Photo: The Guild website.
Ahead of the June Competitiveness Council, where the ministers will be invited to adopt conclusions on research assessment and implementation of Open Science policies, The Guild urges the member states to ensure that Open Access serves science, not publishers.
While research excellence requires free flow of knowledge, some Open Access strategies and models increase the financial burden on research institutions. Article Processing Charges (APCs), used by some of the Open Access journals, exacerbate the unsustainable situation of journal spending in university libraries and create unequal access to knowledge. Greater transparency on the publication costs for Open Access journals, and fair and transparent contractual arrangements with publishers are crucial for monitoring the proper use of public research funding.
It is important to develop alternative and sustainable non-APC Open Access models. The Guild calls for the member states to support the development and uptake of Diamond Open Access journals and platforms which consist often of community-driven, and academic-led and owned publishing initiatives. Unlike other Open Access models, Diamond Open Access journals and platforms do not charge any fees from the authors or readers. Thus, they can further empower researchers to disseminate their research results, ensuring bibliodiversity and vital academic publishing.
Researchers and research institutions are key to addressing some of the obstacles hindering the uptake of Diamond Open Access in Europe. Hence, The Guild endorses the Action Plan for Diamond Open Access which opens a necessary dialogue on how to align and develop common resources to increase efficiency and quality standards of Diamond Open Access journals and platforms.
Jan Palmowski, Secretary-General of The Guild, commented: “We need open science models that are financially sustainable. Right now, universities often pay for the research and writing that underpins research papers. They pay for article processing charges, and for some journals they pay extra to make journals publicly available through open access. We must find high-quality publication systems that reduce nefarious profits made on open access publications, and moving towards non-APC, quality publication models could be a massive improvement.”
This article was first published on 17 May The Guild.