“Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion”

“Science should not be a luxury and knowledge should not be a commodity, it should be a basic human right.” – Jack Andraka, Open Access Week 2014

COVID-19 has undoubtedly shone a light on the need for accessible research. As the pandemic continues and researchers work hard to enhance the world’s knowledge of the virus, open access research offers an opportunity to build a more equitable system of knowledge sharing. Open Access Week 2020 celebrates the theme of “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion” and we are pleased to reflect briefly on some steps we have taken which support this theme.

Free access in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and in support of the academic community, EDP Sciences announced its decision to make all 2018-2020 content free to access from March until the end of August 2020. The aim was to support researchers and academics facing disruption and challenges and to ensure unrestricted access to any and all content that could be useful in these exceptional circumstances.

Subscribe to Open

Earlier this year, Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena (MMNP) transitioned to open access under the Subscribe to Open model and became the first mathematics journal to do so. As of March 2020, all articles in MMNP have been published open access, including the topical issue “Coronavirus: Scientific insights and societal aspects”. Following the success of this pilot, EDP Sciences was thrilled to announce the transition of a further five mathematics journals to open access under this model from January 2021.

As was noted at the time by Agnès Henri, Managing Director, “We believe a diversity of publishing models guarantees the long-term scientific independence of researchers and are encouraged by the support from the community for this model.” Not only are authors able to publish open access, free of charge in S2O journals, but articles are published under a CC-BY 4.0 license which allows authors to retain the copyright and others to share and adapt the content. In short, S2O represents a sustainable and ethical way of transitioning journals to open access.

“Panel Discussion: Subscribe to Open: A new path to Open Access”

EDP Sciences is pleased to announce that Charlotte Van Rooyen, Head of Marketing and Communications, is joining a De Gruyter panel on the S2O initiative later this week, 22 October at 3:00PM CEST. First introduced by Annual Reviews, the Subscribe to Open model offers an alternative way to transition subscription journals to open access without Article Processing Charges (APCs). Charlotte joins speakers from EMS Press, De Gruyter, and Amsterdam University Press to discuss S2O - the pros and cons, and future prospects of the model - and answer questions. Register here.

EDP Sciences is also involved in the Subscribe to Open Community of Practice, set up by Annual Reviews. The Community of Practice aims to bring together librarians and publishers involved in S2O projects. Charlotte Van Rooyen again represents EDP Sciences and has enjoyed the wide-ranging discussions including the different “flavours” of S2O models, and the basic principles that constitute “subscribe to open”.

Involvement in the OA Switchboard Advisory Group

Earlier this year, Anne Simoneau, Director of Business Development, was invited to join the Advisory Group of the OA Switchboardproject. The Advisory Group is part of the organisation and governance of the project which aims to “facilitate the fulfilment of open access strategies across business models, policies, and agreements.” (The OA Switchboard Initiative). We are pleased to take part in the OA Switchboard and keen to embrace similar opportunities to further open access whenever possible.

Open Access Agreements

Over the course of 2020, EDP Sciences has negotiated or extended several open access deals (involving waivers or discounts) which enable more authors to publish open access. These include an agreement with the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences; the inclusion of Université de Savoie Mont Blanc in the French National Open Access Agreement; the pure publish open access deal between Acta Acustica and the CNRS; and finally, the extension of the German National APC agreement with the Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB). EDP Sciences is committed to securing funding for APCs via such agreements in order to make open access available to as many authors as possible.

Looking ahead

EDP Sciences believes that the movement towards open access publishing, and accessibility for all, will enhance the quality and impact of academic publishing. This year, several new open access journals have been launched including Acta Acustica and Visualized Cancer Medicine. We are also helping a number of journals to explore open data and open peer review. We should also mention EDP Open Books which continue to go from strength-to-strength.

Evidently, we are committed to facilitating a comprehensive transition to open access over the coming years and agree that “Diversity, equity, and inclusion must be consistently prioritized year-round and integrated into the fabric of the open community…” (Open Access Week website) In this spirit, we are nurturing the next generation of authors through our Masterclasses during which we underline the importance of open science.

We would like to end by thanking all our editorial staff, reviewers, and authors for their unwavering support during a challenging year. Their tireless commitment has helped EDP Sciences to extend access to research and support the wider community.