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FEATURE


Open-access publishing Sam Burridge, managing director, open research, Nature Publishing Group/Palgrave Macmillan A


s we all recognise, the industry is in a particular state of transition, as the costs associated with publishing are shared between library subscriptions, university departments and funders’ budgets. It is important for us as a community to figure out how we sustainably and transparently offset the costs of OA article-processing charges. We know this is a challenge for institutions, funders and publishers, and we’re examining how to things easier. The main challenges are that this is a constantly evolving field, with a wide variety of requirements affecting all parts of the researchers’ work cycle, from the data collected, through to licensing for the final article of record. In addition, there is a real need for education; many researchers just aren’t aware of their funder’s policies. For example, when we surveyed our authors last year, 38 per cent of those funded by the NIH thought their funder had no OA requirements, and 25 per cent did not know. The NIH has had clear public access mandates since 2009, with a voluntary policy in place since 2005. We are seeing good take up of our OA options. Even in HSS disciplines, which are newer to


OA and have less funding available, we’ve seen a positive response; we will publish our second OA monograph later this year, and our first OA Palgrave Pivot too. It’s important to acknowledge that some authors still worry that there is a perception of OA publications as having lower editorial standards. Many OA journals, including our own Scientific Reports, pledge to publish all work so long as it is methodologically


‘38 per cent of those funded by the NIH thought their funder had no OA requirements’


sound. We have taken a conscious decision to focus our two interdisciplinary OA journals – Palgrave Communications and Nature Communications – on high-quality, original research, published speedily. NPG and Palgrave Macmillan have both gold and green OA policies. Our green OA policies enable researchers to archive their contribution


Michael Cairns, chief executive officer, Publishing Technology T


here is an increasing awareness of the need for OA – not just of the fact that OA is growing, but also wider issues around which forms of OA are being adopted and by whom. Our aim is always to be in a position as a business to provide our customers with the best levels of support, should they choose to move in that direction, or not. We can adapt our technology to meet the needs of publishers. Recently, we have seen a growing interest in gold OA models, as well as hybrid models. This means that we have to produce technology that respects the differing speeds of adoption amongst traditional publishers and other clients including smaller publishing companies whose speeds of adoption of the newer models of OA may be more rapid.


The impact of ‘megajournals’ cannot be overlooked. It will be interesting to see how this affects the OA landscape and whether it forces more traditional publishers’ hands.


It appears that many publishers no longer consider OA to be a challenge and more as an opportunity. As publishers become more accommodating towards these models, other


18 Research Information AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014


pressing issues can also be addressed. The first of these is metrics. In an industry that is so deeply rooted in peer influence and how much impact an author, paper or journal has within its community, academics have long been seeking an alternative measurement tool to the traditional Thomson- Reuters Impact Factor of journals. In a world where online views, downloads and social media mentions matter just as much as citations, the emergence of article level metrics (ALM) tools that take these digital realities into consideration, is a major industry development. The peer-review process, particularly in science publishing, is also undergoing a shake- up. Criticised for being slow and ineffective, academics across the globe have been calling for a more effective and fair process from publishers. Megajournals and the online communities that envelop them have demonstrated that they are able to manage this process quite efficiently so I would envisage that new processes are structured around their open peer-review models. The next few years will be pivotal for the scholarly market and OA will offer many more opportunities for the publishing market to


reinvigorate its traditional models to become faster, more responsive and increasingly efficient.


Our clients work across a range of gold and green OA models and we tailor our products to offer solutions for the different range of models. Different approaches have different sensitivities and we are conscious that each model has its challenges for our clients. Whether there will be industry-wide standardisation of the green or gold


‘Publishers are now, more than ever, making valuable data discoverable and accessible’


models remains to be seen, but many publishers certainly appear to be looking upon these options increasingly favourably. Publishers are now, more than ever, making valuable data discoverable and accessible in the long term.


Our approach is to provide support to make sure our customers are able to make their data as open or closed as their market requires.


@researchinfo www.researchinformation.info


with an institutional or funders’ repository after an embargo period, which differs depending on discipline and publication type, meaning that we can ensure sustainability. NPG policies all meet or exceed major funder mandates. NPG offers a number of CC


licences for OA content, enabling authors to choose their preferred licence. Palgrave Macmillan offers CC BY as default, with other licences available on request. This is subject to change, as we keep these policies under constant review and they will evolve according to researcher needs. We’re supportive of an industry standard for


OA licensing to make things as clear as possible for authors and readers. The chief executive of our parent company Macmillan Science and Education, Annette Thomas, is on the board of Creative Commons.


That said, we still think there is more to be done in terms of clarifying what terms such as ‘commercial’ and ‘non-commercial’ mean, not least for academics themselves.


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