The Radical Open Access Collective (ROAC) is a community of scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other open access (OA) projects. The collective promotes a progressive vision for open access based on mutual alliances between the 45+ member presses and projects seeking to offer an alternative to commercial and legacy models of publishing.
This article presents a case study of the collective, highlighting how it harnesses the strengths and organizational structures of not-for-profit, independent and scholar-led publishing communities by 1) further facilitating collective efforts through horizontal alliances, and by 2) enabling vertical forms of collaboration with other agencies and organizations within scholarly publishing.
It provides a background to the origins of the ROAC, its members, its publishing models on display and its future plans, and highlights the importance of experimenting with and promoting new forms of communality in not-for-profit OA publishing.
Authors : Joseph D. Olivarez, Stephen Bales, Laura Sare, Wyoma vanDuinkerken
Jeffrey Beall’s blog listing of potential predatory journals and publishers, as well as his Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access (OA) Publishers are often looked at as tools to help researchers avoid publishing in predatory journals.
While these Criteria has brought a greater awareness of OA predatory journals, these tools alone should not be used as the only source in determining the quality of a scholarly journal.
Employing a three-person independent judgment making panel, this study demonstrates the subjective nature of Beall’s Criteria by applying his Criteria to both OA and non-OA Library and Information Science journals (LIS), to demonstrate that traditional peer-reviewed journals could be considered predatory. Many of these LIS journals are considered as top-tier publications in the field and used when evaluating researcher’s publication history for promotion and tenure.
Authors : Jacintha Ellers, Thomas W. Crowther, Jeffrey A. Harvey
Open access publishing (OAP) makes research output freely available, and several national governments have now made OAP mandatory for all publicly funded research. Gold OAP is a common form of OAP where the author pays an article processing charge (APC) to make the article freely available to readers.
However, gold OAP is a cause for concern because it drives a redistribution of valuable research money to support open access papers in ‘mega-journals’ with more permissive acceptance criteria. We present a data-driven evaluation of the financial ramifications of gold OAP and provide evidence that gold OAP in mega-journals is biased toward Western industrialized countries.
From 2011 to 2015, the period of our data collection, countries with developing economies had a disproportionately greater share of articles published in the lower-tier mega-journals and thus paid article APCs that cross-subsidize publications in the top-tier journals of the same publisher.
Conversely, scientists from Western developed countries had a disproportionately greater share of articles published in those same top-tier journals. The global inequity of the cross-subsidizing APC model was demonstrated across five different mega-journals, showing that the issue is a common problem.
We need to develop stringent and fair criteria that address the global financial implications of OAP, as publication fees should reflect the real cost of publishing and be transparent for authors.
Authors : Kyle Siler, Stefanie Haustein, Elise Smith, Vincent Larivière, Juan Pablo Alperin
Using a database of recent articles published in the field of Global Health research, we examine institutional sources of stratification in publishing access outcomes. Traditionally, the focus on inequality in scientific publishing has focused on prestige hierarchies in established print journals.
This project examines stratification in contemporary publishing with a particular focus on subscription vs. various Open Access (OA) publishing options.
Findings show that authors working at lower-ranked universities are more likely to publish in closed/paywalled outlets, and less likely to choose outlets that involve some sort of Article Processing Charge (APCs; gold or hybrid OA).
We also analyze institutional differences and stratification in the APC costs paid in various journals. Authors affiliated with higher-ranked institutions, as well as hospitals and non-profit organizations pay relatively higher APCs for gold and hybrid OA publications.
Results suggest that authors affiliated with high-ranked universities and well-funded institutions tend to have more resources to choose pay options with publishing. Our research suggests new professional hierarchies developing in contemporary publishing, where various OA publishing options are becoming increasingly prominent.
Just as there is stratification in institutional representation between different types of publishing access, there is also inequality within access types.
Mega-journals are a new kind of scholarly journal made possible by electronic publishing. They are open access (OA) and funded by charges, which authors pay for the publishing services. What distinguishes mega-journals from other OA journals is, in particular, a peer review focusing only on scientific trustworthiness.
The journals can easily publish thousands of articles per year and there is no need to filter articles due to restricted slots in the publishing schedule. This study updates some earlier longitudinal studies of the evolution of mega-journals and their publication volumes.
After very rapid growth in 2010–2013, the increase in overall article volumes has slowed down. Mega-journals are also increasingly dependent for sustained growth on Chinese authors, who now contribute 25% of all articles in such journals.
There has also been an internal shift in market shares. PLOS ONE, which totally dominated mega-journal publishing in the early years, currently publishes around one-third of all articles. Scientific Reports has grown rapidly since 2014 and is now the biggest journal.
In the last couple of years, the role of Open Access (OA) publishing has become central in science management and research policy. In the UK and the Netherlands, national OA mandates require the scientific community to seriously consider publishing research outputs in OA forms.
At the same time, other elements of Open Science are becoming also part of the debate, thus including not only publishing research outputs but also other related aspects of the chain of scientific knowledge production such as open peer review and open data.
From a research management point of view, it is important to keep track of the progress made in the OA publishing debate. Until now, this has been quite problematic, given the fact that OA as a topic is hard to grasp by bibliometric methods, as most databases supporting bibliometric data lack exhaustive and accurate open access labelling of scientific publications.
In this study, we present a methodology that systematically creates OA labels for large sets of publications processed in the Web of Science database. The methodology is based on the combination of diverse data sources that provide evidence of publications being OA.
Utilizing the Project COUNTER Release 4 JR1-GOA report, two librarians explore these data in comparison to journal package subscriptions represented via the JR1 reports. This paper outlines the methodology and study undertaken at the Portland State University Library and the University of Nebraska Medical Center Library using these reports for the first time.
The initial outcomes of the study are provided in various Tables for 2014 and 2015. The intent of the study was to provide both institutions with a baseline from which to do further study. In addition, some ideas are given for how these reports can be used in vendor negotiations going forward.