New opportunities to publish open access

384px-Open_Access_logo_PLoS_transparent.svgAt the start of 2020, we are pleased to announce some new ‘Read and Publish’ deals, which make publishing your research open access (OA) easier for SGUL researchers[1] – regardless of whether your research is funded or not.

This blog post aims to tell you some more about these deals – what they are, how they have come about, and where to go for more information.

First off, what is ‘Read and Publish’?

Some SGUL researchers have already taken advantage of a ‘read and publish’ deal, by publishing in journals in the Springer Compact deal.

Under this deal, open access fees for publishing in many Springer journals are waived because SGUL Library has a subscription with Springer.

So as SGUL Library has paid a subscription, SGUL staff & students have access to read articles in the journals covered, PLUS, where the SGUL researcher is the corresponding author, the article can be published under CC-BY licence at no extra cost to SGUL. This is visualised below:

Publish and Read

Which publishers and journals are covered by our new Read and Publish deals?

  • Company of Biologists (for these three of their titles, not applicable for their journals that are already fully OA)
    • Development
    • Journal of Cell Science
    • The Journal of Experimental Biology
  • European Respiratory Society
    • publishing in their flagship journal ‘European Respiratory Journal’ (not in their fully OA journals or other titles)
  • Microbiology Society
    • The agreement covers publishing in all the Society’s titles

These 3 deals are being piloted from Jan 2020-Dec 2021.

CC

(Creative Commons licenses explained ©Foter (adapted by Jisc) via Foter blog CC BY-SA)

Why isn’t it possible to publish open access for free in all the journals?

You may be wondering this.

The move from a subscription-based model to a Read and Publish (or Publish and Read) one is a complex task often requiring many months of negotiations. So far, only a relatively small number of publishers offer such deals, but the number continues to gradually increase.

The move has been prompted by the increase in funders requiring the research they fund to be openly available, while at the same time there have been increases in costs for open access publishing. Wellcome Trust noted in 2018 that “the average APC for a hybrid OA article (making an article open access in a subscription journal) (£2,209) is 34% higher than the average APC for an article in a fully OA journal (£1,644).”

And while some publishers continue to report large profits, other journals, especially those run for learned societies, may be more modest affairs, existing to facilitate furthering the activities, knowledge and influence of their particular community. The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), along with other partners, has been working to identify routes through which learned society publishers could successfully transition to open access (OA). They recently published a report and toolkit to help with this.

How are the decisions made about these deals?

The Read and Publish deals SGUL researchers can take advantage of have been negotiated by Jisc Collections (which works with UK universities as a consortium to arrange affordable deals that work for both publishers and institutions).

As these deals were offered at no additional cost to maintaining read access to these subscription journals, SGUL Library has been able to sign up, and this is great news for our researchers.

Some other publishers are currently in negotiations with Jisc Collections. The outcome of ongoing and any future negotiations may influence SGUL’s ability to pay for these deals (for instance if publishers offer deals over the cost of subscriptions plus the rate of inflation). All deals are subject to review as the new models are tested out by publishers, institutions and researchers alike (as Springer recently cautioned).

As Plan S, an initiative backed by many big funders committed to making OA a reality, and recent speculation about possible White House moves towards open access in the US show, the push for openly accessible research is not likely to go away any time soon.

A positive sign is that Universities UK, an organisation made up of University vice-chancellors and principals, has recently brought together a group, which also includes representatives from major UK funders, who will work towards sustainable solutions in the move towards more open access to UK research.

SGUL Library will continue to keep a watchful eye on developments, and we welcome feedback from any researchers who have participated in publishing under these deals (contact information below).

Want more information?

  • For details of these and other low or no cost publishing options, please visit the Library webpage on Paying Open Access Fees
  • If you have any intellectual property you wish to protect before publishing, you can get in touch with our Enterprise and Innovation Team
  • Reminder: If you are considering publishing on open access with journals not covered by any Publish and Read deals, please take a moment to look at the guidance available on our OA FAQs page
  • The agreements with publishers are managed here at SGUL by Lawrence Jones (Content and Digital Infrastructure Manager) and Verity Allison (Journals and e-resources Librarian). The Library has guidance if you need help Finding Books, Articles and More

Meanwhile if you have any questions about open access, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via the emails below.

Jennifer Smith

Research Publications Librarian

Contacts

CRIS & Deposit on acceptance: sora@sgul.ac.uk

Open Access Publications: openaccess@sgul.ac.uk

If you are interested receiving updates from the Library on all things open access, open data and scholarly research communications, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from us.

References

Wellcome Trust. Wellcome is going to review its open access policy [Internet]. London: Wellcome; 2018 [cited 2020 Jan 14]. Available from: https://wellcome.ac.uk/news/wellcome-going-review-its-open-access-policy

Page, B. Elsevier records 2% lifts in revenue and profits [Internet]. The Bookseller: 2019 [cited 2020 Jan 14]. Available from: https://www.thebookseller.com/news/elsevier-records-2-lifts-revenue-and-profits-960016

Springer Nature Group. Alternative conditions needed in order for cOAlition S’s proposal for Transformative Journals to succeed [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2020 Jan 14]. Available from: https://group.springernature.com/fr/group/media/press-releases/alternative-conditions-needed/17508260

Subbaraman, N. Rumours fly about changes to US government open-access policy. Nature [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2020 Jan 16]. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-03926-1

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[1] SGUL researchers are:

  • St George’s, University of London staff
  • St George’s, University of London students
  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff with honorary status.

The corresponding author should apply using their St George’s email, which will help identify them to the publisher as being at an institution eligible under these deals. Otherwise, check if your corresponding author’s institution participates in the deal.