Is open access affordable? Why current models do not work and why we need internet‐era transformation of scholarly communications - Green - 2019 - Learned Publishing - Wiley Online Library
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-01-29
Abstract: Progress to open access (OA) has stalled, with perhaps 20% of new papers ‘born‐free’, and half of all versions of record pay‐walled; why? In this paper, I review the last 12 months: librarians showing muscle in negotiations, publishers’ Read and Publish deals, and funders determined to force change with initiatives like Plan S. I conclude that these efforts will not work. For example, flipping to supply‐side business models, such as article processing charges, simply flips the pay‐wall to a ‘play‐wall’ to the disadvantage of authors without financial support. I argue that the focus on OA makes us miss the bigger problem: today’s scholarly communications is unaffordable with today’s budgets. OA is not the problem, the publishing process is the problem. To solve it, I propose using the principles of digital transformation to reinvent publishing as a two‐step process where articles are published first as preprints, and then, journal editors invite authors to submit only papers that ‘succeed’ to peer review. This would reduce costs significantly, opening a sustainable pathway for scholarly publishing and OA. The catalyst for this change is for the reputation economy to accept preprints as it does articles in minor journals today.
- We are still failing to deliver open access (OA); around a fifth of new articles will be born free in 2018, roughly the same as in 2017.
- Librarians, funders, and negotiators are getting tougher with publishers, but offsetting, deals, and Plan S will not deliver OA or solve the serials crisis.
- The authors of Budapest, Bethesda, and Berlin OA declarations foresaw three changes with the coming of the internet, but flipping to a barrier to publish article processing charges from a barrier to read (subscriptions) was not one of them.
- A digital transformation of scholarly communications based on internet‐era principles is needed if OA is to succeed.
- Accepting preprints into the reputation economy could be the catalyst to solve the serials crisis, afford OA, and drive out predatory journals.
- A model where journal editors invite submissions from authors whose preprint articles have gained attention may offer a cost‐effective model for OA...."