Friday, 16 May 2014

What are researchers’ views on Open Access publishing? How do we ensure research has impact and that the public engage with it? How are such developments affecting learned societies?

Here, in a guest post, Elaine Devine from Taylor & Francis, asks these key questions for scholarly communications, and teases us with some answers from forthcoming Taylor & Francis surveys.

"In my role as Communications Manager for Author Relations at Taylor & Francis, I'm often asked what researchers really think and what impact their articles have within their discipline and in the wider world. We also publish on behalf of many learned societies, who have a huge stake in the success of their community's research, and we conduct a range of studies ourselves to track and monitor these trends.

Recent surveys conducted by Taylor & Francis show:

  • Almost half of Taylor & Francis authors plan to choose green Open Access, and a third plan to choose gold, for future publications. (2014 Open Access Survey) 
  • 80% of respondents feel researchers think societies are relevant (2014 Society Survey)
  • Rigorous peer review is still seen as the most important service to authors in 2014 (2014 Open Access Survey)
  • Society conferences and annual meetings remain most valuable to members (2014 Society Survey).

Supported by the Academy of Social Sciences and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, Taylor & Francis is hosting seminars on ‘Open Access and Society: Impact and Engagement’ to discuss and debate these findings, and much more besides.

With speakers from publishing, learned societies, academia, funders and policy makers, the seminars offer an opportunity to hear views from all sides. From the European Commision to HEFCE, Society for Research into Higher Education to the National Library of Sweden, CrossRef to Deutsche Forschungsdemeinschaft, you’ll be able to hear them discuss the challenges and opportunities they currently face and, crucially, how to deliver research impact and public engagement in an Open Access context.

Free to attend, the seminars are in London on 19 May and Brussels on 17 June. If you are interested in Open Access these promise an engaging and exciting day. Read the full agenda, register to attend by clicking on the links above, or follow us on Twitter at #oaandsociety.

We look forward to seeing you there."

Elaine Devine is Communications Manager (Author Relations) at Taylor & Francis, who partner with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life. Their published content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Marketing Open Access programmes and publisher case studies

Caroline Sutton, Co-Action Publishing
In the final afternoon session at The Mechanics and Reality of Open Access, Caroline Sutton from Co-Action Publishing talked about marketing. They have seven employees publishing 34 journals with most income coming through APCs. For them, Open Access equals free access with re-use under a CC BY licence to keep it simple and easy to use.

Marketing channels are similar to subscription publishing. Promotional activities are run in conjunction with conferences. They have outreach to libraries, social media activities, email campaigns, etc. To some extent they are seeking to meet the same needs: access to peer reviewed literature and a publication outlet. But she believes that OA and hybrid journals are two very different products.

Open Access is knowledge as a network; knowledge as infrastructure; Open Access as a key infrastructural element. It's about creating connectivity within this network. Traditional publishing recognises knowledge as property. One of the biggest challenges in OA publishing is to get your head around the non-proprietary mindset around content. Sutton believes she acts as a midwife trying to get content out into the world. They keep this in mind when developing marketing strategy. But they also have to keep in mind where they make money (subscription income versus APCs). Sutton feels that the hybrid approach contradicts these two views.

At Co-Action, their customer groups are researchers, funders, institution/library, others (practitioners, political leaders, patients, citizens, journalists, etc). They consider consumers of content (reader) and contributors to content (author). In subscription publishing, the key market is the institution/library as you sell subscriptions to them. The researcher as reader is also important to drive usage to help secure renewals. There is also some interest in the 'Others' category.

With OA publishing the researcher as author is central to publishing: to buy the service and submit papers and then to recommend to others. They also provide a lot of services post publication. As publishers they have had to rethink what their role is. What do they contribute? They need to communicate this in the marketing. With the hybrid model the Funder is the primary target group, but there is also a lot of work with other groups.

One final question that Sutton posed was is advocacy marketing? Why have some OA publishers engaged in advocacy? She believes they had to go to market and make their presence felt. Have we seen advocacy in the marketing content of hybrid models? She concluded they have to be careful with their email marketing as predatory publishers spamming research communities has created a bad reputation for all.

The final session included brief case studies from a variety of publishers.

Nicola Gulley
Nicola Gulley, Editorial Director at IOP Publishing outlined how they researched what the best model would be that worked for their research communities. The findings indicated that the hybrid model was the best option.

What they have seen so far is a similar pattern that they have seen in existing journals. In the first quarter of 2014 there was increased uptake in hybrid. Gulley also noted increased interest in the business model from researchers. The big message was - and continues to be - flexibility in the model is key.



Hazel Newton
Hazel Newton, Head of Author Services in the Open Research division at Nature Publishing Group/Palgrave Macmillan reflected on how the wholesale application of the STEM approach to Open Access in relation to the humanities and social sciences (HSS) had worried the research community. There were also concerns about quality and lack of choice. Researchers felt bamboozled by CC options.

In their 2013 author survey, 84% said they would publish OA if the best or most appropriate journal was OA. 68% thought their specific area of interest would benefit from OA journals. Interdisciplinarity is an exciting area in research and funders are increasingly thinking about it. However, the smallest area for funding is in HSS.

As a result they are launching Palgrave Communications later in 2014. Offering choice spanning humanities and social sciences it will champion interdisciplinary research. It will be about quality and furthering the discipline, not just methodologically sound. There are more than 80 international editorial board members. There will be no restrictions on the length of papers and licences will be CC BY (but alternative licences are available). The APC is set at £750.

Kathryn Spiller
Kathryn Spiller, Head of Publishing at Bioscientifica recounted that when she took over, they launched an OA journal. Their societies wanted it, but it also reflected market demand for an interdisciplinary journal. They didn't intend to publish Open Access only products. Subsequently, everything they have done has been market driven and it so happens has all been OA.

They have doubled their publishing programme, all with OA products. A potential new approach they are exploring is for a niche, interdisciplinary project to secure grant or sponsor funding so it can be OA, as there is no research funding available.

Open Access: what does the librarian or customer community need and how do we install new plumbing?

John Norman
John Norman is Director for the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies at the University of Cambridge. He kicked off the afternoon sessions at The Mechanics and Reality of Open Access seminar.

At Cambridge, they conducted research into getting published. The experience doesn't split STEM/Humanities so much as single researcher (author) versus team research (multiple authors). Positive emotional states are associated with publication and impact. Negative emotional states are associated with making publishing decision, rejection and using publisher system.

Researchers are the ultimate customers. What do they need? Access to all important research relevant to their field. They don't always get it. What they want is access to be timely and convenient. And they want the same for the production of their articles.

When RCUK policy came into force, they took a service model of 'tell us about your article and we'll tell you what options are available.' They tried to keep it simple as it is so complex so they could take the burden of complexity off the author. It has proved to be a very popular approach.

The overall number of articles is c. 8,000 per annum. They have c. 500 publishers they deal with annually. From enquiries, they made 277 payments (invoices which they authorised). There were 72 articles submitted to the institutional repository. Interestingly, 40% of articles had some sort of publishing problem and 296 articles were available in a satisfactory form for RCUK at 4 April 2014. There were 364 APCs authorised; £724k committed; with an average APC c. £1800. Full data on Cambridge's APC payments is available on figshare).

They find it most helpful to use a diagram of the publishing value chain to explain to authors (article submission; initial review by publisher / article rejected; peer review / article accepted, Copyright Transfer Agreement signed / Article rejected; publishing / typesetting / copyediting / article published; public review / withdrawal, modification, altmetrics.) There is no doubt in Norman's mind that the Version of Record is considered more important by authors.

Multiple mandates to comply with can be tricky
The complexity of understanding multiple funder information shouldn't be underestimated. They average around 30 minutes per enquiry for their team.

One example is an article that acknowledges funding from BBSRC and the British Heart Foundation. The relevant Open Access policies are HEFCE, BBSRC, BHF, publisher and institution. That's five different sets of mandates to comply with, some of which are contradictory.

What would help? Simple, unambiguous, machine readable published information from publishers on key elements of an OA option.

  • Version: are we talking about the publishers Version of Record or the Author Accepted Manuscript (and can we limit options to these two). 
  • Licence: can we make explicit the licence options that apply to the article and limit the range (CC useful for this)? 
  • Embargo: make explicit a single embargo in months from known publication date. 
  • Price: it may be free, but does the price exclude tax for each version/licence combination? 

Some simple things publishers can do to help libraries (John's wish list) are a notification to the institution that an author has had an article accepted. Provide a free print copy of accepted article version in PDF form on acceptance and a free print copy of accepted article version in PDF form with licence.

Norman's final point was don't forget the reader. Creative Commons licences express permissions in a way the reader can easily understand.

Jisc's Neil Jacobs
Neil Jacobs from Jisc talked about 're-plumbing' infrastructure. It needs to be more flexible and scaleable in a time when universities and funders have new roles. What do universities need to know? Questions such as how do I know if author papers have been submitted to journals? What authors have published? What have we paid for APCs? Have we complied with funder policies? What are our financial liabilities?

He reflected on the complexity in the publishing content cycle and metadata requirements. It is not sufficiently scaleable or accessible. If you take standards and identifiers, there are some clear gaps including Publisher and APC identifiers.

Other emerging areas for standards and identifiers are research data and software. In the future, there will likely be a requirement for relationships such as attribution, contribution, affiliation and citation. Jacobs closed with a mention for the OA Implementation Group's guide to Gold for Open Access for Learned Societies.

Setting up Open Access policies and the different business models

Vicky Gardner from Taylor & Francis
The second half of the morning at The Mechanics and Reality of Open Access seminar covered practical implementation issues for setting up internal policies. Vicky Gardner, Open Access Publisher at Taylor & Francis, described 'the third age of publishing' as subscription, site licence and OA. There is the increasing influence of funders and policy makers and changing roles for libraries and publishers.

What does it mean? Operational challenges include:
  • increasing granularity with article-level workflows.
  • increased variation
  • APC mechanisms
  • implications for subscription business (conversion to full gold) OA would render many journals unsustainable
  • anticipating OA policies and mandates - impact on institutional processes
  • internal and external reporting
  • cost.
Questions to ask yourself when implementing Open Access include: Do we hold publication until payment is received? Should we offer multiple APCs? How much information do we provide to authors? How can we consistently capture data for reporting?

Underlying considerations for consistently capturing data have a cross-industry element (FundRef, CrossMark, Prospect, NISO standards). There is classification (research funder vs APC funder), accuracy of data inputs (eg APC funding). You also need to consider how the data might be used (future proofing): it takes investment. And don't forget about past articles. With embargoes do you increase (will it protect subscriptions? Link to article half lives?). Should you decrease? (But some think you can't put genie back in the bottle... and what is the value of the version of record?)

Areas to consider with waivers include whether they are regional (corresponding author, offer only on full? What about local titles?) or no questions asked (is this sustainable? It allows those in genuine hardship to publish.)

Considerations for double dipping
  • Global offset - equitable to subscribers, but difficult to calculate.
  • Local offset - can accommodate in bulk deals. Equitable to those investing in OA. Is there granularity? Can be difficult to calculate.
  • Top up model - avoids double dipping issue. Maintains the subscription market.
Thinking about licence choice
  • How many?
  • Which ones?
  • What do authors want?
  • What do funders want?
  • Subject differentials?
  • Permissions and third party content.
What are the lessons learned? Flexibility is key: sometimes a small tweak is all it takes. You need to engage with many different departments, editors, societies, librarians, funders. Make sure to use the talent in your business. Accept that you don't have all the answers - new workflows won't be right straightaway, strategic planning can only anticipate future developments.

We're all on a learning curve - manual workarounds are easy to implement in the short term and more practical in many senses than immediate investment in automation. Keeping staff informed about OA developments is just as important as external communications. One size does not fit all - there are many different preoccupations, perspectives and opinions, not just funder, policy maker, publisher. Consultation is key.

It is early days and the market is immature. This relates to APC intermediaries, HEI and publisher knowledge, and the take up of OA by researchers. Internal workflows are short to medium term. Change and complexity will be constant. And it is not just about research, also think about grey literature. But remember, OA is scalable.

The Royal Society's Phil Hurst
Phil Hurst from The Royal Society provided an overview of the different business models. At The Royal Society, their subscription model dates back to c1800. Originally, RS Fellows (400) received copies as part membership dues (no opt out). There were 300 on general sale through the Society's bookseller, and the Society received income, minus fees and expenses. External sales did not recoup the cost of printing. Only in recent years has the subscription model become more profitable.

Now? They use a subscription and green OA model. The institution or individual pays a regular fee for access to content, it is free to submit articles, but access is only available to subscribers. The advantages are that it is a proven model and infrastructure; the subscription supply chain is relatively efficient; there is no processing of APCs. The disadvantages are that the dissemination of content depends on budget availability. There is more content, but stagnant library budgets are a challenge. While it is relatively easy to manage, they still need people or agents to develop new business. Green OA requires repository infrastructure and it can be a challenge to get authors to deposit post prints.

Hybrid gold OA is relatively easy to implement. You retain the subscription income and it can be a transition to full OA as authors choose preferred publication model. However, there is potential for double dipping. It can be difficult to provide subscription discounts in a granular way and it is not always compliant with OA funders/mandates. Practical considerations include setting the price, collecting payments and a transparent pricing mechanism. At The Royal Society they have 'no fee, no free' model, but authors can retrospectively convert to OA.

Pure gold OA is a model where cost scales with submissions. It can lead to a more effective market (cost competition) with greater dissemination of content and potentially faster/higher citations. However, funding sources are not always available and quality and income are in conflict. Predatory publishers hinder OA reputation and can undermine authors' trust. Practical considerations include the need to collect a greater number of payments and the need to promote online payment (by credit card). The customer (author) will often not fund payment, so you need to demonstrate quality.

OA membership is where authors from member institutions receive a discount on pure or hybrid OA. This can take the form of a supporter or pre-pay (eg PMC, Hindawi) or postpay approach. The Royal Society has an OA 'supporter' membership. The benefits are that authors receive 25% discount on APCs, it increases research awareness about options, provides a customised institutional web page and is a cost-effective flat annual fee. Practical considerations include linking the author with institution, dealing with multi-authored papers: which institution gets the discount? You need a new system, have to set the price and while it is proving cost-effectiveness, they still need sales people. Other examples include PeerJ, IOP Publishing OA funding pilot in Austria and the RSC gold for gold programme.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Open Access landscape and the challenges of hybrid programmes

Michael Jubb kicks off proceedings
Michael Jubb opened The Mechanics and Reality of Open Access seminar with a handy overview. A contemporary definition of the purpose of scholarly communications was published by The Royal Society in their Science as an Open Enterprise report. They outlined this as
  • discoverable
  • accessible
  • intellegible
  • assessable
  • usable.
Key announcements in the history of Open Access development include Budapest (2002), Bethseda (2003) and Berlin (2003). The latter included an extension of what is covered to include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material.

Increasingly the terms 'gratis' or 'libre' are used to reflect actual practice in Open Access. Both have free online access, but 'Libre' includes additional usage rights.

Jubb cited the results of the Elsevier, International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base, 2013, a Report for BIS in identifying uptake levels for routes to Open Access.

Global uptake:
  • fully OA journals with APCs 5.5%
  • fully OA journals no APCs 4.2%
  • hybrid journals 0.5%
  • delayed free access journals 1.0%
  • pre-print repositories 6.4%
  • accepted ms repositories 5.0%
UK take-up
  • fully OA journals with APCs 5.9%
  • fully OA journals no APCs 1.2%
  • hybrid journals 2.7%
  • delayed free access journals 4.2%
  • pre-print repositories 7.4%
  • accepted ms repositories 11.6%
It is interesting to note the biggest differential - for example the jump in hybrid take-up from 0.5% globally to 2.7% in the UK.

Three key sets of policies in the UK are from RCUK, Funding councils and REF and the Wellcome Trust. In Europe there is the pilot in FP7, the policy for Horizon 2020. In the USA, the NIH since 2008 ask for a deposit in PMC with a 12 month embargo and more recently the OSTP memorandum was announced.

Key issues include licensing, embargoes, costs and revenues. Jubb noted that the Bj√∂rk and Solomon report Developing an Effective market for Open Access Article Processing Charges and how it suggested that the hybrid journal market is dysfunctional as hybrid journals APCs are on average much higher than full OA.

Wiley-Blackwell's Liz Ferguson
Liz Ferguson is Publishing Solutions Director at Wiley-Blackwell. She provided an overview of the challenges of hybrid Open Access publishing and the transition to a full OA programme, and noted that the world of hybrid journals can be confusing, discussions can be heated about it.

Ferguson described hybrids as subscription journals that offer authors the opportunity to make articles openly available for a fee.

It was a model started c.2000 by the Entomological Society in America and has grown ever since.

In 2011, the top 5 publishers by number of hybrid journals and articles was as follows:



  • Springer - 1360 journals; 7243 articles
  • Elsevier - 1160 journals; 1014 articles
  • Wiley - 726 journals; 596 articles
  • Taylor & Francis - 577 journals; 153 articles
  • Sage - 177 journals; 37 articles
  • OUP - 109 journals; 882 articles
At Wiley, they initially had life and health sciences supporting hybrid. There was a big escalation in 2012 (driven by RCUK policy) which had a big effect on the humanities and social sciences community. It raised awareness of Open Access. and proved to have a 'carrot and stick' effect: 12 or 24 months with Gold option, 6 or 12 months without. This drove hybrid publishing due to concern about subscription income. Ferguson reflected on whether growth was driven by an increasing number of outlets, but felt probably not. In 2013 the increased number of hybrid journals have seen some sort of hybrid activity - c. 5 articles per title.

Wiley regularly survey their authors and one of the areas they ask them about is what they choose to do with licensing. They asked authors who are not mandated to take a particular route which licensing option they would prefer: 50% said CC-BY-NC-ND, 28% CC-BY and 22% CC-BY-NC. It was interesting to note that half have chosen to go for the most restrictive licences. It is not known why. It could be down to lack of understanding or a desire to protect content.

Are hybrids a transitional model? This year they have seen hybrid activity of up to 18% on journals which is much higher than anticipated. Challenges associated with them include a rapid transition to new models, CC-BY and commercial revenues and financial transparency. With green running alongside there are issues around versions, embargo periods, depositions and enforcing/enabling policies.

There is often a lot of confusion as to what is expected with hybrid and publishers need to redevelop and refine systems to provide a good service. Financial transparency is key. Double dipping (money from subscribers, money from authors) is an issue - whether perceived or real. Currently, hybrid money is low, but this is changing, so it is important to deal with the issue clearly and transparently. There is a need to do this because 1) it is ethical; 2) for clarity; and 3) it will lead to a more sustainable future in the long run. Ferguson noted that offsetting against subscriptions may not be scaleable if gold is adopted more widely.

So what is the outlook for hybrids? The offer to authors remains compelling, hybrid OA continues to grow (so does subscription content), but the financial challenges of a mixed model remain and there will be further transitions to full gold OA.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

May Festival of Open Access

Never mind May Day. This month it's more like 'OA Day' for me.

Open Access continues to be one of the foremost issues when we think about scholarly communication. While policy developments continue to set the framework within which researchers, institutions, societies and publishers operate, myriad practical issues are also paramount in everyone's mind.

Perhaps this is why May is turning into a bit of an 'Open Access Month'. It's an unofficial festival of talks, seminars and fact finding events that will support us in our quest for successful Open Access publishing.

Here's a round-up of events we are aware of. Have we missed anything? Just comment below and let us know. You can also add your event to the ALPSP website. Complete this simple online form.

Clear your diaries and brace yourself for the May Festival of Open Access!

14 May
The Mechanics and Reality of Open Access 
An ALPSP seminar in London
A packed day that will focus on providing best practice tips and experience to meet the practical needs of publisher teams when providing green, gold and hybrid Open Access options.

19 May
Open Access and Society: Impact and Engagement
A Taylor & Francis Seminar, in association with ALPSP and the Academy of Social Sciences to be held in London
An overview of the latest results from the OA author and societies surveys with policy updates on Horizon 2020, RCUK mandate, HEFCE, REF2020 and beyond. This free seminar also includes discussion on impact and engagement.

20 May
UKSG Managing Open Access London
A UKSG seminar from the library perspective to be held in London
Overview of OA workflows and case studies from the library perspective.

22 May 
Implementing Creative Commons Licenses
An ALPSP webinar to be held online
Brief, practical overview of what CC licenses are, how they can be implemented by publishers, and how authors are likely to respond to them. Drawing on real experiences of publishers and on a recent large-scale author survey. It will also look at how CC licenses can be used with third-party material, such as images and figures that the author is reusing from another source.

17 June (OK, I'm sneaking this in to May...)
Open Access and Society: Impact and Engagement
A Taylor & Francis Seminar, in association with ALPSP and the Academy of Social Sciences to be held in Brussels
A re-run of the May seminar in London for European colleagues. An overview of the latest results from the OA author and societies surveys with policy updates from Europe, funders and internationally. This free seminar also includes discussion on impact and engagement. 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

London Book Fair 2014: member drinks reception sponsored by Copyright Clearance Center

The bar is stocked, staff ready to serve...
The second annual London Book Fair drinks reception for members was a fun affair. Kindly sponsored by the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), members old and new congregated in the ALPSP pavilion area of the show floor to network, catch-up and meet new people.

The CCC team joined guests to enjoy the atmosphere and plentiful supply of drinks. Here are a selection of photos from the event. We're already looking forward to 2015!

Team CCC with ALPSP's Audrey McCulloch
Audrey McCulloch with CCC's Bill O'Brien
The crowds gather
ALPSP members
Simon Ross, ALPSP's Chair
Melissa Marshall & Melanie Goinden from ALPSP
Supplies...
Audrey and Bill with guests