Four Short Pieces: forging onward into the Shiny Digital Future

October 23, 2012

Four things:

1. From the start of 2013, the Royal Society is abandoning issues for its journals (Proc. B, Phil. Trans., Biology Letters and more) and moving to a continuing publishing model — as already used for their open-access journal Open Biology. Excellent news: in a post-print world, issues achieve nothing but the imposition of arbitrary delays. As of next year, the first (online) published version of each Royal Society paper will be the Version Of Record.

2. IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is launching its own open-access megajournal. This is welcome news, because up till now IEEE has been one of the more access-hostile publishers. (For some reason, the new journal will come out in monthly issues rather than using the PLOS-like continuous publishing model that the Royal Society is adopting. But still.)

3. I really need to get around to writing about why CC BY is the right open-access licence for scholarship, especially given the comments on the last post. But until I do, this post by Claire Redhead, on the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association site, is a good read.

4. Peter Suber reports that Belgium is following the UK’s lead in converting to open access as the default infrastructure for dissemination of research. Signatories “express their determination to be amongst the frontrunners in this evolution, both at European and worldwide level”.

It’s great to see the gathering momentum around the shift to open access (including the Royal Society’s shift to a less subscription-focussed schedule). What’s most encouraging is that it’s coming from all kinds of stakeholders: governments, other funders, scholarly societies, enlightened publishers, and of course researchers.

Excelsior!

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2 Responses to “Four Short Pieces: forging onward into the Shiny Digital Future”

  1. Matt Butler Says:

    Apologies for the ignorance, but what are the financial implications for the authors with these moves? In the past, we had always avoided open access journals because of the high publication costs that we would incur. Were we mistaken or has this changed? Does this mean that we need to update our budget requests with grant applications?

  2. Mike Taylor Says:

    Hi, Matt. With four different moves, I’m not sure I can say anything very comprehensively. But more generally the financial implications of open access are as follows. Instead of getting editorial services for free and paying for zero-marginal-cost copies, we will pay for editorial services and get the copies for free. The big win is that means everyone gets free copies instead of a just a subset of academics. The secondary (but still huge) win is that <a href="http://svpow.com/2012/07/18/what-this is going to be much cheaper in the long run, costing perhaps one quarter as much. In the short term, there is going to be some pain in moving the money from libraries’ subscriptions of departments’ OA fees. That is being mitigated by the increasing tendency of funding bodies to include OA fees in their grants, by the block OA-fee grants that RCUK is making to universities (in the UK) and by the fee waivers provided by OA publishers for authors without grant funding.

    Any other specific questions, toss ‘em in!


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