Flipping Journals to Open Access – Resources for UCSF

Last August, the UCSF Library and the Academic Senate organized a roundtable for journal editors to talk about considerations for transitioning subscription journals to an open access (OA) model. OA publishing has continued to slowly but steadily grow over the last ten years, leading some journal editors and publishers to seek options and opportunities to ‘flip’ journals that are only accessible through a subscription paywall to an open access model so that anybody, anywhere can freely access and use the journal’s online content.

Ten UCSF editors-in-chief, associate editors, and editorial board members serving a wide scope of journals came together in the Lange Room at the Parnassus Campus Library to learn about the current OA landscape from Associate Professor Rich Schneider and the Library. Dan Morgan, Publisher at UC Press, then led the group through considerations for journals to flip to OA. A chief concern for getting started is establishing who owns the journal, and whether they want an OA transition or need convincing.

Roundtable participants talked about the structure of their journals and engaged over topics such as how transitioning to OA affects a journal’s revenue, impact, and submission rate. Participants also wondered whether institutions and libraries are truly willing and able to financially support OA publishing fees by adequately budgeting for them. Morgan, Schneider and University Librarian Chris Shaffer illustrated how it is not just journals and publishers that are transitioning to OA—budgets at many institutions and libraries are being adapted to support OA as well. UCSF has expressed its intention to divert budgets towards OA in signing on to the OA2020 initiative, and this transition was indeed the main theme at the October 2018 working forum in Berkeley, Choosing Pathways to OA (CP2OA).

The roundtable editors found the event informative and helpful for understanding OA publishing and how to talk about OA with their publishers. One of the key resources shared with the roundtable participants, Guide to Transitioning Journals to Open Access Publishing, was recently publicly released by the University of California Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC). This guide is part of a new OSC site called Transitioning Journals to OA, which includes a checklist of considerations for transitioning OA journals. Read about how this toolkit came about. A related effort to assist scholarly societies, Transitioning Society Publications to OA, spun out of the CP2OA event to provide resources and support to societies.

If you’d like to play a role in helping a journal transition to OA, or have questions or feedback, the Library is here to help! Get in touch.

Are you on the editorial board for a journal? Let us know so we can keep track of UCSF editors for future scholarly communication events.

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