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News from the open access movement

Monday, June 11, 2007

Update on CERN's SCOAP3 initiative

Richard Akerman has blogged some notes on Rüdiger Voss' talk earlier today on CERN's SCOAP3 initiative at the IATUL 2007 meeting Global Access to Science: Scientific Publishing for the Future (Stockholm, June 11-14, 2007).  Excerpt:

Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics

convert entire discipline to open access journal publishing

approximately 10,000 scientists worldwide

5016 articles published in 2005 in peer-reviewed journals
83% of all papers in 6 journals
87% of all papers published by 4 different publishers

CERN Convention (1953) is an early OA manifesto

embrace OA movement (

* today particle physics is almost entirely green
* without mandates, without debate

peer-reviewed journals remain important as version-of-record archives and as key instruments of merit recognition and career promotion

OA landscape in 2007

* most particle physics journals offer OA options
- hybrid model, authors buy OA to articles
- reluctant take-up by authors

* gold OA to journals is there, but variety of options bewildering

in 2005: 72.6% NO OA option
in 2007: 86.8% offer OA option

time is ripe for a full transition to OA

OA issues
* grant universal access to peer-reviewed results of publically funded research
* in a green environment authors benefit for peer review and journal prestige
* bring subscription costs under control
* raise researcher awareness of economics of scientific publishing
* inject competition into scientific publishing by linking price to quality
* stabilize the diversity and future of journals which have served particle physics well - but leave
room for new players

SCOAP3 model ...

* estimated annual budget: 10 million euros
* contributions on a "fair share" basis by nationality (affiliation) of articles/authors ...

LHC [Large Hadron Collider] is a much bigger project, 40 funding agencies, 550 million $

* online journals free to read for anybody
* preserve high-quality peer review process
* generate medium and long-term savings for libraries and funding agencies
* free to read and to publish for developing countries

SCOAP3 Status ...
* potential funding partners to be invited soon to sign Expressions of Interest
* once partners commit to sizeable fraction of budget, invite publishers to tender in autumn
* Goal: have SCOAP3 operational for the first LHC papers