Preprint Open Access

We're still failing to deliver open access and solve the serials crisis: to succeed we need a digital transformation of scholarly communication using internet-era principles.

Green, Toby


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In keeping with the proposition in this paper, and following the advice of Pippa Smart, Editor of Learned Publishing who saw an early draft, I'm releasing it first as a preprint to test if it 'fails fast' or not. I will do my best to promote it so that it gains an audience and I invite readers to comment, propose improvements and point out where I've gone wrong. I also invite journal editors to consider whether it has 'succeeded' and if in their opinion it has I look forward to being asked to submit it for peer review and formal publication in due course.</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;A year ago, I concluded that we had failed in our quest to make scholarship open access (OA): the race had been won by pirates like SciHub&amp;nbsp;&lt;a href="https://goo.gl/oojiU9"&gt;(Green, 2017)&lt;/a&gt;.&amp;nbsp;Twelve months on, how do things look?&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Key points:&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;ul&gt;
	&lt;li&gt;We&amp;rsquo;re still failing to deliver open access (OA): around a fifth of new articles will be born free in 2018, roughly the same as in 2017.&lt;/li&gt;
	&lt;li&gt;Librarians, funders and negotiators are getting tougher with publishers but offsetting, &amp;lsquo;Publish and Read&amp;rsquo;, deals based on APCs won&amp;rsquo;t deliver OA for all or solve the serials crisis.&lt;/li&gt;
	&lt;li&gt;The authors of Budapest, Bethesda and Berlin OA declarations foresaw three changes with the coming of the internet. Flipping to a barrier to publish (APCs) from a barrier to read (subscriptions) wasn&amp;rsquo;t one of them.&lt;/li&gt;
	&lt;li&gt;By itself, OA won&amp;rsquo;t reduce costs to solve the serials crisis: a digital transformation of scholarly communications based on internet-era principles is needed.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/li&gt;
	&lt;li&gt;Following the internet-era principle of &amp;lsquo;fail-fast&amp;rsquo;, what if papers are first posted as preprints and only if they succeed in gaining attention will editors invite submission to their journal&lt;/li&gt;
	&lt;li&gt;In clinging onto traditional journals to advance the careers of the few (authors), OA is delayed for the many (readers): rebuilding the reputation economy to accept preprints could be the catalyst to deliver OA, solve the serials crisis and drive out predatory journals&lt;/li&gt;
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