Automating the Horae: Boundary-work in the age of computers

Author : Luis Reyes-Galindo

This paper describes the intense software filtering that has allowed the arXiv eprint repository to sort and process large numbers of submissions with minimal human intervention, making it one of the most important and influential cases of open access repositories to date.

The paper narrates arXiv’s transformation, using sophisticated sorting-filtering algorithms to decrease human workload, from a small mailing list used by a few hundred researchers to a site that processes thousands of papers per month.

However there are significant negative consequences for authors who have been filtered out of the main categories. There is thus a continued need to check and balance arXiv’s boundaries, based in the essential tension between stability and innovation.

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.03824

 

Large scale implementation of open access: a case study at the University of Edinburgh’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Authors : Anna Krzak, Dominic Tate

Journal papers and conference proceedings accepted for publication from April 2016 must be deposited in an institutional and/or subject repository within three months of acceptance, and following this must be made open access, in order to be eligible for submission to the next Research Evaluation Framework in the United Kingdom.

This paper describes the programme to facilitate this at the University of Edinburgh’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

URL : http://hdl.handle.net/1842/16058

Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences

Authors : David Solomon, Mikael Laakso, Bo-Christer Björk

This report identifies ways through which subscription-based scholarly journals have converted their publishing models to open access (OA).

The major goal was to identify specific scenarios that have been used or proposed for transitioning subscription journals to OA so that these scenarios can provide options for others seeking to “flip” their journals to OA.

The report is based on the published literature as well as “gray” literature such as blog posts and press releases. In addition, interviews were conducted with eight experts in scholarly publishing.

The report identifies a variety of goals for converting a journal to OA. While there are altruistic goals of making scholarship more accessible, the literature review and interviews suggest that there are also many practical reasons for transitioning to an OA model.

In some instances, an OA business model is simply more economically viable. Also, it is not unusual for a society or editorial board to transition to an OA business model as a means of gaining independence from the current publisher.

Increasing readership, the number and quality of submissions, and impact as measured in citations are important goals for most journals that are considering flipping. Goals and their importance often differ for various regions in the world and across different disciplines.

Each journal’s situation is unique and it is important for those seeking to flip a journal to carefully consider exactly what they hope to achieve, what barriers they are likely to face, and how the changes that are being implemented will further the goals intended for their journal.

We found that there are many issues that must be addressed in the process of changing a journal’s business model to OA.

The transition process is complex and in most cases requires at least a year. For example, it is necessary to address manuscripts in process and how to manage back issues. Obligations to subscribers must be negotiated, particularly when the journal’s subscription is bundled with other journals in multi-journal contracts, called “big deal” agreements.

A great deal of effort should go into marketing so that authors and readers are adequately informed of the change. Implementing the transition at the beginning of a volume also helps to avoid confusion.

Society-owned journals have specific challenges, such as losing the membership perk of free or discounted subscriptions for members. The wishes of the society’s membership and its willingness to accept sacrifices, such as increased dues or reduced services, must be considered if the society must give up income to flip.

Commercial publishers have a somewhat different set of goals from nonprofit or small societies. The goals and funding options for flipping journals to OA vary across disciplines and in different parts of the world. While there are many similarities across journals, each has its own unique challenges when converting from subscription to OA.

There are a variety of factors that facilitate conversion to OA. These forces are both top down and bottom up. Governments, funding agencies, and library cooperatives through large-scale initiatives such as mandates and special funding programs can facilitate conversion and directly and indirectly influence journals converting to OA.

Also, individuals and small groups, such as editors, the editorial board, or society members, have converted journals through their own efforts. There is no process that works for all journals and there are important variations in circumstances for each journal.

There are also barriers and risks to consider. Whether or not article processing charges (APCs) are used, ensuring adequate resources to publish the journal over the long term is critical.

Unintended consequences are also a concern. APCs, or even just the change to OA, may discourage submissions or decrease their quality. Loss of free or discounted subscriptions may decrease membership for societies.

Obtaining a good understanding of the potential risks and benefits of flipping through surveys, focus groups, and pilot programs, such as flipping only a section of a journal, are strategies for understanding and substantially reducing the risks associating with changing the business model.

The scenarios are organized into those based on APC funding and those based on obtaining resources or funding through other sources. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis was performed on a number of journal scenario examples to assess the risks and benefits of each scenario.

URL : Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences

Alternative location : https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/27803834

 

arXiv@25: Key findings of a user survey

Authors : Oya Y. Rieger, Gail Steinhart, Deborah Cooper

As part of its 25th anniversary vision-setting process, the arXiv team at Cornell University Library conducted a user survey in April 2016 to seek input from the global user community about arXiv’s current services and future directions.

We were heartened to receive 36,000 responses from 127 countries, representing arXiv’s diverse, global community. The prevailing message is that users are happy with the service as it currently stands, with 95 percent of survey respondents indicating they are very satisfied or satisfied with arXiv.

Furthermore, 72 percent of respondents indicated that arXiv should continue to focus on its main purpose, which is to quickly make available scientific papers, and this will be enough to sustain the value of arXiv in the future.

This theme was pervasively reflected in the open text comments; a significant number of respondents suggested remaining focused on the core mission and enabling arXiv’s partners and related service providers to continue to build new services and innovations on top of arXiv.

URL : arXiv@25: Key findings of a user survey

Alternative location : http://arxiv.org/abs/1607.08212

Write up! A Study of Copyright Information on Library-Published Journals

Author : Melanie Schlosser

INTRODUCTION

Libraries have a mission to educate users about copyright, and library publishing staff are often involved in that work. This article investigates a concrete point of intersection between the two areas – copyright statements on library-published journals.

METHODS

Journals published by members of the Library Publishing Coalition were examined for open access status, type and placement of copyright information, copyright ownership, and open licensing.

RESULTS

Journals in the sample were overwhelmingly (93%) open access. 80% presented copyright information of some kind, but only 30% of those included it at both the journal and the article level.

Open licensing was present in 38% of the journals, and the most common ownership scenario was the author retaining copyright while granting a nonexclusive license to the journal or publisher. 9% of the sample journals included two or more conflicting rights statements.

DISCUSSION

76% of the journals did not consistently provide accurate, easily-accessible rights information, and numerous problems were found with the use of open licensing, including conflicting licenses, incomplete licenses, and licenses not appearing at the article level.

CONCLUSION

Recommendations include presenting full copyright and licensing information at both the journal and the article level, careful use of open licenses, and publicly-available author agreements.

URL : Write up! A Study of Copyright Information on Library-Published Journals

DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2110

Article processing charges for open access publication—the situation for research intensive universities in the USA and Canada

Authors : David Solomon, Bo-Christer Björk

Background

Open access (OA) publishing via article processing charges (APCs) is growing as an alternative to subscription publishing.

The Pay It Forward (PIF) Project is exploring the feasibility of transitioning from paying subscriptions to funding APCs for faculty at research intensive universities.

Estimating of the cost of APCs for the journals authors at research intensive universities tend to publish is essential for the PIF project and similar initiatives. This paper presents our research into this question.

Methods

We identified APC prices for publications by authors at the 4 research intensive United States (US) and Canadian universities involved in the study.

We also obtained APC payment records from several Western European universities and funding agencies. Both data sets were merged with Web of Science (WoS) metadata. We calculated the average APCs for articles and proceedings in 13 discipline categories published by researchers at research intensive universities.

We also identified 41 journals published by traditionally subscription publishers which have recently converted to APC funded OA and recorded the APCs they charge.

Results

We identified 7,629 payment records from the 4 European APC payment databases and 14,356 OA articles authored by PIF partner university faculty for which we had listed APC prices.

APCs for full OA journals published by PIF authors averaged 1,775 USD; full OA journal APCs paid by Western European funders averaged 1,865 USD; hybrid APCs paid by Western European funders averaged 2,887 USD.

The APC for converted journals published by major subscription publishers averaged 1,825 USD. APC funded OA is concentrated in the life and basic sciences.

APCs funded articles in the social sciences and humanities are often multidisciplinary and published in journals such as PLOS ONE that largely publish in the life sciences.

Conclusions

Full OA journal APCs average a little under 2,000 USD while hybrid articles average about 3,000 USD for publications by researchers at research intensive universities.

There is a lack of information on discipline differences in APCs due to the concentration of APC funded publications in a few fields and the multidisciplinary nature of research.

URL : Article processing charges for open access publication—the situation for research intensive universities in the USA and Canada

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2264

What Motivates Authors of Scholarly Articles? The Importance of Journal Attributes and Potential Audience on Publication Choice

Authors : Carol Tenopir, Elizabeth Dalton, Allison Fish, Lisa Christian, Misty Jones, MacKenzie Smith

In this article we examine what motivations influence academic authors in selecting a journal in which to publish.

A survey was sent to approximately 15,000 faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers at four large North American research universities with a response rate of 14.4% (n = 2021).

Respondents were asked to rate how eight different journal attributes and five different audiences influence their choice of publication output. Within the sample, the most highly rated attributes are quality and reputation of journal and fit with the scope of the journal; open access is the least important attribute. Researchers at other research-intensive institutions are considered the most important audience, while the general public is the least important.

There are significant differences across subject disciplines and position types. Our findings have implications for understanding the adoption of open access publishing models.

URL : What Motivates Authors of Scholarly Articles? The Importance of Journal Attributes and Potential Audience on Publication Choice

Alternative location : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/4/3/22