25 October 2017

Open Access Week: Publisher Policy Changes

Publisher policies regarding self-archiving and Open Access evolve regularly. This reality can be frustrating for authors, librarians, repository managers and others who attempt to track and comply with these rules. In today's post, I wanted to point out some policy changes that relate particularly to the forced migration research context.

1. Self-archiving policies:

I use this table to track publisher policies regarding self-archiving for a set of key refugee/migration journals. Specifically, do publishers allow archiving of the postprint and do they stipulate any embargo periods? As I noted yesterday, there has been a general trend on the part of publishers to place greater restrictions on self-archiving. However, some policies have actually become more relaxed:

- Emerald Publishing recently removed embargo periods for all of its journals. This includes the International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, which often carries refugee-related articles.

- Sometime in November 2016, Oxford Journals tweaked its self-archiving policy for the four journals represented in my table (IJRL, JRS, Migr. Stud. & RSQ) to allow authors to immediately upload postprints to their personal webpages upon publication. Past policies only referenced posting preprints on authors' web sites.

- With these changes, there are now 10 journals listed on my table that impose no embargo periods for the uploading of postprints to author web sites. Embargo periods ranging from 6-24 months do still remain for depositing postprints in institutional and/or subject repositories, and sometimes for academic social networks as well.

I hope authors will take advantage of these changes!

2a. APCs for hybrid OA:

In the same table, I also note the publication fees (APCs) for providing hybrid Open Access to articles published in key refugee/migration journals. To date, APCs have remained fairly consistently around $3000. This year, though, APCs have gone down for Disasters, EJML, IJRL, Intl. Migr. and J. Intl. Humanit. Stud., and they have gone up for IJMHSC, JRS and Migr. Stud. The rest have stayed the same.

It is a bit of a mystery why the APCs for Oxford's journals have gone in different directions. They all started at $3000; now IJRL is $2800, JRS & Migration Studies are $3150, and RSQ continues to be $3000!

2b. Uptake of hybrid OA:

Interestingly, the number of authors choosing the hybrid option in key refugee/migration journals is still relatively low. Here, for example, is the total hybrid OA count for Oxford's three refugee titles:

- Journal of Refugee Studies (as of 2005 when the hybrid option was first offered) = 3 articles (in 2006, 2008 & 2016)
- Refugee Survey Quarterly (hybrid option started sometime in 2013) = 3 articles (in 2014, 2016, and 2017)
- International Journal of Refugee Law (hybrid option started sometime in 2013) = 2 articles (in Sept. 2017 and Oct. 2017)

The tallies for other journals that forced migration authors often publish in are not very different, with one exception (based on manual review of issues published 2010-2017; excluded advance access articles):

- Disasters (Wiley) = 3 (first was in 2014)
- European Journal of Migration & Law (Brill) = 5 (first was in 2014)
- Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies (Taylor & Francis) = 3 (first was in 2016)
- International Migration (Wiley) = 6 (first was published in 2014)
- International Migration Review (Wiley) = 2 (first was published in 2014)
- Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies (Taylor & Francis) = 39 (first was in 2010; uptick began in 2015)

It's unclear whether these generally low numbers relate in any way to when a hybrid OA option was first offered, APC rates, the availability of funding to cover APCs, or some other policy. But clearly, the Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies is the exception!

Tagged Publications.

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