‘A World Elsewhere: PLOS’s Community Action Publishing Model’ | Jeff Pooley
flavoursofopenscience's bookmarks 2021-01-26
The basic idea of the CAP scheme is to shift the cost burden from authors to institutions. Member universities pay an annual fee based on their faculty’s publishing over the previous five years. To prevent free riders, PLOS is graduating APCs for non-members at an aggressive rate, so that, in two years, the fees will jump about 50 percent.
PLOS, to its great credit, recognizes the injustice of an APC system that, ironically, the nonprofit helped to inaugurate in the early 2000s. In defense of the new plan, see the sophisticated reasoning of PLOS’s Sarah Rouhi, in a recent interview with Richard Poynder.
I am, however, wary of the scheme, which at its core is a variant on the read-and-publish deal. In 2019 the term “pure publish” was coined to designate a read-and-publish style deal that, however, featured an already-OA publisher like PLOS. In fact Lisa Hinchliffe’s overview of “pure publish” was pegged to the University of California’s early 2020 agreement with PLOS along these lines.