Open-access publishing Nicola Gulley, editorial director, lOP Publishing I
OP is involved in three pilots – at a country level in Austria, at a subject level with SCOAP3
and at an institution level with 21 institutions in the UK.
Running them together enables us to see how we balance offsets for the authors’ institutions with the requirement to offset for all customers. With hybrids we have to be very clear to ensure that we were not double-dipping. The pilots also help us learn how libraries manage OA, how they track it, and who within institutions it applies to. This helps us find out how to solve practical challenges.
The UK institution pilot evolved from work with institutions and we were approached by Research Libraries UK (RLUK). We are looking to do 90 per cent of the APC offset against subscriptions for the institutions involved and 10 per cent offset against the global subscription prices. We are trying to balance this. For the people who are part of the pilots we collect data. SCOAP3
has a very specific
requirement for what has to be fed back and we have designed ways to capture this information. Libraries have different processes in place in different universities. There’s a call from libraries
for publishers to get engaged in the conversations and look at solutions. At the moment our default licence for OA is CC BY, but we offer a choice. Around 15 to 18 per cent of our content is OA if you remove the conference series. We are seeing an increase in OA hybrid. In 2011 we published four such articles, in 2012 it was 23 and in 2013 it was 90 to 100.
One concern we hear from researchers is that if funders mandate one thing or another it takes
‘How useful is raw data? Do you need to ensure the data and its context?’
away some of their flexibility. It is hard to monitor green uptake; there’s a myriad of repositories, and new ones are being built all the time. The main take-home message of the PEER project [looking at repository use in Europe] was that authors weren’t posting to repositories. There needs to be other mechanisms. What researchers are really looking for is to get
Alexander Grossmann, president, ScienceOpen W
e launched Science Open in 2013. I don’t like to think of this as gold or
green. It’s simply OA, open from the start. We call it a platform. We have designed it to be as flexible as possible. We want to go away from classical peer review. Those who are really interested read articles on the preprint server and we ask them if they want to submit a short review. That’s more intuitive than asking people who say that it is not their area or they have no time.
One part of our concept is that we use comments from peer review to do revisions. The paper is not set in stone. The author is invited to submit a revised version, which is given a new DOI so that people can link back to whichever version was cited.
Science is interdisciplinary. We don’t want to set up new containers. The first launch period concentrated on STM. I would be very interested to expand our concept to social sciences.
We charge $800 to all authors who publish with us. We don’t differentiate by subject discipline or length of article. At least the next two versions are covered as part of that fee. We also have plans for developing countries and poor institutions to make sure that we don’t exclude people. In Step 1 we don’t have thousands of papers, so it is sufficient to have one identifier
– Science Open Research (SO Research). We have also applied for ISSNs for 21 individual fields so maybe in the future we will make it more granular. It’s very important in the beginning to have a brand identifier. I don’t like the name ‘megajournal’. In principle we both are and aren’t a journal. We are a journal if you look at our workflow – copyediting, XML etc – but what we offer is much more. We see ourselves as a Facebook for scientists. Researchers can collaborate together, maybe start journal clubs. Our platform allows people to expand the discussion to worldwide. These services are
completely free of charge and always will be. Authors have told us that they liked the immediate publication; it takes 24 to 48 hours and then they’ve got a DOI and can cite the article. This means they get the priority – which is
‘Whether it’s $800 or $2000, you’re not paying out of your own pocket’
important especially in life sciences, where things are so competitive that a few months can make a big difference.
I was expecting many to say we’re not as expensive as other publishers but that’s not a core reason. You need to pay with OA anyway and, whether it’s $800 or $2000, you’re not paying out of your own pocket. I think within the next few years OA will become dominant; maybe the only way to do research. You could say that OA is just about moving money elsewhere but it’s is more powerful than that. Post-publication peer review can only be done with access to the paper.
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 Research Information 15
their article published in the best place. If there are different mandates then it gets complicated. Publishers need to ensure that we help authors to meet their funding mandates. We’ve seen little interest in text and data mining (TDM). Our policy enables us to help people who want to do TDM. People can also mine non-OA content.
We want to ensure the TDM doesn’t impact other users. We ask them to notify us so that we can allocate time to ensure that not too many people are doing it at the same time. We want to ensure that people doing TDM are not just rejected as robots and we want to understand the impact on our usage statistics. I think there are some challenges to decide what is meant by open data. How useful is raw data? Do you need to ensure the data and its context? What is the context? Software? What about experimental parameters? I don’t think there is a clear way forward yet. Researchers don’t see that as publishers’ responsibility but maybe in the future they will want us to link to it.
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