Is Hybrid a Valid Pathway to Open Access? Publishers Argue Yes, in Response to Plan S

6 March, 2019

Below are extracts from an article on the Scholarly Kitchen (with thanks to Margaret Winker, WAME). Full text here: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2019/02/19/is-hybrid-valid-pathway-t...

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Feedback from the larger publishers on the Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S reflects many of the themes seen in the feedback overall, including support for open access and concern for diversity and inclusion in publishing. Notable, however, is their commentary on the current range hybrid models for journal publishing. Their feedback indicates no intention of abandoning hybrid models, a pathway they characterize as successfully meeting market demands and fostering growth in open access publishing...

As one might expect, STM [International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers] observed that:

In our view, and in the view of many in the research community, several of the publishing models that do not appear to be supported by the guidance are in fact legitimate approaches to Open Access, such as hybrid Open Access, green Open Access and mirror journals.

The statement argues that these models — in addition to those that are supported in the guidance — are presented as responding to diverse global needs, providing flexibility in meeting those needs, and respecting researcher freedom of choice...

All of the “big five” publishers, except Elsevier, have since posted their feedback on the guidance...

The four companies offer unqualified support for open access and universal commitment to finding sustainable pathways that respond to demand for open access...

Nonetheless, one also gets a sense of some frustration from the publishers that their past efforts are being cast as barriers to open access rather than enablers of progress...

All of the information about open access activities and commitments is interesting, but does not answer the question “will publishers comply?”...

There is still some confusion around the multiple routes to compliance in the guidance. Jeroen Bosman and Bianca Kramer have detailed nine possible compliance scenarios — four potential gold routes, one (temporary) hybrid route, one hybrid/green route and three potential green routes. Each of the publishers arguably already offers researchers a pathway to compliance under one or more of these routes...

There is a bit of a chess game being played. It is clear that these largest publishers will not abandon the hybrid pathway for open access. What will be the next move from cOAlition S?

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Comment (NPW): It would be good to understand more about the Plan S restrictions on hybrid journals. Is it reasonable and pragmatic for Plan S to impose such restrictions? What will be the impact of such restrictions on authors and readers in LMICs?

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Access to Health Research

http://www.hifa.org/working-groups/access-health-research

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org