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    Knowledge Unlatched, failed transparency, and the commercialisation of open access book publishing

Knowledge Unlatched, failed transparency, and the commercialisation of open access book publishing

Over recent years, Knowledge Unlatched has harnessed the effectiveness of its consortial funding model to become the largest gatekeeper to open access for scholarly books. But as Marcel Knöchelmann describes, the changing of its status from that of a community interest company to a German GmbH or public limited company, and that it is now fully owned by the […]

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    The expansion of open access is being driven by commercialisation, where private benefit is adopting the mantle of public value

The expansion of open access is being driven by commercialisation, where private benefit is adopting the mantle of public value

Plan S is the latest initiative to propose that all publicly funded science should be available in open access formats from the day of first publication. However, John Holmwood argues it is important to recognise that open access is itself being promoted in the name of commercial interests, including new, for-profit disrupters but also the large publishing conglomerates capturing the […]

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    The “problem” of predatory publishing remains a relatively small one and should not be allowed to defame open access

The “problem” of predatory publishing remains a relatively small one and should not be allowed to defame open access

A recent investigation led by an international group of journalists raised concerns over the scale of the problem of deceptive publishing practices, with many researchers of standing and reputation found to have published in “predatory” journals. However, while the findings of this investigation garnered significant media attention, the robustness of the study itself was not subject to the same […]

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    Predatory publishers threaten to consume public research funds and undermine national academic systems – the case of Brazil

Predatory publishers threaten to consume public research funds and undermine national academic systems – the case of Brazil

An unintended consequence of the open access movement, predatory publishers have appeared in many countries, offering authors a quick and easy route to publication in exchange for a fee and usually without any apparent peer review or quality control. Using a large database of publications, Marcelo S. Perlin, Takeyoshi Imasato and Denis Borenstein analyse the extent of this problem […]

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    How small open access monograph presses can make the most of an increasingly rich data landscape

How small open access monograph presses can make the most of an increasingly rich data landscape

Until relatively recently the ability to exploit new data for open access books was restricted to large publishers or content aggregators with the resources to invest in its collection, management, and analysis. However, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Alkim Ozaygen and Tama Leaver describe how barriers to engaging with data are falling, with open access monograph publishers now having growing […]

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    A variety of strategies and funding approaches are required to accelerate the transition to open access. But in all, authors are key

A variety of strategies and funding approaches are required to accelerate the transition to open access. But in all, authors are key

More than two decades of work towards liberating scholarly publishing from paywalled constraints has left many within the scholarly community exploring ways to accelerate the transition to open access. Not all institutions or author communities will agree upon which strategies or funding approaches to undertake, and nor do they need to. But whichever strategy is pursued, having university faculty […]

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Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

Funding organisations commissioning their own open access publishing platforms is a relatively recent development in the OA environment, with the European Commission following the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in financing such an initiative. But in what ways, for better or worse, do these new platforms disrupt or complement the scholarly communications landscape? Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt and […]

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    Introducing the Free Journal Network – community-controlled open access publishing

Introducing the Free Journal Network – community-controlled open access publishing

Discontent with the scholarly publishing industry continues to grow, as the prevailing subscription model appears increasingly unsustainable and open access big deals, one mooted alternative, unlikely to lead to optimal outcomes either. The Free Journal Network was established earlier this year in order to nurture and promote journals that are free to both authors and readers, and run according […]

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    Don’t let publication be the end of the story – transforming research into an illustrated abstract

Don’t let publication be the end of the story – transforming research into an illustrated abstract

Publishing research that can be accessed as widely as possible is clearly crucial, but ensuring that research is accessible to similarly large groups of people is an altogether different challenge. The CC BY license, required by many funders when publishing open access, permits users to transform and build upon the licensed content, creating something new and original. Lucy Lambe […]

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    Announcing LSE Press – a new open access publishing platform for the social sciences

Announcing LSE Press – a new open access publishing platform for the social sciences

LSE Press launches today, the latest in a succession of new university press initiatives and one that will support the development of high-quality, academic-led, open access publications in the social sciences. Kieran Booluck provides details of the first LSE Press journal and outlines plans for the press to pursue more innovative publications and experiment with new types of content.

Today […]

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    Conflicting academic attitudes to copyright are slowing the move to open access

Conflicting academic attitudes to copyright are slowing the move to open access

Where previously authors would typically assign rights in a scholarly work to an academic publisher, the open access movement has prompted a shift towards retention of rights and the use of creative commons licenses to control how works are used by publishers. This shift has the support of research funders, whose policies seek to ensure the widest possible readership. […]

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    The benefits of open access books are clear but challenges around funding remain

The benefits of open access books are clear but challenges around funding remain

As part of Academic Book Week 2018, last week Springer Nature hosted an event exploring open access books featuring representatives from the researcher, funder, and publisher communities. Mithu Lucraft reports on the presentations and panel discussions which revealed that the benefits of publishing open access books are clear, with more downloads, citations, and online mentions, in addition to an […]

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    Releasing 1.8 million open access publications from publisher systems for text and data mining

Releasing 1.8 million open access publications from publisher systems for text and data mining

Text and data mining offers an opportunity to improve the way we access and analyse the outputs of academic research. But the technical infrastructure of the current scholarly communication system is not yet ready to support TDM to its full potential, even for open access outputs. To address this problem, Petr Knoth, Nancy Pontika and Lucas Anastasiou have developed […]

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    “Publishing is not just about technology, it is foremost about the academic communities it supports.” The evolution of the megajournal as PeerJ turns five

“Publishing is not just about technology, it is foremost about the academic communities it supports.” The evolution of the megajournal as PeerJ turns five

As the “megajournal” has become more familiar as a concept, the term itself has come to feel more nebulous and limiting. Digital technology has enabled a shift both in the scope of published research and also in who can access it. But publishing is not just about the technology, it is foremost about the academic communities it supports. Jason […]

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    The future for academic publishers lies in navigating research, not distributing it

The future for academic publishers lies in navigating research, not distributing it

The world of scholarly publishing is in upheaval. As the open science and open research movements rapidly gain momentum, the access restrictions and paywalls of many publishers put them at odds with growing parts of the research community. Mattias Björnmalm suggests there is one way for publishers to once again become central, valued members of the research community: by […]

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    Adoption of open access is rising – but so too are its costs

Adoption of open access is rising – but so too are its costs

Options available to authors to make their work open access are on the rise. Adoption of open access itself is also rising, and usage of open-access materials is similarly increasing. However, alongside rising access levels another, less positive rise can also be observed: the costs of open access are increasing and at a rate considerably above inflation. Stephen Pinfield […]

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The scholarly commons must be developed on public standards

Access to scholarship is becoming ever more dependent on one’s (or one’s institution’s) financial means. Björn Brembs and Guy Geltner argue that one solution to these growing problems is for scholarship to have open, public standards; both for its Web 1.0 tasks, like reading, writing, and citing, but also, crucially, for its Web 2.0 functionalities too. Scholarship is a […]

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2017 in review: top posts of the year

As 2017 nears its end and before our focus is drawn to whatever the new year might have in store, now is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the last twelve months on the Impact Blog. Editor Kieran Booluck reports on another year in which our readership has grown, and also shares a selection of the […]

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2017 in review: round-up of our top posts on open access

Announcing Unpaywall: unlocking #openaccess versions of paywalled research articles as you browse
Unpaywall, a web browser extension that links users directly to free full-text versions of research articles, was launched in April. Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem of Impactstory, the team behind Unpaywall, report on the successful pre-release phase, and explain how two decades of investment, a slew of new tools, and a flurry […]

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    Open-access books are downloaded, cited, and mentioned more than non-OA books

Open-access books are downloaded, cited, and mentioned more than non-OA books

Open-access journal articles have been found, to some extent, to be downloaded and cited more than non-OA articles. But could the same be true for books? Carrie Calder reports on recent research into how open access affects the usage of scholarly books, including the findings that OA books are, on average, downloaded seven times more, cited 50% more, and […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.