One of the important uses of data-driven analysis is to let the data lead you to a conclusion, rather than the other way around. This may lead to counter-intuitive results, or challenge long-held assumptions. And, of course, where there are different points of view, the same data make for uncomfortable reading for some and reassurance for others.

Over the last few months, for example, we have looked at whether concerns about the quality of open access journals were well-founded, and whether a competitive market around article processing charges s taking root.

We have since dived into both of these issues in greater depth, and our results have been peer reviewed and published in the latest issue of Learned Publishing. Recognizing its 30th year of publication, the full issue of Learned Publishing features an collection of articles examining conventional thinking.

So this month, we direct our readers to our article Open access mythbusting: Testing two prevailing assumptions about the effects of open access adoption, which adds some detailed statistics to our previous analysis.

(Please note: the article is free to access for the coming 12 months.)


Few open access journals meet requirements of Plan S, study says – January 31, 2019

“Only a small proportion of open-access scientific journals fully meet the draft requirements of Plan S, the initiative primarily by European funders to make all papers developed with their support free to read, a study has found. Compliance with the rules could cost the remaining journals, especially smaller ones, more than they can afford.”

A response from Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at the Wellcome Trust, to UCL’s “Response to Plan S” – January 30, 2019

“UCL is pleased to post Robert Kiley’s response to the UCL Town Hall meeting and UCL’s Plan S consultation response as a contribution to the ongoing consultation over Plan S.”

Report of the Expert Group to the European Commission (OA) – January 30, 2019

“The report proposes a vision for the future of scholarly communication; it examines the current system -with its strengths and weaknesses- and its main actors. It considers the roles of researchers, research institutions, funders and policymakers, publishers and other service providers, as well as citizens and puts forward recommendations addressed to each of them.”

“Opinion: ‘Plan S’ falls short for society publishers—and for the researchers they serve” by Marcia McNutt – January 25, 2019

Marcia McNutt’s response to Plan S: “I, like many in scientific society leadership and publishing, have been following with great interest the ambitious plan (“Plan S”) put forward in September by a group of European funding agencies. But although well-intentioned, several aspects are troubling and problematic for society publishers and the scientific community at large.”

Digital Science’s The Ascent of Open Access Report – January 24, 2019

Digital Science’s latest report, The Ascent of Open Access, “is an analysis of the Open Access landscape since the turn of the millennium. We’ve used Dimensions and the data that it contains from Unpaywall to analyse Open Access trends between 2000 and 2016. The underlying dataset includes all publications with a DOI or PubMed identifier.”

“My Draft Plan S Implementation Guidance Feedback” by Martin Paul Eve – January 21, 2019

Martin Paul Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London: “I write to provide feedback in an individual capacity on the Plan S implementation guidelines.”

“Wiley and Projekt DEAL partner to enhance the future of scholarly research and publishing in Germany” – January 15, 2019

“Wiley and Projekt DEAL establish groundbreaking partnership for Germany to pilot new publishing models, better enable researchers to create and disseminate knowledge through Wiley’s journals, and continue to provide participating German institutions access to Wiley’s portfolio of academic journals.”

Cambridge University Press launches new model for scholarly publishing – January 15, 2019

“Cambridge University Press has launched a new publishing model to provide an outlet for world-class research and writing that sits outside the traditional formats of book or journal article.”

Knowledge Unlatched will double number of Open Access titles from 2018 collections to 700 new books – January 14, 2019

“In 2018, Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the central platform for Open Access (OA) financing models, has expanded into new collections and introduced new partnerships, resulting in the doubling of the number of books made available as Open Access.”

Springer Nature and The Open University launch a unique Computer Science Ontology (CSO) – January 10, 2019

“Springer Nature and the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) of The Open University are partnering to provide a comprehensive Computer Science Ontology (CSO) to a broad range of communities engaged with scholarly data. CSO can be accessed free of charge through the CSO Portal, a web application that enables users to download, explore, and provide feedback on the ontology.”

COAR: Webinar on Plan S and Repositories – January 10, 2019

“COAR provided a response on the guidance on the implementation of the Plan S on December 13th and hosted a webinar with the repository community today to discuss Plan S requirements and the potential implications of them for repositories.”

DOAJ: Large scale publisher survey reveals global trends in open access publishing – January 9, 2019

“A survey of publishers with journals indexed in DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) has revealed surprising trends in the way that content is published; what types of organisations are publishing the content; on how publishing standards are being accepted globally; and geographical trends on the uptake of open access.”


January 31, 2019

UCL Press launches new open access megajournal – UCL Open

“UCL Press has launched its new open access megajournal ‘UCL Open’ and will start accepting academic research submissions from January 31, 2019. It is the first university megajournal providing an open access and transparent end to end publishing model, enabling research to be accessible to everyone.”

January 29, 2019

BMJ launches open access journal in family medicine – Family Medicine and Community Health

“Healthcare knowledge provider BMJ has added a new title to its growing portfolio of 60+ specialist journals, with the launch of Family Medicine and Community Health. Working in partnership with the Chinese General Practice Press, the journal publishes original research, editorials, reviews and case reports on general practice medicine.”

January 28, 2019

Advanced Photonics, a New SPIE-CLP Open-Access Journal, Publishes Its First Issue

“SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and Chinese Laser Press (CLP), published the inaugural issue of Advanced Photonics, a collaborative, open-access journal, featuring the most impactful fundamental and applied research across optics and photonics technologies.”

January 15, 2019

Submissions are now open for PeerJ’s five peer-reviewed chemistry journals

“Submissions are now open for five new journals dedicated to the Chemical Sciences. Starting today, researchers can submit manuscripts to PeerJ, for peer review, to the journals ‘PeerJ Physical Chemistry’, ‘PeerJ Organic Chemistry’, ‘PeerJ Inorganic Chemistry’, ‘PeerJ Analytical Chemistry’, and ‘PeerJ Materials Science’.”