Choices of immediate open access and the relationship to journal ranking and publish-and-read deals

Author : Lars Wenaas

The role of academic journals is significant in the reward system of science, which makes their rank important for the researcher’s choice in deciding where to submit. The study asks how choices of immediate gold and hybrid open access are related to journal ranking and how the uptake of immediate open access is affected by transformative publish-and-read deals, pushed by recent science policy.

Data consists of 186,621 articles published with a Norwegian affiliation in the period 2013–2021, all of which were published in journals ranked in a National specific ranking, on one of two levels according to their importance, prestige, and perceived quality within a discipline.

The results are that researchers chose to have their articles published as hybrid two times as often in journals on the most prestigious level compared with journals on the normal level. The opposite effect was found with gold open access where publishing on the normal level was chosen three times more than on the high level.

This can be explained by the absence of highly ranked gold open access journals in many disciplines. With the introduction of publish-and-read deals, hybrid open access has boosted and become a popular choice enabling the researcher to publish open access in legacy journals.

The results confirm the position of journals in the reward system of science and should inform policymakers about the effects of transformative arrangements and their costs against the overall level of open access.

URL : Choices of immediate open access and the relationship to journal ranking and publish-and-read deals


Should open access lead to closed research? The trends towards paying to perform research

Authors : Lin Zhang, Yahui Wei, Ying Huang, Gunnar Sivertsen

Open Access (OA) emerged as an important transition in scholarly publishing worldwide during the past two decades. So far, this transition is increasingly based on article processing charges (APC), which create a new paywall on the researchers’ side. Publishing is part of the research process and thereby necessary to perform research.

This study analyses the global trends towards paying to perform research by combing observed trends in publishing from 2015 to 2020 with an APC price list. APC expenses have sharply increased among six countries with different OA policies: the USA, China, the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Norway.

The estimated global revenues from APC among major publishers now exceed 2 billion US dollars annually. Mergers and takeovers show that the industry is moving towards APC-based OA as the more profitable business model.

Research publishing will be closed to those who cannot make an institution or project money payment. Our results lead to a discussion of whether APC is the best way to promote OA.

URL : Should open access lead to closed research? The trends towards paying to perform research


Diamond Open Access in Norway 2017–2020

Author : Jan Erik Frantsvåg

We see from information published elsewhere that Gold OA is on the increase globally. The OA Diamond study indicates that Diamond OA is an important component of scholarly communications, with an estimated 8–9% of the total global scholarly output.

These numbers, however, are on a global scale and are not necessarily representative of any given country; country case studies are needed to find this information. Norway is a country where the government has declared a 100% OA goal and most research has public funding. Norway has good financing structures for various models of OA, and it has a national CRIS system.

This study tries to find and present numbers for articles in scholarly journals to describe both recent developments and relative numbers for Norway as a whole, and for scholarly fields in Norway, with regards to Diamond OA. Numbers for and development of Gold OA will also be given and commented upon to some extent.

URL : Diamond Open Access in Norway 2017–2020


Impact and visibility of Norwegian, Finnish and Spanish journals in the fields of humanities

Authors : Elías Sanz-Casado, Daniela De Filippo, Rafael Aleixandre Benavent, Vidar Røeggen, Janne Pölönen

This article analyses the impact and visibility of scholarly journals in the humanities that are publishing in the national languages in Finland, Norway and Spain. Three types of publishers are considered: commercial publishers, scholarly society as publisher, and research organizations as publishers.

Indicators of visibility and impact were obtained from Web of Science, SCOPUS, Google Metrics, Scimago Journal Rank and Journal Citation Report.

The findings compiled show that in Spain the categories “History and Archaeology” and “Language and Literature” account for almost 70% of the journals analysed, while the other countries offer a more homogeneous distribution.

In Finland, the scholarly society publisher is predominant, in Spain, research organization as publishers, mostly universities, have a greater weighting, while in Norway, the commercial publishers take centre stage.

The results show that journals from Finland and Norway will have reduced possibilities in terms of impact and visibility, since the vernacular language appeals to a smaller readership. Conversely, the Spanish journals are more attractive for indexing in commercial databases. Distribution in open access ranges from 64 to 70% in Norwegian and Finish journals, and to 91% in Spanish journals.

The existence of DOI range from 31 to 41% in Nordic journals to 60% in Spanish journals and has a more widespread bearing on the citations received in all three countries (journals with DOI and open access are cited more frequently).

URL : Impact and visibility of Norwegian, Finnish and Spanish journals in the fields of humanities


Attracting new users or business as usual? A case study of converting academic subscription-based journals to open access

Author : Lars Wenaas

This paper studies a selection of 11 Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies.

By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014–2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase, which can be attributed to the conversion.

Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors.

The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict policies targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access.


How to Choose a Format: Consumers’ Evaluation in Choosing a Format for Reading Books in Norway

Author : Linn-Birgit Kampen Kristensen

This article contributes to the discussion of digital versus physical books and sharpens focus on the consumers of books. Using mixed methods, the article explores the emotional relationship between books, information and technology and provides new insight into the importance of habits, the impact of books as symbols of status, format choice and technology acceptance.

The study looks at what are determining factors when choosing a format for reading, and how e-books and physical books compare to each other. Respondents report that their ability to relax with the book is reduced when reading an e-book and that the joy and comfort of reading a book are diminished when reading on a screen.

The results confirm and extend previous research in this area and suggest that emotional value should be included in technology acceptance studies for digital reading.


Education, Research and Open Access in Norway


“Norway is a small country with a quite centralised research infrastructure. Building good services for Open Access infrastructure is simplified by having one major research funder, one national CRIS and one key provider of repository services. Politically the Government has expressed in a White paper its commitment to making Norwegian research results openly available. Despite Norwegian research institutions focus on Open Access, institutional policies tend to be vage and based on good intentions. The need for alignment and policy reinforsment is therefor evident, and the PASTEUR4OA project provides a great opportunity for this.”

URL : Education, Research and Open Access in Norway

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