Who knows what happens next in open access

Green for go might slow progress

Open access in Leiden lights: Leiden U is about to shine its bright-light on research performance. Every May its Centre for Science and Technology Studies reveals universities research impact, using Web of Science data and adjusting it for number and proportion of papers highly cited. It’s always interesting (yes CMM knows how sad that sounds) and this year Leidenhas got in ahead of itself with extra-intriguing advance information – open access indicators.

In 2018 ranking expert Ludo Waltman became a full professor at Leiden U, with a brief including open citations and proprietary data (CMM July 17 2018). And yesterday he tweeted the open access spread for the 963 universities in the new ranking. Some 41 per cent have OA publications, allocated between  various pay to publish models, with 32 per cent of them being green OA, where an author deposits a paper in an open archive.

What’s going on: Institutions taking-on the commercial publishers is what. In Europe university groups and governments are making open access a condition of contracts with the big commercial journal publishers which are used to charging what they like for people to read research papers.  The University of California recently cancelled negotiations with Elsevier over OA.

No, it’s not necessarily good: According to the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group,” large academic publishers have seen the writing on the wall and are rapidly diversifying, resulting in a highly-concentrated infrastructure market that threatens to shut down and monetise all aspects of the research process other than the final ‘open’ research output.”

So what happens next: CMM has no clue. But Danny Kingsley probably does. The OA expert is home after four years as libraries deputy director for scholarly communication & research services at Cambridge University. She’s talking at an AOASG webinar May 30.


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