Physics societies question Rights Retention Strategy

A group of sixteen physics societies, including the Institute of Physics, have issued a joint statement. Achieving greater open access in physics states the societies’ commitment to making open access in Physics a reality but also urges all stakeholders “to ensure that the routes by which we achieve OA preserve the diversity, quality and financial sustainability of the peer-reviewed publishing upon which our research community depends”. Asserting that hybrid journals still have an essential role to play in achieving this end, they express concern that the Rights Retention Strategy proposed by cOAlition S would undermine the viability of high-quality hybrid journals, diminishing the publication options available to researchers in the field.

New deals and partnerships

Jisc has announced two new deals. A transformative agreement with Cambridge University Press, concluded after a year of discussions, will offer participating institutions a range of flexible read-and-publish options, allowing them to join and transition at their own pace. And a new three-year agreement with Emerald Publishing, building on the publisher’s existing zero embargo green open access policy, will see accepted manuscripts from authors whose institutions subscribe to the accepting journal auto-deposited to their institutional repository via Jisc’s Publications Router.

Thieme has agreed a transformative deal with a German consortium comprising ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, and eight other specialist libraries. Authors at participating institutions will be able to publish in four Thieme journals – the International Journal of Sports Medicine, Pharmacopsychiatry, Thrombosis and Haemostasis, and Methods of Information in Medicine – at no additional cost. The agreement follows an initial pilot involving the journal Hormone and Metabolic Research.

The Charlesworth Group has announced a new strategic partnership with Researcher which will see it provide the latter with a package of digital marketing support services, market insight, and advertising sales collaboration to support the growth of the Researcher app in China, where 30% of its 1.8m users are based.

New packages from ALPSP

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) has introduced several new benefits and support packages. A new redundancy support package is being launched this month and will provide individuals made redundant from a member organisation with continued access to all member services and support for up to a year. The following month, a new mentorship scheme will begin, connecting early and mid-career publishers with a wider network of more experienced colleagues. The organisation’s training programme is also expanding and will be run virtually from next month.

Journals news

PLOS has announced two new types of peer-reviewed articles publishable in PLOS ONE from this year: Lab Protocols and Study Protocols. Developed in partnership with protocols.io, Lab Protocols comprise a step-by-step protocol uploaded to protocols.io contextualised by a peer-reviewed article published in PLOS ONE. Study Protocols share detailed plans and proposals for funded research projects that have not yet generated results.

The University of Buckingham Press will be taking on publication of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) journal, the International Journal of Maritime Engineering (IJME) from April.

In brief

UCL Press has unveiled a second collection of research on its new platform, launched last year in partnership with ScienceOpen. This new collection, which covers sustainable development-related research and is aligned with the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), can be accessed from UCL’s new SDG website.

Springer Nature, whose MD for Books, Dr Niels Peter Thomas, recently received a Special Book Award from the State Press and Publication Administration of the People’s Republic of China, has become the latest publisher to join the United Nations’ newly-launched SDG Publishers Compact.


Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University.

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