Attitudes, willingness, and resources to cover article publishing charges: The influence of age, position, income level country, discipline and open access habits

Authors : Francisco Segado-Boj, Juan-Jose Prieto-Gutiérrez, Juan Martín-Quevedo

The rise of open access (OA) publishing has been followed by the expansion of the Article Publishing Charges (APC) that moves the financial burden of scholarly journal publishing from libraries and readers to authors.

We introduce the results of an international randomly selected sampled survey (N = 3,422) that explores attitudes towards this pay-to-publish or Gold OA model among scholars. We test the predictor role of age, professional position, discipline, and income-level country in this regard.

We found that APCs are perceived more as a global threat to Science than a deterrent to personal professional careers. Academics in low and lower-middle income level countries hold the most unfavourable opinions about the APC system.

The less experimental disciplines held more negative perceptions of APC compared to STEM and the Life Sciences. Age and access to external funding stood as negative predictors of refusal to pay to publish. Commitment to OA self-archiving predicted the negative global perception of the APC.

We conclude that access to external research funds influences the acceptance and the particular perception of the pay to publish model, remarking the economic dimension of the problem and warning about issues in the inequality between centre and periphery.

URL : Attitudes, willingness, and resources to cover article publishing charges: The influence of age, position, income level country, discipline and open access habits


The need for accelerated change in diversity, equity and inclusion in publishing and learned societies

Author : Jonathan Roscoe

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is a key priority for many organizations and institutions, including learned societies. With diversity at universities, both in the UK and around the world, being reported as low, it was decided to make DE&I one of the main areas of enquiry for the seventh Wiley Society Member Survey, conducted in May 2021.

We found that satisfaction with levels of representation for gender, race and ethnicity was falling and that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic had disproportionately affected those already most disadvantaged within the academic hierarchy.

In order to fully understand the current status of DE&I in academia, and within societies in particular, this paper also draws on other research undertaken or supported by Wiley, including a survey of journal editors and the Brave New World study, as well as further research in which Wiley was not involved.

What it shows is that academic research, learned societies and publishing all have their own DE&I issues that need to be addressed, but that through improved DE&I can come better research.

URL : The need for accelerated change in diversity, equity and inclusion in publishing and learned societies


Toward openness and transparency to better facilitate knowledge creation

Author : Simon Mahony

Changes in modes of publication over recent decades and moves to publish material freely and openly have resulted in increased amounts of research and scholarly outputs being available online. These include teaching and other material but consist mostly of research publications.

There have been significant UK and European initiatives as part of the Open Agenda that facilitate and indeed mandate the move to open whether that is for educational materials, research output and data, or the mechanisms for ensuring the quality of these materials.

A significant issue is that although making research outputs freely available is praiseworthy, without the data on which that research is based, reproducibility and so verification, which are fundamental principles of scholarly methodology, are not possible.

When discrete datasets are linked openly and freely, are able to interact by using common standards, they become more powerful with extended possibilities for research questions that cross disciplinary divides and knowledge domains.

There are always objections and resistance to new innovations, and open publication is no exception; published research, nevertheless, indicates that publishing material openly is becoming considered to be “good research practice” and that the positives of “new collaborations and higher citation” outweigh any perceived negative effects.

URL : Toward openness and transparency to better facilitate knowledge creation


The Rise of Platinum Open Access Journals with Both Impact Factors and Zero Article Processing Charges

Author : Joshua M. Pearce

It appears that open access (OA) academic publishing is better for science because it provides frictionless access to make significant advancements in knowledge. OA also benefits individual researchers by providing the widest possible audience and concomitant increased citation rates.

OA publishing rates are growing fast as increasing numbers of funders demand it and is currently dominated by gold OA (authors pay article processing charges (APCs)). Academics with limited financial resources perceive they must choose between publishing behind pay walls or using research funds for OA publishing.

Worse, many new OA journals with low APCs did not have impact factors, which reduces OA selection for tenure track professors. Such unpleasant choices may be dissolving. This article provides analysis with a free and open source python script to collate all journals with impact factors with the now more than 12,000 OA journals that are truly platinum OA (neither the author nor the readers pay for the peer-reviewed work).

The results found platinum OA is growing faster than both academic publishing and OA publishing. There are now over 350 platinum OA journals with impact factors over a wide variety of academic disciplines, giving most academics options for OA with no APCs.

URL : The Rise of Platinum Open Access Journals with Both Impact Factors and Zero Article Processing Charges


Biosecurity in an age of open science

Authors : James Andrew Smith, Jonas B. Sandbrink

The risk of accidental or deliberate misuse of biological research is increasing as biotechnology advances. As open science becomes widespread, we must consider its impact on those risks and develop solutions that ensure security while facilitating scientific progress.

Here, we examine the interaction between open science practices and biosecurity and biosafety to identify risks and opportunities for risk mitigation. Increasing the availability of computational tools, datasets, and protocols could increase risks from research with misuse potential.

For instance, in the context of viral engineering, open code, data, and materials may increase the risk of release of enhanced pathogens. For this dangerous subset of research, both open science and biosecurity goals may be achieved by using access-controlled repositories or application programming interfaces. While preprints accelerate dissemination of findings, their increased use could challenge strategies for risk mitigation at the publication stage.

This highlights the importance of oversight earlier in the research lifecycle. Preregistration of research, a practice promoted by the open science community, provides an opportunity for achieving biosecurity risk assessment at the conception of research.

Open science and biosecurity experts have an important role to play in enabling responsible research with maximal societal benefit.

URL : Biosecurity in an age of open science


Surveillance Publishing

Author : Jeff Pooley

This essay develops the idea of surveillance publishing, with special attention to the example of Elsevier. A scholarly publisher can be defined as a surveillance publisher if it derives a substantial proportion of its revenue from prediction products, fueled by data extracted from researcher behavior.

The essay begins by tracing the Google search engine’s roots in bibliometrics, alongside a history of the citation analysis company that became, in 2016, Clarivate. The essay develops the idea of surveillance publishing by engaging with the work of Shoshana Zuboff, Jathan Sadowski, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, and Aziz Huq.

The recent history of Elsevier is traced to describe the company’s research-lifecycle data-harvesting strategy, with the aim to develop and sell prediction products to unviersity and other customers.

The essay concludes by considering some of the potential costs of surveillance publishing, as other big commercial publishers increasingly enter the predictive-analytics business. It is likely, I argue, that windfall subscription-and-APC profits in Elsevier’s “legacy” publishing business have financed its decade-long acquisition binge in analytics.

The products’ purpose, moreover, is to streamline the top-down assessment and evaluation practices that have taken hold in recent decades. A final concern is that scholars will internalize an analytics mindset, one already encouraged by citation counts and impact factors.

URL : Surveillance Publishing


Ask the Editors: Assessing the Publishing Needs of Faculty Editors

Authors : Matthew E. Hunter, Liz Dunne, Camille Thomas, Laura Miller, Devin Soper


This article reports results from a survey of faculty members with editorial responsibilities. The survey explored what publishing services and platform functionalities respondents found most valuable in their work as editors, how satisfied they were with the services provided by commercial publishers, and to what extent they were aware of alternative publishing practices.


The authors used data collected from a survey instrument that was distributed to a sample (n = 515) of faculty members with editorial responsibilities at their institution.


Collected data suggest that faculty editors value specific publishing services (e.g., coordination of peer review and copyediting) and platform functionality (e.g., submission and peer-review management) more than others, recognize several challenges facing academic publishing in their disciplines (including the transition to open access publishing models), and are mostly aware of common forms of open access research dissemination such as open access journals and institutional repositories.


The survey results may be helpful to library publishers in making decisions about what publishing services and platform functionalities to prioritize in the development of their publishing programs. In addition to utilizing the survey data to assess the needs of editors, the authors also identified a number of expanded uses of the survey related to marketing and outreach.


Insofar as faculty editors are key stakeholders that library publishers seek to build partnerships with, it is important to understand their needs and preferences as editors. This article provides some insight into these questions that may prove helpful to library publishers.

URL : Ask the Editors: Assessing the Publishing Needs of Faculty Editors