Open Access (the book)
- This is the home page for my book, Open Access (MIT Press, 2012). I use it for posting updates and supplements, and linking to reviews, translations, and OA editions. — Peter Suber.
- Suggested short URL for this page = bit.ly/oa-book
About the book
- The book was released in June 2012 and became OA in June 2013, one year after publication. MIT Press itself hosts four OA editions, in PDF, HTML, ePub, and Mobi (Kindle). The same editions are available in DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), and other places around the web. The Internet Archive hosts eight OA editions, adding Daisy, DjVu, plain text, and streaming.
- An inexpensive paperback edition remains available as well.
- The best edition for searching is the streaming edition from the Internet Archive. The search box is at the top of the page, and the hits show up as little flags on the bar at the bottom of the page, showing how many there are and roughly where they're located in the book. Clicking on a search result will jump you to the full text, in full context, including the page number for citation purposes. When you search the book for a given topic or name, don't forget to search this page of updates and supplements as well.
- The best edition for cutting and pasting depends on what you need. If you don't know where to find the passage you want to want to cut/paste, then I recommend either the MIT PDF or the Internet Archive PDF. Each displays the full-text in one large file, for searching, but each leaves hard returns in your pasted text. The same is true of the IA plain text edition. If you already know where to find the passage you want to cut/paste, then I recommend the MIT HTML edition. It puts separate chapters into separate files, but will not leave hard returns in your pasted text.
- The best edition for deep linking is also the streaming edition from the Internet Archive. Built on BookReader, it supports deep links to individual pages, and I use this edition below when I link directly to pages and chapters of the book.
- Tech note: There are 12 unpaginated pages in the front of the book, and each one needs a distinct number for the purpose of deep linking. Hence, to deep link to page n of the print edition, use n+12 rather than n in the URL. For examples, see my deep links in the updates and supplements below.
- In addition to deep linking to parts of the book, you can deep link to parts of this book home page.
- Request. If you cite the book and include a URL with your citation, please use the URL for this book home page (long URL or short URL). Then your readers will know about the print and OA editions, the reviews and translations, and the updates and supplements.
- Also see my other writings on OA.
|Choice named Open Access an Outstanding Academic Title for 2013.|
- Stephen Curry, Open Access by Peter Suber, Reciprocal Space, July 5, 2012. "There has been a fairly torrid debate over open access over the last six months (even longer for aficionados). For people who look in only occasionally it must seem like a storm that swirls around the same arguments time and again....Cutting through this noisy argument is Peter Suber’s short book on the topic, which has just been published by MIT Press. In the ten brief chapters of Open Access he works his way through the definitions, the history, the economics and the implications of changes to the landscape of research publishing. The text is thorough, clear and measured....Suber does a wholly admirable job of unpicking the complexities of open access and we’ll get there sooner if more of us are able to engage properly with the matter."
- Rob Harle, Open Access by Peter Suber (MIT Press 2012), Leonardo Reviews, August 2, 2012. "This is a very important book, which, I suggest, is a must read for all scholars and researchers who publish their own work or consult the peer-reviewed published work of others ––in other words, virtually all academics...."
- Louis Kirby, Open Access: Peter Suber's new book, ZettaScience, September 6, 2012. "It comes down to this. I am a taxpayer and a physician. It makes me madder than Hell to have to pay $35.00 to read a single PDF of a journal article when my tax dollars already paid for the research....Peter Suber’s book is terrific. It is short and easily readable in a couple of sittings. That said, he is very thorough and clear at explaining what Open Access is, and why it benefits both the author, the research enterprise and society...."
- John Dupuis, Reading Diary: Open Access by Peter Suber, Confessions of a Science Librarian, September 26, 2012. "Peter Suber’s... Open Access is an important book. You should read it, you should buy (or recommend) a copy for your library. You should buy a hundred boxes and give a copy to every faculty member at your institution. And not just because it’s a blazingly wonderful book — although it mostly is — but because it’s a book that sets the stage for an intelligent, rational, fact-based discussion on the future of scholarly publishing...."
- Elliott Smith, Open Access, Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Fall 2012. "Suber provides clear and concise explanations....Given the recent attempts in Congress to rescind the NIH Public Access Policy, Open Access should be of interest to a broad audience. It is particularly relevant to faculty and administrators at research institutions...."
- Wm. Joseph Thomas, Review of Peter Suber, Open Access, Against the Grain, November 2012, p. 40. "Suber makes the point eloquently that all key players involved in vetting research — authors, editors, and peer reviewers — can consent to OA without losing revenue. Not only that, Suber makes the case that distributing research freely is a public gift with both direct and indirect benefits to all....If the readers of Suber's book will take action on providing access to knowledge as a 'public good,' we can indeed complete the 'peaceful revolution' that Suber envisions."
- T.M. Owen, Open Access by Peter Suber, Choice, February 2013, vol. 50, No. 06, p. 216. "Drawing extensively on his previous online writings, world-renowned open access (OA) expert Suber...presents a well-written, concise explanation of OA. The book appeals to those with all levels of OA knowledge, from novice to expert, but it is especially beneficial for those unfamiliar with the subject....In ten well-organized chapters, the author defines OA, examines the motivation behind OA, presents options for institutional and funders' policies, confronts copyright issues, explains the economics of OA, and predicts what the future might hold. The extensive notes and references that accompany each chapter enhance the value of this important resource. Open Access should be required reading for everyone involved in the publishing cycle — from authors to publishers, including librarians and general readers. Everyone who reads this volume will gain a better understanding and appreciation of OA....Summing Up: Essential...."
- Giridhar Madras, Open Access by Peter Suber, Current Science, February 10, 2013. "This book by Peter Suber builds on his excellent work and articles on open access (OA)....This book is clear in its recommendation....On 16 August 2012, Georgia State University distributed copies of Suber’s book to new faculty and administrators on campus....It is high time that Indian institutions follow the [George State] example."
- Padmanabhan Balaram, Open Access: Tearing Down Barriers, Current Science, February 25, 2013. "Open Access by Peter Suber...is an excellent and easily readable primer on the movement to make the results of scholarly work freely available. The author's preface is engaging, urging readers to plunge on: 'I want busy people to read this book. OA benefits literally everyone, for the same reason that research benefits literally everyone.' Suber is clear 'that the largest obstacle to OA is misunderstanding....' His remedy for misunderstanding ‘is a clear statement of the basics for busy people’. I believe the book will serve this purpose admirably....This is a book that must be read by those busy scientists who publish a lot, read a lot and have had little time to grasp the nuances of the open access movement. It must also be read (and read carefully) by strident advocates, who have little time to allay the fears of those unfamiliar with the issue."
- Brenda Chawner, Open Access, Online Information Review, Vol. 37, No. 1 (2013) pp. 150 - 151. "Suber has been writing about OA concepts and developments since 2001, making him one of the movement's most important champions. Now, in Open Access Suber provides a succinct, readable and well-reasoned discussion of OA concepts and practices....[T]his book is an excellent guide for anyone interested in learning more about open access publishing."
- Kevin Michael Clair, Open Access by Peter Suber, Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 39, no. 1, January 2013. "In his latest book, Suber lays out in succinct and engaging fashion the primary reasons why the major players in the scholarly communications space should consider open access in their publishing, peer-reviewing, and library acquisitions work....For libraries just making inroads into the open access world, Open Access is an essential introduction to the topic. For academic librarians who have been working in the scholarly communications space and are familiar with its content, the value of Open Access lies in the concise way in which Suber outlines all of the reasons why the OA movement exists, and how researchers, librarians, and their reading audience can continue to work in order to advance its cause. Open Access is an essential addition to the libraries of anyone interested in the future of scholarly publishing in all of its forms."
- Elizabeth Siler Open Access by Peter Suber, Library Resources & Technical Services, vol. 57, no. 2, 2013. "In Open Access, Peter Suber explains the ins and outs of the OA movement, in a quick and efficient way, to inform the busy researcher....Open Access provides a brief but complete overview of OA publishing...."
- Gary F. Daught, Review: Peter Suber’s Open Access, Omega Alpha | Open Access, June 17, 2013. "This book is a high-quality, thoughtful, and well-written distillation of Suber’s decade-long full-time immersion in the developing open access environment....Suber accomplishes his purpose admirably. In addressing these topics, Suber writes succinctly and with clarity, applying the logic of a philosopher (which he is), the sharpness of a debater, and the cadence of a musician (speaking to his writing style). He anticipates the many sides and questions of his readers, even honest critiques, and he answers them with directness and without polemic. He clearly aims to persuade, but he also wants to bring his readers along with with him."
- Colin Steele, Open access by Peter Suber, Australian Library Journal, September 29, 2013. "While many libraries and librarians will buy Suber’s book, it really needs to become essential reading for administrators and academics, since the system will not quickly change without their understanding of and involvement in the issues. Suber’s pithy comments may help, such as, ‘The deeper problem is that we donate time, labor, and public money to create new knowledge and then hand control over the results to businesses that believe, correctly or incorrectly, that their revenue and survival depend on limiting access to that knowledge’....Suber’s book is an excellent primer....In [the] future, the role of the library will include the facilitation of scholarly publishing to enable the widest dissemination of an institution’s intellectual output. To assist that process, Suber’s book is an essential OA vade mecum."
- Benjamin Caraco, Peter Suber, Open Access, Lectures, Les comptes rendus, October 1, 2013. Also here. "[Suber's] écrits, activités et engagements font de lui l’un des spécialistes les plus respectés et écoutés sur la question du libre accès. Dans son dernier livre, Open Access,...il propose une introduction raisonnée au libre accès dans un langage clair, alliant la pédagogie au pragmatisme." In Google's English: "[Suber's] writings, activities and commitments made him one of the most respected and listened to on the issue of open access experts. In his latest book, Open Access,...[he] offers a reasoned introduction to free access in clear language, combining pedagogy [with] pragmatism."
- Brad Reid, Peter Suber, Open Access, Computing Reviews, October 29, 2013. "Anyone in the computing, publishing, archiving, and library worlds will find [this book] informative, interesting, and nontechnical....This is a compact presentation of the interesting and important topic of OA."
- David R. Stewart, Peter Suber, Open Access, Theological Librarianship, 7, 1 (January 2014) pp. 72-74. "It is very easy to imagine a book on this urgent topic that is too complex, too long, too combative, and deathly boring. Happily, Suber’s Open Access is none of these things. He has an almost perfect instinct for what his readers are eager to know, and he frames his content in useful examples and in the context of the real-world challenges common to the academy. Likewise, he clearly has a great deal of respect for the issues libraries and librarians must contend with in these times of transition. Open Access is highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand better how academic publishing is changing, whether from a library acquisitions or a publishing perspective."
- Paul Uhlir, "Peter Suber, Open Access" (review not online), Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2014, pp. 92-94. "Peter Suber’s book Open Access provides an easy-to-read compendium of answers to many questions and blows up some of the canards that have been flying around the ether. Suber is one of the gurus of the open access (OA) movement....In summary, Suber dispels the arguments against open publishing of publicly funded research results and makes a cogent case for the new models."
- Marian De Saxe, "Peter Suber, Open Access" (review not online), Media International Australia, February 2014. "Peter Suber...is...the ideal person to provide an insider's expert overview and summary of this form of publishing while mounting a persuasive argument in favour of the extensive advantages to be gained from adopting formal open access policies....The strength of this book lies in the clarity with which Suber highlights an extremely complex publishing and access environment....[T]his book provides a thorough grounding in the youthful history and practical state-of-play of open access publishing."
- Hubertus Kohle, Peter Suber, Open Access, Kunstform, May 2014. "Zunächst gilt es, die knappe Einführung in ein Gebiet anzuzeigen, das zu den wichtigsten, umstrittensten und gleichzeitig scheinbar nebensächlichsten des aktuellen Wissenschaftsbetriebes gehört. Der Autor, Peter Suber, gilt als einer der besten Kenner des durchaus komplexen Gegenstandes. Er liefert eine konzise, leicht in einem knappen halben Tag zu lesende Darstellung, die ganz auf den Vergleich Online- gegen Druck-Publikation abstellt."
- Gordana Ljubanović, Peter Suber, Open Access, National Library of Serbia Herald, n.d. but circa December 2014. [The review is long and positive. Unfortunately I can't pick a good excerpt to post here because the review is in Serbian, which I don't read, and because Google's English translation is weak.]
- Polish (complete, October 13, 2014). Thanks to the Interdyscyplinarne Centrum Modelowania Matematycznego i Komputerowego Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego (Interdisciplinary Center for Mathematical and Computational Modelling at the University of Warsaw), the Platforma Otwartej Nauki (Open Science Platform), Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego (University of Warsaw Press), and the team of translators: Roman Bogacewicz, Maciej Chojnowski, Wojciech Fenrich, Joanna Kielan, Andrzej Leśniak, Krzysztof Siewicz, Michał Starczewski, and Jakub Szprot.
- Forthcoming. Translations are under way into Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. I'll link to them here as they become available. I welcome other translations.
About the updates and supplements
- I add new updates and supplements in real time, as I find new evidence. I consider these supplements to be continuously updated "public footnotes" for the assertions they annotate. For more on this concept, see my 2012 article, The Idea of an Open-Access Evidence Rack.
- To find corrections, as opposed to other kinds of updates and supplements, search this page for the word "correction". All the hits except for this entry will be corrections.
Text, updates, and supplements
- Some of these notes didn't fit into the book. The book is deliberately short and I was already over my wordcount. Others were too late to put in the book. They cite publications or developments that hadn't occurred by the time my text was final in the spring of 2011.
- The first print edition used an "all rights reserved" statement and a CC-BY license icon, which caused some confusion. The digital editions clarified the book's copyright status, and the clarification appeared in future print editions. Basically, the book incorporates some material that I previously published in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter under a CC-BY license and a copyright owned by SPARC. That material remains CC-BY. The all-rights-reserved copyright on the first print edition applied only to new parts of the book, and even those parts shifted to a CC-BY-NC license on June 17, 2013, one year after the book was published.
- Note that all the updates and supplements are CC-BY, and have been from the start.
|Read the OA text:|
Updates and supplements for the Preface:
- At p. ix, I say, "OA benefits nonresearchers by accelerating research and all the goods that depend on research, such as new medicines, useful technologies, solved problems, informed decisions, improved policies, and beautiful understanding." Add this note.
- A 2014 study from the University of Queensland's Institute for Social Science Research showed that Australian policy-makers agreed that academic research was useful for policy-making. For example, 39% agreed that "Academic research alters or transforms how policy makers think about issues and choices" and 42% agreed that "Academic research is used to shape and inform the design and implementation of policies and programs." Interestingly, surveyed academics thought these propositions were true more often than policy-makers themselves. Most relevant here, however, is the result cited by the authors in a blog post summarizing the study (June 13, 2014): "The main reasons provided by policy-makers for the [relatively] low uptake of academic research were the perception that academic research is not available when needed, is difficult to access, or is not being translated in a user-friendly form for policy-makers." It's hard to avoid the conclusion that academic research would be even more useful for policy-making if it were OA.
Chapter 1: What Is Open Access?
|Read the OA text:|
Updates and supplements for Chapter 1:
- At p. 5, I say, "Even...authors [who don't sell their work and want to share it as widely as possible]...tend to transfer their copyrights to intermediaries —publishers— who want to sell their work. As a result, users may be hampered in their research by barriers erected to serve intermediaries rather than authors." Add this note.
- At p. 7, I introduce the Budapest Open Access Initiative and its definition of OA. Add this note.
- At p. 15, I refer to "the well-documented phenomenon that OA articles are cited more often than non-OA articles...and that journals converting to OA see a rise in their submissions and citation impact." See the documentation in note 6 at pp. 178-179. Add these notes.
- For evidence on increased submissions, see Chapter 8, endnote 11 (note call at p. 159, note text at pp. 216-217). Also see the updates and supplements for p. 145, below.
- For new evidence on increased citations, see the annotated bibliography by Steve Hitchcock, The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies, OpCit Project. Because Hitchcock frequently updates his bibliography with new studies, I won't add the same new studies here.
- At p. 17, I say, "In general, scholarly journals don’t pay editors...either. In general, editors...are paid salaries by universities to free them, like authors, to donate their time and labor to ensure the quality of new work appearing in scholarly journals." Add this note.
- At p. 18, I say, "Academic publishers are not monolithic...." Add this note.
- At p. 18, I say, "This variety reminds us (to paraphrase Tim O'Reilly) that OA doesn't threaten publishing; it only threatens existing publishers who do not adapt." Add this note
- At p. 21, I say, "OA would benefit from the right kinds of copyright reforms...." Add these notes.
- See my article, Open access and copyright, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, July 2, 2011. "For example, here are some copyright reforms that would help the cause:  Shorten the term of copyright, or at least prevent it from becoming even longer every time Mickey Mouse is about to fall into the public domain.  Ban the retroactive extension of copyright to works in the public domain.  Allow OA for orphan works, with a takedown requirement if the rightsholder steps forward and complains.  Permit the circumvention of DRM in pursuit of non-infringing uses.  Recognize that some creative works generate revenue for creators, and some don't, and that creators of the former type are harmed by unauthorized copying while creators of the latter type are harmed by the default prohibition of copying. That is, stop making royalty-free literature collateral damage in the war against revenue leaks.  Allow green OA, at least for royalty-free literature, within a certain time after publication, regardless of the publishing contract the author signed with a publisher.  Allow digitization and search indexing without permission when they result in no dissemination, or when the dissemination consists of nothing more than fair-use snippets.  Make the penalties for copyfraud (false claim of copyright) at least as severe as the penalties for infringement; that is, take the wrongful decrease in the circulation of ideas at least as seriously as the wrongful increase in the circulation of ideas."
- Idea #6 above (letting authors make their works green OA a certain number of months after publication regardless of the contracts they may have signed with publishers) has been proposed several times in Germany, for example in 2006 (from Gerd Hansen), in 2008 (from the German federal government), in 2011 (from the Social Democratic Party), and in 2013 (from the German federal government). This idea is now law in Germany, and took effect on January 1, 2014. In January 2014, a similar bill was introduced in the Netherlands. For more details on the Dutch bill, see the January 2014 defense of it by its leading proponent, Sander Dekker, State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science.
- For some reform recommendations that would re-balance copyright law, or correct some of its excesses, but without aiming to optimize copyright law for OA, see:
- Giancarlo F. Frosio et al., COMMUNIA policy recommendations, COMMUNIA, March 31, 2011.
- Rep. Jim Jordan et al., Republican Study Committee Policy Brief: Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it, Republican Study Committee, November 16, 2012. I'm linking to a copy of the report because the original was taken down one day after it was released.
- Principles and Proposals for Copyright Reform, from the Authors Alliance, May 21, 2014.
- At p. 24, I say, "Not all plagiarists are smart, but the smart ones will not steal from OA sources indexed in every search engine....OA deters plagiarism." Add this note.
- At p. 24, I say, "[M]ost toll-access publishers are already adapting, by allowing author-initiated OA, providing some OA themselves, or experimenting with OA." Add this note.
Chapter 2: Motivation
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Updates and supplements for Chapter 2:
- At p. 29, I say, "For four decades, subscription prices have risen significantly faster than inflation and significantly faster than library budgets." Add these notes.
- Correction. In the same endnote, I cite Stephen Bosch, Kittie Henderson, & Heather Klusendorf, "Periodicals Price Survey 2011: Under Pressure, Times Are Changing," Library Journal, April 14, 2011. The URL I used for that article is now dead, and LJ provides no redirect. Here's a working URL, http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2011/04/publishing/periodicals-price-survey-2011-under-pressure-times-are-changing/.
- At p. 29, I say, "Subscription prices have risen about twice as fast as the price of healthcare...." Add this note.
- Correction. In endnote 2 at p. 181, I link to the Scholarly Communication FAQ from the University of California's Office of Systemwide Library Planning, February 29, 2003. The URL I used for that FAQ is now dead. Here is a working URL from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, http://web.archive.org/web/20070630080017/http://www.ucop.edu/copyright/2003-02-27/faq.html. On this point, the FAQ itself cites Mary Case, "Capitalizing on Competition: The Economic Underpinnings of SPARC, Association of Research Libraries, n.d., at this URL, http://www.arl.org/sparc/core/index.asp?page=f41. But that URL is now dead as well. Here is a working URL from SPARC, http://www.sparc.arl.org/resources/papers-guides/case-capitalizing. Case cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2000.
- At p. 30, I start subsection #2 in which I offer data showing that researchers do not have access to all the research they need. Add these notes.
- Also see Ross Housewright, Roger C. Schonfeld, and Kate Wulfson, UK Survey of Academics 2012, Ithaka S+R, May 16, 2013. From pp. 38-39: "[A]bout half of all respondents–slightly more in the arts and humanities than in other fields–strongly agreed that they “often would like to use journal articles that are not in [their] library’s print or digital collections.” And only slightly more than a third strongly agreed that they can “almost always get satisfactory access” to needed journal articles that are not in their library collections, a pattern that holds across disciplinary groupings. When asked how they gain access to needed materials that their institution’s library does not directly provide, more than two-thirds of our respondents indicated that they “often” or “occasionally” simply give up." From p. 42: "Almost 60% of academics at non-RLUK [Research Library UK] institutions strongly agreed that they would often “like to use journal articles that are not in my library’s print or digital collections,” compared with less than 40% of academics at RLUK institutions."
- At p. 30, I say, "[C]umulative price increases...forced the Harvard Library to undertake 'serious cancellation efforts' for budgetary reasons." In endnote 5 (note text at p. 182), I cite two sources. Here are seven, including the original two, in chronological order.
- "Libraries on the Edge," The Harvard Gazette, January 2010. "Through centuries, Harvard's libraries have amassed rich collections and unique holdings. But now budgetary pressures that have been building during the past decade, and intensified in the past year, threaten the ability of the world's largest private library to collect works as broadly as it has in the past. In an interview, University Library director and Pforzheimer University Professor Robert Darnton called the situation 'a crisis in acquisitions.' "
- At pp. 30-32, I say, "Several sub-Saharan African university libraries subscribed to zero [subscription-based scholarly journals in 2008], offering their patrons access to no conventional journals except those donated by publishers." Add this note.
- At p. 32, I say, "In 2010, Elsevier's journal division had a profit margin of 35.7 percent while ExxonMobil had only 28.1 percent." Add this note.
- At p. 33, I say, "[Most] big deals include confidentiality clauses preventing universities from disclosing the prices they pay. The effect is to reduce bargaining and price competition even further." Add this note.
- At p. 33, I quote James McPherson's findings from 2003: "In 1986 [academic] libraries spent 44 percent of their budgets on books and 56 percent on journals; by 1997 the imbalance had grown to 28 percent for books and 72 percent for journals." Add this note.
- At p. 33, I say, "[T]he journal crisis, concentrated in the sciences, has precipitated a monograph crisis, concentrated in the humanities." Add this note.
- At p. 34, I say, "Some publishers don't allow libraries to share digital texts by interlibrary loan and instead require them to make printouts, scan the printouts, and lend the scans." Add this note.
- At p. 37, I say, "Editors and referees donate the peer-review judgments to improve and validate [the] quality [of journal articles]." Add this note.
- At p. 37, I say, "Publishers argue that they add value to the submitted manuscripts, which is true. But other players in the game, such as authors, editors, and referees, add far more value than publishers." Add these notes.
- At p. 39, I say, "Most scientific research is funded by public agencies using public money, conducted and written up by researchers working at public institutions and paid with public money, and then peer-reviewed by faculty at public institutions and paid with public money. Even when researchers and peer reviewers work at private universities, their institutions are subsidized by publicly funded tax exemptions and tax-deductible donations. Most toll-access journal subscriptions are purchased by public institutions and paid with taxpayer money." Add this note.
- At p. 40, I say, "Laid on top of this natural monopoly are several layers of artificial monopoly." Add these notes.
- See George Monbiot, Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist, The Guardian, August 29, 2011. "Whose monopolistic practices make Walmart look like a corner shop and Rupert Murdoch a socialist?...While there are plenty of candidates, my vote goes not to the banks, the oil companies or the health insurers, but...to academic publishers....Of all corporate scams, the racket they run is most urgently in need of referral to the competition authorities....You might resent Murdoch's paywall policy, in which he charges £1 for 24 hours of access to the Times and Sunday Times. But at least in that period you can read and download as many articles as you like. Reading a single article published by one of Elsevier's journals will cost you $31.50....Murdoch pays his journalists and editors, and his companies generate much of the content they use. But the academic publishers get their articles, their peer reviewing (vetting by other researchers) and even much of their editing for free....The returns are astronomical: in the past financial year, for example, Elsevier's operating profit margin was 36%....More importantly, universities are locked into buying their products. Academic papers are published in only one place, and they have to be read by researchers trying to keep up with their subject. Demand is inelastic and competition non-existent, because different journals can't publish the same material....What we see here is pure rentier capitalism: monopolising a public resource then charging exorbitant fees to use it....In the short term, governments should refer the academic publishers to their competition watchdogs....The knowledge monopoly is as unwarranted and anachronistic as the corn laws. Let's throw off these parasitic overlords and liberate the research that belongs to us."
- Anti-competitive practices by publishers will only worsen as publishers merge and consolidate. To track this consolidation, monitor the page of Publisher Mergers maintained by the University of California Berkeley Library. (When I added this update, February 10, 2013, the page of mergers had last been updated on February 16, 2012.)
- At p. 40, I say, "[L]arge commercial publishers charge higher prices and raise their prices faster than small, nonprofit [TA] publishers. Yet, the scholarly consensus is that quality, impact, and prestige are generally higher at the nonprofit society journals." Endnote 15 (note text at pp. 184-185) documents the claims about quality, impact, and prestige. Add these notes.
- See Mathias Dewatripont, Victor Ginsburgh, Patrick Legros, and Alexis Walckiers, Pricing of Scientific Journals and Market Power, Journal of the European Economic Association, April-May 2007. Quoting from the self-archived edition: "We classified these journals into three categories: (a) FP journals published by for-profit publishers, (b) NFP journals managed by not-for-profit publishers (scientific societies, university presses, etc.), and NFPP journals published and distributed by FP firms on account of scientific societies....Our empirical investigation documents the following:  There exist large price differences across fields.  These differences seem to be correlated with the market power of publishers. The larger the concentration ratio, the larger the average price in a field, the price to which should be added the large difference between FPs, NFPPs and NFPs.  As a general rule, FP journals charge four times as much on average than NFP journals, for a given number of citations, age, language, number of articles, and field (or concentration ratio). Journals of scientific societies managed by FP publishers (NFPP) are twice as expensive as NFP journals (scientific societies exercise some control on prices).  Prices are positively correlated with quality measured by the number of citations they receive (even when citations are instrumented), and this effect is larger for FP journals....We take the first finding as indicative of the fact that substitution possibilities across journals are limited, allowing for a significant amount of discretion in the setting of journal prices....We confirm earlier research concerning the large price difference between FP and NFP journals, and show that prices of NFPP journals are somewhere in between. Moreover, we show that prices increase with citation counts and we have argued that costs should tend to fall when citation counts rise. This is consistent with “value-based pricing” (à la McCabe 2002, 2004) rather than with cost-based pricing, and is again indicative of publishers’ ability to exercise discretion in price setting, because journals and papers are hardly substitutes, and researchers need all of them...."
- Some societies join the commercial giants in lobbying against OA policies, and argue that OA is intrinsically harmful to society publishers, or that OA harms small nonprofit publishers as such. I make many concessions to society publishers, but I cannot make this one. Since 2007, Caroline Sutton and I have maintained a list of society publishers of OA journals. In 2007 we found 425 societies publishing 450 full (non-hybrid) OA journals. In 2011 we published a second edition of our list showing 530 societies publishing 616 full OA journals. After publishing our 2011 results, we posted our list to a Google spreadsheet open to community editing. As of February 24, 2014, it showed 848 societies publishing 801 full (non-hybrid) OA journals.
- At pp. 40-41, I describe the sense in which librarians are more attuned to the journal pricing crisis than faculty. Add this note.
- At p. 46, I quote from Thomas Jefferson's beautiful 1813 letter to Isaac McPherson. In endnote 24 (p. 187), however, I only cite a print edition of the letter. Here's an online edition as well. Appropriately, the relevant parts of the letter are reprinted in Philip Kurland and Ralph Lerner (eds.), The Founder's Constitution, University of Chicago, 1987, as annotations to the copyright clause in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8.
Chapter 3: Varieties
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Updates and supplements for Chapter 3:
- At p. 50, I say, "Also like conventional journals, most [OA journals] are honest and some are scams." Add these notes.
- For work on suspicious OA journals and publishers, the OA community is indebted to Richard Poynder and Jeffrey Beall. For example, see Richard Poynder's interviews with Bentham (April 2008), Dove Medical Press (November 2008), Libertas Academica (January 2009), Sciyo (February 2010), InTech (October 2011), OMICS (December 2011), and fellow investigator Jeffrey Beall (July 2012). Also see the many strands of Poynder's inquiry into Scientific Journals International (starting in July 2088). Similarly, see Jeffrey Beall's list of predatory publishers, list of predatory journals, and blog devoted to "critical analysis" of OA publishing.
- At p. 50, I say, "As early as 2004, Thomson Scientific found that 'in each of the broad subject areas studied there was at least one OA title that ranked at or near the top of its field' in citation impact." Add this note.
- At p. 50, endnote 2 (note text at p. 187). Here I'm documenting the assertion that "The number of high-quality, high-impact OA journals has only grown" since the Thomson Scientific study in 2004.
- At p. 50, I say, "Like conventional publishers, there are a few large OA publishers and a long tail of small ones...." Add these notes.
- See Salvatore Mele, First Results of the SOAP Project, a presentation at the Conference of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, Prague, August 23, 2010. The few large OA publishers are better about providing libre OA than the long tail of small ones. See esp. slides #7 and #10. Half of the 14 "large" OA publishers use CC licenses, most of them (82%) using CC-BY licenses and the rest (18%) using CC-BY-NC. Of the smaller OA publishers, only about one-fifth used CC licenses.
- See William H. Walters and Anne Linvill, Characteristics of Open Access Journals in Six Subject Areas, College and Research Libraries, May 2011. "[T]he largest [OA journal] publishes more than 2,700 articles per year, but half publish 25 or fewer....Overall, the OA journal landscape is greatly influenced by a few key publishers and journals."
- At p. 52-53: For clarity, read the terminology box on p. 53 before starting Section 3.1 on p. 52.
- At pp. 54-55, I say, "One of the early victories of the OA movement was to get a majority of toll-access publishers and journals to give blanket permission for author-initiated green OA. But this victory remains one of the best-kept secrets of scholarly publishing, and widespread ignorance of it is the single most harmful consequence of green OA's invisibility." Add this note.
- At p. 55, I refer to the "invisibility" of green OA. Add these notes on the general invisibility of green OA compared to gold OA (in chronological order).
- At p. 55, I say, "Most publishing scholars will choose prestige over OA if they have to choose. The good news is that they rarely have to choose. The bad news is that few of them know that they rarely have to choose....There are two reasons why OA is compatible with prestigious publication, a gold reason and a green one...." Add this note.
- On the first part of this assertion, that publishing scholars will choose prestige over OA, see the UK Survey of Academics 2012 from Ithaka S+R, JISC, and RLUK, May 14, 2013. At pp. 69-72 the authors interpret the results presented in Figure 40: "Three factors —all closely related to the prominence and reach of the publication— were rated as very important by more than 4 in 5 respondents: that the current issues of the journal are circulated widely, are well read by academics in their field, and have a high impact factor....And other factors —the journal’s accessibility in developing nations...and the journal making its articles freely available online so there is no cost to purchase or read them— were rated as important by less than a third of respondents overall." Ithaka reported similar results in its US Faculty Survey 2009 (April 2010); see pp. 25-26 and Figure 23. I discuss the 2009 version of the results in Unanimous faculty votes, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, June 2, 2010: "I don't dispute the Ithaka findings. In fact, I've often argued myself that scholars will choose prestige in their field over OA, when they have to choose. I've only tried to make clear that they rarely have to choose [here omitting citations to four earlier articles]....[I]t's not hard to reconcile this evidence with the evidence of the unanimous faculty votes [for university green OA policies]. The Ithaka finding is about gold OA, and the unanimous faculty votes are about green OA. Green OA policies allow faculty to submit their work to the journals of their choice. One of the primary reasons why OA mandates focus on green rather than gold OA (or repositories rather than journals) is precisely to preserve this sort of academic freedom. When the high-profile journals in a field are TA, then a green OA policy allows faculty to have the best of both worlds: prestige from the journal publishing the article and OA from the institutional repository. It's not at all surprising that faculty, or faculty who understand their OA options, will take the best of both worlds when they can. That explains both the preference for high-profile journals and the support for green OA. Meantime, more and more OA journals are moving into the top cohort of prestige and impact in more and more fields, a second reason why authors rarely have to choose between prestige and OA...."
- At p. 55, I say, "If there are no prestigious OA journals in your field today, you could wait (things are changing fast), you could help out (by submitting your best work), or you could move on to green." Add this note.
- At p. 57, I say, "[S]cholars who regularly read research in a...disciplinary repository, such as arXiv for physics or PubMed Central for medicine, readily grasp the rationale for depositing their work in OA repositories...." Add this note.
- At pp. 57-58, I say, "Because most publishers and journals already give blanket permission for green OA, the burden is on authors to take advantage of it....The reason the spontaneous rate [of self-archiving] is lower than the nudged, assisted, and mandated rate is rarely opposition to OA itself. Almost always it's unfamiliarity with green OA (belief that all OA is gold OA), misunderstanding of green OA (belief that it violates copyright, bypasses peer review, or forecloses the possibility of publishing in a venerable journal), and fear that it is time-consuming. In this sense, author unfamiliarity and misunderstanding are greater obstacles to OA than actual opposition, whether from authors or publishers." Add this note.
- See Mikael Laakso, Green open access policies of scholarly journal publishers: a study of what, when, and where self-archiving is allowed, Scientometrics, forthcoming (c. May 2014). "Of the 1,1 million articles included in the analysis, 80.4% could be uploaded [with publisher permission] either as an accepted manuscript or publisher version to an institutional or subject repository after one year of publication....With previous studies suggesting realized green OA to be around 12% of total annual articles the results highlight the substantial unused potential for green OA....The threshold for making a green OA copy available voluntarily is in such cases low, but what remains to be aligned is author attitude."
- At p. 58, I refer to the fear that self-archiving is time-consuming. But there is evidence to answer these fears. Add these notes.
- At p. 58, I say, "author unfamiliarity and misunderstanding are greater obstacles to OA than actual opposition." I already have some documentation on author unfamiliarity and misunderstanding in endnote 9 (note text at p. 189). Add these notes.
- At p. 65, I conclude my argument that we should pursue green and gold OA simultaneously. Add these notes.
- At p. 69, I recommend CC-BY licenses for OA research, and mention some other organizations and initiatives that do so as well. Add this note.
- At pp. 72-73, I point out that most OA journals fail to offer libre OA. Add these notes.
- At p. 73, I say, "I’ve argued that it’s unfair to criticize the OA movement for disparaging gratis OA (merely on the ground that its public statements call for libre) or neglecting libre OA (merely on the ground that most of its success stories are gratis). But two related criticisms would be more just. First, demanding libre or nothing where libre is currently unattainable makes the perfect the enemy of the good. Fortunately, this tactical mistake is rare. Second, settling for gratis where libre is attainable makes the good a substitute for the better. Unfortunately, this tactical mistake is common, as we see from the majority of OA journals that stop at gratis when they could easily offer libre." Add this note.
- At p. 73, endnote 2 (note text at p. 191), I document the fact that most OA journals offer gratis but not libre OA. Add this note.
- Note 20 at p. 191. Correction. I cite a page within the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) on the tally of DOAJ-listed journals using CC licenses. That URL is now dead. In its place, please see this newer page within the DOAJ on the tallies of DOAJ-listed journals broken down by the CC licenses they use. For a summary of the numbers nine months after the book came out, confirming the diagnosis made in the book, see my blog post for March 27, 2013.
- At p. 73, I discuss the tactical mistakes of demanding "libre or nothing" when libre may be unattainable, and settling for gratis OA when libre is attainable. Add this note.
Chapter 4: Policies
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Updates and supplements for Chapter 4:
- At p. 78, I start discussing OA policies at universities and funding agencies. Add this note.
- At p. 78, I say that about one-quarter of peer-reviewed journals are OA. Add these notes.
- At p. 79, I say that there are no gold OA mandates. But several have been proposed. Add these notes.
- In January 2011 talk, J.J. Engelen, Chairman of the Governing Board of the primary public research funder in the Netherlands (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, or NWO), described his preference for a future gold OA policy. "These goals of scientic publishing are best reached by means of an open access publishing business model....Open access publishing should become a requirement for publicly funded research. In order to make open access publishing a success, the enthusiastic cooperation of the professional publishing companies active on the scientific market is highly desirable." (The talk was published later in 2011.)
- At p. 80, I start discussing rights-retention mandates. It should be clear from the text, and from many of my previous writings, that this is the model I favor. I reiterated and elaborated my position in October 2012 when Stuart Shieber and I released the first version of our guide to Good practices for university open-access policies. The guide distinguishes six kinds of policy, unlike the book which only distinguishes four. It explicitly recommends rights-retention policies with waiver options, and explains why that model is preferable to other models.
- At p. 81, endnote 7 (note text at p. 194). At the end of this note, I cite Frankel and Nestor's 2010 legal analysis showing that Harvard-style rights-retention policies successfully avoid copyright problems.
- At p. 82, I say, "Because shifting the default is enough to change behavior on a large scale, waiver options don't significantly reduce the volume of OA. At Harvard, the waiver rate is less than 5 percent and at MIT it's less than 2 percent." Add this note.
- At p. 84, line 13. Correction. "...journal are..." should be "...journals are...." (This correction applies only to the first print edition and the earliest digital editions.)
- At p. 86, I say, "For detailed recommendations on OA policy provisions, and specific arguments for them, see my 2009 analysis of policy options for funding agencies and universities." Add this note.
- At p. 86, endnote 12 (note text at pp. 195-196).
- At p. 89, endnote 16 (note text at pp. 196-197). Here I'm documenting the claim that "Alma Swan's empirical studies of researcher attitudes show that an overwhelming majority of researchers would 'willingly' comply with a mandatory OA policy from their funder or employer." Add a note.
- A May 2011 survey from the European Commission shows similar researcher attitudes toward open data mandates. See Survey on open access in FP7, European Commission, 2012, p. 7. "Three quarters of those respondents with an opinion would agree or strongly agree with an open access mandate for data in their research area, providing that all relevant aspects (e.g. ethics, confidentiality, intellectual property) have been considered and addressed....Only a small number of respondents, 13 %, have no opinion on the question."
- At p. 93 endnote 20 (note text at pp. 197-199). Here I list some examples of libre green OA. I list and discuss many more in The rise of libre open access, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, June 2, 2012.
- At pp. 94-95, I argue that policy-makers should watch for the moment when they could strengthen green gratis OA policies into green libre policies. Add this note.
Chapter 5: Scope
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Updates and supplements for Chapter 5:
- At p. 97, I say that OA "is not limited to publicly-funded research, where the argument is almost universally accepted, but includes privately funded and unfunded research." Add these notes.
- At p. 100, I say, "The purpose of OA is to remove access barriers, not quality filters. Today many peer-reviewed OA journals are recognized for their excellence...." Add this note.
- At p. 105, endnote 4 (note text at pp. 199-200), I cite research showing that "[w]hile...fears [that making a thesis or dissertation OA will reduce the odds that a journal will publish an article length version] are sometimes justified, the evidence suggests that in most cases they are not." Add these notes.
- At p. 107, I say, "Royalties on most scholarly monographs range between zero and meager." Add this note.
- At pp. 109-110, endnotes 8-10 (note texts at pp. 200-202), I cite research showing that OA to full-text books sometimes increases the net sales of print editions. Add this note.
- See Caroline Wintersgill, Open Access, Open Minds: Who should be the academic gatekeepers? politics|upside|down, October 11, 2013: "[M]y experience at Bloomsbury is that average commercial sales of ‘open’ titles are about 10% ahead of comparable ‘non-open’ titles."
- At pp. 114-15, I say, "We need access to medical or physical research before we can use it to tackle a cure for malaria or devise a more efficient solar panel." If I were writing the book today, I'd add a section on unmet demand for access by research-based business, industry, and manufacturing. This material doesn't belong in Section 5.5.1, on access for lay readers, because those who need access in these businesses are not lay readers but research professionals. And most of the rest of the book focuses on research professionals in the academic world, not research professionals in the non-academic world. But for now, I'll use this passage at pp. 114-115 as the hook for adding updates and supplements on research-based business, industry, and manufacturing. Add these notes.
- See Australian Government's Office of the Chief Scientist, Top Breakthrough Actions for Innovation, December 2012, p. 6. "Breakthrough Action Two: Business must have increased access to publicly funded expertise, infrastructure and open-access to research data, especially in areas of national priority....Specific actions:...Provide free and open access to data and other outputs of publicly funded research."
- See Francie Diep, Startups Root for Cheaper Peeks at Scientific Papers, NBC News, May 24, 2012. "Meanwhile, a group of important stakeholders in the dispute tends to be overlooked: startups and small businesses. Small biomedical and energy companies, for example, read many academic papers....[T]he small-company founders we interviewed agreed that they would benefit from freer access....'Obviously we have to keep up on the latest science out there,' said Brian Glaister, CEO of a Seattle-based startup called Cadence Biomedical. His company is working on a spring-powered device that people with weak legs can wear to help them walk. 'It's a pain in the butt if we can't get access' to a paper, Glaister said....He says his company, which plans to launch its first commercial product in a few weeks, cannot afford the small-company subscription deals that publishers offer: He needs access to so many journals by so many publishers, the total cost would be prohibitive....Another small company that feels the pinch of paying for journal articles is AltaRock Energy, a geothermal energy startup also based in Seattle...."
- See Harvard University's January 2012 response to the first question in the White House call for comments on OA to peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from federally-funded research. "Businesses need access to cutting-edge research to stimulate innovation, for example to develop new medicines, reduce the size and energy requirements of computer chips, strengthen lightweight composite materials, reduce harmful emissions from fossil fuels, increase the efficiency of solar panels, and make food safer. Public access to publicly funded research nourishes R&D in these industries, allowing them to develop new products, improve existing products, and create jobs. The question is not whether useful, publicly funded, basic or pre-competitive research will continue. Even in an age of budget cuts, it will continue. The question is whether we will make the results of that research easily available to all those who can make use of it, or whether we will allow it to be locked down by a private interest at the expense of the public interest....Public access not only facilitates innovation in research-driven industries such as medicine and manufacturing. It stimulates the growth of a new industry adding value to the newly accessible research itself. This new industry includes search, current awareness, impact measurement, data integration, citation linking, text and data mining, translation, indexing, organizing, recommending, and summarizing. These new services not only create new jobs and pay taxes, but they make the underlying research itself more useful. Research funding agencies needn't take on the job of provide all these services themselves. As long as they ensure that the funded research is digital, online, free of charge, and free for reuse, they can rely on an after-market of motivated developers and entrepreneurs to bring it to users in the forms in which it will be most useful. Indeed, scholarly publishers are themselves in a good position to provide many of these value-added services, which could provide an additional revenue source for the industry."
- See John Houghton, Alma Swan, and Sheridan Brown, Access to research and technical information in Denmark, a report commissioned by Denmark’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Information (Forsknings- og Innovationsstyrelsen) and Denmark's Electronic Research Library (Danmarks Elektroniske Fag- og Forskningsbibliotek), April 2011. "Research articles, patent information, scientific and technical standards, technical and market information were seen as the most important information sources [for small and medium-sized businesses, SMEs]. Forty eight per cent rated research articles as very or extremely important, and among those in research roles a higher 64% did so....More than two-thirds reported having difficulties accessing market survey research and reports and Doctoral or Masters theses, 62% reported difficulties accessing technical reports from government agencies and 55% reported difficulties accessing research articles....[R]esearch articles and market survey research and reports are seen to be both important and difficult to access...Use of Open Access materials is widespread. More than 50% used free institutional or subject repositories and Open Access journals monthly or more regularly, and among researchers 72% reported using free institutional or subject repositories and 56% Open Access journals monthly or more regularly....Access barriers and delays involve costs. It would have taken an average of 2.2 years longer to develop or introduce the new products or processes in the absence of contributing academic research. For new products, a 2.2 years delay would cost around DKK 36 million (EUR 4.8 million) per firm in lost sales, and for new processes it would cost around DKK 211 000 per firm."
- See Harnessing Openness to Improve Research, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from the business-oriented Committee for Economic Development, November 2009. "This more open model of research is consistent with the research mission of the university to create and disseminate knowledge —and appears to lead to both broader and deeper research while increasing the pace of innovation....Not only do we believe that the NIH policy is consistent with copyright law and good public policy —to increase the pace of innovation and avoid making the taxpayer pay twice for taxpayer-funded research —but we believe that the public-access mandate should be expanded....The intellectual property arguments that have been invoked to oppose public-access mandates for government-funded research and the digitization and partial display of the world’s books suggest to us the need to recalibrate our intellectual property rules for the digital age. Intellectual property rules should serve not only those who first create a work (and subsequent rights holders) but should also recognize the needs of users who often are follow-on creators....Governments should...[r]eview and recalibrate intellectual property rules recognizing the increasing importance for innovation of users as follow-on innovators....Why should we care about the degree of openness? Over the course of our work we have found that greater openness fosters quicker and broader innovation, primarily because of the potential for many more people to contribute....Expanding the rights of first innovators leaves less room for follow-on innovation by users, leading to its underproduction."
- Also see the letter supporting the proposed OA mandate at the NIH from the US Chamber of Commerce, October 22, 2004. "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber), the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and region, is pleased to provide the following comments concerning the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) proposed action: Enhanced Public Access to NIH Research Information.' ...The Chamber strongly supports NIH’s effort to ensure that scientific information arising from NIH-funded research is made freely available....The Chamber strongly disagrees with the proposed six-month delay for publishing taxpayer-funded information [and recommends immediate or undelayed OA]....With ready access to such taxpayer-funded information, stakeholders are better informed and able to engage in constructive, informed public dialogue with others, resolve uncertainties, and, relevant to business interests, the Chamber’s members are better able to plan future business operations. This outcome is good for America and good for American industry, as it will create new business opportunities, thereby strengthening our economy and making America more competitive in the global marketplace." Note that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reversed course, and by 2010 opposed federal policies to mandate OA for publicly-funded research. One thing that happened between 2004 and 2010 is that Elsevier joined the organization.
- At p. 117, endnote 17 (note text at p. 204). Here I'm citing research showing demand among lay readers for access to cutting-edge medical research. Add these notes.
- See Who needs access? You need access! — a web site from the @ccess working group collecting the stories of people who need research access. Some are research professionals, and some are lay readers. Currently (March 2013) the site categories include Artists, Developing world, Fossil preparators, Independent Researchers, Nurses, Patient Groups, Patients, Small businesses, Teachers, and Translators.
- At p. 118, I say, "OA benefits researchers directly and benefits everyone else indirectly by benefiting researchers." (Also see p. 26.) Add this note.
- I elaborated on this point in a 2012 interview, Digital access to knowledge: Research chat with Harvard’s Peter Suber, Journalists' Resource, October 16, 2012: "Even if you aren’t interested in reading peer-reviewed research, you benefit from open access. You depend on the medicines, the machines, and the policies made by people who make use of research and in that sense who make use of access to research. So, either you benefit directly, as a researcher, or indirectly, as a consumer of the fruits of research. The only people who oppose open access are some academic publishers, not even all of them. And even academic publishers want to accelerate research insofar as they benefit as individuals from advances in better medicines, longer batteries, cleaner energy, or more-informed decision-making."
- At pp. 120-123 (and in notes 22-25 at pp. 205-206), I argue that we should want OA for our machines as much as we want OA for ourselves. Add these notes.
- See Stuart M. Shieber, Statement before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, U.S. House of Representatives, March 29, 2012: "Opening access to the literature makes it available not only to human readers, but to computer processing as well. There are some million and a half scholarly articles published each year. No human can read them all or even the tiny fraction in a particular subfield, but computers can, and computer analysis of the text, known as text mining, has the potential not only to extract high-quality structured data from article databases but even to generate new research hypotheses. My own ﬁeld of research, computational linguistics, includes text mining. I have collaborated with colleagues in the East Asian Languages and Civilization department on text mining of tens of thousands of classical Chinese biographies and with colleagues in the History department on computational analysis of pre-modern Latin texts. Performing similar analyses on the current research literature, however, is encumbered by proscriptions of copyright and contract because the dominant publishing mechanisms are not open."
- See Heather Joseph, With Introduction of FASTR, Congress Picks up the Pace on Open Access Legislation, SPARC, February 14, 2013. "FASTR calls for affected agencies to require articles be provided in formats and under terms that ensure researchers have the ability to freely apply cutting-edge analysis tools and technologies to the full collection of digital articles resulting from public funding. This is a crucial step. As the volume of research information increases, with a mind-boggling 1.5 million research articles published each year, no person can realistically hope to make full sense of this information by simply accessing and reading individual articles on their own. We must enable computers as a new category of reader to help power through this volume, thousands of articles at a time, and to highlight patterns, links, and associations that would otherwise go undiscovered. Computational tools like text mining and data mining are crucial to achieving this, and have the potential to revolutionize the research process. Of course, to be able to apply these kinds of tools, users must be assigned the rights to do so freely across the full collection of articles – not just on single articles, or a on a subset of articles."
Chapter 6: Copyright
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Updates and supplements for Chapter 6:
- At p. 128, I argue that the OA policy at the NIH does not violate copyright. Add this note.
- See the video of my April 9, 2012, debate at Harvard Law School with Mark Seeley, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Elsevier. At roughly minute 8, Seeley concedes that the NIH policy, and similar OA policies, do not infringe copyrights. At minutes 16 and 18 we pick up that question again for clarification and more explicit discussion. Also see my blog post on the debate, which includes comments from Seeley and my replies.
- At p. 128, line 22. Correction. "One of practical..." should be "One of the practical...." (This correction applies only to the first print edition and the earliest digital editions.)
Chapter 7: Economics
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Updates and supplements for Chapter 7:
- At p. 133, I say, "Many publishers who oppose OA concede that OA is better for research and researchers than toll access." Add this note.
- See Bradie Metheny, "NIH open access publishing policy receives initial good marks from most stakeholders," Washington Fax, September 8, 2004; originally online at this URL, for subscribers only, and now apparently not online at all; see my blogged excerpt at the time. "John Regazzi, managing director of marketing development for Elsevier, the world's largest publisher of journals, said no one can argue against giving the public access to NIH information; it is in the public interest. 'But how you do it is the key,'...Regazzi argued."
- At p. 133, endnote 2 (note text at pp. 207-208). Here I cite studies showing that the economic benefits of OA exceed the costs. Add these notes.
- See Paul Basken, First Milestone Is Claimed on Long Road to Tracking Science’s Economic Value, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 3, 2014. "The National Institutes of Health generates [$2.21] in economic growth for every taxpayer dollar it receives. 'That is an over-100-percent return on the investment,' [Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut] assured her legislative colleagues...." Neither Basken nor the source he summarizes breaks out the portion of the economic impact attributable to the NIH open-access policy.
- See Neil Beagrie and John Houghton, The Value and Impact of Data Sharing and Curation: A synthesis of three recent studies of UK research data centres, JISC, March 2014. From p. 17: "A very significant increase in research efficiency was reported by users as a result of their using the data centres. These estimated efficiency gains ranged from 2 and up to more than 20 times the costs."
- See Benefits to the Private Sector of Open Access to Higher Education and Scholarly Research, a report commissioned by the UK Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and undertaken by the HOST consulting group, October 2011. "A substantial body of research literature establishes the benefits to private sector businesses of publicly funded research. Mansfield (1991,1995,1998), Beisea and Stahle (1998) and other studies provide evidence of tangible economic benefit, in particular in terms of product innovations achieved and revenue gained through enhanced sales. The work of Houghton et al. (2011) confirmed these conclusions and also drew out the benefits of access to research in terms of shortening product and service development cycles. This study confirms the importance placed by businesses on access to scholarly research and its broad impact in terms of product, service and process innovation….Open Access publishing provides a way of opening much more university and scholarly research to the business sector….[M]ost businesses spend considerable amounts of time working around paywalls….The review suggests that, at a time of accelerating pressure on SME [small and medium-sized enterprises] competitiveness, a shift to Open Access would create significant cost savings by enabling businesses to review more quickly the relevance of individual papers and act accordingly. By boosting discoverability OA may also add value directly to levels and speed of knowledge transfer in this part of the economy.
- See the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, Economic Impact of the Human Genome Project, May 2011. Quoting the press summary (May 11, 2011): "The $3.8 billion the U.S. government invested in the Human Genome Project (HGP) from 1988 to 2003 helped drive $796 billion in economic impact and the generation of $244 billion in total personal income, according to a study released today by Battelle. In 2010 alone, the human genome sequencing projects and associated genomics research and industry activity directly and indirectly generated $67 billion in U.S. economic output and supported 310,000 jobs that produced $20 billion in personal income. The genomics-enabled industry also provided $3.7 billion in federal taxes during 2010."
- See John Houghton, Bruce Rasmussen, and Peter Sheehan, Economic and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded Research Outputs: Report to SPARC, July 2010. "Preliminary modeling suggests that over a transitional period of 30 years from implementation, the potential incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA [Federal Research Public Access Act] archiving mandate might be worth around 8 times the costs. Perhaps two-thirds of these benefits would accrue within the US, with the remainder spilling over to other countries. Hence, the US national benefits arising from the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be of the order of 5 times the costs. Exploring sensitivities in the model we find that the benefits exceed the costs over a wide range of values. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any plausible values for the input data and model parameters that would lead to a fundamentally different answer."
- See John Houghton, Bruce Rasmussen, and Peter Sheehan, Economic and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded Research Outputs [in the United States,” SPARC, August 4, 2010. "Preliminary modeling suggests that over a transitional period of 30 years from implementation, the potential incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA [Federal Research Public Access Act] archiving mandate might be worth around 8 times the costs. Perhaps two-thirds of these benefits would accrue within the US, with the remainder spilling over to other countries. Hence, the US national benefits arising from the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be of the order of 5 times the costs."
- Also see the updates and supplements for pp. 114-115, above, on the benefits of OA to research-based manufacturing and other non-academic sectors of the economy.
- At p. 134, endnote 3 (note text at p. 208), I cite a study showing that green and gold OA both have high benefit-cost ratios, and that the infrastructure for green OA "has largely already been built." For evidence that green OA costs less than gold OA, and that green OA policies are more cost-effective than gold OA policies, see the following.
- Alma Swan and John Houghton, Going for Gold? The costs and benefits of Gold Open Access for UK research institutions: further economic modelling. Report to the UK Open Access Implementation Group. June 2012. From the executive summary: "Based on this analysis, the main findings are:  so long as research funders commit to paying publication costs for the research they fund, and  publication charges fall to the reprint author’s home institution,  all universities would see savings from (worldwide) Gold OA when article-processing charges are at the current averages,  research-intensive universities would see the greatest savings, and  in a transition period, providing Open Access through the Green route offers the greatest economic benefits to individual universities, unless additional funds are made available to cover Gold OA costs....[F]or all the sample universities during a transition period when subscriptions are maintained, the cost of adopting Green OA is much lower than the cost of Gold OA - with Green OA self-archiving costing institutions around one-fifth the amount that Gold OA might cost, and as little as one-tenth as much for the most research intensive university sampled. In a transition period, providing OA through the Green route would have substantial economic benefits for universities, unless additional funds were released for Gold OA, beyond those already available through the Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust...."
- John Houghton and Alma Swan, Planting the green seeds for a golden harvest: Comments and clarifications on “Going for Gold”, D-Lib Magazine, January/February 2013. "At the institutional level, during a transitional period when subscriptions are maintained, the cost of unilaterally adopting Green OA is much lower than the cost of unilaterally adopting Gold OA – with Green OA self-archiving costing average institutions sampled around one-fifth the amount that Gold OA might cost, and as little as one-tenth as much for the most research intensive university. Hence, we conclude that the most affordable and cost-effective means of moving towards OA is through Green OA, which can be adopted unilaterally at the funder, institutional, sectoral and national levels at relatively little cost....In an all-OA world, it seems likely that the net benefits of Gold OA would exceed those of Green OA, although Green OA would have a higher benefit/cost ratio. However, we are not in an all-OA world yet, nor anywhere near it. The most affordable and cost-effective means of moving towards OA in the meantime is through Green OA, which can be adopted unilaterally at the funder, institutional, sectoral and national levels at little cost. Moreover, Green OA may well be the most immediate and cost-effective way to support knowledge transfer and enable innovation across the economy."
- At pp. 134-136 I discuss the "widely varying estimates in the literature on what it costs a university to run an institutional repository." Also see Chapter 7, endnote 4 (note call at p. 136, note text at pp. 208-209). Add these notes.
- See C. Sean Burns, Amy Lana, and John M. Budd, Institutional Repositories: Exploration of Costs and Value, D-Lib Magazine, January/February 2013. "[I]nstitutions that mediate submissions incur less expense than institutions that allow self-archiving, institutions that offer additional services incur greater annual operating costs than those who do not, and institutions that use open source applications have lower implementation costs but comparable annual operating costs with institutions that use proprietary solutions. Furthermore, changes in budgeting, from special initiative to absorption into the regular budget, suggest a trend in sustainable support for institutional repositories."
- See David Nicholas and five co-authors, Have digital repositories come of age? The views of library directors, Webology, December 2013. This study provides recent data on the range of repository costs, staffing, and services.
- At p. 136, I introduce the distinction between fee-based and no-fee OA journals. Add this note.
- While most OA journals fall into the no-fee category (Chapter 7, endnote 8, pp. 209-210), the fee-based OA category is growing faster than the no-fee category. See Mikael Laakso and Bo-Christer Björk, Anatomy of open access publishing: a study of longitudinal development and internal structure, BMC Medicine, October 22, 2012: "Journals with author-processing charges have seen breakout growth during the last three years, going from 80,700 articles in 2009 to 166,700 articles in 2011." Also see Figure 2 for a graphic representation of the growth of OA journals from 2000 to 2011, broken down by business-model category.
- At pp. 138-139, I say, "By contrast [with the majority of OA journals, which charge no author-side fees] most toll-access journals (75 percent) do charge author-side fees." In endnote 8 (note text at p. 209) I cite and link to an ALPSP report for this fact. But the URL is now dead, and the ALPSP provides no redirect. Correction. Here's a new URL: http://www.alpsp.org/Ebusiness/ProductCatalog/Product.aspx?ID=47.
- At p. 139, I say, "Moreover, even within the minority of fee-based OA journals, only 12 percent of those authors end paying the fees out of pocket. Almost 90% of the time, the fees at the fee-based journals are waived or paid by sponsors on behalf of authors." Here I call note 8 (note text at pp. 209-210). In that note I cite Suenje Dallmeier-Tiessen et al., Highlights from the SOAP project survey. What Scientists Think about Open Access Publishing, arXiv, January 29, 2011, Table 4. But I should have included these details from Table 4. Publication fees were paid by the author's funder 59%, by the author's institution 24%, and by the author out of pocket 12%. Also add these new notes.
- For studies showing larger percentages for smaller and more specialized samples of authors, my blog post from February 1, 2013, in which I cite figures from two studies released in January 2013.
- When interpreting data on authors who pay publication fees out of pocket, remember that only about 30% of peer-reviewed OA journals overall charge publication fees (Chapter 7, endnote 8, pp. pp. 209-210). Hence, the SOAP result that only 12% of authors at fee-based OA journals paid the fees out of pocket really means that only about 12% of authors at 30% of OA journals overall, or only about 3.6% of authors at OA journals overall, paid fees out of pocket. We should also remember that about 50% of the articles published in peer-reviewed OA journals are published in fee-based journals (see the updates and supplements for p. 170, below). Hence, if we count by article rather than by journal, then the SOAP result that only 12% of authors at fee-based OA journals paid the fees out of pocket really means that only about 12% of authors of 50% of the articles published by OA journals overall, or only about 6% of authors of articles published by OA journals overall, paid fees out of pocket. I summarize and extend some of this analysis in a blog post from February 1, 2013.
- At p. 140, I say, "The false belief that most OA journals charge author-side fees also infects studies in which authors misinform survey subjects before surveying them. In effect: 'At OA journals, authors pay to be published; now let me ask you a series of questions about your attitude toward OA journals.'" Add this note.
- At p. 141, I say, "[M]ost hybrid journals don't make this promise [to reduce subscription prices in proportion to author uptake of the OA option] and 'double dip' by charging subscription fees and publication fees for the same OA articles." Add this note.
- See Michelle Brook, The Sheer Scale of Hybrid Journal Publishing, Open Access Working Group, March 24, 2014. "With recently published data from the Wellcome Trust, the scale of this double charging has become much more clear. In Oct 2012 – Sept 2013, academics spent £3.88 million to publish articles in journals with immediate online access – of which £3.17 million (82 % of costs, 74 % of papers) was paying for publications that Universities would then be charged again for....Only £0.70 million of the charity’s £3.88m didn’t have any form of double charging." Also see the open data provided by the Wellcome Trust to support this calculation.
- At p. 141, I say, "SHERPA list[s] more than 90 publishers offering hybrid OA options, including all of the largest publishers." Add this note.
- In endnote 12 (note text at p. 211), I point to the SHERPA list at this URL http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/PaidOA.html. But that URL is now dead (December 2013). Correction: please replace it with this URL, http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/PaidOA.php. BTW, there are now many more than 90 publishers on the list, but they are unnumbered and must be counted manually.
- At p. 141, I say, "The average rate of uptake for the OA option at hybrid journals is just 2 percent." Add this note
- A 2013 report from the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) showed that the rate of uptake was only 1%. See the summary of the report in Research Information, October 24, 2013. "However take up of the hybrid model by authors is low, 1 per cent of articles published." I do not have access to the report itself, or I would quote from it directly.
- See Suenje Dallmeier-Tiessen et al., First results of the SOAP project. Open access publishing in 2010, arXiv, October 4, 2010. Table 4 summarizes the data on the uptake of the hybrid OA option. After Table 4, the authors conclude: "The measured open access share in hybrid journals is found to be around 2%."
- At p. 143, line 11. Correction. "...alone is has..." should be "...alone has...." (This correction applies only to the first print edition and the earliest digital editions.)
- At p. 143, I say, "There are reasons to think that OA journals cost less to produce than toll-access journals of the same quality...." At pp. 143-144, I spell out some of those reasons, and in note 16 (note call at p. 144, note text at p. 213), I cite several studies in support of this proposition. Add these notes.
- See Roger Clarke, The Cost Profiles of Alternative Approaches to Journal Publishing, First Monday, December 3, 2007. "For–profit publishers have higher cost–profiles than not–for–profit associations, because of the additional functions that they perform, in particular their much greater investment in branding, customer relationship management and content protection. The difference is particularly marked in the case of eJournals — a computed per–article cost of US$3,400 compared with US$730. This point is sufficiently significant that further examination is warranted....[I]t would appear that open access journal publishing is achievable through not–for–profit channels far more cheaply and efficiently than through for–profit organisations....But the primary beneficiaries of these features [higher–quality branding, more active marketing, more aggressive customer management, and content protection] are the publisher and its owners [not authors or readers]." Also see the summary of Clarke's findings by Lee C. Van and Kathleen Born in their Periodicals Price Survey 2008, Library Journal, April 15, 2008: "Commercial publishers have a hard time realizing the economies because they are locked into expensive practices that offset them, including higher quality branding and marketing, more aggressive customer management, and costly content protection systems. Taking those added costs into account, it takes a commercial publisher about $3400 to produce an article for an e-journal, while a nonprofit publisher could produce the equivalent article for about $730. The study suggests that it is easier for the nonprofit association to flip its business model to OA than it is for the large commercial publisher."
- See the statement from the Public Library of Science published by Richard Poynder on March 8, 2011. "Publishing in the conventional system is estimated to cost the academy around $4500 per article. What PLoS (and for that matter BioMed Central, Hindawi, Co-Action, Copernicus and other successful open-access publishers) is showing is that high-quality publishing can be supported by publication fees that are substantially less than the costs of the conventional system...."
- See my interview with Richard Poynder in July 2011. "[Q:] When we spoke in 2007, you said you expected OA to be a cheaper way of publishing research. Is that still your view? [A:] There are good reasons to think that OA publishing costs less, and will continue to cost less, than TA publishing at the same level of quality....However, there are also those who dispute the conclusion, generally without evidence or with misleading evidence, such as the experience of behemoth publishers with legacy overhead from the age of print and subscriptions. I’m happy to leave it an empirical question and wait for more decisive data to emerge. But my hypothesis based on present evidence is that OA publishing will cost less."
- See Claudio Aspesi, Reed Elsevier: Transitioning to Open Access - Are the Cost Savings Sufficient to Protect Margins? Bernstein Research, November 26, 2012: "Spurred by the reading of Peter Suber's book Open Access, which argues that publishers would incur...meaningful savings in the transition to OA, we recently worked with the finance team of a subscription-funded publisher to identify in detail the cost savings which could be achieved in an OA model....We estimate that a full transition to OA could lead to savings in the region of 10-12% of the cost base of a subscription publisher....Savings would derive primarily from discontinuing physical print, the elimination of production management, and the phase out of the sales force. There would also be savings in IT (DRM costs), but they would be partially offset by higher server and communications costs (because of the need to accommodate a larger flux of downloads) and in customer service, since subscriber services would be largely eliminated (in working with this publisher, we estimated that 34% of customer service costs would remain). On the negative side, the largest impact would be the need to ramp up marketing costs, some additional administrative expenses (since invoicing would likely be more fragmented and complex) and – most of all – the loss of advance revenues...."
- See Andrew Odlyzko, Open Access, library and publisher competition, and the evolution of general commerce, preprint, February 4, 2013. "Most of the arguments for Open Access are valid irrespective of the costs of publications, and are based on the public good, eﬃciency of research, and similar considerations. However, the possibility of moving to dramatically lower cost structures does make a switch to new business models much easier to perform. It has been clear for two decades that much lower costs in scholarly publishing are possible, but with some exceptions, little has been done to the bulk of the literature to move in that direction....That lower costs were possible was obvious even three decades ago, since the costs per article varied wildly between publishers. This showed that costs were not a matter of unavoidable necessity, but of market power, choice, and inertia. This has become far clearer since then. There are many cost reductions that are feasible and desirable...."
- See Richard Van Noorden, Open access: The true cost of science publishing, Nature, March 27, 2013 (corrected April 5, 2013). See esp. the fourth (unnumbered) graphic titled, "The Cost of Publishing", showing that online TA journals cost less to produce than print TA journals, and that OA journals cost less to produce than online TA journals. The graphic draws on data from John Houghton, Economic implications of alternative scholarly publishing models: Exploring the costs and benefits, JISC, 2009.
- At p. 145, lines 8-9. Correction. "...redirect money we're currently spending on peer-reviewed journals." should be "...redirect money we're currently spending on peer-reviewed toll-access journals." (This correction applies only to the first print edition and the earliest digital editions.)
- At p. 145, I mention a few benefits that OA brings even to conventional publishers: "increased readership, citations, submissions, and quality." Add these notes.
- For the evidence on increased citations, see Chapter 1, endnote 6 (note call at p. 15, note text at pp. 178-179). Also see the updates and supplements for p. 15, above.
- For the evidence on increased submissions and subscriptions, see Chapter 8, endnotes 10 and 11 (note calls at p. 159, note text at pp. 216-217).
- For the case that OA can increase quality, see my articles, Open access and quality, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, October 2, 2006, and Thinking about prestige, quality, and open access, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, September 2, 2008.
- Also see my Open Access Overview. OA benefits even conventional journals and publishers: "OA makes their articles more visible, discoverable, retrievable, and useful. If a journal is OA, then it can use this superior visibility to attract submissions and advertising, not to mention readers and citations. If a subscription-based journal provides OA to some of its content (e.g. selected articles in each issue, all back issues after a certain period, etc.), then it can use its increased visibility to attract all the same benefits plus subscriptions. If a journal permits OA through postprint archiving, then it has an edge in attracting authors over journals that do not permit postprint archiving. Of course subscription-based journals and their publishers have countervailing interests as well and often resist or oppose OA. But it oversimplifies the situation to think that all their interests pull against OA."
- In February 2006, a survey of BMJ authors showed that OA increased submissions and TA would decrease submissions. See Sara Schroter, Importance of free access to research articles on decision to submit to the BMJ: survey of authors, BMJ, February 16, 2006. "Three quarters (159/211) [of surveyed BMJ authors] said the fact that all readers would have free access to their paper on bmj.com was very important or important to their decision to submit to the BMJ. Over half (111/211) said closure of free access to research articles would make them slightly less likely to submit research articles to the BMJ in the future, 14% (29/211) said they would be much less likely to submit, and 34% (71/211) said it would not influence their decision....Authors value free access to research articles and consider this an important factor in deciding whether to submit to the BMJ. Closing access to research articles would have a negative effect on authors' perceptions of the journal and their likeliness to submit."
- See Péter Jacsó, Open access to scholarly full-text documents, Online Information Review, 30, 5 (2006). "...The paper shows that while open access archives are good for the majority, for publishers, editors and authors, open access articles can substantially increase their impact, and the impact factor for the source journals...."
- In 2007, Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI) converted four hybrid OA journals to full OA. In 2009 it presented evidence that the conversion boosted the impact factors of all four journals.
- In the 2008 Journal Citation Reports, Thomson Reuters reported that five OA journals had the highest impact factors in their fields: (1) PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, first out of 15 in Tropical Medicine, (2) PLoS Pathogens, first out of 25 in Parasitology, (3) PLoS Computational Biology, first out of 28 in Mathematical & Computational Biology, (4) PLoS Biology, first out of 71 in Biology, and (5) Journal of Medical Internet Research, first out of 20 in Medical Informatics.
- See Hans Lossius and Kjetil Søreide, Open access publishing: a girder in the success of the Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, an editorial, January 19, 2011. "The Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine (SJTREM) has entered its third year as an open access international scientific on-line journal....Submissions are steadily increasing, and the acceptance rate is per date approximately 40%....[T]he number of SJTREM papers cited in other journals are increasing....SJTREM converted into open access (OA) online publishing in July 2008...."
- For other benefits, see The Impact of Open Access: The Future of the Academic Information Supply Chain, EBSCO and Red Sage Consulting, October 2012. The report enumerates the well-known publisher fears and objections to OA (at pp. 24-25). But it also enumerates benefits to publishers (at p. 19). Under "Improved dissemination/access" it lists "Maximum dissemination" and "Global access, free at point of use (provisos: peer review process; properly funded)." Under "Financial Benefits" it lists "Potential for increased advertising revenues", "Upfront payment before costs are incurred", "Predictable revenue stream", "Shorter time for new journals to become established/financially viable", "Puts the financial issue back with authors/funders, not the 'budget' of libraries", and "Dealing with fewer sources of income". Under "Strategic Benefits" it lists "Provides a choice of business models", "Allows exploration of alternative pricing models", "More opportunities for publishers to add value, including to content originating from other sources", "Aligns publishers with the stated aims of funders and universities", and "A platform to publish good quality content that did not make it into top journals". Also see my blog post (December 19, 2012) on the strengths and weaknesses of this list.
- In January 2013, the Journal of Hymenoptera Research reported that its submissions grew after it converted from TA to OA. See Stephen Schmidt et al., The move to open access and growth: experience from Journal of Hymenoptera Research, Journal of Hymenoptera Research, vol. 30, pp. 1–6, January 30, 2013. JHR is published by the International Society of Hymenopterists.
- Also see Stefan Busch, The careers of converts – how a transfer to BioMed Central affects the Impact Factors of established journals, BioMed Central Blog, January 15, 2014. "At BioMed Central we’ve seen a strong effect on citations and the Impact Factors of publications that move to BioMed Central when they are already well-established titles listed in the Journals Citation Report....Since Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica converted to open access publication seven years ago, its Impact Factor has increased about four-fold, and as a consequence the journal has moved into the top third of the veterinary sciences category in Web of Science....The following graphs for Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and Genetics Selection Evolution all convey a similar message: the first Impact Factor that is based solely on open access articles (vertical line) represents a significant rise – a doubling and more – compared to the years before the transfer to BioMed Central...." Also see BMC says IFs of its society journals increased after move to OA, Research Information, August 6, 2014, and The Impact Factor of journals converting from subscription to open access, BioMed Central blog, November 6, 2014.
- At p. 146, I refer to one kind of transition to OA as "a peaceful revolution based on negotiation, consent, and self-interest." (See also p. 13 and p. 147.) Add this note.
- For an analysis building on this concept in the the larger domain of copyright reform, see Nicolas Suzor, Free-Riding, Cooperation, and 'Peaceful Revolutions' in Copyright, Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, forthcoming, 2014.
Chapter 8: Casualties
|Read the OA text:|
Updates and supplements for Chapter 8:
- At p. 151, endnote 2 (note text at p. 215). Correction. For "Alma Swan's interview with the APS and IOP in which 'both societies said they could not identify any losses of subscriptions' due to OA archiving", please replace http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/11006/, which is no longer valid, with http://cogprints.org/4406/. And add this note:
- Alma Swan summarized some of the same findings in a message posted to the American Scientist Open Access Forum on February 3, 2005. "Have physics publishers gone to the wall [because of rising levels of green OA through arXiv]? No, and not only have they continued to survive, they have also continued to thrive. I have recently asked questions about this of two of the big learned society publishers in physics, the American Physical Society in the US and the Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd in the UK. There are two salient points to note:  Neither can identify any loss of subscriptions to the journals that they publish as a result of the arXiv.  Subscription attrition, where it is occurring, is the same in the areas that match the coverage of the arXiv as it is across any other areas of physics that these societies publish in. Both societies, moreover, see actual benefits for their publishing operations arising from the existence of arXiv....In answer to the question 'Does arXiv worry or threaten your business?' the APS answered: 'We don't consider it a threat. We expect to continue to have a symbiotic relationship with arXiv....' The Institute of Physics Publishing's response was: 'IOPP's experience as a learned society publisher illustrates the strong synergies and mutual benefits that currently exist between major peer-reviewed journals...and the arXiv e-print server....Whilst posting an pre-print or post-print is becoming more of an essential in some areas of the physics community for immediate and wide dissemination, we do not see the arXiv or repositories threatening our business.'"
- At p. 152, endnote 4 (note text at pp. 215-216). Here I'm documenting the assertion that, "At Congressional hearings in 2008 and 2010, legislators asked publishers directly whether green OA was triggering cancellations. In both cases publishers pointed to decreased downloads but not to increased cancellations." Add these notes.
- Susan Hezlet, Access and Accessibility for the London Mathematical Society Journals, Notices of the AMS, March 2014. At p. 279, Hezlet reports that the Annals of Mathematics lost subscriptions when it provided green OA to the published versions of its articles. But she concludes "from the scant evidence we have" that there is no danger in allowing green OA to preprints or to the authors' accepted manuscripts.
- Also see Philip M. Davis, Public accessibility of biomedical articles from PubMed Central reduces journal readership—retrospective cohort analysis, FASEB Journal, July 2013. "A longitudinal, retrospective cohort analysis of 13,223 articles...published in 14 society-run biomedical research journals...between February 2008 and January 2011 reveals a 21.4% reduction in full-text...HTML...article downloads and a 13.8% reduction in...PDF...article downloads from the journals' websites when U.S. National Institutes of Health-sponsored articles...become freely available from the PubMed Central repository....The relationship between free access and subscription cancellation behavior is not well understood." Davis predicts that increased downloads will lead to increased cancellations, but cites no evidence that they have already done so.
- Also see Martin Frank, Open but Not Free — Publishing in the 21st Century, New England Journal of Medicine, February 28, 2013. "A longitudinal cohort analysis of 12 subscription-based research journals in physiology revealed that PubMed Central drew approximately 14% of full-text article downloads away from journal websites when articles deposited in PubMed Central became freely available to the public 12 months after publication [citing an October 2012 study by Phil Davis]. Similarly, the open-access journals from the Public Library of Science (PLOS) had a 22% loss of traffic to PubMed Central [citing a November 2013 blog post by Kent Anderson] The persistent reduction in full-text downloads from journal websites contributes to a loss of the advertising revenue that partially offsets the cost of publication." Although increased cancellations would support Frank's thesis more than decreased downloads, he cites no evidence of increased cancellations.
- One study from a major publisher trade association shows that green OA actually increases downloads from publisher web sites. See the June 2012 final report of the PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research) study, at p. 11: "A Randomised Controlled Trial indicates that making preprints visible in PEER repositories is associated with more traffic to the publisher sites at the aggregate level, but this varies by publisher and subject. Overall, PEER is associated with a significant, if relatively modest, increase in publisher downloads, in the confidence range 7.5% to 15.5%" (emphasis added). Also see the June 2012 PEER Usage Study at pp. 3-4: "This report reviews the findings of an experiment to measure the effect of exposing early article versions in repositories on downloads of the version of record at various publishers’ web sites....There was a positive effect on publisher downloads in all four broad subject areas, but this was statistically significant only in the life (20.3%, CI95 13.1% to 27.9%) and physical sciences (13.1%, CI95 5.2% to 21.6%). The uplift in medicine and in the social sciences and humanities could be a chance effect. Larger publishers experienced a strong uplift (12.6%, CI95 8.3% to 17.0%), while the increase for smaller publishers was much weaker (3.3%) and could be a chance effect (p=0.53)....For three publishers, the uplift was both statistically significant (at the 5% level) and in double figures." Note that the PEER study was coordinated by the International Association of Science, Technical and Medical Publishers, and funded by the EC eContentplus programme.
- The pattern continued in a third Congressional hearing on OA on March 29, 2012. The hearing was titled, "Federally Funded Research: Examining Public Access and Scholarly Publication Interests," and held by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. From the SPARC summary of one part of the Q&A: "Rep. Zoe Lofgren, (D-CA), noting that the NIH Public Access has now been in place for nearly four years, challenged the publishers assertions that they would be financially harmed by FPRAA, and asked if any data demonstrating financial harm to publishers could be presented by any of the panelists. None was provided."
- Other evidence suggests that while levels of green OA continue to rise, and library budgets to fall, the fortunes of conventional journal publishing continue to rise. See the financial analysis of the academic publishing industry by Simba Information, January 6, 2012. "Amid budgetary pressures and a slow economic recovery, the combined markets for science, technical and medical (STM) publishing grew 3.4% to $21.1 billion in 2011."
- In February 2012, the NIH updated its own evidence that its policy has caused no harm to date. "The [NIH] Public Access requirement took effect in 2008. While the U.S. economy has suffered a downturn during the time period 2007 to 2011, scientific publishing has grown:  The number of journals dedicated to publishing biological sciences/agriculture articles and medicine/health articles increased 15% and 19%, respectively.  The average subscription prices of biology journals and health sciences journals increased 26% and 23%, respectively.  Publishers forecast increases to the rate of growth of the medical journal market, from 4.5% in 2011 to 6.3% in 2014...."
- Also in February 2012, Elsevier revealed that its sales and profits both increased in 2011. "The science and technology field performance particularly stood out...." Also see Elsevier's own summary of its 2011 financial results. "Underlying revenue up 2%....Underlying adjusted operating profit up 5%; up 4% at constant currencies....[W]e expect to deliver another year of underlying revenue and profit growth in 2012...."
- Also see the updates and supplements for p. 157, below, on the state of evidence that increased levels of green OA or shortened embargoes on green OA cause journal cancellations.
- At p. 154, I start a section entitled, "There is evidence that green OA decreases downloads from publishers' web sites." Add this note.
- See Philip M. Davis, Public accessibility of biomedical articles from PubMed Central reduces journal readership: retrospective cohort analysis, The FASEB Journal, April 3, 2013. "A longitudinal, retrospective cohort analysis of 13,223 articles (5999 treatment, 7224 control) published in 14 society-run biomedical research journals in nutrition, experimental biology, physiology, and radiology between February 2008 and January 2011 reveals a 21.4% reduction in full-text hypertext markup language (HTML) article downloads and a 13.8% reduction in portable document format (PDF) article downloads from the journals' websites when U.S. National Institutes of Health-sponsored articles (treatment) become freely available from the PubMed Central repository. In addition, the effect of PubMed Central on reducing PDF article downloads is increasing over time, growing at a rate of 1.6% per year. There was no longitudinal effect for full-text HTML downloads." The Davis study confirms earlier studies showing reduced downloads; also like earlier studies, it does not show reduced subscriptions or increased cancellations.
- At p. 154, I say that even when users have privileges at a library which subscribes to a needed journal, "authentication is a hassle." Add these notes.
- See Dorothea Salo, "My Gripe About E-Journals," Caveat Lector, November 14, 2005. The original is no longer online, but here's an excerpt from my blog post at the time: "If I follow that link [from a blog post to an interesting-looking article], I’m stuck. The journal website does not offer me a way to authenticate as belonging to MPOW [My Place Of Work]. It doesn't even tell me whether MPOW subscribes to that journal or not....To get to the article, I have to go to MPOW's website, drill down into it to find the journal in MPOW's bewildering plethora of e-resources, and finally try for the article —by which time I've typically forgotten the citation information...."
- See Richard Smith, A bad bad week for access, The Guardian, June 28, 2012. "It occurs to me that I might be able to access the article through Imperial [College London], so I ring the library....[After connecting with a helpful librarian, I learn that] it’s a four stage process for me get online access to a journal in the library. I have to be induced...to have my photograph taken and get an identity card (I couldn’t because the man was on holiday), go physically to the library with my card, and then contact the IT department to get access to the library VPN....I can’t believe that it will still be like this in 10 years' time...."
- At p. 154, I start a section entitled, "Most [conventional] publishers voluntarily permit green OA." Add this note.
- A large number of conventional publishers voluntarily do more to provide green OA than even the NIH policy requires. There are three kinds of examples: (1) journals participating in PubMed Central, many with embargo periods shorter than the NIH maximum of 12 months, (2) journals providing OA to the published editions of articles by NIH-funded authors, and not just the unedited peer-reviewed manuscripts, and (3) journals depositing their articles in PubMed Central under open licenses rather than all-rights-reserved copyrights, and depositing articles whether or not their authors are NIH-funded.
- At p. 155, I say that green OA mandates typically apply only to the final version of the author's peer-reviewed manuscript, not to the published version. I also say that "[l]ibraries wanting to provide access to copyedited published editions will still have an incentive to subscribe." Add this note.
- We can turn the argument around. If publishers claim that this is not an incentive to subscribe, then they would seem to be saying that their copyediting and other enhancements to the peer-reviewed manuscripts add little or nothing that is worth paying for.
- At p. 157, I start a subsection entitled, "Some studies bear on the question of whether increased OA archiving [green OA] will increase journal cancellations." Add these notes, some on increased levels of green OA and some on shortened embargoes on green OA.
- Also see Cameron Neylon, The Embargoes Don’t Work: The British Academy provides the best evidence yet, PLoS Opens, May 14, 2014. "The conclusion I draw from these two sets of data [presented in a July 2013 study by the British Academy] is that there is no value in longer embargoes for H&SS [Humanities and Social Sciences] – indeed that there is no need for embargoes at all. H&SS cluster with physics and maths, disciplines where substantial, and importantly concentrated, portions of the literature have been available prior to publication for over 20 years and where there is no evidence of a systemic failure in the running of sustainable publishing businesses....Why do institutions continue to subscribe to journals when the ‘same’ content is available online for free? This would only be the case if factors others than online availability of manuscripts drove subscription decisions. This might be the case if other factors, such as overall cost, scholar demand or access to the version of record were more important factors. This is exactly what the survey data in the BA report shows supporting the view that short embargoes are not a risk to the sustainability of subscription journals in H&SS. The report itself however comes to the opposite conclusion. It does this by creating a narrative of increasing risk based on potential loss, that things might change in the future, particularly if the degree of access rises, that the survey can only ask about the current environment and hypothetical decisions....For me decades of the ArXiv and Astronomy Data Service and seven years of mandated deposit to Pubmed Central with no evidence of linked subscription cancellations seem like strong evidence. Remember that the report states that physics and maths are similar to H&SS. But increasingly I’m feeling this whole argument is rather sterile...."
- Also see Peter Suber, What doesn't justify longer embargoes on publicly-funded research, January 11, 2014. "Phil Davis has shown that the half-life of research articles differs from field to field. The half-life of an article here is 'the median age of articles downloaded from a publisher's website.' See his study, Journal Usage Half-Life, November 25, 2013....Unfortunately [Davis'] data are not being carefully used by publishers who want to lengthen the permissible embargoes in federal OA policies. Note that Davis himself does not make the careless arguments I'm about to describe. There are two problems in arguing that the Davis study somehow entails that OA policies should permit longer embargoes -- longer embargoes in general or longer embargoes in fields with longer article half-lives. 1. The first problem is that the Davis [study] doesn't show that short embargoes cause cancellations. This is a larger problem than it may appear to be. Publishers have been claiming for years that short embargoes cause cancellations, but there is no evidence to support the claim....2. But the second problem is larger and more important than the first. Suppose we had good data showing that short embargoes caused cancellations, or that a uniform embargo across fields caused more cancellations in the fields with longer article half-lives. It still would not follow that policies should permit longer embargoes. To get to that conclusion we'd have to add premises. These premises are often assumed, but they are remarkably weak once made explicit for examination. We'd have to add the premise that public policies should maximize publisher revenue before maximizing public access to publicly-funded research. Or we'd have to add the premise that policies should put publisher interests ahead of researcher interests. I reject these premises. Research funding agencies, especially public funding agencies, ought to reject them as well...."
- Also see the January 2014 press release from Taylor & Francis, Taylor & Francis extend green Open access zero embargo pilot scheme for Library & Information science authors until end 2014. "Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, has been running a Library & Information Science Author Rights pilot scheme that allows authors to post their peer-reviewed Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to an institutional repository immediately after publication. The two year pilot scheme, first introduced in 2011, has now been extended for at least a further year....As part of the pilot, a survey was conducted....Having the option to upload their work to a repository directly after publication is very important to these authors: more than 2/3 of respondents rated the ability to upload their work to repositories at 8, 9, or 10 out of 10, with the vast majority saying they feel strongly that authors should have this right. The implementation of the author rights pilot saw the number of respondents who would recommend Routledge as a publishing outlet increase by 34% while the average willingness to publish with Routledge on a scale of 1 to 10 increased from 6.6 to 8.3. The shift in response from Library and Information Science professionals towards Routledge’s publishing program before and after the launch of this initiative practically demonstrates the enthusiasm for immediate upload of non-embargoed content within the library community...."
- Also see the September 2013 report of the UK House of Commons Select Committee on Business, Innovation and Skills. After reviewing the state of the evidence, the committee concluded that "there is no available evidence base to indicate that short or even zero embargoes cause cancellation of subscriptions" (Paragraph 44). "We note the absence of evidence that short embargo periods harm subscription publishers" (Paragraph 49).
- Also see the June 2012 final report of the large-scale PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research) study, supported by the European Commission's eContentplus program and coordinated by the International Association of Science, Technical and Medical Publishers. Norbert Lossau, the Scientific Coordinator of OpenAIRE and a member of the PEER Executive Committee, summarized the report this way: "[T]he economic research of the PEER project could not find any evidence for the hypothesis that self-archiving affects journal viability." Indeed, it found that green OA created a modest benefit for publishers. From the final report at p. 11: "A Randomised Controlled Trial indicates that making preprints visible in PEER repositories is associated with more traffic to the publisher sites at the aggregate level, but this varies by publisher and subject. Overall, PEER is associated with a significant, if relatively modest, increase in publisher downloads, in the confidence range 7.5% to 15.5%" (emphasis added).
- Also see the February 2012 report from the business-oriented Committee for Economic Development, The Future of Taxpayer-Funded Research: Who Will Control Access to the Results? From the executive summary at p. 6: "No persuasive evidence exists that greater public access as provided by the NIH policy has substantially harmed subscription-supported STM publishers over the last four years or threatens the sustainability of their journals or their ability to fund peer review."
- See Harvard's January 2012 submission to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy: "[I]f publishers believe that short embargo periods would harm them, they should release data showing it. Researchers, research institutions, and taxpayers cannot be expected to prove the negative, or to prove the harmlessness of short embargoes. Until there is data to show harm, we must act in the public interest and provide early or immediate public access to publicly funded research. If publishers provide data showing substantive harm, then it may become appropriate to consider what kind of compromise with the public interest might be justified."
- Also see the updates and supplements for p. 152, above, on the state of evidence that rising levels of green OA cause journal cancellations.
- At p. 158, endnote 9 (note text at p. 216). Correction. The URL I cite for this ALPSP report is now dead, and the ALPSP provides no redirect. Here's a new URL: http://www.alpsp.org/Ebusiness/ProductCatalog/Product.aspx?ID=26.
- At p. 158, endnote 10 (note text at p. 216). Correction. The URL I cite for Jonathan Weitzman's article is now dead. Here's a new URL: http://web.archive.org/web/20040228064824/http://www.biomedcentral.com/openaccess/archive/?page=features&issue=6.
- At p. 160, I quote Derk Haank, then-CEO of Springer: "In 2008 when Springer bought BioMed Central and became the world’s largest OA publisher, Haank said: “[W]e see open access publishing as a sustainable part of STM publishing, and not an ideological crusade.” " Add this note.
- Five years later, in September 2013, Springer said in a press release, "Open access is now at the heart of Springer's strategy,...with BioMed Central delivering an increasingly substantial fraction of the company’s growth...."
- At p. 160, I say, "OA publishing might be more sustainable than TA publishing, as toll-access prices and the volume of research both grow faster than library budgets." Add these notes.
- Correction. Change "TA" to "toll-access". (I used the abbreviation in my manuscript, but MIT Press wanted to minimize the use of abbreviations; I spelled out most instances of the abbreviation but missed this one.)
- See Donald Force and Elizabeth Shaffer, Records Management and Peer-Reviewed Journals: An Assessment: Final Report, April 2013. Force and Shaffer ask whether records information management (RIM) professionals in North America should launch a peer-reviewed journal and, if so, whether the journal should be OA. They look carefully at many relevant factors, including the results of a survey of RIM professionals. Deliberations of this kind often focus with fear on the supposed unsustainability of OA journals. But this one takes a notably different turn: "The contemporary journal publishing landscape is currently undergoing reflection and change in the face of evolving technologies and the ever-increasing call for open access to information and publicly funded research. Any new journal entering the current landscape would need to consider the sustainability of a non-open access model."
- At pp. 160-161, I say, "If publishers acknowledge that gold OA can be sustainable, and even profitable, and merely wish to avoid making lower margins than they make today, then their objection takes on a very different color. They're not at risk of insolvency, just reduced profits, and they're not asserting a need for self-protection, just an entitlement to current levels of profit. There's no reason for public funding agencies acting in the public interest, or private funders acting for charitable purposes, to compromise their missions in order to satisfy this sense of publisher entitlement." Add this note:
- See Robert Heinlein, "Life-Line," 1939: "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
- At p. 161, I say, "Even if green OA does eventually threaten toll-access journal subscriptions, green OA policies are still justified." Add these notes.
- I elaborated this point in Digital access to knowledge: Research chat with Harvard’s Peter Suber, Journalists' Resource, October 16, 2012: "Open access would be justified even if it did cause some harm to academic publishers. But it’s not causing harm. The Congressional witnesses effectively admit it. [See p. 152 and the updates and supplements for p. 152.]...Academic publishers fear that the harm is coming. Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. The case for open access is based on real needs, and the case against it is based on conjecture and fear. Let’s adopt an OA policy for publicly-funded research and see what happens. One day, if publishers can show evidence that the policy harms them, then we can look at the evidence and decide, in light of that evidence, what’s in the public interest."
- I also elaborated this point in Tectonic movements toward OA in the UK and Europe, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, September 2, 2012: "If rising levels of green OA do start to cause cancellations, for example, in fields outside physics, then we can decide what to do about it. We can act in light of the evidence, whatever it turns out to be. We can weigh the demonstrable degree of harm to publishers against the demonstrable degree of benefit to research, researchers, research institutions, and taxpayers. We can see to what extent the publishers experiencing cancellations are doing their best to adapt to the opportunities of the digital age, and to what extent they are laggards at adaptation who deserve no public assistance, especially at the expense of researchers and taxpayers. In short, we needn't let fear of harm serve as evidence of harm, and we needn't assume without discussion that even evidence of harm to subscription publishers would justify compromising the public interest in public access to publicly-funded research. Policy-makers must take seriously the argument that green OA mandates could be justified even if they do eventually cause cancellations. The case for this 'even if' argument can be long or short. It's essentially the argument for OA itself....[I]t's also the argument that public agencies should put the public interest ahead of private interests....But in either form, the argument is essential to avoid the mistake of letting public agencies make insurance for publishers a higher priority than access to publicly-funded research."
- Here's how I put a similar point in an article in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter for December 2010: "I've often praised SCOAP3 as our best hope for a peaceful revolution in the shift from peer-reviewed TA journals to peer-reviewed OA journals. However, SCOAP3 is not the only strategy for that transition. It's just the only one that builds on negotiation, cooperation, and stakeholder consent. The chief alternative to the SCOAP3 strategy is to grow the volume of green OA --whether or not it triggers a shift from TA journals to gold OA. I support both strongly, with equal emphasis on "both" and "strongly". I don't want either to be the only arrow in our quiver. I strongly support green OA mandates and other methods for growing the volume of green OA, and I support them regardless of their effect on publishers....The goal of green OA is not to force subscription journals to convert to gold OA. The goal is to share knowledge and accelerate research. The idea is not for researchers and research institutions to harm or transform publishers, but for researchers and research institutions to act in their own interests. However, the effect could create economic risk for publishers, and hence create economic pressures to avert that risk. Instead of a frictionless flip, brought about by consent and self-interest, the all-green strategy could bring about a high-friction flip, preceded by hostile lobbying and disinformation and followed by resentment and acrimony....But as I said, I support the green strategy regardless of its effect on publishers. I'll take this revolution with or without friction. I support green OA because it delivers more OA more quickly and less expensively than gold OA. It needn't wait for journals to decide to convert or for new born-OA journal to learn the ropes. It isn't limited to new work submitted to OA journals, but can cover new work published anywhere. However, for the narrow goal of increasing gold OA, as opposed to broader goal of increasing OA overall, I support the win-win logic of SCOAP3. Both strategies may bring about the same volume of OA in the end. But if it works, the win-win logic will convert publishers and journals with consent and cooperation. As I argued in SOAN last year, 'Peaceful revolution through negotiation and self-interest is more amicable and potentially more productive than adaptation forced by falling asteroids.' "
- Apart from the continuing justification for OA, we would face what I've called the disentangling problem. See my Predictions for 2008, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, December 2, 2007: "[E]ven if subscriptions fall as OA archiving rises, it will be difficult to disentangle the cancellations caused by OA from the cancellations caused by natural attrition and librarian triage. Some part of the cancellations will be due to unbearable prices and onerous licensing terms....The disentangling problem will be aggravated by the fact that journals respond to cancellations by raising their prices, triggering new cancellations, and we already know (from the ALPSP study in March 2006) that high prices cause many more cancellations than OA archiving."
Chapter 9: Future
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Updates and supplements for Chapter 9:
- At p. 165, I say, "Generational change is on the side of OA." Add these notes.
- See Generation Gap in Authors' Open Access Views and Experience, Reveals Wiley Survey, October 8, 2013: "Early career professionals were 6% more likely to publish under a Creative Commons (CC) license than more mature researchers, while over half of respondents above the age of 55 preferred not to use CC licenses of any kind." For more detail, see slides 17-18 in the accompanying slide deck.
- See We’re embracing change say young researchers in latest analysis, Taylor & Francis, October 2014: "Those in the 20-29 year old age group were most likely to agree that open access journals have a larger readership than subscription journals (58% either strongly agreed or agreed with this statement) and that open access journals are more heavily cited. Across all other age groups agreement with these statements decreased with age, with just 15% of those who were 70 or over expressing the same level of agreement on citations. Authors in their sixties and seventies offered the opposite opinion to those in their twenties, being the least likely to agree that open access publication increased readership and citations, and most likely to agree with the statement that there is ‘no fundamental benefit to open access’."
- At p. 165, I say, "Time itself has reduced the panic-induced misunderstandings of OA." Add this note.
- See my Predictions for 2008, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, December 2, 2007. After listing several OA initiatives from publishers formerly opposed to OA, I predict more of the same: "Some of these OA projects will be motivated by fear of OA and the desire to prepare for it. But some will be motivated, in effect, by the decline in fear. We're entering the post-panic period of the OA revolution, and as panic subsides, more and more former opponents will be willing to acknowledge the virtues of OA and try to benefit from them. It will be easier see nuance, rather than undifferentiated menace, and recognize that some variations on the theme may fit a given publisher's plans and research niche even if other variations do not."
- At p. 167, I say, "Even if we acknowledge the need for cultural change in the transition to OA —far more critical than technological change— it's easy to underestimate the cultural barriers and the time required to work through them." Add this note.
- See Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law."
Chapter 10: Self-Help
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Updates and supplements for Chapter 10:
- I restated many of the points from this chapter in a public talk at the Berkman Center, October 23, 2012. See the online handout I wrote to accompany the talk, How to make your own work open access. The handout includes active links and I update it as needed.
- At p. 170, I say, "[A]bout 30 percent of OA journals charge author-side fees and about half the articles published in OA journals appear in those fee-based journals." Add these notes.
- See William Walters and Anne Linvill, "Characteristics of Open Access Journals in Six Subject Areas," College and Research Libraries, August 2010. "While just 29 percent of OA journals charge publication fees, those journals represent 50 percent of the articles in our study."
- See Mikael Laakso and Bo-Christer Björk, Anatomy of open access publishing: a study of longitudinal development and internal structure, BMC Medicine, October 22, 2012: "OA journals requiring article-processing charges have become increasingly common, publishing 166,700 articles in 2011 (49% of all OA articles)."
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Updates and Supplements for the Glossary:
- At p. 175, and elsewhere in the book, I define OA to include both gratis and libre access. Moreover, I define libre access to cover the whole spectrum beyond fair use, not just the most-free or least-restricted end of that spectrum (for example, the CC-BY and CC0 end of the spectrum). Some allies differ from me on both of these points. That is, some want to define OA to mean libre access only, and some want to define libre access to cover just the most-free end of the spectrum beyond fair use. I first defended my use of these definitions in the August 2008 article in which I borrowed the gratis/libre terminology from the world of free software and introduced it into world of free scholarship. I defended it several times thereafter in blog posts, and defended it most recently in the second postscript to my June 2012 article on the rise of libre OA. Undoubtedly some disagreements still remain. However, in my view, these disputes are entirely verbal, and turn on how we should define and use certain terms. Unless we are careless, they should not interfere with our understanding of the underlying issues, distinctions, and policies, let alone with the actions we take based on that understanding.
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For updates and supplements to a given endnote, see the page for the note call. For example, the note call for endnote 2 in Chapter 3 occurs on p. 50, and the note text occurs on p. 187. Any updates and supplements to that endnote will be collected in an entry for p. 50, not in an entry for p. 187.
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Updates and supplements for the index:
- Add new entry: Students, 73, 174. See also Theses and dissertations.
- Add new entry: Terry, Sharon, 204-205
- Toll-access (or conventional) journals and publishers.
- Add new sub-entry: Right to refuse to publish any work for any reason, 126-128
- Add new entry: Translation, 27, 74