The grant and the publication

A new policy on free and open access to the outputs of publicly funded research has recently been introduced by Research Councils UK.  Publicly funded research can only be published in outlets that:

• Provide immediate and unrestricted access to its articles (which may involve payment of an article processing charge). These can be Open Access journals or subscription journals offering an Open Access option.

• OR where a publisher does not offer this, allow deposit in an appropriate repository (institutional and/or subject) within six or twelve months depending on the Research Council.

Does this mean that “top” journals can no longer publish funded research?  Get ready for the flood of submissions ephemera board!

4 thoughts on “The grant and the publication

  1. I’m sure this is another instance of your hip-ironic-yet-also-serious-if-it-might-end-up-suiting-me comment fishing technique but nevertheless…

    Just over ten years ago, ephemera was one of the very few journals in the social sciences operating along Open Access lines. For many leading journals, top scholarship remains solely a question of the standard of the arguments published. Open Access publishers do not deny this for a second. They do, however, underline how the manner in which journals publish is not a peripheral editorial concern. This isn’t solely a matter of innovating upon how scholarship gets to readers, as the policy you are remarking upon suggests, it is also a matter of dividing the post-author pre-reader labour among an editorial board, rather than outsourcing it to a low cost service supplier. As a guest editor of a forthcoming special issue in a reputable journal you won’t have to worry about these sorts of things. Members of editorial boards do, or at least should, if the Open Access movement counts for anything.

    For many commentators, Open Access is a crucial development, the political, economic and intellectual consequences of which are very hard to predict. David, Geoff, Ken and Simon’s work: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=421672 has already drawn attention to some of the unacknowledged corporate beneficiaries lurking behind the Finch report. More recently, Paul Jump has provided an authoritative overview of the issues under debate: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=422640&c=2. For you, however, this is all simply an opportunity to crack-wise about a journal which many of your colleagues have worked and continue to work on.

    Well done, I nibbled.

  2. On this occasion I was not using my trademark sarcasm and certainly not having a dig at ephemera. (It’s hard to tell, even for me now).

    I was making the point that I suspect there’s plenty of people, I’m one of them, who would love to submit all their work to open source journals like ephemera but don’t because we’re too busy “playing the game” throwing stuff at Leading Journals in the Field. If those journals can’t publish funded research, it must make it difficult for them to continue to be classed as leading their fields. In which case, I suspect that more and more people will submit to classy outputs like ephemera. That will, surely, then put pressures on the editorial board that are not to be sniffed at. I wasn’t sniffing at them. (For what its worth, I’ve done more peer reviews for ephemera over the years than any other journal despite never having even submitted a paper to it. I’m a giver not a taker in this regard).

    • What to make of initiatives such as SAGE Open Access? A cynical attempt to circumvent the scenario you’ve hypothesized, a genuine response to the scholarly community’s call for open access, neither, or both?

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