APA supporting Open Access?

Four years ago, the President of the American Psychological Association, addressed the ‘thorny debate of Open Access’ as she puts it. What is APA’s standing on open access?

Does APA, probably the most influential organization in psychology today, support the goal of open access to research? I am a bit confused as to an answer to that question, so I tried to write an informed perspective on APA’s policy on open access. You can find what my inquiry has elucidated in the rest of this post.

In her aforementioned column, Dr. Sharon Stephens Brehm, the former APA President, concluded that caution is needed regarding open access with these words:

“In many ways, the open access movement reflects the tenor of our times. Information technology has created all sorts of possibilities barely imagined a decade ago. With increasing ease, individuals can maintain their own archives and organizations can publish their own journals or conference proceedings without peer review or editing. Distributed networks are rapidly replacing centralized operations.

But lets keep in mind that the United States has built the most successful scientific enterprise in the history of the world, and scientific publishing has been central to that achievement. Before dismantling the current system, we need to think very carefully about how best to build a new structure that will nurture sciences future growth and productivity.”

Interestingly, with her cautionary note, Dr. Stephens Brehm painted a somewhat limited picture of open access. In her view, open access threatens the very foundation of reporting scientific findings – the review process. The guerrilla open access activists, by extension, threaten the whole scientific community.

Her perspective is somewhat understandable considering this column was written as a response to a controversial policy instituted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States, requesting that the author’s final manuscript should be made available to other researchers and the public through the NIH National Library of Medicines (NLM) PubMed Central. Basically, it was a NIH policy advocating Green OA (reminder: we covered what Green OA is in this post).

But, the former APA president didn’t critique green OA. She cautioned against open access in general. As an editor in an, albeit student, scientific journal I find it odd that our policy of open access threatens the health of the review process in science. With three rows of review in JEPS (the technical, PhD-student and academic(s) with PhD review), I always thought we were at the forefront of the review process for a student scientific journal.

Is it really possible that open access threatens the health of scientific review process in science?

No.

Green OA, what the former APA President attacked in her column (pardon, cautioned against) is the very grassroots response to the limited access to published research in the first place. It’s an attempt by the authors to make their research accessible without pay-to-view, because all or most of the journals they publish in aren’t open access. This problem she cautions against is directly caused by the publishers like APA – if they made the journals they publish open access, the authors wouldn’t need to self-archive. In OA lingo, if everything was gold OA there wouldn’t be a need for green OA. Or at least, the need wouldn’t be that vital.

I suspect that the scarecrow scare painted by that column against open access isn’t because of the actual risk to the review process or the scientific rigor of published work. It is a fear for lost profits. APA is funded by their scientific publishing.

I hope that since 2007, when this column was written, they have opted for finding a way to migrate their publishing to a more accessible model which is also sustainable from the publisher perspective. Claiming that such models do not exist and that APA would fall apart if it migrated to an open model just shows a lack of initiative, especially when we take into account what professionals in open access publishing like Caroline Sutton, the president of OASP, say today:

“Some of the early criticism of open access publishing pointed to a lack of sustainable business models. In this context it is also worth noting that since 2007 the Public Library of Science has demonstrated a positive financial result, and BioMed Central became profitable. The financial stability of these publishers can be added to that of Hindawi Publishing Corporation and Medknow. Smaller enterprises such as Copernicus Publications and Co-Action Publishing have also demonstrated that open access models can provide the basis for a successful small or medium enterprise.”

Moreover, a report by the Joint Information Systems Committeeoffers an exhaustive analysis of the economic implications of alternative scholarly publishing models. In their 200 and some pages report, they draw a conclusion along these lines (p. 136):

“Those publishing scientific and scholarly works also stand to gain from open access as it may provide an opportunity to shift towards more sustainable business models, as the traditional subscription publishing model becomes increasing fragile and unsustainable in the online era. The increased visibility of titles may encourage more submissions and greater participation from external editors and reviewers, and make it easier to increase revenue from authors, advertisers and sponsors, all of which would be likely to improve the titles’ rankings, thereby creating a virtuous cycle. The ease and reduced cost of peer review and related possibility of quality improvement would also benefit publishers, helping to improve quality and enabling them to recruit reviewers from a wider field, which may also contribute to this virtuous cycle. Learned and professional society publishers could raise their visibility and profile, not only more effectively disseminating scholarly work in their area, but also potentially attracting greater membership and increased membership revenues.”

Not surprisingly, the authors of the report imply that OA does not only allow peer review, but creates opportunity for improvement. I wonder if the policy makers in APA ever found or read this report? It should not be too difficult of a task, considering it can be found in full online under open access. Unlike most APA published material.

So, in conclusion, the American Psychological Association, as the leader in the world of scientific publishing in psychology, should show initiative and vision in open and staunch support of open access. They should publish open access journals and research sustainable models of doing so. Token support and cautionary notes are not exactly what is considered support, especially when we take into account that OA publishing in psychology is much behind the current trends in other sciences.

Psychology needs it now. So make it happen.

Note on sources:

When researching APA’s connections and activities regarding open access, I used Google search and the search option on APA webpage. The only open access material I managed to procure this way was the former President column cited here. If you come across or are aware of more APA open access activities and initiatives, please share with us here.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Ivan Flis is a graduate student of psychology at the Center for Croatian Studies at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS) and the Chair of the Right to Research Coalition Coordinating Committee for Africa, Europe and Middle East.

Online Cigs Store – www.cigazilla.com

Ivan Flis

Ivan Flis is a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Science at the Descartes Centre, Utrecht University; and has a degree in psychology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. His research focuses on quantitative methodology in psychology, its history and application, and its relation to theory construction in psychological research. He had been an editor of JEPS for three years in the previous mandates.

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  • Also, The Guardian only recently wrote an article on the implications of the subscription based publishing: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/academic-publishers-murdoch-socialist

    I think it’s important to note in the light of the issues touched in the article that the APA Style manual (a must in scientific writing in psychology) is not an open access material!

  • Kai Ruggeri

    Excellent writing Ivan. While OA has to be where we move in science at most levels, I would caution a few points and raise another.

    First, APA publication costs should be considered as separate from standard publication costs. Private companies taking profit go to individuals; income for non-profit organisations go back into the organisation. The APA, BPS and similar groups have been an absolute force in getting psychology both recognised as a legitimate profession and regulating it to reduce malpractice. Their funding needs to come from more than simply the governments in which they function or they risk being overrun by mandate. If they went to pure OA, this would considerably damage that.

    I would agree that an unregulated move to OA can absolutely be a threat to peer-review, much like the blogosphere is to reliable journalism and photoshop is to a wedding album. There need to be systems in place to ensure publications are held to account or else single-minded or unscrupulous journal are sure to appear (as some already have). It isn’t to say this is the enemy, but there are risks to pure open access (any guess of the percentage of non-reviewed Wikipedia pages or on the number of hits they generate versus even a popular peer-reviewed journal?).

    The US government requires that publicly funded research be published in OA journals and if others follow suit, this would be critical to a global step toward OA. It isn’t as simple as making all elements free: the money as to come from somewhere. Paying $30 to find out if a single article is relevant, though, is clearly not the way.

  • APA IS ALREADY FULLY GREEN ON OA

    Don’t keep insisting on more: just provide (& mandate) Green OA. Publishing will adapt, if and when it needs to. But meanwhile, research will have universal OA, at long last.

    Harnad, S. (2007) The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition. In: The Culture of Periodicals from the Perspective of the Electronic Age, pp. 99-105, L’Harmattan.
    http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/15753/
    ABSTRACT: What the research community needs, urgently, is free online access (Open Access, OA) to its own peer-reviewed research output. Researchers can provide that in two ways: by publishing their articles in OA journals (Gold OA) or by continuing to publish in non-OA journals and self-archiving their final peer-reviewed drafts in their own OA Institutional Repositories (Green OA). OA self-archiving, once it is mandated by research institutions and funders, can reliably generate 100% Green OA. Gold OA requires journals to convert to OA publishing (which is not in the hands of the research community) and it also requires the funds to cover the Gold OA publication costs. With 100% Green OA, the research community’s access and impact problems are already solved. If and when 100% Green OA should cause significant cancellation pressure (no one knows whether or when that will happen, because OA Green grows anarchically, article by article, not journal by journal) then the cancellation pressure will cause cost-cutting, downsizing and eventually a leveraged transition to OA (Gold) publishing on the part of journals. As subscription revenues shrink, institutional windfall savings from cancellations grow. If and when journal subscriptions become unsustainable, per-article publishing costs will be low enough, and institutional savings will be high enough to cover them, because publishing will have downsized to just peer-review service provision alone, offloading text-generation onto authors and access-provision and archiving onto the global network of OA Institutional Repositories. Green OA will have leveraged a transition to Gold OA.

    Harnad, S. (2010) The Immediate Practical Implication of the Houghton Report: Provide Green Open Access Now. Prometheus, 28 (1). pp. 55-59.
    http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/18514/
    ABSTRACT: Among the many important implications of Houghton et al’s (2009) timely and illuminating JISC analysis of the costs and benefits of providing free online access (“Open Access,” OA) to peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific journal articles one stands out as particularly compelling: It would yield a forty-fold benefit/cost ratio if the world’s peer-reviewed research were all self-archived by its authors so as to make it OA. There are many assumptions and estimates underlying Houghton et al’s modelling and analyses, but they are for the most part very reasonable and even conservative. This makes their best practical implication particularly striking: The 40-fold benefit/cost ratio of providing Green OA is an order of magnitude greater than all the other potential combinations of alternatives to the status quo analyzed and compared by Houghton et al. This outcome is all the more significant in light of the fact that self-archiving already rests entirely in the hands of the research community (researchers, their institutions and their funders), whereas OA publishing depends on the publishing community. Perhaps most remarkable is the fact that this outcome emerged from studies that approached the problem primarily from the standpoint of the economics of publication rather than the economics of research.

    Harnad, S. (2011) Gold Open Access Publishing Must Not Be Allowed to Retard the Progress of Green Open Access Self-Archiving. Logos, 21 (3-4). pp. 86-93.
    http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/21818/
    ABSTRACT: Universal Open Access (OA) is fully within the reach of the global research community: Research institutions and funders need merely mandate (green) OA self-archiving of the final, refereed drafts of all journal articles immediately upon acceptance for publication. The money to pay for gold OA publishing will only become available if universal green OA eventually makes subscriptions unsustainable. Paying for gold OA pre-emptively today, without first having mandated green OA not only squanders scarce money, but it delays the attainment of universal OA.

    Harnad, S. (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed. D-Lib Magazine, 16 (7/8).
    http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july10/harnad/07harnad.html
    ABSTRACT: Plans by universities and research funders to pay the costs of Open Access Publishing (“Gold OA”) are premature. Funds are short; 80% of journals (including virtually all the top journals) are still subscription-based, tying up the potential funds to pay for Gold OA; the asking price for Gold OA is still high; and there is concern that paying to publish may inflate acceptance rates and lower quality standards. What is needed now is for universities and funders to mandate OA self-archiving (of authors’ final peer-reviewed drafts, immediately upon acceptance for publication) (“Green OA”). That will provide immediate OA; and if and when universal Green OA should go on to make subscriptions unsustainable (because users are satisfied with just the Green OA versions) that will in turn induce journals to cut costs (print edition, online edition, access-provision, archiving), downsize to just providing the service of peer review, and convert to the Gold OA cost-recovery model; meanwhile, the subscription cancellations will have released the funds to pay these residual service costs. The natural way to charge for the service of peer review then will be on a “no-fault basis,” with the author’s institution or funder paying for each round of refereeing, regardless of outcome (acceptance, revision/re-refereeing, or rejection). This will minimize cost while protecting against inflated acceptance rates and decline in quality standards.

  • Ivan Flis

    @Maris: Thanks for the article in the Guardian. Quite bombastic, I like it. As for the Publication Manual, I’m planning to research into its copyright restrictions and any possible critique of that. It confounds me too.

    @Kai: First off, thanks for the comment. Now to answer the points you raised.

    With publishing being a big part of APA’s revenue, they should take serious interest in the open access movement and adopting to it. As professor Harnad (who commented below) says in a post at his blog:

    “The way to allay worries about Learned Society Publishers’ future after universal Green OA is to explain the simple, straightforward relation between institutional subscription collapse and institutional subscription cancellation savings, and how it releases the funds to continue paying for publication via Gold OA. (And remind faculty that if their institutions really want to keep subsidizing Learned Society publishers’ “good works” (conferences, scholarships, lobbying) as they are now through subscription-fees, they can certainly continue to do so through publication fees too, as a surcharge, on the Gold OA model, if they wish.)”

    You can find the whole post here: http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/590-guid.html

    Moving from the current model is an inevitable future – the sooner they adapt to it, the better prepared they will be when it starts to rock the world of scientific publishing in psychology.

    As to the threat to peer-review and to the scientific value of journals – sure, a Wikipedia-like system and an unregulated push into OA could result in that. But nobody is arguing that. It’s a switch in access, not in everything that happens behind the scene of publishing a scientific paper. I’m not arguing that science should become completely unregulated, just that access should be granted without regulation. Unregulated access if you wish, not unregulated journals.

    A hic Rhodus, hic salta ‘caution’ against open access journals is unwarranted. We don’t need an abstract proof of quality research being published under open access. We have open access journals which offer the same scientific scrutiny as the pay-to-view ones. We’re already on Rhodes, to keep up with the metaphor, and open access journals have made the proverbial jump and passed the test.

    In short, the scientific worth of a journal is not a function of its access. You can have ‘good’ or ‘bad’ journals in both camps – pay-to-view or OA ones.

    As to the fact that publishing a journal still has to be funded somehow, I am well aware that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, but nobody says it would be free. It would just be funded differently.

    @Professor Harnad: Thanks for your comment and for the articles you listed. I’m really happy we have such an authority in OA offering their insight at the bulletin! And you gave us quite a reading list up there, so thanks for that too.

    It’ll take me some time to read through all the articles though, so I’ll comment on them later on.

    I found your post on Gold vs Green OA, and it was very insightful (http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/590-guid.html). Your arguments are very persuasive, especially when taken into account the revenue worries organizations like APA have about Gold OA.

    I’m glad to hear that APA moved to supporting Green OA since 2007. I’ve followed the upheaval NIH’s Green OA mandate caused a couple of years ago – but what’s the current status with that?

    As to why APA seems very open access unfriendly from the perspective of an European psychology student – I just don’t have access to many of the articles published in their journals. And I know many of my fellow students at universities across Europe have the same problem. My college, for example, doesn’t have the money to pay for the subscription costs. Plus, more often than not, not a single word about Green OA repositories has reached the general student populace. Most people just don’t know such a concept even exists, and if they do know, they don’t know where to find the relevant self-archived manuscripts. Which, in turn, means no access.

  • Kai Ruggeri

    Just a few in rebuttal:

    “Unregulated access if you wish, not unregulated journals.”

    – This is not so simple. If you take away an organisation’s funding, you also remove their need to follow any regulation. If they do not have any benefit from following policies, then it just paves the way for previously decent or entirely new journals to publish anything. This is melodramatic, of course, but not entirely implausible. People don’t demand for great work if it is free, so what goes in place to make sure standards don’t decrease (?) OR, even worse, pave a way for top work to be purchased by private interests and completely unavailable.

    “As to the fact that publishing a journal still has to be funded somehow, I am well aware that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, but nobody says it would be free. It would just be funded differently.”
    – This argument has to coincide with suggesting how OA would exist across the board. It’s like saying “everyone should have free health care” but not suggesting how to fund it. It’s naturally easy to agree to things that sound like a benefit to everyone but without a suggestion as to how to do it, what use is the argument? Also, should all be people be forced to read online media? No more print journals?

    Again, I’m for OA, just that I think there has to be more in place to support moving in that direction. Publishers making profit (presumably) will not wake up tomorrow and decide they no longer desire to do so…what can be done to address that?

  • Ivan Flis

    “This is not so simple. If you take away an organisation’s funding, you also remove their need to follow any regulation. If they do not have any benefit from following policies.”

    But the scientific community regulates the criteria or policies of review. You won’t see some Ivy League researcher publishing their work in a shady, no-name journal. The same goes for any self-conscious scientist – scientific journals run the full gamut in quality, as with anything. I doubt moving to OA would change that.

    If you want, this is not influenced by the invisible hand of the market, but by the invisible hand of science.

    “People don’t demand for great work if it is free…”

    Nobody said it was free. It was freely accessible, not made without any cost. If we follow this line of argument, we could say that OA journals are by definition of less quality than non-OA ones. I beg to differ.

    “…pave a way for top work to be purchased by private interests and completely unavailable.”

    This is not an issue of the publishing system. That problem is much larger than the OA movement, and it won’t be solved or changed by open access. Private interests already dominate science in a much more direct fashion than publishing. But that’s a different can of worms.

    “Again, I’m for OA, just that I think there has to be more in place to support moving in that direction. Publishers making profit (presumably) will not wake up tomorrow and decide they no longer desire to do so…what can be done to address that?”

    Yes, I definitely agree. But they might find themselves in the world of total Green OA in the proverbial tomorrow, and just keel over and go bankrupt. I suspect that won’t happen, because they will adapt to open access much earlier, moving away from subscription fees. I think APA should consider the same.

  • THE UNIVERSITY’S MANDATE TO MANDATE GREEN OA — AND WHAT STUDENTS CAN DO ABOUT IT

    @Ivan Files: “I’ve followed the upheaval NIH’s Green OA mandate caused a couple of years ago… what’s the current status with that?”

    — The NIH mandate is in force. NIH are looking into ways to monitor and ensure compliance. (The solution is simple: mandate institutional rather than central self-archiving; that will recruit institutions to monitor and ensure compliance with the NIH mandate and ALSO encourage them to adopt their own institutional Green OA mandates for the rest of their refereed research output – funded and funded, across all disciplines. See:

    “How to Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates”
    http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/369-guid.html

    @Ivan Files: “As to why APA seems very open access unfriendly from the perspective of an European psychology student – I just don’t have access to many of the articles published in their journals… My college… doesn’t have the money to pay for the subscription costs.”

    That’s not APA’s fault. It’s the fault of the authors of APA articles, for not self-archiving, since APA is fully green. The solution is Green OA self-archiving mandates, from institutions and funders, worldwide. See:

    http://roarmap.eprints.org/
    &
    http://bit.ly/eosOAmandates

    @Ivan Files: “…not a single word about Green OA repositories has reached the general student populace. Most people just don’t know such a concept even exists…”

    The word is spreading. See “The University’s Mandate to Mandate Open Access” (2008) in ‘Open Students: Students for open access to research’ for ways that students can help:

    http://www.openstudents.org/2008/02/08/open-students-oa-for-the-next-generation/

    @Ivan Files: “…and if they do know, they don’t know where to find the relevant self-archived manuscripts.”

    If they’re self-archived (Green OA), then Google Scholar, Base, Scirus or any number of a growing number of OA harvesters and search engines will find them for you. The challenge is to get them self-archived — and for that, you have to get your institutions to mandate Green OA!

  • Ivan Flis

    Cited from “How to Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates”:

    “The obvious solution is that the postprint should be directly deposited, immediately upon acceptance for publication, into the researcher’s own university’s (or institution’s) IR — possibly as Closed Access rather than Open Access, depending on copyright and embargo conditions and negotiations. (NIH can then be sent the URL, and given access privileges.)”

    Won’t this just pull out the teeth out of the mandate in the long run? If this was the case, the best option for publishers would be to go with it and just make all the articles they publish go to the Closed Access areas. I mean, I understand what’s the point of your proposal, but I’m not sure if that would just create another huge number of inaccessible loci of deposition (like the current publisher maintained databases are, for example); only even more spread out.

    As to the spreading the word among students – EFPSA and JEPS are chipping in on that too. We recently joined the Right to Research Coalition (http://www.righttoresearch.org/), for example. But still, it’s a slow process. It seems to me that the open access movement is rocking the scientific community much more at the higher institutional levels than at student level. Hopefully that will change in the future.

  • THE POISONED APPLE FAQ

    @Ivan Files: “Won’t [ID/OA] just pull out the teeth out of the mandate in the long run?… the best option for publishers would be to go with it and just make all the articles they publish go to the Closed Access areas… ”

    See the Poisoned Apple FAQ http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/self-faq/#32.Poisoned

    Publishers became green not purely out of generosity but because of the growing clamor for OA coming from the research community (their content-providers). It is not easy to back-track on having gone green, especially as green OA and green demand grows. Moreover, IDOA is the best default mandate, because it moots legal obstacles and enables the “Almost-OA” Button universally. Other mandates are even more susceptible to publish embargoes.

    See “Which Green OA Mandate Is Optimal?” http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/494-guid.html

    SUMMARY: Which Green OA Mandate should an institution adopt?
    ID/OA: The Immediate Deposit, Optional Access-setting (ID/OA) mandate immediately guarantees at least 63% OA plus 37% Almost-OA, moots all objections on copyright grounds, and does not put the author’s choice of journal at risk by requiring individual licensing negotiations by the would-be author with the publisher (with no guarantee of a successful outcome). The other alternative candidate mandates are:
    ID/IA: The Immediate Deposit/Immediate Access (ID/IA) mandate is stronger than ID/OA. But how can such a mandate manage to reach consensus on adoption as long as 37% of journals don’t endorse immediate OA self-archiving? (Invariably this has meant having to allow an author opt-out for such cases, in which case the policy is no longer a mandate at all — hence weaker than ID/OA. (Not one of the existing 58 mandates is ID/IA.)
    ID/DA: The usual compromise, therefore, is to allow access embargoes, with or without a cap on the maximal allowable length. But an Immediate Deposit/Delayed Access (ID/DA) mandate, with no cap on the allowable delay (embargo) is simplyidentical to ID/OA! Adding a cap on the maximal allowable embargo delay is splendid, but that’s just ID/OA with an embargo cap. (So if an institution can reach successful consensus on this stronger mandate (capped ID/DA), they should by all means adopt it; but if not, they should just go ahead and adopt ID/OA.)
    DD/DA: Next there is Delayed Deposit/Delayed Access (DD/DA), in which the deposit itself may be delayed until the embargo elapses, instead of being done immediately upon acceptance for publication, as in ID/OA. But with or without an embargo cap, DD/DA is in fact needlessly weaker than ID/OA, because it arbitrarily loses the 37% Almost-OA accessible via the button, until the date at which each embargo elapses. (DD/DA further risks needlessly losing a lot of the 63% OA as well, by not requiring immediate deposit in any case.)
    Author Licensing Mandate (“author addendum”): Last, and almost as strong as the (nonexistent) ID/IA mandate is a negotiated author-licensing mandate (“author addendum”). But how can such a mandate reach consensus on adoption and compliance with authors who are concerned that it would put their papers at risk of not being accepted by their journal of choice whenever the licensing negotiation fails? As a consequence, there exist no ID/IA mandates either, only ID/IA with an optional author-opt-out (as in Harvard’s mandate) — which again loses the 37% Almost-OA during any embargo or opt-out, and is hence needlessly weaker than ID/OA (if a mandate with an opt-out is indeed a mandate at all!).
    It is because of this logic and these pragmatics that ID/OA is the default baseline mandate: Anything weaker than ID/OA is gratuitously weaker than necessary (and generates less OA than ID/OA). Anything stronger (such as ID/IA without opt-out, or mandatory licensing without opt-out) is more than welcome, if an institution can successfully reach consensus on adoption and compliance. But no institution (or funder) has yet managed that, hence holding out for an over-strong mandate leads to the adoption of no mandate at all.

  • ID/OA MANDATES AND THE “FAIR DEALING” BUTTON

    Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2012) Open Access Mandates and the “Fair Dealing” Button. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.),
    http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/18511/

    ABSTRACT: We describe the “Fair Dealing Button,” a feature designed for authors who have deposited their papers in an Open Access Institutional Repository but have deposited them as “Closed Access” (meaning only the metadata are visible and retrievable, not the full eprint) rather than Open Access. The Button allows individual users to request and authors to provide a single eprint via semi-automated email. The purpose of the Button is to tide over research usage needs during any publisher embargo on Open Access and, more importantly, to make it possible for institutions to adopt the “Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access” Mandate, without exceptions or opt-outs, instead of a mandate that allows delayed deposit or deposit waivers, depending on publisher permissions or embargoes (or no mandate at all). This is only “Almost-Open Access,” but in facilitating exception-free immediate-deposit mandates it will accelerate the advent of universal Open Access.

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  • Ivan Flis

    An article from the Economist on the monopoly and power of the journal publishers. Apparently, this topic is getting more mainstream by the day!

    http://www.economist.com/node/18744177

  • Ivan Flis

    An interesting piece on the fate of scholarly societies that depend on journal subscriptions as a source of revenue, with open access becoming the norm.

    http://cameronneylon.net/blog/the-challenge-for-scholarly-societies/