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The Open Access Movement as Five-Act Play Richard Poynder

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1 The Open Access Movement as Five-Act Play Richard Poynder

2 2 History: An Imprecise Science History is in the eye of the beholder Events are always over-determined For me a helpful analogy is a five-act play

3 3 DRAMATIS PERSONAE Librarians Researchers Publishers and learned Societies Research funders/ governments The public? As with any good drama the different actors all have their own – often conflicting – interests

4 4 What Discord Follows! A dramatic plot requires a disturbance of the established order, followed by some sort of resolution and a return to order: O, when degree is shaked, Which is the ladder to all high designs, Then enterprise is sick! Take but degree away, untune that string, And, hark, what discord follows! Ulysses in Troilus and Cressida Act I, scene III

5 5 Our Plot The story starts in 1665, when Henry Oldenburg created the first peer-review journal for the Royal Society of London: Philosophical Transactions For over 300 years surprisingly little changed Then into this settled world erupted three disruptive forces: 1. The “serials crisis” 2. New digital technologies Technology 3. The Web Technology + These have thrown the scholarly communication process into turmoil, disrupting the Shakespearean order

6 6 Two Problems There are essentially two problems: The affordability problem: the librarian’s problem The access problem: the researcher’s problem In the print world these two things were shackled together: in an electronic environment they no longer necessarily are They are also often conflated, causing considerable confusion — both about the issues themselves and appropriate solutions

7 7 Act I The Serials Crisis

8 8 The Serials Crisis (The Main Plot) The serials crisis stems from three incompatible trends: A. Constant growth in research output B. Continuous journal price increases C. Static or falling library budgets Essentially this is an affordability problem

9 9 Trend A: Growth In Research Many blame the serials crisis on a post-war research explosion, BUT In 1956 D. J. Price estimated that the number of scientific papers published annually had been doubling every years for the last two centuries (‘The Exponential Curve of Science’) Not so much a recent trend as a Moore’s Law of scholarly communication inherent in the system? A trend that has reached a crisis point in the last twenty years The traditional scholarly communication model is perhaps not infinitely scaleable?

10 10 Trend A: Growth In Research Also changing geographically In S&E research output (as measured by publication in the world's key journals), the number of U.S. articles stopped increasing after the early 1990s. The U.S. share of world output has declined. (Science & Engineering Indicators 2004, National Science Board) 1988 the US share was 38.1%; In 2000 this had declined to 30.9% (Science & Engineering Indicators 2004) But still growing, so it is a relative decline

11 11 Trend B: Journal Price Inflation Average serial subscription in 1986 = $89.77 By 2003 = $283 (Cumulative increase = 260%) CPI increased 68%

12 12 Trend C: Library Budgets Squeezed Between 1986 and 2003 total expenditure at libraries of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) increased 128% 1986 total library budget: $8,361,092, of which serials accounted for $1,496,775 (17.9%) 2003 = $19,030,188, of which serials accounted for $5,392,007 (28.3%) Average annual change for serials = 7.8% Average annual change for monographs = 3.6%

13 13 Trend C: Library Budgets Squeezed Other items have therefore suffered In 2003, ARL libraries acquired 32% fewer monographs but just 1% fewer serials per student than they did in 1986 Robbing Peter to pay Paul

14 14 Librarians Rebel In response librarians have increasingly rebelled: 1997 the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) launched. An initiative of ARL to create “…an alliance of universities, research libraries, and organizations.... [to] … be a constructive response to market dysfunctions in the scholarly communication system.” New, lower-cost traditional journals launched: Organic Chemistry Letters (Tetrahedron Letters.) More recently libraries have begun to engage in significant, and public, journal cancellations 2001 SPARC Europe launched: this is an international problem

15 15 Act II The Technology Challenge

16 16 The Technology Challenge Using our theatrical metaphor there are two sub-plots: New Digital Technologies The Web Why is the Web distinct from technology? Because the Web is more than the sum of its technology parts (technology + network) Why is the serials crisis the main plot? The affordability issue represents a serious problem for both publishers and librarians; no immediate solution is apparent For researchers the only issue is access, and they can probably resolve the matter for themselves

17 17 Publishers Respond To New Digital Technologies (Sub-Plot 1) New proprietary online services: 1970 Mead Data Central (LexisNexis) launched: first professional online service (around 300 years after Oldenburg) 1972 Dialog launched by Lockheed Corporation Publishers distribute journals via online services and develop their own electronic products: 1983 The American Chemical Society offered full-text versions of eighteen primary journals through the BRS online system 1991 ADONIS service launched (400 journals on CD-ROM: Blackwell, Elsevier, Pergamon and Springer-Verlag)

18 18 Publishers Respond To The Web (Sub-Plot 2) 1991 a more potent force is unleashed: the Web 1993 Elsevier launches TULIP (The University Licensing Program) = networked access to 45 journals) 1997 ScienceDirect launches (1,200 journals) Other publishers: Academic Press’ IDEAL in 1996, Wiley’s InterScience in 1997, Blackwell’s Synergy in 1999

19 19 The Big Deal 1996 publishers develop the Big Deal (Academic Press?) An “all you can eat” model that treated the Web as little more than another distribution channel It did not address the challenge posed by the Web; nor its huge potential Unresolved tension: Open Web v Walled Garden Not so much “network effect” as “link effect” (Where linking implies seamless — free?— access) Question: was the Big Deal intended to address the affordability problem or the access problem?

20 20 The Affordability Problem The logic of the Big Deal was to create ever larger portfolios of journals Since it adopted the walled garden approach the Big Deal begged the question: can one vendor provide everything researchers need/want? Its logic inevitably sparked rapid and extensive industry consolidation Today Reed Elsevier and Springer between them control around 40% of the STM journal market How well has the Big Deal addressed the serials crisis (the affordability problem)?

21 21 Pre Big Deal

22 22 Post Big Deal Serial unit costs have fallen (from 226% to = 215%) But total serial expenditures have continued to rise (from 192% to 260% So the Big Deal has failed to resolve the affordability problem posed by the serials crisis (Main Plot) Moreover, its adoption comes at the expense of smaller publishers – due to the “portfolio effect”

23 23 The Portfolio Effect “[Where] the purchaser of an automobile [generally] wants just one item, users of scholarly journals want access to everything.” (Mark McCabe Interview, 2002) “Unlike the conventional approach to [assessing mergers] — which assumes that an individual user's preferences for journal content define the market and thus limit its scope to a handful of titles—the portfolio model is based on library behaviour and permits a broader [market] definition. Once this step is taken, the basis for the anticompetitive effects is familiar to any economics undergraduate: When the price of one journal increases, owners of other titles have an incentive to increase their prices too. Moreover, since larger portfolio firms can better internalize these "pricing externalities," they find it profitable to set their prices higher than would be observed in a market populated by smaller firms.” (Mark McCabe Interview, 2002) It seems the Big Deal has only exacerbated the affordability problem (serials crisis) It has also reduced choice and threatened small publishers

24 24 The Access Problem Has the Big Deal addressed the access problem? For some researchers it has — up to now “I do not see that there is any significant problem in S&T publishing at the present time.” Professor David Williams, Liverpool University But the logic of the walled gardens approach in a “portfolio” market implies just one, increasingly expensive, vendor CrossRef could perhaps resolve the access problem if there were no accompanying affordability problem Many libraries are now rejecting the Big Deal (e.g. Cornell and North Carolina State University), and cancelling journals in growing numbers

25 25 Act III Open Access

26 26 Researchers React To The Web Some researchers did “get” the Web (Sub-Plot 2) Their focus has been entirely on solving the access problem 1991 arXiv preprint server launched (same year as the Web) 1994: The “Subversive Proposal” (Stevan Harnad) The proposal: researchers should self-archive their papers in order to remove access barriers It assumed that publishers would still do the peer review, but little else

27 27 Exploring New Models The arXiv model was not lost on funders and some publishers: A the then director of the NIH Harold Varmus proposed E-BioMed Central. E-Biomed was to be “an electronic public library of medicine and other life sciences” consisting of a comprehensive fully searchable free repository of full-text research articles, including both preprint and post- print texts. When launched in 2000 as PubMed Central (PMC) it had been reduced to voluntary/embargoed access of post prints only B Vitek Tracz created the first OA publisher BioMed Central — which charges authors to publish rather than readers to read, allowing the papers to be made freely available on the web

28 28 The Open Access Movement November 2000 Public Library of Science (PLoS) launched and called for free access after a six month embargo. 34,000 signatures collected February 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI). With $3 million in funding from financier and philanthropist George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI), BOAI was in effect the birth of the Open Access movement BOAI proposed two solutions/two roads: 1. The Green Road = BOAI-1 Continue to use existing subscription-based journals, but have researchers make their post prints freely available on the web (The Subversive Proposal) 2. The Gold Road = BOAI-2 Create new provider-pays OA journals and charge authors/funders to publish (the BMC model)

29 29 The Open Access Movement The BOAI aimed to address both the access and affordability problems While not clearly stated in the BOAI it assumed immediate, not embargoed, access But E-Biomed/PMC had introduced the concept of embargoed access (replicated in PLoS) There was also a hidden tension between PMC-style central archiving and distributed self-archiving

30 30 The Green Road Self-archiving (in distributed archives) 2000 Open Archives Initiative 2000 Eprints software 2002 OAIster (OAI-compliant repository harvester) And ParaCite, CiteBase, NEC’s CiteSeer … To address the access problem. But when?

31 31 The Gold Road OA Publishing 1. BioMed Central (129 OA journals) 2. In 2001 the Public Library of Science (PLoS) also become an OA publisher (with $9 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation) Two OA journals; more to come 3. Other publishers experiment (e.g. the Florida Entomological Society, Entomological Society, OUP’s Nucleic Acids Research) Intended to address both the access and affordability problems. But can it?

32 32 OA Publishing Dominates With funding dollars to burn, OA publishers have dominated discussion of OA June 2003 Bethesda Declaration Me-too declarations October 2003 Berlin Declaration While “all excellent PR” for OA journal publishing they did little for the self-archiving cause. E.g. there was “no mention or understanding of BOAI-1 in the Berlin Declaration” (Harnad)

33 33 The Self-Archiving Advantage Since only 1,000 of the 24,000 scholarly journals are currently OA, OA publishers can today at the most make only 5% of the total refereed research output freely available (Harnad) If, on the other hand, all researches were to immediately begin self- archiving the papers they publish in traditional journals, the other 95% of the research output could be made OA straight away. “Self-archiving can provide toll-free access to all 2,500,000 annual articles in all 24,000 journals, virtually overnight” (Harnad) If researchers were mandated to embrace Open Access, 79% say they would self-archive willingly; 17% reluctantly; 4% would not comply Calls for mandatory OA to compel researchers to archive

34 34 Act IV Enter The Funders

35 35 Funders Respond Research funders have the power to enforce OA December 2002 Howard Hughes Medical Institute makes commitment to cover open-access publication fees for its own researchers NIH, NSF, Max Planck, CNRS, INSERM, Rockefeller Foundation — all now cover costs of publishing in OA journals Wellcome Trust (largest private funder of medical researcher) 2003 Report = “OA could wipe as much as 30% off publishing costs” 2003 Public commitment to OA 2004 Announces plans for a European PubMed Central and intention to require archiving of funded research Continuing stress on OA publishing by funders However the largest funders are governments

36 36 The NIH Proposal On July 14, 2004, the U.S. House Appropriates Committee adopted a set of recommendations for the 2005 federal budget. One key recommendation would have the effect of requiring Open Access to articles based on research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within six months of publication. On November 20, 2004, the House-Senate conference committee reaffirmed a version of the House recommendation, and the resulting Appropriations bill was approved by both houses of Congress. President Bush signed it on December 8. 3 rd February 2005 NIH published its final draft. The initial mandate proposal had become a request and the six month embargo extended to a 12 month embargo In retrospect some see the NIH plan as little more than a re-run of E-biomed

37 37 Meanwhile, In The UK July 2004 UK Science & Technology Select Committee report: Called for a network of institutional repositories to be created and all publicly- funded researchers to be mandated to self-archive their articles Called for the UK Government to fund research into OA publishing November 2004 UK Government rejects Select Committee report However, although declining to intervene, the UK Government said it “recognises the potential benefits of Institutional Repositories” and deems them “worthy of encouragement” Between them the Select Committee and the NIH proposal have shifted the emphasis from OA publishing to self-archiving

38 38 Publishers Make Concessions 92% of journals have gone green June 2004 “[T]he timing of [Reed Elsevier’s] announcement, approximately one month before the publication of this report, was unlikely to be coincidental.” UK Select Committee report (“cynical piece of public relations”) June 2004 Springer launches Open Choice ($3,000 per article) October 2004 patientINFORM launched (free service for public) 2002 Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) launched. To provide free or low cost access to research for developing countries 2003 Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) launched

39 39 Learned Societies Get Angry March 2003 Washington DC Principles designed to provide "needed ‘middle ground’” Free online provision “to everyone worldwide either immediately or within months of publication” But what does this mean in practice? A year later the middle ground has become the high ground “The unspoken crusade [of open-access advocates] is to socialize all aspects of science, putting the federal government in charge of funding science, communicating science, and maintaining the archive of scientific knowledge.” Rudy M. Baum, Editor in Chief, Chemical &Engineering News, September 20, 2004

40 40 INTERMISSION

41 41 The Gold Reality Today just 5% of articles are published in OA journals Just 179 journals are archived with PubMed Central, most of which are freely available elsewhere on the Web (e.g. 129 are BMC journals) How much should an article cost? $525, $1,500, $3,000: We don’t know How much are authors/funders prepared to pay to publish? We don’t know! Above all: OA publishing remains an unproven business model As such, it may solve neither the affordability nor the access problem

42 42 The Green Reality 92% of journals have gone green Yet just 15% of the 2.5 million articles published annually are self- archived Governments have stepped back from the plate — for now Most authors are ignorant and/or uninterested in OA It is inherently unstable since it is parasitical on traditional journals Publishers are beginning to claw back benefits by imposing embargoes Access problem remains

43 43 The Researcher’s Dilemma * How better increase impact and enhance career? Publish in traditional subscription journals or in Gold OA journals? Self-archive? When and how? (In some fields citation counts are doubled as a result) Archive in centralised subject-based repository (e.g. PubMed Central) or in a cross-disciplinary institutional repositories? NIH proposal has put research in conflict with funder and publisher So life has just got more difficult

44 44 The Librarian’s Dilemma * OA publishing will not solve the affordability problem “[W]e can reduce the BMC model to a commercial subscription model where the institution pays all costs and the PLoS model as a kind of society-publishing model where there is a mix of subscriptions and author page charges. Reduced to these terms, we appear to be back were we started with traditional publishing.” (Phil Davis, Cornell University librarian) 105 of the 113 ARL institutions would find a producer-pays model more expensive; 7 would find it about the same; 1 would find it less expensive PLUS libraries still need to pay subscriptions; PLUS they are being asked to help fund institutional repositories ($7,000 to $2.5 million in set-up fees, and at least $40,000 a year in running costs) So life has just become more difficult

45 45 The Publisher’s Dilemma * Q: What are the implications of OA publishing for societies and publishers? A: We don’t know: OA Publishing remains an uncertain solution Q: What are the implications of self-archiving on publishers? A: We don’t know: Self-archiving could “jeopardise the stable, scaleable and affordable system of publishing that currently exists.” Crispin Davis, CEO Reed Elsevier “What would concern us is if there were any dramatic and sudden changes causing a disruption to the scientific record. If, for instance, commercial publishers decided overnight that they were going to withdraw because it no longer seemed commercially viable and there were no alternatives in place.” (Robert Terry, Senior Policy Advisor, Wellcome Trust, 2004) So life just got more difficult

46 46 Threat, What Threat? * But: both the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics Publishing have not suffered as a result of arXiv “We don't consider it a threat. We expect to continue to have a symbiotic relationship with arXiv. As long as peer review is valued by the community (and it seems to be), we will be doing peer review. While the APS aspires to open access and is not threatened by arXiv.org, we do have strong reservations about government requirements for Open Access.” APS spokesperson to Alma Swan The issue may be: distributed versus central archiving The concern is that PubMed Central for publishers “is a little bit too useful” PLoS’ Helen Doyle and Andy Gass, GPGnet mailing list, October 2004 Meanwhile new actors like Google, Yahoo are entering the market

47 47 Growing Consensus? OA publishing has yet to prove itself viable, and may never Self-archiving might be acceptable, if access is embargoed The NIH proposal assumes a 12 embargo Wellcome Trust assumes a 6 month embargo Nature has introduced a 6 month embargo DC Principles? (Unclear but embargo seems inevitable) But central archives like PubMed Central rejected by publishers

48 48 Is It Enough? Embargoed OA does not adequately address the scholarly communication problem, so the controversy will not go away OA appears not to take the costs out of the system so the affordability problem remains Little is yet OA, so the access problem also remains But researchers can solve the access problem for themselves. As library cancellations bite the likelihood is that they will do The Berlin Declaration is now viewed as the best vehicle for promoting that

49 49 The Berlin Declaration 52 signatories In order to implement the Berlin Declaration institutions should: Implement a policy to require their researchers to deposit a copy of all their published articles in an open access repository, and Encourage their researchers to publish their research articles in open access journals where a suitable journal exists and provide the support to enable that to happen (1 st March 2005)

50 50 Back To Basics * Why Open Access? It can improve research impact and allow for faster, more effective research (“Standing on Giants”) The public purse is effectively paying three times: 1) to fund the research, 2) to pay the salaries of the scientists engaged in peer review 3) to buy the research back from publishing companies Public’s right to access (e.g. The Alliance for Taxpayer Access) Researchers in many developing countries are disenfranchised Optimal and inevitable?

51 51 Back To Basics * What is OA? Sally Morris: “free, unrestricted access (to primary research articles) for everyone.” Immediate, permanent, online access to the full-texts of peer-reviewed research journal articles, free for all users, webwide (Harnad)

52 52 Act V The Dénouement

53 53 What Next? Research growth set to continue (e.g. the EU “Lisbon target” is to increase research expenditure to 3% of GDP by 2010: currently 1.9%) The overall expectation is that the number of research papers published will double in coming years (2.5 million => 5 million) Meanwhile political pressure is not going to go away (e.g. EU report expected Summer 2005) Developing countries may simply by-pass the peer review process

54 54 The Answer is Simple Isn’t It? Governments need to increase library budgets right? This is unlikely because: It is widely believed that publishers have been making unacceptable profits (34%) by selling publicly-funded research back to the very people who have (freely) provided it in the first place It is more likely that additional funds will be found for OA publishing The Web has changed everything: the access problem can be resolved independently of the affordability problem

55 55 Questions, Questions, Questions How do you optimise scholarly communication in a digital, networked world with research output set to double again in the next 10 years? How do you fund the process? Who pays, for what? Who has access, and at what cost? Who controls the process of scholarly communication? How can scholarly publishing withstand the open logic of the Web? How do we solve the affordability problem (serials crisis) How do we solve the access problem? (to stand on giants)

56 56 O, when degree is shaked Can Shakespearean order be restored? How could communities, Degrees in schools and brotherhoods in cities, Peaceful commerce from dividable shores, The primogenitive and due of birth, Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels, But by degree, stand in authentic place? Shakespeare is often accused of being a “political propagandist for the Tudor monarchy” Today degree and primogeniture no longer appropriate! Perhaps there is no way back? Today we don’t know if this is a tragedy, a comedy or a history play


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