Doctoral student funding opportunity


** note May 15 application deadline **

The vision of Sustaining the Knowledge Commons (SKC) is a fully open access scholarly communication ecosystem, one that is free to prioritize the public good and the advancement of the collective knowledge of humankind per se. Thanks to a generous SSHRC Insight Grant for 2016-2021, SKC has some funds for a doctoral student to work in this area. I (Heather Morrison) am the Principal Investigator, and an Assistant Professor with the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Studies that offers a unique bilingual Masters of Information Studies (MIS). I am also cross-appointed to the Department of Communication that is opening a new, innovative bilingual doctorate in communication this September. The deadline for Canadian students to apply for this program is May 15, 2016.

This opportunity would be a great fit for potential students who have done an open access or scholarly communication oriented master’s thesis and/or have relevant work experience (e.g. libraries, publishing). The funding would be up to $12,000 annually, in the form of a bursary or research assistantship based on two semesters work’ of 10 hours per week for 13 weeks. This funding can be combined with other sources of funding and is renewable annually for up to 5 years (starting September 2016), subject to availability of funds and satisfactory progress in the PhD.

To learn more about Sustaining the Knowledge Commons, visit the open research blog and the OA APC dataverse

About the program: uO’s new PhD in communication:

To apply for the doctoral program: the application deadline has been extended to May 15. Further information and a link to the online application form is available through the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Graduate Studies: Please indicate your interest and how your proposed research would fit with Sustaining the Knowledge Commons.

Questions about Sustaining the Knowledge Commons and this funding opportunity should be directed to: Please include information about your background and interests relevant to SKC.

Possibilité de financement de doctorat


**         notez la date limite est le 15 mai **

La vision de Soutenir les Savoirs Communs (SSC) est un écosystème de la communication savante en plein libre accès, un système libre afin de prioriser le bien-être public et l’avancement de la connaissance collective de l’humanité elle-même. Grâce à une généreuse Subvention Savoir du CRSH (2016-2021), SSC a des fonds pour un(e) étudiant(e) de doctorat en ce champ. Je (Heather Morrison) suis la chercheuse principale, et une professeure adjointe à l’École des Sciences de l’Information de l’Université d’Ottawa qui a une Maitrise unique en sciences de l’Information (MSI) bilingue. J’ai aussi une double affection au Départment de Communication qui amorce un nouveau doctorat très innovateur en communication en septembre. La date limite afin de déposer une demande d’admission est le 15 mai 2016.

Cette opportunité serait parfaite pour des étudiants potentiels qui ont fait une thèse de maitrise sur libre accès ou la communication savante et/ou qui ont une expérience de travail pertinente (par exemple, en bibliothéconomie ou en publication). Les fonds disponibles sont jusqu’à 12,000$ annuellement, en forme d’une bourse ou d’un assistant de recherche, basés sur deux semestres de travail de 10 heures par semaine durant 13 semaines. Ces fonds peuvent être utilisé en combinaison avec d’autres sources de soutien financières, et ils sont renouvable annuellement jusqu’a 5 ans (commençant en septembre 2016), conditionnellement à la disponibilité des fonds et du progrès satisfaisant au doc.

Pour en savoir plus au sujet de Soutenir les Savoirs Communs, visitez le blogue de recherche et le dataverse OA APC

À propos du programme…Nouveau! Doctorat en communication

Comment faire une demande d’admission: la date limite a été remise au 15 mai 2016. Plus d’information et un lien verse le formulaire de demande d’admission en ligne sont disponibles au site web d’Études supérieures de l’Université d’Ottawa: Veuillez indiquer votre intérêt et expliquer comment votre projet se lie à Soutenir les Savoirs Sommuns.

Les questions au sujet de Soutenir les Savoirs Communs et ces fonds doivent être posées à Veuillez indiquer votre intérêt et expliquer comment votre projet se lie à Soutenir les Savoirs Communs.


Comparison of BioMed Central APCs from 2010-2016


We compared 2016 BioMed Central (BMC) Article Processing Charges (APCs) in US dollars (USD) with APC data from 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015. A total of 165 matching journal titles were compared.


All but one title has increased its APCs since 2010. Molecular Autism was the only title that decreased. Its APCs were $2200 in 2010 and are now $2145, with a decrease of -3%. 18% was the mode of the percentage of increase since 2010, with 55/165 titles increasing their APCs by 18%, all of these APCs were $1825 and are now $2145. The highest percentage of change (77%) was for the journal, Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, which was charging $1365 in 2010 and is now charging $2410 in 2016. The average price in 2010 was about $1750 while the average price in 2016 is $2197. The chart below shows a comparison of a sample of BMC journal titles with APCs from 2010 and 2016.

Biomed Central APCs 2010 and 2016


Most APCs have increased since 2013 as well. 163/165 increased and two have decreased. The mode of percentage of change from 2013 to 2016 was 4%, 80/165 titles increased by 4%. Another prevalent percentage was 21%. 42 titles increased by 21%, 40/42 of these titles were priced at $1780 in 2013 and increased to $2145 in 2016. Finally, two titles, Molecular Autism and Neural Development, have decreased in price since 2013, both were priced at $2355, but have since reduced in price by $210. The highest percentage of change, 36%, was the Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, which was $1580 in 2013 and is now $2145. The average price in 2013 was $1984, compared to $2197 in 2016.


Interestingly, many APCs increased between 2013 and 2014, but decreased in 2015. APCs of 94 journal titles have decreased since 2014, and two have stayed the same. -3% was the mode of percentage of change for 76 titles, all but one of these was priced at $2215 in 2014, and they are now $2145 in 2016. The highest percentage of change, 17%, was the Health Research Policy and Systems, which was $1960 in 2010 and $2300 in 2016. The lowest percentage of decrease was a tie between Molecular Autism and Neural Development at -16%, both were $2545 in 2014 and are now $2145. The average charges were $2168 in 2014, which is slightly lower than the $2197 average in 2016.


Most, 111/165 (67%), titles’ APCs have stayed the same since 2015. Molecular Autism and Neural Development are the only two titles that have decreased their APCs, from $2450 to $2145. The average APC price has increased from $2149 to $2197. The highest percentage of increase was a tie between 21 journals at 11%, all of these titles were charging $1940 in 2015 and are now charging $2145.

US Inflation Rates Compared to BMC APCs

When comparing the percentage change of BMC APCs from 2010 to 2016, it is clear that most prices have increased at a higher rate than the US rate of inflation. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, lists the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) or US inflation rates for each year from 2010 to 2015 as: 2010: 1.6%, 2011: 3.2%, 2012: 2.1%, 2013: 1.5%, 2014: 1.6%, 2015: 0.1% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). When compounded, the US inflation rate from 2010 to 2016 comes to 8.7%. However, when comparing BMC’s APCs, most titles (148/165) have increased by 18% or more since 2010.

In 2010, $1825 was the most prevalent APC amount listed by BMC. According to the CPI Inflation Calculator provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that price in 2016 would be $1,984.48. However, BMC lists all APCs that were formerly $1825, for example BMC Anesthesiology, in 2010 as $2145 in 2016. The chart below compares the price of BMC Anesthesiology using the US inflation rate against the BMC APC. As you can see, in 2014 the APC, like many APCs, increased (from $2060 in 2013 to $2215 in 2014), but decreased to $2145 in 2015 and has remained at this price as of April 13, 2016.

Our comparison of inflation rates to APCs harkens back to the Report on the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Serials Project by Ann Okerson (1989). The objective of Okerson’s study was to test the hypothesis that subscription prices had risen at a faster rate than inflation in publishing costs, which was found to be true (1989). In our case, a majority of APCs have stayed the same since 2015, but most APCs have increased at a higher rate than the rate of inflation when comparing 2010 to 2016 charges. These mixed results suggest that BMC’s APCs could be increasing over time at a faster rate than the rate of inflation, however it is too soon to say what the future will hold. We will continue to monitor BMC’s APCs in order to gain insight into future pricing trends.

Screenshot (75)


BioMed Central. (2016). Fees and funding. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). CPI Inflation Calculator. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from

Okerson, A. (1989). Report on the ARL Serials Project. The Serials Librarian, 17(3-4), 111-119. doi:10.1300/j123v17n03_15

March 31 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

Cross-posted from the Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics


There are now 150 publishers of peer-reviewed open access books listed in the Directory of Open Access Books, publishing more than 4,400 open access books. 620 books were published in this quarter alone, a 16% increase in just this quarter.

The Directory of Open Access Journals has been adding titles at a net rate of 6 titles per day, 540 journals added this quarter for a total of over 11,000 journals. This is the highest DOAJ growth rate since this series started!

Bielefeld Academic Search Engine repositories collectively added more than 4.7 million documents this quarter for a total of just under 89 million documents.

SCOAP3 nearly doubled in size this past year (87% annual growth) for a total of 4,690 documents. arXiv grew by over 107,000 documents to over 1.1 million documents during the same time frame.

Internet Archive is likely to be featured in the next issue as it is currently edging towards a milestone of 10 million free texts.

The number of journals actively participating in PubMedCentral, making all content immediately freely accessible, and making all content open access, continues to grow. Meanwhile at PubMed a transition in indexing practice (from manual to automatic) means that a search for NIH-funded articles in the last 90 days significantly underreports results (1,402 NIH funded articles in the past 90 days compared with a range of 7,846 – 19,790 with a 90-day search limit for NIH funded article since 2008). Without the indexing, it is not possible to determine the percentage of full text. Here’s hoping the automated indexing process results in a catch-up soon; it doesn’t matter very much if the statistics for this series fall a bit behind, but people rely on this indexing to search for medical information.

The Electronic Journals Library added 3,612 journals that can be read free-of-charge in the past year, for a total of 52,000 journals, a 7% growth rate.

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access series. Open data can be downloaded from the Dramatic Growth of Open Access dataverse.

Merci à CRSH / Thanks to SSHRC

Je veux remercier le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines (CRSH) du Gouvernement du Canada de confirmer une Subvention Savoir pour continuer le travail de Soutenir les savoirs communs jusqu’a le 31 mars 2021.

I would like to thank Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for confirming the award of an Insight Grant to continue the work of Sustaining the Knowledge Commons until March 31, 2021.

Total: $182,455