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NEWS ARCHIVES ACROSS THEMES  
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Results/findings from research reports
 


New report on the current state of the OA publishing market evaluates the range of policy options available to increase access and enhance competition and sustainability
- 22 Mar 2017

Research Consulting, within the scope of the OpenAIRE Work Package dealing with the FP7 Post Grant Open Access Pilot (WP5), was commissioned by LIBER in October 2016 to undertake an economic analysis study of the Open Access publishing market - "Towards a Competitive and Sustainable OA Market in Europe - A Study of the Open Access Market and Policy Environment". This study assesses the current state of the open access publishing market, and evaluates the range of policy options available to increase access and enhance competition and sustainability in the market.

The report is accompanied by an Annex which contains the mid-term evaluation of the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot, organised by OpenAIRE. This annex will be discussed in detail in the reporting phase of the pilot, which ends on April 30, 2017.

Building on the findings of the EC FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot, the findings form the starting point for a roadmap towards a more sustainable and competitive market. It will be accompanied in its final form by a Roadmap document, developed with input from an expert workshop to be organised by LIBER in The Hague, on April 20, 2017. Registrations for this workshop are still open.

According to the report, the proportion of immediate open access content has been growing by about 15% per annum, but it still only accounts for about 5% of the global market for academic journals. Some parts of Europe are ahead of the global average, of course, but only by a small margin. There are big disciplinary variations, though, and the situation looks significantly better in areas where research funders have issued firm mandates in the public interest (e.g. life sciences and medicine).

Green open access has not been included in these figures. This is a really important means of increasing access, but as content is usually subject to embargo periods of 6 or 12 months, green OA does not directly address the goal of immediate OA as the default.

Overall, it was found that there is a growing market for OA content, but it largely operates alongside the dominant subscription model. From an economic perspective, OA journals operate in a smaller, more competitive market, but the subscription market remains characterised by inelastic demand, and dominated by large commercial publishers.

Further, the report identifies several roadblocks that stand in the way of full and immediate OA, which can be grouped in three clusters - lack of incentives for authors and publishers to move to OA; absence of an effective market; and infrastructure for OA publishing and archiving. The perceived significance of these roadblocks varies between countries and stakeholder groups, but if the EU is to meet its ambitious goal all will have to be addressed in some form.

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Association of Research Libraries releases ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics 2014-2015
- 20 Mar 2017

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics 2014-2015, which presents data describing collections, expenditures, personnel, and services in 59 health sciences libraries at ARL member institutions in the US and Canada.

In fiscal year 2014-2015, the reporting health sciences libraries held a median of 186,049 volumes, spent a total of $235,354,367, and employed 1,645 FTE staff. Expenditures for materials and staff accounted for the bulk of total expenditures, at approximately 56% and 35% respectively. Respondents reported spending a total of $7,679,692 in one-time resource purchases and $121,666,759 in ongoing resource purchases.

The ARL Statistics Collection provides online access to the annual publications ARL Statistics, ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics, and ARL Academic Law Library Statistics that have been published since 2006. The cost of IP access to this collection is $500 for non-profit organizations and $750 for all others (free for ARL members).

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New SPARC Europe report on Open Data and Open Science policies in Europe
- 17 Mar 2017

SPARC Europe, together with the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), has released a report that provides a snapshot of various Open Data and Open Science policies, as they currently stand throughout Europe. The report gives an overview and quick access via live links to the sourced policy information, by country. This document is unique in the level of insight it provides on the topic of Open Science and Open Data policies in particular.

With the pace at which the Open Data and Open Science landscape is evolving, keeping informed of the many policy changes occurring throughout Europe can be challenging. According to SPARC Europe's director, Vanessa Proudman, for those who are currently developing, evaluating or strengthening their national or regional Open Science policies, it is essential.

While the 28 EU member states are the primary focus of the piece, EEA countries as well as other nations in the European Research Area are also included.

This report is the first in a series that will seek to shed light on similarities and differences in Open Data and Open Science policies between European nations, and to assess their effectiveness in opening research data. While this initial paper provides an overview; the next installment, due later this spring, will report on results from a forthcoming analysis of some of these policies.

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Evidence-based characteristics could help authors recognize predatory journals
- 16 Mar 2017

A study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine identifies 13 evidence-based characteristics by which potential predatory journals may be distinguished from presumed legitimate ones.

The 13 characteristics identified by researchers at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada include an interest in publishing research on a larger number of topics than legitimate journals; extremely low article processing charges (APCs) - below $150; fuzzy, distorted or potentially unauthorized images on their websites (noted in 66% of potential predatory journals); requests that articles be submitted by email - often to non-professional or non-academic email addresses - rather than via a submission system; and a lack of policies about retractions, corrections, errata, and plagiarism (more than half of legitimate journals had policies for all four).

The wide scope and low APCs may be a way for potential predatory journals to attract as many submissions as possible, the authors suggest. They caution that an APC below $150 for a biomedical journal - while potentially attractive to uninformed authors or those with limited financial resources - indicates that the journal may be predatory, as APCs of presumed legitimate journals tend to be 18 to 30 times higher. APCs cover peer review and editorial services that predatory publishers may not provide.

While the characteristics identified in this study may not be sensitive enough to detect all potentially predatory journals, the authors hope that their findings may be helpful to researchers in assessing a journal's legitimacy and quality.

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New report on digital transformation in publishing finds slow advancement in digital transformation, high emphasis on metadata investment
- 15 Mar 2017

An in-depth study analyzing digital transformation in the publishing industry has found that 25 percent of publishers see themselves as "lagging" versus the rest of the industry in their current transformation efforts, while only 25 percent feel they are "leading." The study, which included 25 leading U.S. and U.K. publishers in education; scientific, technical and medical (STM); and trade, was commissioned by software professional services firm and leading provider of publishing solutions Ixxus, along with its parent organization Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), creator of content management, discovery and document delivery solutions. Research for the study was conducted by Imbue Partners, LLC. The full report is now available for download.

Overall, the study found that digital transformation in publishing is being driven by consumer demand (41 percent) and the desire for new revenue streams (26 percent) and new products (22 percent). Fifty percent of publishers interviewed are looking for ways to replace declining revenues from print
and advertising, with 41 percent looking to new product options. Publishers unanimously agree that digitization is critical to business growth but are experiencing confusion and frustration at the complexity of the journey.

Publishing executives were asked to score their current capabilities and planned future investments in five main elements of digital transformation: content storage, metadata, content agility, discoverability and collaboration.

According to the report metadata ranked as the highest priority for publishers across all verticals (4.6 out of 5), but also represented the largest gap in current organizational ability (2 out of 5). Determined to overcome key challenges and make strategic investments to accelerate their progress, 90 percent of all publishers are planning to invest in metadata over the next three years. Publishers ranked discoverability as the second most important transformation element (4.5 out of 5) and felt that current abilities were the highest in this category (2.5 out of 5). Roughly 30 percent of publishers reported recent efforts in platform, widget and partner services, with an additional 30 percent actively reviewing new tools to help end users discover content. Content agility ranked as the third most important element of digital transformation, with a variance across verticals. Education publishers put a higher emphasis on this element as it is a key enabler to personalized learning, targeted content and predictive analytics.

Content storage was ranked second to lowest on "importance to the business" as many publishers feel they have already made significant investments in this area. However, most publishers have not solved their content problems and the lack of standardization regarding how and where content is stored complicates external workflow and ease of doing business. Publishers used the terms "fragmented," "inconsistent" and "limited" to describe current automated collaboration abilities and consider email and Excel spreadsheets sufficient tools for content sharing. All agree that collaboration is held back without top-down change leadership and insistence on requisite processes and technology.

Further, the report notes that in the face of perceived challenges to digital transformation, such as inconsistent standards, updating archives, leading cultural change, requiring new skillsets and evolving technologies, publishers are determined to embrace digitization. In addition to technology tools, publishers plan to hire and/or train employees with more relevant skills to help achieve transformation goals. Full research results are available at https://www.ixxus.com/whitepapers/digital-transformation-journey-publishing-2017/.

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