]
10. allowing journal-fleet publishers to confuse and exploit institutions
and authors even more

But the solution is also there (as already adopted by University of
 and FRS-FNRS <http://roarmap.eprints.org/850/> (the Belgian Francophone
research funding council), EC Horizon2020
<http://roarmap.eprints.org/987/> proposed
and now adopted by HEFCE for REF2020 <http://roarmap.eprints.org/834/>.

a. funders and institutions mandate immediate-deposit
b. of the peer-reviewed final draft
c. in the author's institutional repository
d. immediately upon acceptance for publication
e. whether journal is subscription or Gold
f. whether access to the deposit is immedate-OA or embargoed
g. whether license is transfered, retained or CC-BY;
h. institutions implement repository's facilitated email eprint request
Button <https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/RequestCopy>;
i. institutions designate immediate-deposit the mechanism for submitting
publications for research performance assessment;
j. institutions monitor and ensure immediate-deposit mandate compliance

This policy restores author choice, moots publisher embargoes, makes Gold
and CC-BY completely optional, provides the incentive for author compliance
and the natural institutional mechanism for verifying it, consolidates
funder and institutional mandates; hastens the natural death of OA
embargoes, the onset of universal Green OA, and the resultant institutional
subscription cancellations, journal downsizing and transition to Fair-Gold
OA at an affordable, sustainable price, paid out of institutional
subscription cancellation savings instead of over-priced, double-paid,
double-dipped Fool's-Gold. And of course Fair-Gold OA will license all the
re-use rights users need and authors want to allow.

In summary, plans by universities and research funders to pay the costs of
Gold OA today are premature. Funds are short; 80% of journals (including
virtually all the top journals) are still subscription-based, tying up the
potential funds to pay for Gold OA; the asking price for Gold OA is still
high; and there is concern that paying to publish may inflate acceptance
rates and lower quality standards. What is needed now is for universities
and funders to mandate Green OA self-archiving (of authors' final
peer-reviewed drafts, immediately upon acceptance for publication). That
will provide immediate OA; and if and when universal Green OA should go on
to make subscriptions unsustainable (because users are satisfied with just
the Green OA versions) that will in turn induce journals to cut costs
(print edition, online edition, access-provision, archiving), downsize to
just providing the service of peer review, and convert to the Gold OA
cost-recovery model; meanwhile, the subscription cancellations will have
released the funds to pay these residual service costs. The natural way to
charge for the service of peer review then will be on a "no-fault basis,"
with the author's institution or funder paying for each round of
refereeing, regardless of outcome (acceptance, revision/re-refereeing, or
rejection). This will minimize cost while protecting against inflated
acceptance rates and decline in quality standards.

Harnad, S. (2007) The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged
In: Anna Gacs. *The Culture of Periodicals from the Perspective of the
Electronic Age*. L’Harmattan. 99-106.

*______* (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need
Not Be Access Denied or Delayed <http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/21348/>. *D-Lib
Magazine* 16 (7/8).

*______* (2013) Comments on HEFCE/REF Open Access Mandate
. *Open access and submissions to the REF post-2014*

*______* (2013) Finch Group reviews progress in implementing open access
transition amid ongoing
. *LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog* November 18th 2013

*______* (2013) “Nudging” researchers toward Gold Open Access will delay
the shift to wider access of
. *LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog* December 5th, 2013

On Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 4:39 AM, Richard Poynder <ricky at richardpoynder.co.uk
> wrote:

> List members may be interested in a blog post by Cambridge mathematician
> Timothy Gowers in which he publishes the results of Freedom of Information
> requests he made to UK Russell Group universities asking them for details
> of the money they spend each year for access to Elsevier journals.
> The blog post lists the figures for 19 universities.
> The post can be read here:
> http://gowers.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/elsevier-journals-some-facts/
> A summary of the post can be read here:
> http://access.okfn.org/2014/04/24/the-cost-of-academic-publishing/
> RLUK’s response to the post can be read here:
> http://www.rluk.ac.uk/news/university-spend-big-deals/
> Some graphs on the figures Gowers published have been produced here:
> http://neurodojo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/cost-of-elsevier-journals-by-university.html
> Here is a quote from Timothy Gowers:
> “Is there anything more that can be done? One answer that is often given
> is that the open access movement is now unstoppable, and that it is only a
> matter of time before the current system will have changed significantly.
> However, the pace of change is slow, and the alternative system that is
> most strongly promoted — open access articles paid for by article
> processing charges — is one that mathematicians tend to find unpalatable.
> (And not only mathematicians: they are extremely unpopular in the
> humanities.) I don’t want to rehearse the arguments for and against APCs in
> this post, except to say that there is no sign that they will help to bring
> down costs any time soon and no convincing market mechanism by which one
> might expect them to.”
> Richard Poynder
> _______________________________________________
> GOAL mailing list
> GOAL at eprints.org
> http://mailman.ecs.soton.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/goal

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