[Taxacom] UNESCO Open Science Recommendation

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sat Mar 7 16:32:56 CST 2020


Thanks for the clarification. Here in the US the institution must 'claim'
the overheads before a grant is submitted for funding so it is
explicitly part of the total budget. That amount cannot be changed
afterward so with that I am not sure what really changes with OA or not.
But you seem to be referring to a situation where overhead is taken out one an
institution secures an external grant -h if not part of the original
budget total would certainly have to reduce the level of research (but I am
not aware of that approach which would make no sense at all).

Where grant funding comes from business/corporations, the money is not
public money (other than int he sense that the businesses get their money
from paid subscription to their service - wither for goods or services).

Also, again in the US, some funding sources do not pay for overhead, or
will only pay a smaller amount. In these cases an institution may accept
that for individual grants (have personally benefited from that option).

John Grehan

On Sat, Mar 7, 2020 at 5:21 PM Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
wrote:

> John,
> I have tried to explain this several times already. I don't know how it
> might differ from country to country, but I suspect that it is fairly
> standard. When an institution secures an external grant of $x, the first
> thing that happens is that they claim a set proportion (maybe as much as
> 50%, but it doesn't matter) as "overheads". This is the only money that the
> institution makes from the funding, the remainder must be spent on
> research. Until OA became a thing, institutions could not spend any of the
> remainder on literature subscriptions, they had to pay with their own
> money. With OA, they can pay the publication costs for the research out of
> the remainder (which is not their money). In order to maximise revenue,
> this process has to be repeated as quickly and efficiently as possible,
> i.e. secure a new grant, claim the overheads, spend the remainder and
> repeat. If it takes too long to spend the remainder, then that just holds
> things up. So, it benefits the institution if as much of the remainder as
> possible is spent "strategically", i.e. quickly and efficiently. There are
> several ways this might be done. One is simply to overload projects with
> expenses like travel and accommodation. This is certainly happening. OA
> provides another way, i.e. by paying high APCs to make publications OA. The
> key point is that although the research institution is paying publishers,
> they are not paying with their own money! It is public money.
> Stephen
>
> On Saturday, 7 March 2020, 10:09:45 pm UTC, John Grehan via Taxacom <
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
>
>
> Stephen, could you be more specific about what institutions would be able
> "to strategically ditch some of the remaining funding, after the
> "overheads" have been claimed, such that their employee scientists have to
> do less work per dollar of "overheads" claimed by the institution". I guess
> I am a bit puzzled about this, but then I really only have experience of a
> couple of US university system. In grant funding where overhead was
> allowed, it was a set percentage regardless of the research and the
> research budget. The amount of work done was set by the research budget,
> not the overhead (which was used toward general university facilities
> costs). So I am not sure how the university would "ditch" any of the
> research funding or that the research time/effort would be reduced by any
> of the overheads going towards open access (if I understand correctly that
> is what you suggest). Perhaps its different in NZ or elsewhere (any other
> clarification of that would be interesting).
>
> John Grehan
>
> On Sat, Mar 7, 2020 at 5:01 PM Stephen Thorpe via Taxacom <
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
>
> >  Wouter said: "I agree, paying over $500 per OA page of a paper benefits
> > nobody except the publisher". Actually, that may be importantly
> incorrect.
> > It may also, as I have already tried to explain, benefit the research
> > institution if they claim overheads from external funding. It allows them
> > to strategically ditch some of the remaining funding, after the
> "overheads"
> > have been claimed, such that their employee scientists have to do less
> work
> > per dollar of "overheads" claimed by the institution. This clearly
> results
> > in a more efficient funding stream for the institution. So, research
> > institutions AND commercial publishers may both benefit from high APCs
> for
> > OA. That is going to be a powerful force determining how things pan out
> in
> > relation to OA, don't you think? Scientists objecting to it are
> effectively
> > threatening their employing institution's ability to profit from external
> > funding. It wouldn't surprise me if any such scientists found themselves
> > somewhat overlooked for promotion, etc.!
> > Stephen
> >    On Saturday, 7 March 2020, 09:44:02 pm UTC, Wouter Addink via Taxacom
> <
> > taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
> >
> >  Interesting comments. I agree, paying over $500 per OA page of a paper
> > benefits nobody except the publisher. That is not a problem with OA, it
> is
> > a problem with the publishers monopoly. I see too logical options,
> > Either institutes/universities (or funders) unite and bargain reasonable
> > prices (the journals provide a service, it does not have to be totally
> > free) or we publish entirely without journals but with some measurements
> to
> > sustain societies.
> >
> >
> > Op za 7 mrt. 2020 20:31 schreef Nick Grishin via Taxacom <
> > taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>:
> >
> > > > OA will prevail.
> > >
> > > Yes it will. Indeed, science benefits best from open and free
> > > communication.
> > >
> > > But the way OA is implemented today is unreasonable. Paying over $500
> per
> > > OA page of a paper benefits nobody except the publisher.
> > >
> > > The amount a journal charges depends on how the journal feels about its
> > > standing in the field. Starting OA journals charge less. More
> prestigious
> > > journals charge more. I love Pensoft, they do great job on electronic
> > > publishing. But when Zookeys was launched, the charge was about $20 per
> > > page, which was somewhat reasonable. And now, it is about $800 per
> paper.
> > > Which for an 8-page paper (usually enough to make your point)
> translates
> > > to $100 per page: a 5-fold increase from the past.
> > >
> > > Why do most taxonomists publish in Zootaxa these days? Because it is a
> > > decent journal that is free to publish in. And more, optional OA is $20
> > > per page.
> > >
> > >
> > > One solution is to eliminate journals, because publishing today does
> not
> > > need printing, and each paper can and should stand on its own, not as a
> > > segment of a journal. On-line platform that publishes papers, not
> > journals
> > > (similar to bioRvix, or like Zookeys for everyone, so many people
> publish
> > > in Zookeys these days) seems to be best for science and open
> > > communication, and it will be the most economical solution to OA (it
> > > cannot cost more than $20 per archived page, probably less). Yes, as
> > > someone pointed out, this no-journal system hurts societies. But I
> think
> > > it benefits science overall by providing enormous savings, part of
> which
> > > can be directed towards societies.
> > >
> > > The agencies that require OA should provide support for such publishing
> > on
> > > top of research funding they assign to a researcher, not from it, and
> do
> > > it in a way that decreases the total effective funds spent on
> publishing
> > > today, not increases it further. n
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