[Vwoolf] R: Open Access

Jeremy Hawthorn jeremy.hawthorn at ntnu.no
Tue Nov 25 11:35:46 EST 2014

This is what seems to me to be contradictory about the new UK policy. 
The web-page of Oxford University Press Journals provides the following 

In the majority of our journals, authors have the option to publish 
their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; for a charge, their paper 
will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. The 
charges for optional open access publication vary from journal to 
journal, between £1000-£2500. Please see the 'Instructions to Authors' 
pages of individual journals to find out the applicable charge.

UK academics who want their work "to count" will have to pay these large 
sums, and in many cases will seek to get the cost reimbursed from 
university research funds.

I can't see what the difference is between forcing academics to pay lots 
of small sums to access an article, money which publicly funded 
institutions (usually university libraries) often subsidise, and forcing 
academics to pay one very large sum to have an article published (which 
they can often claim back from some publicly funded source).

I can foresee that desperate academics who can't get such sums paid by 
anyone else (e.g. those unemployed and hunting for work) will be put 
under pressure to pay the money out of their own (not very full) pockets 
just to make themselves attractive prospects for appointment.

Whatever the case, the campaign that started to wrest power from greedy 
and monopolising (mainly medical, science and technology) publishers 
(among which I do not include OUP, for the record) seems to have led to 
a new situation in which the publishers are again in a win-win situation 
and are laughing all the way to the bank.


Den 25/11/2014 17:23, skrev Sarah M. Hall:
> Thanks, Maggie, I think this answers my question to Mark.
> Sarah
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *From:* Maggie Humm <M.Humm at uel.ac.uk>
>     *To:* Mark Hussey <mhussey at verizon.net>; "t.prudente at talk21.com"
>     <t.prudente at talk21.com>; "Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu"
>     <Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu>
>     *Sent:* Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 16:14
>     *Subject:* Re: [Vwoolf] R: Open Access
>     The UK issue, as everyone knows, is that for the next REF
>     (formally RAE) Research Excellence Framework the UK Research
>     Councils and HEFCE are insisting on articles being submitted from
>     open access journals. See useful summary:
>     http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/softening-of-line-on-open-access-only-ref/2012340.article
>     there is much opposition not least from the prestigious British
>     Academy:
>     http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/british-academy-fears-for-humanities-in-open-access-world/2012729.article
>     But the REF rules all UK academics' writing and career prospects
>     as did the RAE (not least because REF results are available on
>     -line employers can check at a glance a candidate's standing and
>     'grades'). See the last exercise's grades (still known as the RAE)
>     and reports:
>     http://www.rae.ac.uk/
>     My guess is that younger academics will be less willing to publish
>     in US journals which are not open access (although the revised
>     policy allows some non open access publishing Schools/Departments
>     are going to be very wary and unfortunately the UK REF panels and
>     sub-panels encompass so many disciplinary areas that members
>     cannot possibly know of the status of journals outside their
>     immediate fields).
>     The REF 2014 results will be known this December. I'm included in
>     my School's Media and Cultural Studies submission but I'm so glad
>     that I finally retired from all this in November 2013 (and no
>     longer need to use words like 'stake-holder')!
>     Hope this is helpful.
>     Maggie
>     PS UK journal editors also work for free and those in the post-92
>     universities get no teaching/admin relief.
>     ________________________________
>     From: Vwoolf [vwoolf-bounces+m.humm=uel.ac.uk at lists.osu.edu] on
>     behalf of Mark Hussey [mhussey at verizon.net]
>     Sent: 25 November 2014 15:07
>     To: t.prudente at talk21.com; Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu
>     <mailto:Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu>
>     Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] R: Open Access
>     Thank you for all these responses. I know my “give away for
>     nothing” phrase was provocative!
>     Just to be clear, I am particularly interested in how academics in
>     the UK feel about their government’s requirement as I believe it
>     will affect their willingness to publish in US-based journals. The
>     examples given are interesting, but do not fit the case of a very
>     small academic press; many scholarly journal editors in the US,
>     for example, perform their work for nothing or for perhaps a
>     course release. This issue has, naturally, been of great interest
>     on the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) listserv too
>     as people begin to try to fathom what is going on in UK scholarly
>     publishing.
>     I look forward to more points of view!
>     From: Vwoolf [mailto:vwoolf-bounces at lists.osu.edu] On Behalf Of
>     t.prudente at talk21.com <mailto:t.prudente at talk21.com>
>     Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:47 AM
>     To: Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu <mailto:Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu>
>     Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] R: Open Access
>     Dear all,
>     as an Italian researcher, I feel that some more detailed
>     explanation on the "peculiar" situation of Academic publishing in
>     Italy is here needed, so as make - perhaps - Francesca's view more
>     understandable.
>     Academic publishing in Italy is mainly - if not entirely - based
>     on a "pay to publish" system. Individual researchers sign a
>     contract with a publisher in which they accept to pay a certain
>     amount of money (depending on the publisher, the book's length,
>     the number of copies arranged for, etc...) and they usually pay by
>     using the research money that the Ministry of Research provides
>     them with for their research projects. Thus, when Francesca talks
>     about public financing to academic publishing she actually refers
>     to this system, which does not entail public money to be given
>     directly to publishers (they are private), but money that is given
>     to researchers and that they usually employ for this kind of
>     publishing. Now, a system of this kind presents of course a set of
>     problems that, in my opinion, deeply affect research in Italy: in
>     the majority of cases, no proper peer-reviewing is performed on
>     manuscripts or articles (as long as you pay, you will be
>     published), books and journals have not a proper circulation (the
>     publisher is not very committed to do any effort to selling them,
>     as it has not, in the end, invested any money on it, on the
>     contrary, it has already had its profits from the researcher's
>     payment), and public research money that could and should be used
>     differently (organization of conferences, research travel etc...)
>     goes instead almost entirely in this system. I don't know if this
>     "pay to publish" system is also equally pervasive in other
>     countries. Personally, I have chosen, from the very beginning of
>     my career, to publish exclusively abroad in order to "escape" this
>     system, to which I deeply object, and a few colleagues of mine are
>     doing the same. And, publishing abroad, I was never required to
>     pay money and I went through genuine peer-reviewing processes.
>     Within the context that I have described, open access has
>     indubitably represented a positive change, at least in Italy, as,
>     as Francesca remarks, open access journals are obliged to perform
>     peer-reviewing and - as long as I understand, not being an expert
>     in OA - publishing costs have sensibly decreased. I suspect, then,
>     that the impact and consequences of OA are probably different for
>     each country, depending on their publishing system, and even the
>     macro-division between "public" and "private" systems presents
>     further ramifications amplifying possible differences.
>     I hope this helps, and, especially, that I have not misinterpreted
>     what Francesca, as an expert in OA, intended to highlight.
>     best,
>     Teresa
>     ________________________________
>     From: Caroline Webb
>     <caroline.webb at newcastle.edu.au<mailto:caroline.webb at newcastle.edu.au>>
>     To: "Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu<mailto:Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu>"
>     <Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu<mailto:Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu>>
>     Sent: Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 3:58
>     Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] R: Open Access
>     I think what’s meant by “research outputs should not be financed
>     more than once by public money” is not that the journals/presses
>     are public but the academic research is. European universities,
>     like nearly all in Australia and like many but very much *not* all
>     in the US, are public institutions funded in whole or in part by
>     the government (in Germany it’s just become whole, in Australia
>     it’s a rapidly decreasing part), and most of the grants available
>     to individual researchers are also government-funded. Hence the
>     public is paying, in the form of taxes, for the academics at those
>     publicly-funded institutions to perform research. The theory then
>     is that that research should be openly available to the people who
>     paid for it.
>     Caroline Webb
>     The University of Newcastle, Australia
>     From: Vwoolf
>     [mailto:vwoolf-bounces+caroline.webb=newcastle.edu.au at lists.osu.edu]
>     On Behalf Of June Cummins
>     Sent: Tuesday, 25 November 2014 9:48 AM
>     To: vwoolf at lists.osu.edu<mailto:vwoolf at lists.osu.edu>
>     Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] R: Open Access
>     In the United States, academic publishing is not financed by
>     public money except in cases where the press hosting the journal
>     is in a public university and even then, very little of the
>     press's finances are coming from "the public." Academic publishing
>     is paid for through subscriptions, which are owned either by
>     individuals or more often by universities. Perhaps this basic
>     difference in academic publishing is the reason U.S. scholars
>     don't understand European methods of making scholarship available.
>     June Cummins
>     On 11/24/14, 4:39 PM, Francesca wrote:
>     Dear professor Hussey,
>     I dare answer your question even though I do not belong to the
>     academic world; I just have a degree (I wrote a dissertation about
>     The Voyage Out) and a PhD (again about travel literature) but I am
>     a librarian who works in Italy, at the Library System of the
>     University of Trento.
>     One of my professional tasks is related to Open Access. I will not
>     bother you all advocating for OA (there are a lot of reliable
>     websites you can read in order to get the information you may be
>     interested in) but I will just add some words about your remark:
>     >> journals that give their content away for nothing
>     OA journals are peer-reviewed journals which do not give away
>     *their* content for nothing (I am highlighting “their” because the
>     content’s rights should not be considered as “the publisher’s”,
>     but should be retained by the author…).
>     These journals are just based on a different economic model.
>     Research outputs (articles) should not be financed more than once
>     by public money. There is no reason whatsoever for publicly
>     financing a research project at the begining, then selling the
>     output to a commercial publisher, which must be re-paid again by
>     libraries (subscriptions) to enable researchers and students
>     access the article.
>     In OA, Universities and researchers pay just once (with research
>     grants) for a paper to be published. After that, nothing more is
>     due to the publisher; the paper goes through the journal's normal
>     peer review process and the article is then freely and openly
>     available because it has already been paid.
>     It is so sad that after eleven years from the Berlin Declaration
>     there should be still so many misunderstandings and biases about
>     Open Access. I do not ask you to adhere to OA movement of course,
>     but I would consider myself professionally satisfied if an
>     unbiased knowledge of OA principles were slowly achieved.
>     Sincecerly yours (and apologizing for my English),
>     Francesca Valentini
>     ________________________________
>     Da: Vwoolf [mailto:vwoolf-bounces+frvln=hotmail.com at lists.osu.edu]
>     Per conto di Mark Hussey
>     Inviato: lunedì 24 novembre 2014 22.53
>     A:
>     VWOOLF at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu<mailto:VWOOLF at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
>     Oggetto: [Vwoolf] Open Access
>     Do those of you likely to publish in US-based journals (such as,
>     for example, Woolf Studies Annual!) have any concerns about the UK
>     government’s forthcoming requirement that to be counted you may
>     only publish in journals that give their content away for nothing?
>     _______________________________________________
>     Vwoolf mailing list
>     Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu<mailto:Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu>
>     https://lists.osu.edu/mailman/listinfo/vwoolf
>     --
>     ________________________________________
>     June Cummins, Associate Professor
>     Director, Graduate Program
>     Department of English and Comparative Literature
>     San Diego State University
>     jcummins at mail.sdsu.edu<mailto:jcummins at mail.sdsu.edu>
>     SDSU Children’s Literature Program
>     childlit.sdsu.edu<http://childlit.sdsu.edu/>
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Jeremy Hawthorn
Emeritus Professor
Dept Language and Literature
7491 Trondheim

+ 47 73 596787 (work)
+ 47 72 887602 (home)
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