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UC Davis and CDL assess APC-funded open access business models

The Pay It Forward project was conducted during 2015 and the first half of 2016 under the leadership of UC Davis and the California Digital Library. This post by Mathew Willmott and Ivy Anderson, two of the CDL principals on the project, discusses the driving forces behind this effort, the research goals pursued, and the major results produced from the work.

PIF Logos

Open access to the journal literature is a long-cherished goal of many authors, academic institutions, and other stakeholders in the scholarly communication system; how to reach that goal in an economically sustainable way is a central question that continues to engage many in our community.  In the U.S., open access policies at the institutional, state, and federal levels have focused on the ‘green road’ to open access, whereas developments in Europe have broadly embraced gold OA approaches along with green.

A move toward universal gold OA has recently begun to attract significant worldwide interest as a result of the Max Planck Society’s OA2020 Initiative and a similar call to action issued by the European Union last May.  However, gold open access, particularly when funded via article processing charges, poses significant financial challenges for research-intensive institutions with high publishing activity.  In Europe, research funder policies are addressing this gap, but comparable mechanisms have not taken hold in other parts of the world.

Is there an economically viable path to broad adoption of APC-based gold OA for those of us in North America? (more…)


Getting found: Indexing and the independent OA journal

Stack of papers with "Read Me" tagRunning an independent journal is a lot of work, even if you’re just focused on managing the process of moving articles through submission, review, and publication. But publishing an article isn’t the end of the story. Even a great article won’t make an impact unless people read it. And without visibility, even a journal with a terrific editorial board won’t get the kind of submissions it’s looking for.

WestJEM – the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health – gets ten times the submissions that it got a decade ago. In 2008 it averaged about 2,000 combined article views and downloads per month; by 2015 that number had climbed to 130,000. Without the support of a large publisher, and charging a modest $400 article processing fee, the journal’s resources are limited. So what’s the secret to its success? Well, it doesn’t hurt to fill a need in an active and growing field – or to have a hard-working board of editors thinking about savvy strategies to build connections with professional organizations and academic departments. But one crucial piece that cannot be overlooked, according to Mark Langdorf, Editor-in-Chief and UC Irvine Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, is getting indexed – and finding the right resources to help make that happen. (more…)


A social networking site is not an open access repository

“What’s the difference between ResearchGate, Academia.edu, and the institutional repository?”

“I put my papers in ResearchGate, is that enough for the open access policy?

These and similar questions have been been common at open access events over the past couple of years. Authors want to better understand the differences between these platforms and when they should use one, the other, or some combination.

First, a brief primer on what each service has to offer: