Elsevier Study Commissioned by UK BIS

Bosman, J.M. j.bosman at UU.NL
Sat Dec 7 10:35:13 EST 2013


As you say, this is indeed specualation. I can follow the reasoning but wonder if you could mention examples of publishers releasing content after one year as you say under 6.

The roadmap you put before us here is a major turn from the massive introduction of hybrid gold now offered by publishers and accepted by governments (UK, NL).

I am afraid that currently many authors and universities would be content with (one eyear) delayed gold OA and retaining subscriptions. I do not think that under those circumstances there would still be massive support for depositing author versions for just one year. We do not even have that now, with almost no delayed gold at all.

It may be tactically important to convince the research community of green ID/OA mandates before publishers make this switch.

One final suggestion: it would be nice to have your specualative roadmap and the OA classification you suggest in this thread available on the eprints.org<http://eprints.org> webpage, for easy reference.


Op 7 dec. 2013 om 13:56 heeft "Stevan Harnad" <amsciforum at GMAIL.COM<mailto:amsciforum at GMAIL.COM>> het volgende geschreven:

On 2013-12-07, at 6:31 AM, "Bosman, J.M." <j.bosman at UU.NL<mailto:j.bosman at UU.NL>> wrote:
Could you elaborate on your expectation that "It is almost certain that within the next few years most journals will become Gold DA (with an embargo of 12 months)". Do you already see publishers move in that direction or are there other reasons for your forecast?

It is an extrapolation and inference from the manifest pattern across the last half-decade:

1. Publishers know (better than anyone) that OA is inevitable and unstoppable, only delayable (via embargoes).

2. Publishers also know that it is the first year of sales that sustains their subscriptions. (The talk about later sales is just hyperbole.)

3. Publishers have been fighting tooth and nail against Green OA mandates, both via lobbying and via embargoes.

4. The majority of publishers with Green OA embargoes have an embargo of one year (though 60%, including Elsevier and Springer, have no embargo at all).

5. This 1-year Green OA embargo is publishers' realistic compromise: with minimal loss, it wards off immediate Green OA, making Green mandates Delayed Green Mandates instead of Green OA Mandates.

6. Then as an added protection against losing control of their content, more and more publishers are releasing it after a year on their own proprietary websites after a year: Delayed Gold

The reasoning is that since free access after a year is a foregone conclusion, because of Green mandates, it's better if that free access is provided by publishers as Gold, so it all remains in their hands (navigation, search, reference linking, re-use, re-publication, etc.). 1-year Gold also protects the version of record from being replaced by the Green author's version. (Publishers even have a faint hope that 1-year Gold might take the wind out of the sails of Green mandates and the clamor for OA altogether: Everyone gets Gold access after a year, and that's the end of it. Back to business as before -- unless the market prefers to pay the same price that it pays for subscriptions, in exchange for immediate, un-embargoed Gold OA (as in SCOAP3 or hybrid Gold).

But I think most publishers know that that is a pipe-dream, and that all they are really doing is holding back the inevitable for as long as they possibly can:

And the inevitable is immediate Green OA, with authors posting their refereed, accepted final drafts immediately upon acceptance for publication. That version will become the version of record, because subscriptions to the publisher's print and online version will become unsustainable once the Green OA version is free for all.

Under cancellation pressure induced by immediate Green, publishers will have to cut inessential costs by dropping the print and online version of record, offloading all access-provision and archiving onto the global network of Green OA institutional repositories, downsizing to the provision of the peer review service alone, paid for, per paper, per round of peer review, as Fair Gold (instead of today's over-priced, double-paid and double-dipped Fool's Gold) out of a fraction of the institutional annual windfall savings from their cancelled annual subscriptions.

So both the 1-year embargo on Green and the 1-year release of Gold are attempts to fend off the above: OA has become a fight for that first year of access: researchers need and want it immediately; publishers want to hold onto it unless they continue to be paid as much as they are being paid now.

But there is an antidote for publisher embargoes on immediate Green, and that is the immediate-institutional-deposit mandate plus the copy-Request Button (the HEFCE/Liege model mandate), designating the deposit of the final refereed draft immediately upon acceptance for publication as the sole mechanism for submitting publications for institutional performance review and for compliance with funding conditions. Once those mandates are universally adopted, universal OA will only be one keystroke away: The keystroke that makes an embargoed deposit OA. And embargoes will very quickly die their inevitable and well-deserved deaths under the mounting global pressure for immediate OA (which will merely be enhanced by Button-based Almost-OA).

There you have it: Speculation, but grounded in the pragmatics, logic and evidence of what it actually going on today.

Jeroen Bosman

Op 7 dec. 2013 om 01:01 heeft "Stevan Harnad" <amsciforum at GMAIL.COM<mailto:amsciforum at GMAIL.COM>> het volgende geschreven:

On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM, Bo-Christer Björk <bo-christer.bjork at hanken.fi<mailto:bo-christer.bjork at hanken.fi>> wrote:

The Elsevier study on OA prevalence study was part of broader report. The methods are just shortly mentioned so its a bit problematic to comment in detail.
The global gold OA share found is 9,7 % of scopus articles, consisting of 5,5 % APC paid and 4,2 others (not just 5.5 % as Stevan noted below). The global hybrid share is 0.5. The green global share could be assumed to more or less be the sum of preprint versions of 6.4 % and accepted versions 5.0 %, adding directly to around 11 %. In particular if their method only took the first found full text copy and then classified it

The big flaw of the study seems to be in the sample used, since it consisted of equal numbers of Scopus articles that had been published 2 months, 6 months, 12 months and 24 months before the Googling. If the hits are simple added up for all the sampled articles this means that a major share of selfarchivied manuscripts are ignored, due to embargoes or author behavior in for instance selfarchiving once a year. For instance half of the copies in PMC would not be found in this way. Equally the very low figure for "Open Archives", 1.0 %, could be a result of this method. Our own results for delayed OA are around 5 %.

So all in all the figures are much lower than if one includes articles made OA with at least a one year delay, which we find is the method we would recommend for studies claiming to give overall OA uptake figures. Whether this methodological choice was a conscious one from the study team or just an oversight is difficult to know. But if they would have adhered to a strict interpretation that only immediate OA is OA, the sampling should have been different. Now it's somewhere in between.

Bo-Christer is quite right. Elsevier's arbitrary (and somewhat self-serving) 6-category classification system (each of whose categories is curiously labelled a "publishing system") leaves much to be desired:

1. Gold Open Access
2. Hybrid
3. Subsidised
4. Open Archives
5. Green Open Access: Pre-print versions
6. Green Open Access: Accepted Author Manuscript versions

It is not just what Elsevier called "Gold Open Access" that was Gold Open Access, but also what they called "Subsidised." The difference is merely that what they called Gold was publishing-fee-based Gold and what they called subsidized was subsidy-based Gold.

Elsevier also neglected to mention that "Subsidised" did not necessarily mean subsidized either: There are also subscription-based journals that make their online versions free immediately upon publication; hence they are likewise Gold OA journals.

What Elsevier called "Open Archives" is also not what it sounds like: It seems to be Delayed Access articles, accessible only after a publisher embargo, either on the publisher's website or in another central website, such as PubMed Central, where publishers also deposit, sometimes immediately, sometimes after an embargo.

The two Green Open Access categories are also ambiguous.The pre-print versions are (correctly) described as pre-refereeing drafts (but it would take a lot closer analysis to determine whether the pre-prints differ from the refereed version. It is easy to determine whether they were posted before the official publication date but far from easy to determine whether they were posted before refereeing. (The date of the letter of acceptance of the refereed draft is often one that only the author and the editor know -- though it is in some cases printed in the journal: did Elsevier look at that too?)

The post-refereeing author's drafts are presumably what they are described as being, but it is not clear by what criteria Elsevier distinguished them from pre-refeeeing drafts (except when they were in an institutional repository and specifically tagged as unrefereed).

So, as Bo-Christer points out, there are many methodological questions about the data without whose answers their meaningfulness and interpretability is limited. I would say that the timing issue is perhaps the most important one. And to sort things out I would like to propose a different system of classification:

Open Access (OA): The term OA should be reserved for immediate OA, regardless whether it is provided by the publisher (Gold) or the author (Green). A reasonable error-margin for OA should be within 3 months or less from publication date. Anything longer begins to overlap with publisher embargoes (of 6, 12, 24 months or longer).

Delayed Access (DA): The term DA should be used for delays of more than 6 months. And besides the usefulness of separately counting 6, 12, and 24 month DA, DA should also be analyzed as a continuous variable, reckoned in months starting from the date of publication (including negative delays, when authors post the refereed draft during the interval from acceptance date to publication date. The unrefereed preprint, however, should not be mixed into this; it should be treated as a separate point of comparison.

So there is Gold OA (immediate), Green OA (immediate), Gold DA and Green DA (measured by 6-month intervals as well as continuously in months.

If a separate distinction is sought within Gold, then fee-based Gold, subsidy-based Gold and subscription-based Gold can be compared, for both OA and DA. The locus of deposit of the Gold is not relevant, but the fact that it was done by the publisher rather than the author (or the author's assigns) is extremely relevant.

For Green OA and DA it is also important to compare locus of deposit (institutional vs. institution-external). See mandates below.

In all cases independence and redundancy should uniformly be controlled: Whenever a positive "hit" is made in any category, it has to be checked whether there are any instances of the same paper in other categories. Otherwise the data are not mutually exclusive.

If desired, all the above can be further subdivided in terms of Gratis (free online access) and Libre (free online access plus re-use rights) OA and DA.

Tracking Gold has the advantage of having clear unambiguous timing (except if the publication date differs from the date the journal actually appears) and of being exhaustively searchable without having to sample or check (if one has an index of the Gold OA and DA journals).

Tracking Green is much harder, but it must be done, because the fight for OA is rapidly becoming the fight against embargoes. That's why Green OA should be reserved for immediate access. It is almost certain that within the next few years most journals will become Gold DA (with an embargo of 12 months). Hence 12 months is the figure to beat, and Green DA after 18 months will not be of much use at all.

And the best way to push for immediate Green OA, is to upgrade all Green mandates to require immediate institutional deposit, irrespective of how long an embargo the mandate allows on DA. Requiring immediate deposit does not guarantee immediate OA, but it guarantees immediate Almost-OA, mediated by the repository's automated copy-request Button, requiring only one click from the requestor and one click from the author.

The immediate-deposit requirement plus the Button not only fits all OA mandates (no matter how they handle embargoes of copyright), making it possible for all institutions and funders to adopt it universally, but it also delivers the greatest amount of immediate access for 100% of deposits: immediate Green OA for X% plus (100-X)% Button-mediated Almost OA. And this, in turn will increase the universal demand for immediacy to the point where publisher embargoes will no longer be able to plug the flood-gates and the research community will have the 100% immediate Green OA it should have had ever since the creation of the web made it possible by making it possible to free the genie from the bottle,

Stevan Harnad

        On 12/6/13 5:31 PM, Stevan Harnad wrote:
Elsevier has just conducted and published a study commissioned by UK BIS: "International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base – 2013<https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/performance-of-the-uk-research-base-international-comparison-2013>"

This study finds twice as much Green OA (11.6%) as Gold OA (5.9%) in the UK (where bothGreen OA repositories<http://www.dlib.org/dlib/october00/10inbrief.html#HARNAD> and Green OA mandates<http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Temp/UKSTC.htm> began) and about equal levels of Green (5.0%) and Gold (5.5%) in the rest of the world.

There are methodological weaknesses in the Elsevier study, which was based on SCOPUS data (Gold data are direct and based on the whole data set, Green data are partial and based on hand-sampling; timing is not taken into account; categories of OA are often arbitrary and not mutually exclusive, etc). But the overall pattern may have some validity.

What does it mean?

It means the effects of Green OA mandates in the UK<http://roarmap.eprints.org/view/geoname/geoname=5F2=5FGB.html> -- where there are relatively more of them, and they have been there for a half decade or more -- are detectable, compared to the rest of the world<http://roarmap.eprints.org/view/geoname/>, where mandates are relatively fewer.

But 11.6% Green is just a pale, partial indicator of how much OA Green OA mandates generate: If instead of looking at the world (where about 1% of institutions and funders have OA mandates) or the UK (where the percentage is somewhat higher, but many of the mandates are still weak and ineffective ones), one looks specifically at the OA percentages for effectively mandated institutions<http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/358882/>, the Green figure jumps to over 80% (about half of it immediate-OA and half embargoed OA: deposited, and accessible during the embargo via the repository's automated copy-request Button, with a click from the requestor and a click from the author).

So if the planet's current level of Green OA is 11.6%, its level will jump to at least 80% as effective Green OA mandates are adopted.

Meanwhile, Gold OA will continue to be unnecessary, over-priced, double-paid (which journal subscriptions still need to be paid) and potentially even double-dipped (if paid to the same hybrid subscription/Gold publisher) out of scarce research funds contributed by UK tax-payers ("Fool's Gold<https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=cr&ei=b-CUUuTZNM-3kQeAj4CACA#q=harnad+%28fools+OR+fool%27s%29+gold>").

But once Green OA prevails worldwide, Fair Gold<https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=cr&ei=b-CUUuTZNM-3kQeAj4CACA#q=harnad+%22fair+gold%22> (and all the Libre OA re-use rights that users need and authors want to provide) will not be far behind.

We are currently gathering data to test whether the immediate-deposit<https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&lr=&q=harnad%20OR%20Harnad%20OR%20archivangelism+blogurl:http://openaccess.eprints.org/&ie=UTF-8&tbm=blg&tbs=qdr:m&num=100&c2coff=1&safe=active#c2coff=1&hl=en&lr=&q=%22immediate+deposit%22+blogurl:http%3A%2F%2Fopenaccess.eprints.org%2F&safe=active&tbm=blg> (HEFCE<https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&lr=&q=harnad%20OR%20Harnad%20OR%20archivangelism+blogurl:http://openaccess.eprints.org/&ie=UTF-8&tbm=blg&tbs=qdr:m&num=100&c2coff=1&safe=active#c2coff=1&hl=en&lr=&q=hefce+immediate+blogurl:http%3A%2F%2Fopenaccess.eprints.org%2F&safe=active&tbm=blg>/Liege<https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&lr=&q=harnad%20OR%20Harnad%20OR%20archivangelism+blogurl:http://openaccess.eprints.org/&ie=UTF-8&tbm=blg&tbs=qdr:m&num=100&c2coff=1&safe=active#c2coff=1&hl=en&lr=&q=liege+model++blogurl:http%3A%2F%2Fopenaccess.eprints.org%2F&safe=active&tbm=blg>) Green OA mandate model is indeed the most effective mandate (compared, for example, with the Harvard<https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&lr=&q=harnad%20OR%20Harnad%20OR%20archivangelism+blogurl:http://openaccess.eprints.org/&ie=UTF-8&tbm=blg&tbs=qdr:m&num=100&c2coff=1&safe=active#c2coff=1&hl=en&lr=&q=Harvard+blogurl%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fopenaccess.eprints.org%2F&safe=active&tbas=0&tbm=blg> copyright-retention model with opt-out, or the NIH<https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&lr=&q=harnad%20OR%20Harnad%20OR%20archivangelism+blogurl:http://openaccess.eprints.org/&ie=UTF-8&tbm=blg&tbs=qdr:m&num=100&c2coff=1&safe=active#c2coff=1&hl=en&lr=&q=NIH+blogurl%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fopenaccess.eprints.org%2F&safe=active&tbm=blg> model with a 12 month embargo).

Stevan Harnad

P.S. Needless to say, the fact that the UK's Green OA rate is twice as high as its Gold OA rate is true despite the new Finch/FCUK policy<http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/1074-html> which subsidizes and prefers Gold and tries to downgrade Green -- certainly not because of it!

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