OASPA is pleased to welcome Nature Publishing Group as a member of the Association. Last month NPG announced that Nature Communications will go open-access only, offering the CC BY 4.0 license by default. NPG also offers an open access option for 73 of their journals, with 38% of research articles published by NPG last year immediately open access under Creative Commons licenses. See NPG’s press release for more information.
Dieter Scholz says
*** „Nature Communications“ does not meet OASPA’s Criteria ***
Nature Publishing Group (NPG) became a member of OASPA based on one OA journal: „Nature Communications“. With just one OA journal (among many subscription based journals) NPG would fulfill minimum requirements at OASPA – if the journal would meet OASPA’s Membership Criteria (https://oaspa.org/membership/membership-criteria), but it fails the test!
What could have caused this failure at OASPA to pass NPG?
a) Maybe the evaluation time 2014-10-20 (journal goes OA) to 2014-10-22 (membership announced) of just two days was too short for a careful check?
b) Maybe it made a difference that Carrie Calder (Nature Publishing Group/Palgrave Macmillan) is on OASPA’s Membership Committee?
Here are OASPA’s criteria that are not met by „Nature Communications“:
* „The publisher has at least one journal that regularly publishes original research or scholarship which is all open access.“
The publisher defines the date when the journal is Open Access equal to the date when the journal accepts only manuscripts intended for OA publishing. This date is 2014-10-20. The criteria are however different. Required is a journal that PUBLISHES articles which are ALL open access. The reality of the journal: It published only about 30% of its articles OA since 2014-10-20. About 70% of the articles lead to a message „Purchase article full text and PDF: €30“. Furthermore, „… subscription content will continue to be published in 2015“ (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/faq/index.html). This would indicate an OASPA membership only as early as 2016!
* „… The guidelines include details of the Open Access policy for this publication.“
The journal does not provide a detailed „Statement on Open Access“ on its website as required here: https://oaspa.org/membership/membership-criteria
* „The journal website and published articles, including pdfs, should clearly show the licensing policy of the journal. The policy should be equivalent to CC BY, however use of the CC BY-NC license is currently also permitted.“
Nature Communications: „The CC BY-NC-ND and CC BY-NC-SA licenses are available on request“. This is not in line with OASPA’s requirements and FAQ (https://oaspa.org/information-resources/frequently-asked-questions/#FAQ6)
* „Journals shall state their advertising policy …“
No such statement found on the journal web page.
* „… the publisher or editor shall follow COPE’s guidelines (or equivalent) in dealing with allegations.“
No such hints found on the journal web page.
* „A journal’s plan for electronic backup and preservation of access to the journal content“
No such statement found on the journal web page.
— More Details —
The PDF of the OA papers contain a text in contradiction to CC BY:
„Reprints and permission information is available online at http://npg.nature.com/reprintsandpermissions/“
This link is leading to:
“Most permission requests can be granted online through the Rightslink® service.”
The CC BY notice at the bottom of the paper contains this information:
„The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material.“
So unfortunately, if the article is CC BY this does not mean that (all) its content is CC BY.
Copyright is „(c) 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved“. The author does not hold copyright anymore! However, the author receives the paper back as CC BY.
By the way:
The APC for Nature Communications is „only“: $5,200 (The Americas), €3,700 (Europe)
(plus VAT or local taxes where applicable)
Claire Redhead says
With apologies for any confusion caused, NPG submitted their application to OASPA in August based on their fully open access journal Scientific Data (http://www.nature.com/sdata/) which meets the criteria for membership. Carrie Calder was not on the OASPA board, and hence not on the Membership Committee, at the time the application was reviewed.
The blog post announcing that Nature Publishing Group, NPG, has joined OASPA was intended to be a brief news item pointing to NPG’s press release. Including details of the fact that Nature Communications is moving to a fully-open access model was to highlight the additional steps being taken at NPG to expand their Open Access offering. From 20th October 2014 all new submissions would be published as open access in Nature Communications if accepted. Subscription-only content already in the pipeline will still be published and will remain behind a subscription barrier for the whole of 2015, and so the journal won’t be fully OA until 2016.
Dieter Scholz says
*** Confusion with NPG goes on ***
*** „Scientific Data“ does not meet all of OASPA’s Criteria ***
The nice thing about OASPA membership is: Publishers only need one journal that complies with OASPA Membership Criteria. If it turns out the first selected showcase journal does not make it, another one is presented: „Scientific Data“.
The nice thing about logic is that I only need to find one of OASPA’s criteria the journal does not meet and it is out and with it the publisher.
„Scientific Data“ does NOT meet this: “A journal’s plan for electronic backup and preservation of access to the journal content (for example, access to main articles via CLOCKSS or PubMedCentral) in the event a journal is no longer published shall be clearly indicated.“
The closest „Scientific Data“ / NPG gets to preservation is with this: http://www.nature.com/authors/open_access/about_open_access.html#Self-archiving
But “Self-archiving and manuscript deposition” has nothing to do with electronic backup, preservation and archiving. Well, it is stated “NPG automatically deposits all open access papers in PubMed Central on publication” and I admit, DOAJ offers also “PMC/Europe PMC/PMC Canada” under its question 23 about “digital archiving policy”, but PMC will only accept medical articles and is hence not suited for archiving of a multi disciplinary journal like „Scientific Data“. NPG needs to sign e.g. an agreement with LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, Portico, or a national library.
“Full members of OASPA acknowledge a common interpretation of Open Access publishing that includes the following components …” (see: https://oaspa.org/membership/membership-criteria).
NPG interprets Open Access differently from what OASPA requires. NPG writes about its journal “Nature Communications“: “The transition to fully open access publishing establishes [note: present tense] Nature Communications as the flagship Nature-branded open access journal” (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/141020/ncomms6523/full/ncomms6523.html).
As Claire states above: “the journal won’t be fully OA until 2016“ and even at that time the journal will not meet the OA definition „… and distribute derivative works … for any responsible purpose“ with CC BY-NC-ND.
OSAPA’s desire to take prestigious NPG on board and to harvest some of this prestige for itself continuously results in bona fide checks along published criteria.
NPG lacks a solid history of OA publishing and even of understanding of the OA definition. Nevertheless, it is not shy to judge about membership applications from other by occupying a seat on OASPA’s Membership Committee.