(9 Jun 2021) A report commissioned by cOAlition S and the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) is a follow up on the outcomes of the Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S (SPA-OPS) project.
Smaller independent publishers – for example, society publishers without a larger publishing partner, university presses, library presses, and small independent commercial presses – support open science, and they would like the journal articles that they publish to be open to people all over the world. However, due to their scale, a full transition to OA is a serious challenge. A single OA agreement with an institution is much easier for a smaller independent publisher to administer than many article transactions, unless of course each library or consortium wants a different sort of agreement. Libraries and consortia invest hugely in making agreements with publishers happen; however, there can be far less awareness within these organizations of how challenging the agreements are to implement highlights the report.
Practical collaboration in a number of targeted areas is needed to align on shared principles, license language, data exchange, and workflows, followed by engagement with standards bodies, intermediaries, and platform providers to ensure these can become embedded in practice.
The transition to OA requires change on the part of all stakeholders. The report argues it is particularly crucial that active cross-stakeholder alignment focuses on enabling smaller independent publishers to transition successfully. Among other things, the authors strongly recommend funders take steps to enable universities to aggregate all their expenditure with publishers via the library. They also encourage publishers who closely link the price of OA agreements to article volume to think carefully about more equitable models.
Read the full report here.
The original press release can be found here.