September 21, 2012

PLOS releases Progress Update 2011-2012

Many U-MN faculty publish in Public Library of Science journals. The annual report from PLoS is available. Some highlights:

  • In 2011, PLoS provided $2.5 million in waiver funding for authors unable to pay all or part of their publication fees.
  • They have 130 institutional members.
  • They have 1.5 million article views a month.

More info on particular PLoS journals is also available.

Posted by stemp003 at 2:05 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2012

SUNY Potsdam: "Walking away from the American Chemical Society"

From Jenica Rogers, Director of Libraries at the State University of New York at Potsdam, on Sept. 12:

SUNY Potsdam will not be subscribing to an American Chemical Society online journal package for 2013. We will instead be using a combination of the Royal Society of Chemistry content, ACS single title subscriptions, the ACS backfile, and ScienceDirect from Elsevier** to meet our chemical information needs. We're doing this because the ACS pricing model is unsustainable for our institution and we were unable to find common ground with the sales team from the ACS. Instead, we explored other options and exercised them.

[...]

In May 2012, after much internal discussion and debate, three SUNY library directors from the comprehensive colleges (myself included) and the university centers, along with two SUNY Office of LIbrary and Information Services staff met with three representatives from the ACS at SUNY Plaza in Albany, NY, and discussed their pricing model. The ACS folks were very clear: they are dedicated to moving all customers to a consistent pricing model, the pricing steps in that model are based on a tiered system, and there is a base price underneath all of that. In principle, I absolutely support this kind of move: too many libraryland vendors obscure their pricing models, negotiate great deals with one institution while charging double to someone else, or "have to ask the manager" to approve any offer. In our discussions, the librarian stakeholders noted our support for this approach, but argued that while their tiers are reasonable and based on arguably sound criteria, the base price underlying those steps is unsustainable and inappropriate. (In the case of SUNY Potsdam, the ACS package would have consumed more than 10% of my total acquisitions budget, just for journals for this one department.) We also learned that their base price and pricing model, when applied to much larger institutions, did not produce the same unsustainable pricing.

[...]

Based on our discussion, I think that some of our faculty were surprised, some seemed resigned, some were horrified, and they were all frustrated by what seemed to be a plate full of bad options. However, after two meetings and much discussion of how to reconfigure our ACS subscriptions to meet our budgetary constraints, I believe that we all agreed that this goes beyond having a tight campus or library budget: this is simply not appropriate pricing for an institution like ours. The result of our first meeting was that the chemistry faculty agreed to take their concerns to the ACS based on their individual professional involvements with the organization, talking with sales and the Chemical Information Division about their concerns, and we agreed that we'd look into other library solutions to their chemical information needs.

[...]

Librarians and faculty raised the valid concern that we might not be able to meet ACS approval of undergraduate programs without our ACS package. The ACS is in the unique position of both approving programs and selling the content necessary for approval, which I will leave to someone else to debate the ethics of. Throughout our discussions we agreed that any library solution we proposed would have the ability to meet the approval requirements in concert with our subscription to ScienceDirect. It can be done.

[...]

Librarians are often disinclined to be first to try something - we'd often rather be second, after someone else has found the hidden pitfalls. So here I am, saying that we were willing to be the first to be loud, and to provide you with a public example of what is possible. Our chemistry faculty were willing to follow that lead, and I'm grateful to them for it.

Posted by stemp003 at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

September 7, 2012

Royal Society of Chemistry announces £1 million initiative to support British transition to Open Access

From the RSC's July 12 press release:


'Gold for Gold' is an innovative experiment to support the funder led evolution to Gold OA, by recognising institutes that subscribe to RSC Gold, a premium collection of 37 international journals, databases and magazines offering online access to all published material.

UK institutes who are RSC Gold customers will shortly receive credit equal to the subscription paid, enabling their researchers, who are being asked to publish Open Access but often do not yet have funding to pay for it directly, to make their paper available via Open Science, the RSC's Gold OA option.

[...]

Earlier this week the Government confirmed its support for migrating towards Gold Open Access by making publicly funded scientific research available for anyone to read for free, accepting recommendations in a report on OA by Dame Janet Finch.

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) also published their revised policy on Open Access, requiring researchers to publish in OA compliant journals. 'Gold for Gold' seeks to support researchers until the block grants from RCUK are distributed next April, which, once established are intended to fund Gold OA.

Posted by stemp003 at 1:43 PM | Comments (0)