Save the date! April 1, 2017 all-day open access workshop at University of Ottawa

On Saturday, April 1, 2017, Sustaining the Knowledge Commons is co-sponsoring an all-day open access workshop at the University of Ottawa. The workshop, part of a new master’s-level special topics course on open access, ISI 6300, will be designed to facilitate conversation on emerging topics in open access and related areas, and will feature local and visiting scholars engaged in various open access initiatives and research in addition to student presentations. Presentations will be in French or English and discussion welcome in either language. Registration will be free but required.

Confirmed speakers to date:

Inma Aleixos Borrás. Visiting Scholar. Tentative topic. “European Commission policies on (research) Open Data”. Website:

Victoria Volkanova. Visiting Librarian « Les pratiques de publication des chercheurs en milieu francophone minoritaire à l’ère numérique » (see the SKC About the Team page for bio info).

Susan Spronk. University of Ottawa – Faculty of Social Sciences & Editor, Studies in Political Economy.

Kyle Conway & Bill Crahere: The Digital Press @ University of North Dakota

Mary Francoli h Open government


École des Sciences de l’Information | School of Information Studies

The Association des étudiants en sciences de l’information / Information Studies Student Association (AÉSISSA)

University of Ottawa Digital Humanities | Université d’Ottawa Sciences Humaines Numériques

Sustaining the Knowledge Commons | Soutenir les Savoirs Communs (SKC):

Watch for further details as planning unfolds early in 2017.

The workshop is part of a special topics class on open access, ISI 6300. An early draft of the course outline is available here:

Oxford Open: Increased the Number of Open Access Journal

Oxford Open wants to distribute journals of high-quality research but to be able to publish the journal in the open access model. They do charge article processing fees for most of their journals. Oxford Open also has journals that the author can choose the open access option (hybrid journals), but for the purpose of our research, we only use the journal that is available fully in open access.

By collecting the information about the open-access journals I noticed that only 14 of their journals don’t have any processing charge and some of them don’t have them, but only for 2016.


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On their website I was able to collect 35 journal titles, the DOAJ only has 16. They seem to aim for more journals that will be available without fees for the user.


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In 2015 they had 11 journals and we sampled 5 of them. Only two have increased their price and the other three journals the price remained the same. The Journal DNA Research has increased the most of their processing fees in 2016. It has risen by 50%. However, the Nucleic Acids Research  has a rise they processing fees from 1400 GBP in 2015 to 1420 GBP in 2016.


Libertas Academica: follow-up

by Widlyne Brutus and Victoria Volkanova


We recently reviewed the APCs of the publisher Libertas Academica for the year 2016 and found a mostly steady pricing compared with the year 2015. The fees are now listed in USD and GBP only, the latter replacing both Euro and Japanese Yen which were used in the previous years for authors from outside of North America. We also have noted the tendency to standardized pricing for the majority of the OA journals: US$1,848 / 1,399 GBP for the journals that are included in PubMed Central (PMC), and US$1,699 /1,299 GBP for the journals that are not included in PMC.


According to its website, Libertas Academica (LA) publishes 83 international, peer-reviewed scientific, technical and medical journals.  Most of the LA journals are open access with the exception of the Clinical Medicine Reviews series that operates under the traditional subscription or pay-per-view model (

Last year we reviewed the APCs (or APFs, as they call it) of this publisher and found out the overall increases in all currencies (USD, Euros and Japanese Yen) that were much greater than the normal inflation rate warranted. In the comments to the original post, Tom Hill from Libertas Academica provided some explanation for the price increases, more specifically the addition of many journals to PubMed Central (i.e. XML creation, image quality requirements and additional quality control) and the depreciation of the Euro and the Yen, which were the two currencies used for authors from outside of North America. He also pointed out the ongoing possibility of fee waivers and discounts for authors.

Recently we revisited Libertas Academica’s website and compared their 2016 APCs with the previous years. First of all, we’ve noted one significant change in the currencies used: as of 2016, the authors from North America pay APCs in USD, whereas the authors from the rest of the world pay in GBP. We couldn’t find any explanation as to the reasons for which the publisher dropped both the Euro and the Japanese Yen in favour of the British Pound. Some of the possible reasons are the location of the company’s key external service providers in the United Kingdom (as well as in India and in New York, USA); generous UK APCs funding (RCUK, Wellcome Trust), or else the relative stability of this particular currency.

On a side note, the institutional membership fees are charged in USD only and go from US$3,300 to US$13,500, entitling the member institutions for an APC discount varying from 5% to 25%. So far, only one institution has subscribed to this option.

Another observation is the unified APCs for the journals that are being included in PubMed Central: US$1,848 and 1,399 GBP respectively. The fee in USD has remained stable for most journals. However, depending on the exchange rate between GBP and Euro (fluctuations ranging from 1.1054 to 1.4286 – GBP to Euro – in the past year, according to the Bank of England), the new price represents either a slight decrease (0.91% at the low point) or an increase of 1.17% at the high point.

For most journals that are not being included in PubMed Central, the APCs have been standardized at US$1,699 /1,299 GBP, which once again ranges from staying the same as in the year 2015 (for the APCs in USD and in some cases for the rest of the world) to an average increase of 1.47% (min being 1.28 % and max being 1.66%) for the other currencies.

However, there are a few exceptions to the standardized APCs (PMC- included or not): the journals Gene Expression to Genetical Genomics, Genomics Insights, and International Journal of Insect Science saw an increase of 1.59% in their 2016 APCs payable in GBP (1,399). Out of the three journals, Gene Expression to Genetical Genomics is not currently included in PMC.

As to the APCs stated previously in the Japanese Yen, the recent switch to the GBP had practically no impact: the charges fluctuated slightly between 0.916 % and 1.104 % compared to the previous year.

According to the LA’s website, the journals Breast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research, Infectious Diseases: Research and Treatment, Palliative Care: Research and Treatment, and Virology: Research and Treatment are included in PMC, however, these titles do not appear on the PMC list as of November 1st, 2016 (

Hikari- favor some disciplines?

Hikari is a publisher of journals in science, technology and medicine founded in 2005. They used to be in the DOAJ 2015, but in 2016 the publisher isn’t mentioned in the directory. The publisher didn’t change the amount of their OA APC. The majority of the journals still charge processing fees but they no longer charge publication fees in the fields of medicine and economics. This means that of their 20 journals, 4 of them no longer have publication fees. 25 percent of their journals have no publication fees. The journals that still have publication fees charge 200 EUR per page up to 8 pages and an extra 25 EUR per pages for the additional pages.

Medknow 2016: it’s complicated!

by Widlyne Brutus and Heather Morrison


Medknow is an emerging commercial scholarly journal publisher based in the developing world (India) that is owned by one of the oldest and most traditional western-based commercial publishers, Wolters Kluwer, that publishes in partnership with many long-standing traditional society and university journals. Even though the publisher is for-profit by nature, the majority of journals do not charge APCs. Of the journals that do charge APCs, most have not changed price between 2015 and 2016; some journals are adding or dropping APCs, and a few have lowered their APC. However, we identified 16 journals that did raise APCs from 2015 to 2016, in some cases by substantial amounts (over 50%, some even doubling or tripling in price).



Medknow is a commercial publisher of peer-review medical journals that originated in India. This publisher has partnerships with many associations, societies and universities and its publications include many long-standing not-for-profit journals. Of the 141 journals published by Medknow, more than half (83 journals) are published in partnership with universities and learned societies.

A traditional commercial scholarly publisher, with a history dating back to 1836, Wolters Kluwer, acquired Medknow in 2011. The reason for mentioning this is as one example of how the distinction between traditional and open access publishers may not be as relevant today as it used to be.

The partnership with the not-for-profit societies and universities likely explains why less than half of Medknow journals (70 journals) charge an APC as of 2016 (an increase from 61 journals with APCs in 2015).

In 2016, there are 26 journals that clearly state that there is no processing charge, down from 28 journals in 2015. It is not always clear whether there is an APC or not. In 2016 we note 38 journals with no cost found (meaning we did not find either an APC or clear language stating that there is no APC), down slightly from 41 in 2015.

There 28 publication in 2015 that have no publication fees and in 2016 26 publication have no processing charge.

Widlyne compared the averages of the article processing charge for the year of 2015 and 2016.

The average in 2015 was $285 and in 2016, $173 in US dollar. While the price seems to have decreased, this likely reflects currency fluctuations as the primary currency for a large portion of the journals is not USD, for example Indian rupees as the primary currency is very common. So this information should not be taking as a proof of the decrease of APC.

Comparing prices on a journal-by-journal basis, most of the prices did not change (31 journals had exactly the same price). Four journals lowered their APC and two no longer charge APC’s.

16 journals have increased their APCs, this table show which journal have increase their APC’s, the amount for 2015 and 2016 and the percentage of increase.


As you can see most of these journals have increase their APC considerably; at least 8 journals increased their price by more than half. Some journals even doubled or tripled their prices


Inside e-life: what it costs to publish

Update September 6: Kent Anderson has published a critique of e-life’s annual report on the Scholarly Kitchen blog (published by the Society for Scholarly Publishing). Thanks to Danny Kingsley on the Global Open Access List.

Thanks to Emily Packer, e-life Press Office, via the SSP list for the following, and to e-life for their transparency. As a bit of context, e-life is a new journal aiming to compete with the most prestigious scholarly journals. Their costs are quite a bit higher than the average APC, reflecting a number of factors, including paying editors and significant staff costs, and the costs of developing their own technology platform (now available to all as open source).

Emily Packer’s message:

Of interest, eLife has published its 2015 annual report, detailing our costs of publishing versus those of our technology innovation and development.

Every year since 2012, eLife has published an annual report on activities along with our US Form 990 (required for our type of non-profit organisation) and our audited financial accounts. This year, we present a deeper view of our 2015 financials, covering publishing and non-publishing expenses.

As part of our ambition to change how science publishing works, especially among highly selective journals, we hope that being transparent about our costs will help set a future course for research communication that is efficient and sustainable.

eLife’s Executive Director, Mark Patterson, and Head of External Relations, Jennifer McLennan, have written a blog post that provides further information about our costs ( and the Times Higher Education featured a news piece:

Our 2015 annual report is also available to view here:

SKC seeking senior international undergrads for 2017 summer interships (English or French)

Sustaining the Knowledge Commons (SKC) has openings for up to 2 senior international undergraduates for a 12-week research internship starting May 2017. Your assistance in identifying and encouraging suitable applicants would be greatly appreciated. Brief information about the Globalink Research Internships and links to application information follows along with details about the SKC project. To find the project on the Globalink projects page, search for “open access” with the languages “English or French” and select the project titled “Soutenir les savoirs communs: littérature savante en libre accès”. Note that SKC interns can work in English, French, or both as desired.

Mitacs Globalink (Français suit)

The student call for applications for Globalink Research Internships is now open. To access the list of eligible projects, please visit our online database at The deadline to apply is September 20, 2016, at 4:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

The Globalink Research Internship offers a 12-week research project at Canadian universities for high-achieving senior undergraduates from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. Starting May 2017, approved students travel to Canada, where they work with a faculty supervisor and other researchers at their host universities.

Interns receive:

Stipend for living expenses
Professional development workshops
Local Globalink Mentors

For more information visit the Globalink Research Internships web page.
L’appel destiné aux étudiants pour les stages de recherche Globalink est maintenant lancé. Pour accéder à la liste des projets retenus, veuillez consulter notre base de données en ligne à l’adresse . La date limite pour présenter une demande est le 20 septembre 2016 à 16h, heure avancée du Pacifique (HAP).

Le Programme de stages de recherche Mitacs Globalink offre un projet de recherche de 12 semaines dans une université canadienne aux finissants de premier cycle de l’Allemagne, de l’Arabie saoudite, de l’Australie, du Brésil, de la Chine, de la France, de l’Inde, du Mexique et de la Tunisie. À partir du mois de mai 2017, les candidats retenus voyageront au Canada où ils travailleront avec un superviseur universitaire et d’autres chercheurs à leur université d’accueil.

Voici ce qui est offert aux stagiaires :

une allocation pour les frais de subsistance;
des ateliers de perfectionnement professionnel;
un mentor Globalink local

Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements, consultez la page du Programme de stages de recherche Globalink.

Soutenir les savoirs communs: littérature savante en libre accès / Sustaining the knowledge commons: open access scholarship (Français suit)

There is a broad consensus among researchers, librarians, research funding agencies, non-governmental organizations and even most scholarly publishers that today the optimum method of sharing the results of research is open access, that is, articles, books and data that are freely available through the internet. The dilemma is how to transform a system based on demand (subscriptions and purchases) to a system based on production in order to sustain free access for the reader. Sustaining the knowledge commons targets the means of transformation by studying the models used by open access scholarly journals (for example, article processing fees or subsidies). Thanks to a generous grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, we are a team in the process of growth consisting of the principal investigator and several students, most of whom are at the graduate level. We are conducting a longitudinal study using an innovative open research approach. We publish our data and results as part of the work process. The idea is to facilitate research in this area (for example, other researchers use our data) and to speed up knowledge translation, because there are organizations that want to accelerate the transformation process by using their funds, ike the signatories of OA 2020 Student training is central to the project. The interns will have lots of opportunities to learn about the issues of open access and research methods, including data management and how to plan, execute and write up the results of mini-research projects in the form of blogposts. This is an unparalleled opportunity to learn in an area that is of interest to research agencies, universities and their libraries, publishing houses and those who pay for scholarly publishing. This training will be very useful for students who want to continue on to graduate studies or to join the workforce. The team is bilingual. As you prefer, you can work entirely in English or French or both languages.

Il y a un large consensus parmi les chercheurs, bibliothécaires, les agences de fonds de la recherche, les organismes non gouvernementaux et même la plupart des maisons d’édition, qu’aujourd’hui la méthode optimale de partage les résultats de la recherche est libre accès, ça veut dire que les articles, livres, et données sont disponibles gratuitement sur l’internet. Le dilemme est comment transformer un système basé sur demande (abonnements et achats) en un système basé sur production afin de soutenir l’accès gratuit au lecteur. Soutenir les savoirs communs cible les moyens de transformation en étudiant les modèles utilisés par les revues savants en libre accès (par exemple, les frais de publication ou les subventions). Grâce à une subvention généreuse du Conseil de recherche en sciences humaines, nous sommes une équipe en train de grandir qui consiste de la chercheuse principale et quelques étudiants, la plupart au niveau de troisième cycle. Nous faisons une étude longitudinale en utilisant une approche innovatrice de la recherche ouverte. Nous publions nos données et nos résultats en processus de travail. L’idée est de faciliter la recherche (d’autres chercheurs utilisent nos données, par exemple) et d’accélérer le transfert des connaissances, car il y a les organismes qui veulent accélérer la transformation en libre accès en utilisant leurs fonds comme les signataires de OA2020 formation des étudiants est centrale au projet. Les internes auront beaucoup d’occasion d’apprendre les enjeux de libre accès et les méthodes de la recherche, incluant la gestion des données, la planification, exécution et rédaction des petits projets de la recherche en forme de postes de blogues. Ceci est une opportunité sans parallèle d’apprentissage dans un sujet qui intéresse les agences des fonds de la recherche, les universités et leurs bibliothèques, les maisons d’édition et les payeurs. La formation serait très utile aux étudiants qui veulent continuer au troisième cycle ou qui veulent joindre le monde de travail. L’équipe est bilingue. Selon vos préférences, vous pouvez travailler entièrement en français, en anglais, ou tous les deux.

Dr. Heather Morrison
Assistant Professor
École des sciences de l’information / School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa
Sustaining the Knowledge Commons