Article processing charges: Mirroring the citation impact or legacy of the subscription-based model?

Author : Nina Schönfelder

With the ongoing open-access transformation, article processing charges (APCs) are gaining importance as one of the main business models for open-access publishing in scientific journals.

This paper analyzes how much of APC pricing can be attributed to journal-related factors. With UK data from OpenAPC (which aggregates fees paid for open-access articles by universities, funders, and research institutions), APCs are explained by the following variables: (1) the “source normalized impact per paper” (SNIP), (2) whether the journal is open access or hybrid, (3) the publisher of the journal, (4) the subject area of the journal, and (5) the year.

The results of the multivariate linear regression show that the journal’s impact and the hybrid status are the most important factors for the level of APCs. However, the relationship between APC and SNIP is different for open-access journals and hybrid journals.

APCs paid to open-access journals were found to be strongly increasing in conjunction with higher journal citation impact, whereas this relationship was observed to be much looser for articles in hybrid journals.

This paper goes beyond simple statistics, which have been discussed so far in the literature, by using control variables and applying statistical inference.

URL : Article processing charges: Mirroring the citation impact or legacy of the subscription-based model?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00015

The Pricing of Open Access Journals: Diverse Niches and Sources of Value in Academic Publishing

Authors : Kyle Siler, Koen Frenken

Open Access (OA) publishing has created new academic and economic niches in contemporary science. OA journals offer numerous publication outlets with varying editorial philosophies and business models.

This article analyzes the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (N=12,127) to identify characteristics of OA academic journals related to the adoption of Article Processing Charge (APC)-based business models, as well as price points of journals that charge APCs. Journal Impact Factor (JIF), language, publisher mission, DOAJ Seal, economic and geographic regions of publishers, peer review duration and journal discipline are all significantly related to the adoption and pricing of journal APCs.

Even after accounting for other journal characteristics (prestige, discipline, publisher country), journals published by for-profit publishers charge the highest APCs. Journals with status endowments (JIF, DOAJ Seal), articles written in English, published in wealthier regions, and in medical or science-based disciplines are also relatively costlier.

The OA publishing market reveals insights into forces that create economic and academic value in contemporary science. Political and institutional inequalities manifest in the varying niches occupied by different OA journals and publishers.

URL : The Pricing of Open Access Journals: Diverse Niches and Sources of Value in Academic Publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00016

Completeness of reporting in abstracts of randomized controlled trials in subscription and open access journals: cross-sectional study

Authors : Iva Jerčić Martinić-Cezar, Ana Marušić

Background

Open access (OA) journals are becoming a publication standard for health research, but it is not clear how they differ from traditional subscription journals in the quality of research reporting.

We assessed the completeness of results reporting in abstracts of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in these journals.

Methods

We used the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials Checklist for Abstracts (CONSORT-A) to assess the completeness of reporting in abstracts of parallel-design RCTs published in subscription journals (n = 149; New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Lancet) and OA journals (n = 119; BioMedCentral series, PLoS journals) in 2016 and 2017.

Results

Abstracts in subscription journals completely reported 79% (95% confidence interval [CI], 77–81%) of 16 CONSORT-A items, compared with 65% (95% CI, 63–67%) of these items in abstracts from OA journals (P < 0.001, chi-square test). The median number of completely reported CONSORT-A items was 13 (95% CI, 12–13) in subscription journal articles and 11 (95% CI, 10–11) in OA journal articles.

Subscription journal articles had significantly more complete reporting than OA journal articles for nine CONSORT-A items and did not differ in reporting for items trial design, outcome, randomization, blinding (masking), recruitment, and conclusions. OA journals were better than subscription journals in reporting randomized study design in the title.

Conclusion

Abstracts of randomized controlled trials published in subscription medical journals have greater completeness of reporting than abstracts published in OA journals.

OA journals should take appropriate measures to ensure that published articles contain adequate detail to facilitate understanding and quality appraisal of research reports about RCTs.

URL : Completeness of reporting in abstracts of randomized controlled trials in subscription and open access journals: cross-sectional study

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3781-x

Open Access in developing countries – attitudes and experiences of researchers

Authors : Andy Nobes, Sian Harris

Open Access is often considered as particularly beneficial to researchers in the Global South. However, research into awareness of and attitudes to Open Access has been largely dominated by voices from the Global North.

A survey was conducted of 507 researchers from the developing world and connected to INASP’s AuthorAID project to ascertain experiences and attitudes to Open Access publishing.

The survey revealed problems for the researchers in gaining access to research literature in the first place. There was a very positive attitude to Open Access research and Open Access journals, but when selecting a journal in which to publish, Open Access was seen as a much less important criterion than factors relating to international reputation.

Overall, a majority of respondents had published in an Open Access journal and most of these had paid an article processing charge. Knowledge and use of self-archiving via repositories varied, and only around 20% had deposited their research in an institutional repository.

The study also examined attitudes to copyright, revealing most respondents had heard of Creative Commons licences and were positive about the sharing of research for educational use and dissemination, but there was unease about research being used for commercial purposes.

Respondents revealed a surprisingly positive stance towards openly sharing research data, although many revealed that they would need further guidance on how to do so. The survey also revealed that the majority had received emails from so called ‘predatory’ publishers and that a small minority had published in them.

URL : Open Access in developing countries – attitudes and experiences of researchers

Alternative location : https://zenodo.org/record/3464868

Impact Assessment of Non-Indexed Open Access Journals: A Case Study

Authors : Daniela Solomon, Mark Eddy

This case study assesses the impact of a small, open-access social sciences journal not included in citation tracking indexes by exploring measures of the journal’s influence beyond the established “impact factor” formula. An analysis of Google Scholar data revealed the journal’s global reach and value to researchers.

This study enabled the journal’s editors to measure the success of their publication according to its professed scope and mission, and to quantify its impact for prospective contributors.

The impact assessment strategies outlined here can be leveraged effectively by academic librarians to provide high-value consultancy for scholar-editors of open access research journals.

URL : https://preprint.press.jhu.edu/portal/sites/ajm/files/19.2solomon.pdf

The impact of the open-access status on journal indices: a review of medical journals

Authors : Saif Aldeen AlRyalat, Mohammad Saleh, Mohammad Alaqraa, Alaa Alfukaha, Yara Alkayed, Maryann Abaza, Hadeel Abu Saa, Mohamed Alshamiry

Background

Over the past few decades, there has been an increase in the number of open access (OA) journals in almost all disciplines. This increase in OA journals was accompanied an increase in funding to support such movements.

Medical fields are among the highest funded fields, which further promoted its journals to move toward OA publishing. Here, we aim to compare OA and non-OA journals in terms of citation metrics and other indices.

Methods

We collected data on the included journals from Scopus Source List on 1st November 2018.  We filtered the list for medical journals only. For each journal, we extracted data regarding citation metrics, scholarly output, and wither the journal is OA or non-OA.

Results

On the 2017 Scopus list of journals, there was 5835 medical journals. Upon analyzing the difference between medical OA and non-OA journals, we found that OA journals had a significantly higher CiteScore (p< 0.001), percent cited (p< 0.001), and source normalized impact per paper (SNIP) (p< 0.001), whereas non-OA journals had higher scholarly output (p< 0.001).

Among the five largest journal publishers, Springer Nature published the highest frequency of OA articles (31.5%), while Wiley-Blackwell had the lowest frequency among its medical journals (4.4%).

Conclusion

Among medical journals, although non-OA journals still have higher output in terms of articles per year, OA journals have higher citation metrics.

URL : The impact of the open-access status on journal indices: a review of medical journals

Legal and policy implications of licenses between LIS open access journal publishers and authors : A qualitative case study

Authors : Tomas A. Lipinski, Katie Chamberlain Kritikos

“Open access” (“OA”) refers to research placed online free from all price barriers and from most permission barriers (Suber, 2015). OA may apply to research outputs published traditionally, such as books (Schwartz, 2012) and articles in academic journals (Suber, 2015), and non-traditionally, such as student dissertations and theses (Schöpfel & Prost).

The lack of legal barriers is grounded in and given effect through the law of copyright and contract, and the submission of content by authors is often executed through a publication agreement.

This paper studies the contract aspects of OA and the open publishing movement in library and information science (“LIS”) scholarly communication. To explore this phenomenon, it undertakes a case study of the publication agreements of five OA LIS journals.

The sample consists of a brand-new open journal with an agreements drafted by copyright librarians (journal 1) and top-ranked LIS journals that converted to OA (journals 2 through 5) (Scimago, 2017).

With a descriptive data analysis based on that in Lipinski and Copeland (2015; 2013) and Lipinski (2013; 2012), the case study investigates the similarities and differences in the agreements used by the sampled OA LIS journals.

The study builds on the best practices from the Harvard Open Access Project (Shieber & Suber, 2016; 2013). It recommends best practices for the drafting and content of OA LIS publication agreements.

URL : Legal and policy implications of licenses between LIS open access journal publishers and authors : A qualitative case study

Alternative location : http://www.qqml-journal.net/index.php/qqml/article/view/440