Posts Tagged ‘open access journals’

In October, Springer announced a new Open Access agreement for UK institutions: Springer Compact. This pilot scheme aims to remove the double payment by institutions to publishers, often referred to as ‘double-dipping’.

Many publishers now offer a ‘hybrid’ OA model, which requires institutions to purchase subscriptions to journals, but then also to pay Article Processing Charges to make individual papers available open access in those same journals. Therefore institutions are paying to make their own research available as open access but then also buying this research again as part of their subscriptions.

Springer Compact seeks to rectify this by combining subscription costs and open access fees into a single annual payment. This radical move will see papers automatically made available via the Gold route if the lead author’s institution subscribes to the journal that the paper is due to be published in. Springer hope that this will allow a far greater amount of research to be made available open access, and will reduce the administration time for processing such requests.

The University of Surrey Library has signed up to the pilot scheme which will run until December 2018. To take advantage of Springer Compact at the University of Surrey:

  • Make sure that the article is to be published in an eligible Open Choice journal
  • Ensure that the corresponding author is at the University of Surrey – use your institutional email address
  • Publish an Original Paper or Review Paper

Once an article has been accepted and recognised as being eligible for Springer Compact, the SRI Open Access team will be asked to verify that the lead author is at the University of Surrey. Once this has been done the paper will be automatically made available open access on publication.


Useful links:

‘Open access agreement for UK authors’ http://www.springer.com/gp/open-access/springer-open-choice/for-uk-authors-intro/731990


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The open access biomedical journal PeerJ first gained attention in late 2012 for offering academics extremely low publishing fees. Now, one year later, the Times Higher Education reports that the journal seems well positioned to offer a sustainable alternative to traditional academic publishing models.

PeerJ’s model represents a departure from traditional models in that academics pay a one-off fee to become lifetime members. They can choose from the basic model, which permits them to publish one article per year for life for a one-off fee of $99 (£59), to a more comprehensive model which permits unlimited posting for life at $299. These costs represent a significant reduction on normal gold open access publishing fees, which typically range from between $1,350 to $2,900 for publishing in PLoS, to $5,000 in some Elsevier titles.

The journal has also been helped on its path to sustainability by gaining support from some prominent Universities in the UK and US who have taken out subscriptions for its individually designed and costed ‘institutional plans’.
The journal has been attracting praise for the quality, speed and transparency of its peer-review and editorial process, its formatting and the advent of a preprint server which allows researchers to submit early versions of articles for comment and review.

There are still some concerns that the need for all co-authors of an article to be members of PeerJ in order to publish would mean that, according to Kent Anderson, editor-in-chief of the Scholarly Kitchen blog on academic publishing, publishing here might ultimately be “unlikely in practice to work out much cheaper for researchers and was likely to become more administratively complex”.

There are also concerns that the influence of prestige on author’s publication decisions means that, according to PeerJ’s co-founder, Dr. Binfield, journal publishing is “not a terribly price-sensitive market”.
Whilst these concerns remain, Dr Binfield seems persuaded that the lifetime membership model represents an opportunity for significant long-term cost reductions, and another important step in the move towards open access.
Read more about the Peer J project

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