I recently attended the annual Academic Publishing in Europe (APE) conference in Berlin. This is a two-day meeting that attracts publishers, librarians, funders and others, and covers a variety of topics relevant to research communication. All of the talks are now available for free thanks to the efforts of River Valley TV.
At this year’s meeting, Salvatore Mele organized a session entitled “Open Access: The Facts”, and PLoS was invited to participate focusing on the issues of sustainability and growth of open-access publishing. I presented a short talk on these themes, discussing the strong progress that PLoS has made over the years, the impressive growth that has also been achieved by other open-access publishers, most notably BioMed Central and Hindawi, and the implications for open access of the new market entrants that model themselves on PLoS ONE, such as Nature’s Scientific Reports. Given the scalability and broad scope of these publications, the potential for accelerating the transition to more widespread open access is tantalizing.
The other talks in the open access session were given by Stuart Shieber, from the Office of Scholarly Communication at Harvard and the architect of the Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity who discussed some broad themes associated with open-access publishing; Bettina Goerner who runs the open access program at Springer and talked about the results of the large SOAP project (Study of Open Access Publishing); Caroline Sutton (Co-founder of Co-Action Publishing and President of the Open Access Scholarly Publisers Association), who focused on how OA publishers in particular are challenging some ‘non-core’ publishing practices whilst retaining the core values that remain essential for effective scholarly communication; and Paola Dubini (Director of the Arts, Science and Knowledge Research Centre at the University of Bocconi) who discussed some economic aspects of open access.
There were many other excellent talks at the meeting, covering data issues, peer review and technological innovation amongst much more.