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Feasibility of Open Access for journals supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) El. Pub 2007, Vienna University of Technology, Austria June 13 -15, 2007 Leslie Chan, U of Toronto Scarborough Fran Groen, Mc. Gill University Jean-Claude Gudeon, U de Montréal
Background o o Why the study? Methods Key observations Recommendations
What is SSHRC? o o o an arm's-length federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the social sciences and humanities founded in 1977, invests more than $300 million annually in research Aid to Scholarly Publishing Program: Monographs and Journals
Why the study? o o o SSHRC Council adopted OA in principle in October 2004 Initial consultation in 2005 Need for broader consultation Policy development Implementation
Support for OA Yes No Researchers 84 58 26 University Presses 2 1 1 Journal Editors 26 14 12 Librarians 12 12 0 Scholarly Associations Total 5 4 1 129 89 40 Initial Consultation by SSHRC 2005
Current study o o 161 Journals that received funding from SSHRC 2004 -7 Questionnaire to journal editors or key contacts Citation analysis of SSHRC-funded journals using ISI Journal Citation Report Interview of selected publishers and librarians
Key findings o o o The 161 journals received a total of $6, 582, 255 from 2004 -07 Range of grant over three years: $2, 906 to $73, 370 29 journals (18% of titles) received the maximum grant for a total of $2, 127, 730 Grants cover on average 45 -50% of a journal’s operating cost All journals have a minimum of 250 paid subscribers, thought the total are difficult to estimate in most cases
Questionnaire results o o o Web based survey conducted in May and June 2006 42% response rate (67 out of 161 journals) 56 Anglophone and 11 Francophone
Questionnaire results o o o 80% of journals are online Some as early as 1993, but most came on since 2002 Only 40% of the journals have the most recent issue online Variety of formats, from scans to true text Metadata standard lacking Few have long term preservation plan
Questionnaire results o o 84% of English journals reply on aggregators for online delivery (Proquest being most popular) All 9 Francophone journals report the use of Érudit 55% of English journals receive no financial compensation from aggregators None of the Francophone journals receive financial compensation
Questionnaire results o o There were considerable confusion regarding ownership of digital rights to the journals Some thought aggregators own the rights, some thought authors do, while others thought the publishers
Questionnaire results o Are you in favour of open access in principle (leaving economic issues aside for the moment)? n n n English: 78% of 54 respondents said yes French: 60% or 10 respondents said yes Many objected to the way the question was phrased!
Questionnaire results o Immediate OA or 6 months moving wall? n n English: 74% of 49 respondents favoured moving wall French: 91% of 11 respondents favoured moving wall
Questionnaire results o Should SSHRC mandate OA for journals receiving aid? n n English: 84% of 57 respondents opposed mandating OA French: 82% of 11 respondents opposed mandting OA
Questionnaire results o Should SSHRC provide financial support for subscription-based journals to become OA? n n English: 71% of 52 respondents said yes French: 64% of 11 respondents said yes
Questionnaire results o Should SSHRC provide support for OA journals and consider eligibility criteria appropriate for these titles? n n o English: 82% of 49 respondents said yes French: 64% of 11 respondents said yes Peer review is regarded by most respondents as being the key criterion
Questionnaire results o Qualitative responses n n n Many expressed concerns and distrust with SSHRC’s policy Major concern with financial viability How could lost revenue through subscription be recouped Some favour an extended moving wall (up to 2 years) to minimize potential lost Some are concern what money spent on supporting OA journals will diminish support for traditional titles
Citation analysis o o Of the 161 titles (90 titles in the social sciences), only 21 titles (23 %) had an impact factor assigned by ISI in 1997 or 2005 2 titles with an impact factor in 1997 had lost it by 2005. 3 titles had an impact factor in 2005 but not in 1997. This means that only 19 titles had an impact factor in 2005 (or 21% of the social science titles supported by SSHRC). No SSHRC-supported humanities journal appears in the 21 titles.
Citation analysis o o The majority of SSHRC-supported journals simply do not appear in ISI. Those that appear, with very few exceptions, hold a very modest rank. Their impact factor compared to the leading publication in their own field is often minuscule. Only two titles are ranked in the top ten of their respective fields. Impact factors of the few titles that have them suggest that AUTHORS publishing in SSHRCsupported journal will not be readily cited.
Observations o o o The low citation and usage of SSHRC funded journals call into question the return on investment on SSHRC funding Will OA increase the usage and impact of articles published in SSHRC funded journals? If so, what additional cost could make this happen?
Recommendations -- “Green” road o o o Regarding journals: SSHRC should mandate that all SSHRC supported jouranls be made “green” Regarding authors: SSHRC funded authors should self-archiving their publications in institutional repositories Regarding Institutional Repositories: SSHRC should collaborate with all relevant organizations and institutions to ensure interoperability and standards of IR
Recommendations -- “Gold” road o o SSHRC should conduct experiments with journals willing to transition to OA SSHRC should begin a pilot OA journal program and monitor its progress over a three year period SSHRC should establish eligibility criteria for OA journals so they can receive subsidy SSHRC should encourage the development of alternative metrices for the evaluation of journals move from need based to usage based
Conclusions o o Indeed Not One Size Fits All And OA is not All or None But the Future is in our hands To SSHRC: Supporting SS & H journals is worthwhile, but money could be better spent on improving access and research impact - so OA is the best route
Afterword o SSHRC announced, in May 2007, a new one-year experimental program supporting OA journal http: //www. sshrc. ca/web/apply/program_descriptions/open_access_journals_e. asp o o o Maximum funding for a journal: $25, 000 Usage based metric $850 per article Up to $5000 for distribution, electronic platform etc. Quality criteria - peer review and international editorial board