Developments in Scholarly Publishing worth tracking

There have been several important announcements around open access and scholarly publishing that are promising sources of deliberation among those recognizing the unsustainability in the current publishing system. Among them are included, Plan S, from the cOAlition S, the University of California’s ending negotiations with Elsevier over content licenses, and France’s latest renewal of the Elsevier “Big Deal” (in French) that offered sweeping support for French open access efforts and lowers costs.

Plan S, from the cOAlition, an international consortium of large research funding agencies outlining their vision for the future scholarly publishing. The 10 Principles of Plan S include that funded authors would be required to retain copyright to their published scholarship and publish with open licenses;  that institutional repositories and open platforms are acknowledged for the role they can play; that article fees would be paid not by individual authors but by the funder or university. These are ambitious principles, some of which are highly contended. For more information, see a good summary here.

The UC’s leaving the negotiation table with Elsevier in late February (issuing this statement), over huge price increases and no allowances for open access, has stirred interest among other US institutions in the throes of negotiation with Elsevier as well.  SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition has started a “Big Deal Cancellation Tracking” page, sharing information about universities and research centers around the world that are cancelling the Big Deal, like those that Elsevier would have with the UC system.

The four-year contract by the French consortium Couperin with Elsevier would reduce overall costs to consortium institutions by 13% over those four years, offers a rebate to authors on expended article processing charges for open access journals, and will allow authors to a pre-publication version (post-peer review). Google translate offers a fairly useful translation of the original article.

The Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright staff are monitoring these and other developments and will regularly post such news here.