Scientific Publishing. From Vanity to Strategy

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Forcing scientists into full Gold OA publishing may sound sympathetic in the ears of certain policy makers, science funders or taxpayers, but in the very likely case that the rest of the world is reluctant to join, these plans will actually create many more problems than they solve. However, what will happen if the rest of the world does not join us? North America and Asia, for example, continue to be substantial producers of high quality research. This will severely complicate any EU-non-EU collaboration, and also lead to problems with the internationalisation of the EU.

This is not only disastrous for their careers, but also devastating for the international position of the cOAlition S countries. Quite obviously, in a system in which the research world is divided into exclusive coalitions, the international standing, rankings and respect for scientists living in the cOAlition S countries will fall. In addition, should these journals continue to maintain the status quo, accepting submissions from North America and Asia and other parts of the world rather than flipping their business models, the cost to Europe could be tremendous.

Either we would have to anyhow double pay, both to publish in fully open access venues and to read subscription journals, at tremendous financial cost, or we would cancel our subscriptions to those journals, and then be cut off from the global research community. Going this alone without a concerted global push is incredibly risky, and could put European researchers out in the cold.

Plan S does not just mandate open access, but also mandates the form of open access, strongly favouring Gold as the desired model, and banning hybrid publications even in society journals! Instead, Plan S merely promises that,. Neither the CC-BY license nor the Berlin Declaration allow researchers to restrict access to non-commercial uses, for instance. Several authors of this article, for moral reasons, are strong proponents of CC-BY-NC rather than CC-BY licenses on their work, in order to restrict for-profit commercial exploitation of publicly funded research.

He writes:. However, our collective duty of care is for the science system as a whole, and researchers must realise that they are doing a gross disservice to the institution of science if they continue to report their outcomes in publications that will be locked behind paywalls. Here, Schiltz ignores the important difference between gratis and libre OA [ 27 ].

Recognizing this distinction, where gratis OA removes the paywall and libre OA removes some but not necessarily all restrictions on re-use, is vital to respecting academic freedom. For instance, under the existing ecosystem, a researcher could publish an article in a TA journal, yet deposit a version of the article in an institutional repository without a paywall Green OA. This would effectively remove the paywall, yet would violate the terms of Plan S. Alternatively, under the existing ecosystem, a researcher could publish in a professional society journal that publishes articles OA, without imposing any APCs on the author Platinum or Diamond OA.

This, too, would violate the terms of Plan S. Alternatively, a researcher could make use of an institutional repository to provide gratis OA to a publication, yet apply a variety of libre OA licenses [ 28 ]. Unless the license the researcher chooses is CC-BY, it is unclear how this would be permitted under the terms of Plan S.

Finally, as researchers, we feel several obligations that include, but are not limited to, the duty to care for the institution of science as a whole. We feel obligations to various researchers, both individuals and groups, which are mere parts of science-as-a-whole. We feel obligations to society, including not only society as a whole, but also to various groups and individual that make up society as a whole.

We also feel obligations to our students, both as individuals and as a group. Many of us also feel obligations to ourselves, to our families, and to our professors to publish the best work we can in the highest quality venues we can manage. Making our research freely available gratis OA is compatible with all of these obligations, but violates Plan S. We are also open to removing some restrictions to the re-use of our data and research libre OA. But Plan S both restricts the venues in which we may publish and mandates the restrictions we may place on the re-use of our research.

Plan S thus clearly — and needlessly — violates our academic freedom. In this environment, libraries would still buy subscriptions to allow scientists to catch up with the most recent developments, and the broader public would have access to all research without a paywall but with a slight delay. While this plan does not provide immediate access to everyone, it is a safe and easy solution that would be beneficial for most stakeholders.

Under this model, most publications would be ready by scientists in the first months after publication, and after the embargo period is over, no further costs should be accrued to access a scientific paper. This will likely still result in some journals being excluded as possible publication venues, but is a smaller infringement on academic freedom, and could become an acceptable situation for most researchers and a model to which any journal can easily adapt without compromising on quality. Very recently, Belgium accepted a new law following this exact month embargo model.

These are then easily searchable using a range of search tools, including but not limited to , most easily, Google Scholar. This is a solution with great benefits to the reader and limited risks to the author, as it allows for rapid early-stage dissemination of research, the provision of real time feedback to the authors, while opening up research to the scientific community and general public much faster than waiting for the very long publication time scales inherent to some journals.

The one thing that does need to be taken into account with preprint servers is that they do redirect citations from the final published versions of articles [ 32 ]. While we would prefer that bibliometrics not be used as a tool for assessing individual researchers and research-active entities, in any system that does use bibliometrics, this redirection of citations should be taken into account and both citations to the preprint and to the actual paper considered.

Overall, this, once again, seems to be a solution the Belgian government is in favour of [ 33]. One could even consider working with a legal international repository from which all available scientific papers could be downloaded after a certain embargo period. In particular, we encourage fully open access journals published by scientific societies. It may be a slower transition, but making this transition in an ecosystem that supports it does not infringe on academic freedom as Plan S does.

We must be careful to encourage this march in a way that does not replace one problem with another. Diamond publication is a fully sponsored mode of publication, in which neither author nor publisher pays, but rather, the journals are funded by a third party sponsor.

An example of Diamond OA is provided by the Beilstein Journals, all publications for which are covered by the non-profit Beilstein Institute in Germany [ 42 ]. It is important to ensure the moral and ethical integrity of that sponsor. But, when performed in an ethically uncompromised framework, this would be an ideal model for publications by scientific societies, whose journals could then either be sponsored by funders and other donors. In such a framework, rather than simply transferring costs from readers to authors, while allowing questionable journals to flourish and exploit APC, quality control can be ensured by financially supporting high quality not-for-profit publications.

Would this not be a much braver step for European and National funders to mandate, than a push for pure Gold OA? In summary, all authors of this piece are strong proponents of Open Knowledge Practices and would like to see a push towards an open research ecosystem.

However, moving toward an OA knowledge ecosystem should be balanced with challenging questions of academic freedom and academic equity in terms of access to resources and ability to publish, acknowledging also that not all Open Access publishers are equal in terms of rigour and publishing morality. Had the plan been a strong, yet fair, push towards an open ecosystem in a way that is economically sustainable and provides author choice in how the research is made openly accessible, we would have quickly joined the chorus of applause and supported this plan fully.

However, the plan, as currently written, is simply a mechanism by which to shift the cost of publication from one pot of money to another, while significantly restricting author choice in publications in Europe and with many unwanted side effects that put the European academic research landscape at severe risk. She is an open science advocate, and has been involved in many activities to promote Open Science, including serving on working groups and expert groups at the European Commission, both as an invited speaker and as a participant of the group.

She is also a co-author of the Bratislava Declaration for Young Researchers. Her research centres around protein biophysics, with current focus on mechanisms of copper transport proteins and cross-reactivity in amyloid formation. She spent 10 years as faculty at universities in USA before being recruited back to Sweden ten years ago. At Chalmers,. Abhishek Dey, PhD. Associate Professor, Chemistry. Stephen A. Wells is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bath with multidisciplinary interests in computational chemistry, mineral physics and protein structural biology.

Her main research interest is accurate computing of ground and excited state properties of transition metal complexes by DFT and development and extension of multireference DFT techniques. She was Coordinator for International Collaboration at Faculty of Chemistry University of Belgrade, , and Vice dean for science and international cooperation at Faculty of Chemistry University of Belgrade, She is a supporter of OA publishing. Marc W. He is a supporter of open access publishing and open source code. He has over 40 publications in the area of biomolecular simulation and regularly reviews for high-impact journals.

He publishes in, and reviews for several society journals, such as the ACS and Wiley. He is a supporter of OA publishing, and regularly tried to convince the chemistry society journals to adapt a suitable OA publication model. His postdoctoral research at the University of North Texas explored the use of broader societal impacts criteria in the peer review of grant proposals at both US and European funding agencies, philosophical and policy issues surrounding open access, and the development of quantitative metrics of broader impacts.

In addition to his work on science and technology policy, Holbrook conducts research on the ethics of science, engineering, and technology. His research interests are in biophysical chemistry, with a focus on enzyme catalysis and quantum biology. He has active collaborations across Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia and regularly publishes in, and reviews for a number of society and non-society journals.

He is an advocate of data sharing, open source software and pragmatic OA publishing. The way to go is very easy no need for any plan S, B, D or C It is enough high impact journals start playing clean and that open peer review with access to original becomes a requirement in any journal. Like Like. Also note that I distinguish between high quality and high impact.

In Focus: Scientific publishing

Some great journals have high IF, some less great journals have high IF, some great journals especially in specialist and nice areas have low IF. Thank you so much for this link! I am currently at a conference and need to pay attention to the excellent speakers, but will read your link carefully as soon as I come home!

I had a short exchange with Dr Kamerlin on Twitter a week or so ago. We arrived at opposite conclusions: hers was that Plan S would inadvertently restrict publishing in certain journals. My conclusion was that restricting publication in certain journals was the whole point of Plan S, and might not necessarily be a bad thing.

As I understand it, Plan S is a response to the lacklustre uptake of Open Access, making it in essence a band-aid on top of a band-aid on top of a festering wound. Publishers will quickly capitalise on any opportunity to make more money, and more power to them: if I were a RELX shareholder I would expect them to make decisions and strategic plans to increase profitability and my dividend payout.

When Plan S is set in motion, publishers will quickly move to counter negative effects to their bottom lines. I will bet you my slippers and a half-eaten biscuit that publishers will raise all APCs up to exactly this cap as soon as it is known. Those with the biggest pots of money will get to publish the most, which will get them more grants, etc. A journal is only as good as its editorial and reviewer team.

Is restricting freedom always a bad thing? In the case of firearms, drugs and Jason Donovan albums there is a definite case to be made in favour of restriction and in my opinion the same goes for journals that choose to insist on outdated publication practices. For my part, I think that upholding a status quo is a far bigger limitation on academic freedom, which includes the freedom to publish non-novel ideas such as replications.

Using grand ideas as academic freedom to argue against Plan S can only stand if we consider how the current situation is limiting our academic freedom: we have the freedom to publish sexy findings in untransparent, glamorous paywalled journals with high impact factors, or we can forget about our careers. How is that academic freedom? A journal is, quality wise, only as good as its editorial team and reviewers.

That team might work for the Liechtensteinian Journal of Applied Mathematics and Animal Husbandry too — and perform admirably in that journal as well. Famous journals sometimes publish junk remember Wakefield in the Lancet? Moreover, Dr Kamerlin et al see no issues with month embargoes. There is a steady stream of reviews and meta-analyses which inform clinical practice whether a particular approach is beneficial and should be adopted, or whether is turns out to be useless or even harmful. That is information that is needed now, and not after a leisurely months.

Solution 1 as proposed is, as such, unacceptable in my opinion. Like Liked by 1 person. In our defense, the post was not trying to tackle all the fundamental issues in scholarly publishing, but only to serve as a reaction to Plan S. We can agree that restricting freedom is not always bad as in the case of guns ; but that is largely irrelevant to the claim that Plan S infringes on academic freedom. Not all freedoms are created equal, and academic freedom should be limited as little as possible.

The idea that individual academics ought to sacrifice their freedom for the good of science — which is an idea that the Preamble states clearly — is unethical, in my opinion. First of all, it ignores the fact that not all those affected by Plan S are scientists; or, worse, it supposes that treating all the non-scientists as part of science and forcing them to sacrifice their academic freedom for the good of science is unproblematic. But Plan S is just part of what feels like — from the perspective of a non-scientist — a concerted effort to suggest that all scholarship needs to be scientific and conform to scientific norms.

Maybe lots of scientists have no problem with CC-BY licenses.

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But lots of folks from the arts and humanities do have problems with CC-BY. Maybe lots of scientists want to make sure that every study undertaken is replicable. Well sure if they have a license mismatch, but the article is not at all clear on this. I actually agree with Toma Susi that we should have been clearer on this point about Diamond OA and I take responsibility for not being clearer myself.

Research institutions should be responsible for publishing scientific journals, where quality and scientific value are the main goal, not profit only, as it is for both subscription based and OA publishers. Just take a closer look at all the junk published in so called serious OA journals via e.

They are supposed to be serious due to their membership in DOAJ, but they are sailing under false flag. Research institutions and funding agencies should be much more strict regarding where their researchers can publish, but to open up only for OA journals will only make it worse.

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And it is a wild west already! I wholeheartedly agree that forcing us to publish only open access is not the way to go. Let us be the judge on how and where to publish our work! Pingback: Presunti stacanovisti - Ocasapiens - Blog - Repubblica. I am writing this on behalf of Prof. Arieh Warshel from the University of Southern California, who supports our letters and asked me to sign it on his behalf.

The for profit vs not for-profit discussion is also quite interesting, we need to keep in mind that competition drives innovation and not for profits struggled to do just that think about plos and the Aperta fiasco. It devalues the rest of the post. Pingback: Plan S — J. Britt Holbrook. Happy to have contributed to this. If you have comments, please post below the original at For Better Science! Pingback: Plan S: Antwort auf die Kritik wisspub. Pingback: Plan S — response to alternatives proposed by Kamerlin et al.

Innovations in Scholarly Communication. There are a several fundamental problems with the basis for Plan S and the choice of discussants in advocating the policy. Scientific publishing can always be improved upon, but I would argue it is explicitly not the appropriate role of scientific funders to try to drive disruptions in the scientific publishing model via clauses in funding agreements. Secondly, I would argue that the appropriate means of scholarly dissemination should be decided by the scholarly communities involved with appropriate considerations for public interest.

Having formal roles in this policy discussion for archivists is putting the cart before the horse, and I would argue similarly regarding publishers on both sides of the argument besides questions of feasibility and how would publishers and archivists respond economically to certain changes—these are of course important data points.

Finally, it seems unwise to intentionally disrupt one of the fundamental bases for scientific communication without a well-functioning alternate in place that is accepted by the scientific community.

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Developing such an alternate as a pilot project might be reasonable, and if the scientific community organically shifts to embrace it, then wonderful. One sees such a shift in the increasing use of preprint servers and the increasing acceptance of preprint servers even by traditional journals.

Is it not the publisher who is restricting academic freedom by refusing to permit such an open license? It takes two to tango. A quite bizarre case of Stockholm Syndrome. Twenty out of the 96 board members resigned, mostly those from Australia and New Zealand who were directly connected to the now-former Editor-in-chief. One hundred forty-seven Editors-in-chief of other MDPI journals were also collectively contacted by email by the now-former Editor-in-Chief of Nutrients.

Forty-five of them responded in support of MDPI and of our policies on editorial independence, and no editors have resigned as a result. I was in cc in those emails mentioned. I just gave you the correct factual information about the resignation. Therefore I anticipate that you make a formal correction in the post above and that you do not maintain this erroneous, misleading information.

Not at all, I am just pointing to the fact that the information is incorrect and misleading. You are a journalist, I do not think you should keep erroneous information on your website. Vasquez, but you journals sports now editorial board members. I invite you to compare this assembly to an editorial board of any given society journal, This in my view visualises why Kamerlin et al prefer to submit their research to society journals. Pingback: On Academic Freedom and Responsibility jbrittholbrook. My main concern is for the learned societies or academic societies: many of these have very low membership fees in particular for students but provide great services to their community.

For example, by organizing scientific meetings at affordable rates, providing travel grants or other support to junior scientists and by providing outreach to society to name a few. They depend a lot on the journal income for their existence. Many of their journals now have a hybrid option where authors can choose to pay for Open Access.

Also, many of them are fine with green OA and some even offer an automatic deposit in BioRxiv upon submission of the manuscript. At present, they manage to both have an income stream from subscriptions as well as facilitate open access. Under Plan S their model is no longer allowed for researchers funded by Plan S subscribers. The role of Open Access publish in the drafting of Plan S is a little more than perverse.

Their agenda is profit for the publisher, as most of them are not linked to any of the learned societies. Under plan S, you can expect as a researcher that a your publication options are limited, b your publication costs will go up, c your academic society membership fees will go up or these societies will disappear altogether… If not for your own benefit, please consider the benefits for your PhD students and young investigators offered by the learned societies. Plan S is a disaster for the learned societies!

As former executive committee member of the Genetics Society UK , I know the dependence on journal income. Yes, Plan S restricts academic freedom, but academics are addicted to closed access, prestigious, extortionate journals, and will not be cured of the addiction without some external forcing. In effect, academics have been colluding with publishers for robbing the public of money and of access to science. Even if Europe goes alone with plan S, how does this fundamentally disfavour European researchers? The basics of a good research system are education, infrastructure and funding, not access to prestigious publishing venues.

Of course, in the very perverse system that exists now, cutting off one researcher from prestigious journals could be detrimental to her, but Europe is big enough for having its own system. There is nothing in Plan S that mandates or otherwise favours some particular model of open access publishing, what makes you claim otherwise?

Yes, we like to complain like the best of them.

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The first point is that the collection of scientific publications make up a kind of market of ideas. I think this is important because it allows us to draw analogies with other types of markets. In particular, consider the following question: Can you think of a market in any item where each item was priced perfectly, so that every rational person agreed on its value?

Consider the stock market, which might be the most analyzed market in the world. Professional investors make their entire living analyzing the companies that are listed on stock exchanges and buying and selling their shares based on what they believe is the value of those companies.

And yet, there can be huge disagreements over the valuation of these companies. Consider the current Herbalife drama , where investors William Ackman and Carl Icahn and Daniel Loeb are taking complete opposite sides of the trade Ackman is short and Icahn is long. In the long run, good companies survive while others do not. In the meantime, everyone will argue about the appropriate price.

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Journals are in some ways like the stock exchanges of yore. There are very prestigious ones e. It has to meet certain standards set by the journal. The importance of being listed on a prestigious stock exchange has diminished somewhat over the years. Similarly, although Science, Nature, and the New England Journal of Medicine are still quite sought after by scientists, competition is increasing from journals such as those from the Public Library of Science who are willing to publish papers that are technically correct and let readers determine their importance.

Suppose this journal accepts any publication that satisfies some basic technical requirements i.

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Scientific Publishing. From Vanity to Strategy Scientific Publishing. From Vanity to Strategy
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