STM Publishing – February 2023
cOAlition S to end financial support for transformative agreements and journals
cOAlition S, the consortium of research funding and performing organisations supporting the open access initiative Plan S, has announced that from the end of 2024 its members will no longer provide financial support for either transformative agreements or transformative journals. Explaining that their support for these initiatives was always intended as a temporary means of effecting a permanent transition to full open access, the group stated in an announcement on its website that to continue its support for these models beyond 2024 would increase the risk of them becoming permanent and might thus ‘perpetuate hybrid Open Access, which cOAlition S has always firmly opposed’. Instead, members ‘will direct their efforts to more innovative and community-led Open Access publishing initiatives that aim to deliver full and immediate Open Access in a shorter timeframe’.
Transformative and open access deals
The announcement from cOAlition S comes against the backdrop of publishers agreeing ever-increasing numbers of transformative deals with library consortia. Wiley, for instance, has signed two new deals and extended a third. A two-year open access agreement with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) will give researchers at 71 participating institutions read access to all Wiley’s journals and the opportunity to publish accepted articles open access in all its hybrid titles. A four-year deal with the Czech National Library of Technology (CzechELib) will provide participants with the ability to read and publish in any of the company’s 1400 hybrid journals, while an existing deal with the Big Ten Academic Alliance consortium, signed last year, will be extended so that it now covers the entire Wiley portfolio of journals, including Hindawi’s gold open access titles, for three years from January 2023. The previous agreement had seen 2,400 articles published open access in its first year, raising the percentage of open access articles from Big Ten authors from 19% to over 65%.
The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has concluded two new read-and-publish deals with German consortia, each running to the end of 2025. Researchers at 24 institutions affiliated with the Helmholtz and Niedersachsen consortia will be able to publish their research in more than 75 peer-reviewed publications produced by ACS.
The Microbiology Society has signed a three-year publish-and-read agreement with the Big Ten Academic Alliance consortium that will allow affiliated researchers at fifteen universities to publish an unlimited number of Open Access articles in the society’s hybrid and fully OA titles; it will also provide them with full read access to its journals portfolio. The agreement was brokered by the sales and marketing services provider Accucoms.
Taylor & Francis has agreed a three-year transformative agreement with the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), the first member of the JUSTICE consortium to sign up for the deal agreed with the publisher last December. Articles whose corresponding author is based at the Institute will receive funding support to publish their work open access in Taylor & Francis and Routledge Open Select (hybrid) journals.
The Public Library of Science (PLOS) has agreed a two-year deal with the German consortium Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) that will allow researchers affiliated with more than forty participating institutions to publish research in PLOS journals without having to cover fees themselves.
Taylor & Francis signs up to Open Pharma initiative
Taylor & Francis has become the second publisher, after Wiley, to sign up as an official supporter of the Open Pharma initiative, which aims to drive positive change in the communication of research funded by the pharmaceutical industry, improving the transparency, accountability, accessibility, and discoverability of published research. Other signatories include AstraZeneca, GSK, and Pfizer. Taylor & Francis has also restated its advice on the use of AI tools in the creation of academic content, insisting that though their use in work must be acknowledged and appropriately documented, AI tools should not be listed as authors.
Digital Science has acquired Metaphacts, the German knowledge graph and decision intelligence software company. Metaphacts will work in close partnership with Dimensions, another Digital Science company, applying the former’s semantic knowledge modelling approach to the latter’s linked information dataset in order to generate new knowledge; integration with other Digital Science products is also anticipated.
Springer Nature has added the digital writing platform TooWrite to its portfolio of scholarly workflow solutions. Developed by two London-based doctoral researchers, TooWrite uses a questionnaire-based approach to streamline the scientific writing process; company co-founder Ivy Cavendish will be joining Springer Nature as Head of Writing Solutions, a newly created role which will see her continuing to oversee the platform’s development.
De Gruyter has acquired the US-based STEM publisher Mercury Learning and Information, founded in 2010.
Bioscientifica has announced the launch of a new open access journal. Microbiota and Host will publish research and reviews advancing understanding of the impact of commensal microbiota on their hosts.
The international journal Perspectives on Medical Education (PME) has switched publisher from Springer Nature to the open access and open-source publisher Ubiquity, acquired last year by De Gruyter.
PLOS has appointed two new members to its Board of Directors. Professor Emily Sena holds a chair in Meta-science and Translational Medicine at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, while Steven Tom is senior vice president, chief customer officer at Adtalem Global Education.
Wiley has appointed Deanna Raineri as its new senior vice president for university strategy and market innovation, leading the company’s University Services business line. Raineri had previously served as chief academic strategist and interim chief content officer for Coursera, and vice president and senior vice chancellor for experiential digital global education at Northeastern University.
Open research publisher F1000, owned by Taylor & Francis, has partnered with the Hellenic Academic Libraries Link (HEAL-Link), to launch a new publishing hub for researchers affiliated with the consortium’s 43 Greek institutions. The HEAL1000 Gateway will enable researchers to share a wide range of outputs across the research lifecycle, adopting the open data policy and post-publication open peer review model common to F1000 platforms.
Cambridge University Press and Assessment has announced that more than half of the research papers it published last year – and around 10,000 in total – were fully open access.
Alastair Horne is a lecturer in publishing studies at the University of Stirling.
Alastair writes our STM Publishing and our Academic Publishing Newsletters.