Welcome to the ninth edition of fullstopp FLASH. Today, you can read about Open Access – in acceleration generally and too slow in HSS. Furthermore, Felix Evert proposes a roadmap to change. We wish you an interesting read and a good start into the working week.
Marcel Knöchelmann: Accelerating Openness
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation just announced the launch of a new open access platform, Gates Open Research, which will be run by F1000Research. The new publishing venture stands in line with Wellcome Open Research or the planned publishing platform of the European Commission. All the articles funded by these foundations are already required to be open access. With the new platforms, the openness is about to be accelerated and its cost to be driven down: it takes around 7 days for an article to be posted and 27 days to be peer reviewed on such a platform. Publishing costs decrease to £791 on average from the usual ~ £2,000, according to stats from the already running Wellcome platform.
Apart from these facts, the mind-bending question is whether this will have a long-term impact on journals. With the major funders of biomedical research in the US, Europe, and the UK building their own platforms, the incentive for scientists to publish their research in journals is merely brand and reputation. Hence, spending money and time for getting articles into journals additionally will be a luxury, for which only top-tier journals are worth. Moreover, if the approach to quality (i.e. the IF) will change further, funders and their platforms may become the provider of the services research communities need. Until then, at least, the platforms are accelerating openness.
Felix Evert: Starting into the Sea of Change
The 2017 London Book Fair is already a couple of days old, yet many participants are still in the process of digesting the flood of news: new products, new partnerships and new projects. Obviously, change is everywhere in the scholarly & professional publishing industry. As exciting as this trend to accelerated change and invention is, it means a big challenges especially for SME and society publishers. How can organizations with limited resources focus on the right things to change? How can publishers know what is or will be important, and what’s not and never will? How can people and organizations need to prepare in order to successfully navigate the sea of change in the scholarly publishing and media industry?
1. There is no secret source or boilerplate procedure to effective change management; organizations and organizational dynamics are too different. However, change starts somewhere and here are four suggestions to mark the starting point for successful change management:
2. Approach change proactively: Don’t wait until opportunity costs are at intolerable levels as this only creates time pressure and a sense of emergency which is not sustainable for a continuous effort to manage change.
Structure the change: Even the most energetic organizations can handle only a limited number of projects at the same time. Different projects should be scheduled carefully in order to benefit from synergies and to make sure the load is evenly distributed across team members.
3. Pull the strings together: Complex change affects various departments and responsibilities, e.g. introducing print-on-demand is a sales issue as much as it is a data quality and production issue. Great project leaders are willing to look beyond departmental boundaries and promote the notion that everybody serves everybody.
4. Map the route: No matter how important the change is, it won’t happen unless people understand why they’re doing it. To navigate the sea of change, team leaders must be willing to share their overarching idea and to explain everybody what is changing and why.
Sven Fund: Open Access in 2020
Last week’s Berlin 13 – now called OA 2020 – was an interesting one. Funders were again very self-confident that by 2020 the majority of research will be openly available to all researchers worldwide. The concepts to support that are getting more sophisticated every day, and there is some progress to be seen. However, listening to the presentations, it is very clear that 90% of the talk is on STM – the social sciences and humanities are only being mentioned as an endangered species. It’s obvious that policy-makers and publishers have to think harder to make open access work in ALL disciplines, not just the easy ones.
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