28 June 2012

Open Access message for Wellcome grant holders

Earlier this year there was news that the Wellcome Trust would be introducing a tougher stance on compliance with their open access policy, and they have now outlined the steps they will take:
The Wellcome Trust today announces that it will be strengthening the manner in which it enforces its open access policy with immediate effect. Failure to comply with the policy could result in final grant payments being withheld and non-compliant publications being discounted when applying for further funding.

The Guardian also reports on this new policy: Wellcome Trust to penalise scientists who don't embrace open access.

Support is available for St Andrews researchers who are in receipt of a Wellcome Trust grant. The Wellcome Trust has provided money to the University specifically to cover article fees for publishing in open access journals. The Trust also provides a list of frequently used journals with specific advice on how best to comply.

19 June 2012

Finch Report released

The report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings (Finch report) has been released.

The report is very clear on its expectation for open access to become the norm in scholarly communication:
The principle that the results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain is a compelling one, and fundamentally unanswerable.
There is much made of the need to sustain publisher revenue, and therefore many of the recommendations relate to the 'gold' route to open access, looking at business models, licensing and funding for Article Processing Charges (APCs). Funders and universities will inevitably need to look at mechanisms for supporting and managing APCs for their researchers.

Repositories are discussed as both a 'threat' (p36) to commercial publishers (while acknowledging no evidence for a disruption to publisher income, p86) and an option (through the 'green' route to open access) with modest operating costs. Amongst the conclusions there is a comment that 'journals can work effectively with repositories' (p91).

It will be interesting to see how the report impacts on policies such as the proposed RCUK revised mandate, due later this summer.

Further useful comments:

13 June 2012

PeerJ introduces radical new business model for OA

Yesterday saw fascinating news of a new open access journal that may shake up a business model or two. The scientific journal PeerJ has revealed its pricing plans that are based on author membership rather than a per-article fee.

The ‘headline’ publishing cost for PeerJ is ‘$99 for life’, though in actual fact every author on a paper (up to 12) would need to have paid the $99 and the cost is more if you want to submit more than one paper a year. Details of 'author plans' are provided on the website. Lifetime membership also hinges on contributing at least one review per year.

PeerJ will open for submissions soon, and publish its first articles around Dec 2012. It has respected founders and is stirring up a lot of interest. The platform will also provide a preprint server and both are initially targeting biological and medical sciences.

See below for blogs and news stories. With PeerJ's co-founders coming from PLoS ONE and Mendeley, comments suggest this model is credible and the journal likely to succeed: