Publishers fully committed to Open Access transition, says new report -

Academic publishers want to make the transition to Open Access (OA) a reality as comprehensively and rapidly as possible and see transformative agreements as vital to this process, according to a new independent report titled, Evidence to inform a response to the UKRI review of Open Access policies. The report, authored by Dr Michael Jubb, emphasises the integral role agreements between academic publishers and institutions will play and also outlines the key areas where publishers remain concerned about the impact of the transition to OA.

Publishers, librarians and researchers contributed to conversations around three central themes in the report - Green OA and embargo periods; Licensing requirements; and Hybrid journals. The report will be submitted to UK Research and Innovation in contribution to its forthcoming consultation on UK OA policy. It also reflects on the Plan S initiative for OA science publishing announced by Science Europe in 2018.

The report considers the role that transformative agreements will play in realising the UK’s OA ambitions. Contributors to the report outline constructive suggestions as to how to productively leverage these arrangements, emphasising that future policies should be mindful of the logistical complexities of executing hundreds of agreements between publishers and universities.

Publishers – small and large, commercial and non-commercial – are united in a strong belief that Green OA, especially without an appropriate embargo period, is simply not sustainable as a mechanism for transition to a fully-OA world as it depends on the continuance of journals while simultaneously (and increasingly) threatening their viability.

Publishers’ major concerns with regard to the CCBY licence relate to its use for articles in subscription-based and hybrid journals. Using the licence for such articles would allow anyone, and any organisation, to gather up and misuse those articles at scale.

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