Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science (SCOSS) hits half-million Euro funding mark

Thanks to dozens of quick-acting universities and institutions in Australia, Europe & North America, a new effort to secure Open Science infrastructure is off to a strong start. More than 680 000 Euros have been pledged to support DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO already.

In a press release issued by SPARC Europe on 14th August 2018, Vannessa Proudman, Director of SPARC Europe, said:

“This being a new concept, we are very encouraged by the response of the community at this point. We’re taking this as an early indication that we will, in time, reach our full three-year funding goals for both the DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO, two truly vital services. But for this to happen, we will need to continue to see growth in support; far more institutions committing to funding.”

Lars Bjørnshauge, Managing Director and Founder of DOAJ, said: “We are very pleased to see that many of the long standing members of DOAJ have decided to increase their financial support, based on the fees recommended by SCOSS and for the next three years. We are looking forward to welcoming even more members and support shortly. We will do our very best to live up to the ever-changing expectations from the community.”

And “the ever-changing expectations from the community” are, in a nutshell, why SCOSS and sustainable funding models are so important to DOAJ, SHERPA/RoMEO and open access in general. Open access is still a relatively young publishing model and is growing rapidly. New markets are opening up to open access publishing, each of them bringing new challenges with them, and technology is creating new opportunities and functionality in publishing. DOAJ must remain at the forefront of these developments and that means having a stable financial foundation upon which work can continue.

If you’d like to know more about SCOSS please go to http://scoss.org/ and if you would like to make a financial contribution using the SCOSS model, or indeed, any amount at all, please contact Lars: lars@doaj.org.

 

Silver Sponsor Federation of Finnish Learned Societies answers our questions on Open Access publishing and DOAJ.

Janne Pölönen, Head Of Planning at the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies answers our questions.

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– Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for some years now. Why is it important for the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies to support DOAJ?

Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV) produces a Publication Forum rating of academic/scholarly journals and book publishers that supports the performance-based research funding system (PRFS) for allocating part of block funding annually to universities. Similar model, in which the research community – rather than the Journal Impact Factor – is entrusted the rating of outlets, is used for example in Norway and Denmark. The Nordic countries collaborate with support from Nordforsk to create The Nordic list, a common Nordic registry of publication channels. In 2017, TSV and other partners of the Nordic collaboration group agreed to support DOAJ as a trusted international source of whitelisted Open Access journals. In each country, information from DOAJ is supplied to experts to help them identify reliable peer-reviewed outlets.

– What is the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

Especially in the social sciences and humanities (SSH), large share of research is published in national languages and in books. Therefore, important part of the success of OA depends on national solutions and developments. In Finland, learned societies are major publishers of academic/scholarly journals and books. TSV plays a key role in facilitating the transition of the societies’ publishing activities to OA. This includes operating the Open Journal System (OJS) service for the learned societies and launching, in 2017, the Journal.fi portal to OA journals in Finland. An open access plan is required from learned societies to be eligible for the state subsidies that TSV allocates to journals and books series, and a consortium-based funding-model for those transitioning to OA is being sought in collaboration with the National Library. TSV also provides the Finnish scholarly publishers a Label for peer-reviewed publications to promote high standards and transparency of peer-review practices. The Publication Forum list of journals and book publishers helps to disseminate information about open access status and self-archiving policies based on DOAJ and Sherpa/Romeo. Open Access publishing is part of the Open Science agenda, of which TSV is set to become the national coordination body in Finland.

– Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations? What are your personal views on the future of Open Access publishing?

The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) has admirably set out the ideal that we should have both free access and unrestricted use of research publications. The transition to OA requires the continued will and effort, both at international and national level, of policy-makers, leaders, administrators, librarians, and researchers advocating OA. This movement is making it increasingly difficult for publishers not to facilitate open access with reasonable cost and embargo. The transition is perhaps not happening as fast as we hope because there are many stakeholders, interests, and traditions involved in academic/scholarly publishing. For the same reason, open availability of research publications continues to take place in many forms, some of which fall short of the BOAI ideals. We will be getting free access without unrestricted use and free access delayed with embargoes – these are needed to help the transition. The environment for the development of OA has become more and more complex, for example with the emergence of academic social networks that have increased the ambiguity among the research community over what is OA and what is not. Nevertheless, as many studies show, there has been a global growth in the share of research publications that are openly available to everyone on the internet and it is fair to expect this growth to continue.

– What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

Most attention has been paid to journal publishing but also open access to peer-reviewed monographs and book chapters need to be facilitated. Researchers can increase their awareness of reliable OA publishing options and make the effort to archive their publications to an OA repository whenever the journal or book publisher permits self-archiving. Institutions should facilitate archiving and identification of OA policies. More studies are needed to show and communicate the added value of open access to research and society. Researchers can also be encouraged to choose channels that either are open access or allow self-archiving with reasonable embargo, and scholarly publishers of journals and books can be encouraged to increasingly develop and offer viable OA options. This will require the development of institutional, national and international OA policies, evaluation practices and infrastuctures. European Commission has already set a strong agenda including rewards and Incentives, indicators and next-generation metrics, future of scholarly communication, European Open Science Cloud, FAIR Data, research integrity, skills and education and citizen science. The next challenge is for all the relevant stakeholders in EU countries to work out how this agenda is best adapted to national and local contexts and cultures to advance open access and open science.

 

 

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Silver Sponsor Hindawi Answers our Questions on Open Access Publishing and DOAJ

Paul Tavner, Head of Institutional Outreach at Hindawi, answers our questions.

Artboard 1– Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for some years now. Why is it important for Hindawi to support DOAJ?

DOAJ is a crucial tool for authors when assessing open access journals. Its use is taught by librarians around the world as part of Open Access 101. Hindawi strongly believes in supporting the development of tools that the community can rely on to make informed decisions about their publishing activities.

Importantly, DOAJ was designed as an ‘open first’ service – unlike legacy systems that are gradually retrofitted to support open practices. Developing and supporting new services dedicated to serving the open movement – such as DOAJ –  is a key priority for us.

– What benefits does being indexed in DOAJ bring to your journals?

The way that people think about and assess journals is changing. Prestige will always be an important factor when considering publishing venues, but open access – and open science more widely – adds new considerations to this decision-making process.

In a world of evolving practices and priorities, DOAJ encourages authors to think carefully about the most fundamentally important qualities a journal offers. A journal listed in DOAJ provides reassurance to authors that essential standards are met and that they can expect a certain level of service when submitting.

The fact that many librarians train authors to use DOAJ as a discoverability platform – as well as a tool for assessing journals – also means that more authors are finding and submitting to Hindawi’s journals for the first time via DOAJ.

– What is Hindawi doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

Hindawi’s current priorities are around the development of a truly open infrastructure for scholarly publishing. Although we’re actively developing our own solutions in-house, we strongly believe that collaborative community-led projects are where real progress will be made in this space. We’re therefore contributing significantly to initiatives including Crossref, the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) and the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (CoKo).

Our CEO, Paul Peters, wrote a detailed blog post on this subject at the end of last year, which you can read here.

– What are your personal views on the future of Open Access publishing?

The Open Access genie is out of the bottle. It’s no longer a questions of ‘if’ Open Access will become the dominant paradigm, it’s just a question of ‘when’. As more and more digital natives become practicing researchers and take over from predecessors, the mental contortions needed to justify the old-fashioned practices of legacy business models become increasingly difficult to sustain.

That said, OA has a lot of problems that need to be resolved. APCs are a clever solution in many ways, but much more needs to be done to explore how they can be more rationally deployed. We need to do more to support researchers in countries with poorer access to funding. OA also has a huge problem with jargon – specifically around the varieties (gold, green etc.).

– What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

My main wish is that as many people as possible could critically assess what they think they know about open access. Conflations of gold OA with APCs; slurs about ‘pay to publish’; general suspicion about publishing operations from non-Western countries. These are all examples of dogmatic prejudice that could all be addressed with a little simple research.

We all have a responsibility to ask questions about why things are done in a particular way. Challenging convention is key to improving our systems and processes. This applies just as much to publishers as it does to researchers and librarians. Every person who challenges the status quo helps to encourage change and development.

– Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations?

More people have greater access to scholarly content than ever before in human history. We’re succeeding by some metrics, but lagging behind by others.

The BOAI has had a huge impact on the landscape of the scholarly communications, but it was the result of a specific set of challenges and opportunities at a particular point in time. Rather than concentrating on its vision then, we should be looking more at the challenges and opportunities available to us now.

SILVER SPONSOR DANISH AGENCY FOR SCIENCE AND HIGHER EDUCATION ANSWERS OUR QUESTIONS ON OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING AND DOAJ

Lotte Faurbæk and Hanne-Louise Kirkegaard from the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education (Styrelsen for Forskning og Uddannelse) answer our questions.

-Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for some years now. Why is it important for the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education to support DOAJ?

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We regard DOAJ as an authoritative data source on Open Access Journals. We use DOAJ in the Danish Research Indicator to verify the data quality of the journals in our database, which consists of over 300,000 journals (both Opens Access and toll). Additionally, whenever we get a suggestion to accept a new journal to our list of publication channels that should generate points in the indicator, we check the status in DOAJ, to make sure it lives up to the criteria for acceptance. DOAJ is also an important part of the project called “Nordic lists”, which is a project supported by NordForsk, where the Nordic countries with research indicators collaborate to enhance the data quality of their national lists of publication channels.

-What is the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

In 2014, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science adopted a national strategy for Open Access to research articles from publicly funded institutions. The strategy The strategy has an ambitious goal, stating that already in 2022, 100% of the articles should be freely available via the Internet. Though, the Danish Open Access Indicator showed that only 36 percent of scientific publications produced at Danish universities were Open Access in April 2018. So, we are far from reaching the ambitious target, and a revision of the strategy – including scaling down the Open Access targets – is under way.

-What are your personal views on the future of Open Access publishing?

I think it is an irreversible trend. Though, the transition towards 100 pct. Open Access will happen at a slower pace than aimed for in the EU. In the EU Council Conclusions on Open Science the OA target is 100 pct. OA in 2020. Full OA will probably not happen at the speed desired due to a lot of reasons. Some of the reasons are: different Open Access approaches in EU member states and third countries – green, hybrid, green etc. -, the current lack of merit of OA compliance, the reluctance among publishers towards green Open Access, including big publishers imposing extraordinary long embargoes on scientific articles – 24 months or more.

– What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

·         The rationale behind Open Science/Open Access must be communicated better to the public, and OA should be a political priority – both at national and institutional level.

·         National and institutional policies on Open Access must be adopted, implemented, monitored and enforced.

·         Change of culture among researchers towards openness is needed and could be supported by a change of the current merit system

·         Research funders must mandate and monitor OA

·         Universities must unite and collectively negotiate economically sustainable subscription deals – including OA – with the publishers (bargaining power).

– Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations?

I think we are under way, but not as fast as one could hope. More needs to be done, as we said in the previous question.

Silver Sponsor National Library of Sweden Answers our Questions on Open Access Publishing and DOAJ

Beate Eellend, Open Access Coordinator at Kungliga Biblioteket (National Library of Sweden), and contributor to the OpenAccess.se blog, answers our questions.

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– Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for some years now. Why is it important for the National Library of Sweden to support DOAJ?

The National Library of Sweden (NLS) has been supporting DOAJ from the very beginning, partly financing the launch of DOAJ at Lund University in 2003. For NLS it is important to support DOAJ as an independent part of the scholarly communication infrastructure. NLS promotes open sources with international standards and rich quality metadata which DOAJ stands for. NLS relies on DOAJ’s assessment on quality Open Access journals and uses DOAJ as a data source for verifying and enriching metadata on Open Access publications from the Swedish universities.

 

– What is the National Library of Sweden doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

NLS is developing the national research publication database Swepub in regards to needs of bibliometrical analysis. One of the needs is to be able to collect data on Open Access publications from the Swedish universities. For this NLS uses DOAJ to verify and enrich Open Access status.

Since 2006 The National Library of Sweden has worked with advancing open access to scholarly output. At the beginning of 2017 the National Library received an appropriation directive from the Swedish Government to act as a national coordinating body in the work towards a transition to open access to scholarly publications. NLS coordinates five studies concerning different aspects of the transition to an open access publishing landscape:

  1. The current merit and resource allocation system versus incentives for open access;
  2. Funding for a transition from a subscription-based to an open access publishing system;
  3. Open access to scholarly monographs;
  4. Financial and technical support for converting peer-reviewed and scholarly journals from toll access to open access;
  5. Monitoring of compliance with open access policies and mandates.

All groups have stakeholder representation from Swedish funding agencies, HEIs, researchers and the National Library of Sweden. The goal of the studies is to formulate recommendations for national solutions to fulfil the goal of the Swedish Government; that the transition to open access to scholarly publications, research data and artistic works should be fully implemented in 2026 at the latest

– What are your personal views on the future of Open Access publishing?

It is our firm belief that open access will strengthen the scholarly system as well as society at large. A broad collaboration between stakeholders is needed in order to achieve the goal of open access. Also, we aim to strengthen the control of the total costs of publishing while preserving the quality control system. This is no easy task, conflicting interests complicates the transition to a sustainable open access publishing system.  

– What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

As long as there are little or no incentives or rewards for researchers practicing open access and open science, the prestige economy will continue to hinder the development. Scholarly community leaders have an important role to show the way forward.

– Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations?

None of the above. We are in the middle of a very complex societal transition where digitization strongly affects both research and higher education. This transition is still ongoing and has never been tried before – we are living in a trial and error era.

 

Silver Sponsor PLOS answers our questions on Open Access Publishing and DOAJ

Louise Page,  Chief Innovation Officer at PLOS answers our questions

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Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for a few years now. Why is it important for PLOS to support DOAJ?

As a leading Open Access publisher we strongly support DOAJ and its mission to increase the visibility, accessibility and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, Open Access research. Our two organizations were launched in the same year and PLOS has always valued the importance of having an independent organization provide validation of a journal’s probity to help ensure that researchers find a suitable, vetted Open Access home for their work.

What benefits does being indexed in DOAJ bring to your journals?

There are a number of benefits that PLOS derives from being indexed in DOAJ. The first is simple: visibility. Authors who are unaware of us can find PLOS listed in the directory, which shows our commitment to providing high-quality, peer-reviewed Open Access content. In addition, authors can rest assured that only legitimate journals are listed, which is a check against predatory journals.  Also, many university libraries use DOAJ as the pathway to provide content, including PLOS, to their scholars.

 

What is PLOS doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

PLOS recently launched preprints. Our collaboration with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s bioRxiv will give PLOS authors a choice about whether to make their work  visible before peer review, after initial screening and basic ethical and technical checks. even earlier. We hope that authors – and reviewers – will benefit from community comments alongside the traditional peer review process. PLOS and CSHL are also planning to develop badges, to serve as an indicator that certain services have been completed.

In addition, one of PLOS’ goals for 2018 is to implement a robust transparent review service. We are currently consulting with our communities to better understand how best to responsibly move forward. Also, PLOS is formalizing its collaboration with protocols.io to better enhance reproducibility.  Reviewers and editors gaining access to the protocols during peer review enables methodological details to be shared and integrated into the research cycle, from bench to publication and back.

What are your views on the future of Open Access publishing?

We see increasing adoption of Open Access policies and practices by funders, institutions, publishers and researchers, which will foster an ethical and intellectual environment conducive to responsible Open Science. We also hope to see innovations that promote reproducibility, credit and accountability, as these priorities support establishment of an Open Science culture, with open data, early sharing of work and clear contributor recognition. We see the benefit of Open Access content in relation to future advances in machine-readable formats and text and data mining—and the potential for Open Access to propel Open Science forward into new and exciting territory.

What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

From a publisher perspective, PLOS and others can help showcase and reward rigorous study design, not just results. We can also strenuously push the industry to make publishing replications and negative results an act that deserves credit and recognition. The industry can also increase the range of article level metrics available to deemphasize the Journal Impact Factor. In addition, supporting and facilitating FAIR sharing of all research outputs (especially data), promoting open source and embracing interoperable, open standards and digital identifiers

Open Access publishers can also do a better job at understanding the real-world concerns of researchers in the Global South and how Open Access can be a positive influence in their careers. Non-paywalled content enables them to gain access to the literature, but the APC business model is seen as a detriment to publishing. We need to explore a middle ground that is beneficial to everyone.

Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations?

Open Access publishing still has a long way to go before anyone can proclaim ‘job done’ with regard to the BOAI initiative in 2002. That said, Open Access publishing, despite all the challenges both behind and ahead of us, is surpassing expectations. Think of how far scholarly publishing has come since the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Despite all the early naysayers and strong opposition from subscription publishers, authors now have more choices than ever in which to find the best fit for their research. Open Access helped bring about multi-disciplinary journals, which helps support authors who collaborate across the sciences. Open Access publishers have implemented policies, practices and introduced innovations that were unthinkable in the 90s. In addition, more private funders and governments require the research they fund be published in Open Access journals. Why? Simply put: it’s working. Collectively we are on the right path.

At the same time there is a growing concern that crucial research communication functions and data management will be controlled by a small number of commercial players. The consolidation of vital tools and services may lead to unaffordable costs, limited access to research metrics, and a proliferation of big deal licenses. We are very interested in exploring how the Open Access community can enable new markets and provide new services to a diverse community that encompasses early career researchers to seasoned scientists working in a global arena. Exciting recent initiatives centered around Open Science, such as open data, open methods and open notebooks allow for improved transparency and reproducibility, leading to more reliable science. The landscape has changed dramatically since 2002 and the new players and initiatives will certainly have an impact on the ultimate metric by which the success of Open Access is measured.

Silver Sponsor MDPI answers our questions on DOAJ and Open Access

This is the first of a series of interviews with our Gold and Silver sponsors. MDPI answered our questions on DOAJ and Open Access publishing.

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Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for a few years now. Why is it important for MDPI to support DOAJ?

Both DOAJ and MDPI are pioneers in open access. DOAJ was one of the first organizations to provide guidance to scholars looking to publish in open access. An application process was introduced a few years ago and the directory has defined a very clear set of best practices that are expected. Today, DOAJ is an important and trusted source of information about open access publishers and journals, both for authors and funding bodies. Maybe DOAJ could consider maintaining a public list of changes (new additions and removals) to the directory in future!

*NOTE from DOAJ: we actually do this, but we are aware we need to place the link on a more prominent place on our site: https://doaj.org/faq#metadata. You can download a list of journals in CSV (comma-separated) format which can then be imported into Excel or any equivalent analysis tool. The CSV file is updated every 30 minutes.

What benefits does being indexed in DOAJ bring to your journals?

Our journals are more visible to researchers and institutions through being in DOAJ and authors can trust we adhere to best practices and open access principles set forward by the directory. MDPI has the greatest respect for what DOAJ has achieved!

Do you think that the DOAJ has been and/or still is important for the development of Open Access publishing?

Of course!

What is MDPI doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

We collaborate with institutions, universities, and libraries to jointly develop and promote open access. We think it is very important to work hand in hand with the main stakeholders, which is why we launched our institutional program five years ago, currently with over 350 institutions participating in the program. We are exploring different publishing models through our preprint platform Preprints.org, Knowledge Unlatched (which supports 9 MDPI journals in the area of humanities and social sciences) and our research collaboration and conference platform at sciforum.net. We also support initiatives like DORA and the Jussieu Call to explore how research can be communicated more effectively and to explore different models beyond article processing charges paid by authors.

What are your personal views on the future of Open Access publishing?

Open access is the publishing model of the future. We focus our energy and capacity on upholding the quality of our publication process, which we see as essential for continued growth. We will support funders and universities in their efforts to define policies aimed at ensuring research is freely available.

What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

There is no special treatment needed for open access publishers. Authors are becoming aware they need to gain control over their intellectual property. Not least to ensure their work is as visible as possible, with free access to as many readers as possible. The right to distribute/deposit accepted versions is one way of gaining more control.

Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations?

Open access will continue to grow. MDPI is expanding, both in number of journals and papers published. Other publishers are adding to the number of high-quality open access journals. We will continue to work exceptionally hard to ensure open access is a success and research becomes freely available to everyone.