The CNRS encourages its scientists to stop paying to be published

Free access required by the CNRS’s open science policy can it be costly for labs?

Alain Schuhl: Some journals offer to pay publication fees (or APCs for “Article Processing Charges”) to put an open access article in a journal called “hybrid”, that is, one already funded by subscriptions (author-payer). Although a research contract, for example from the National Research Agency (ANR) or Europe, sometimes allows funding to be used to pay for APCs, the CNRS urges its researchers especially not to pay to publish an article. in one of these. magazines. It would be to pay twice. The recommended and free solution for the author is to deposit his manuscript in the open archives. It is therefore possible to publish in open access free of charge in hybrid journals.

How is the author-pay system not virtuous?

AS: If the journal is “hybrid” or full open access (full open access), this system has many flaws. First, it replaces inequality in access to results with inequality in the ability to publish. It may also suggest that payment would be sufficient to be published, which may help to discredit the research. And for those who have the media, it promotes unnecessary publication. On the other hand, it fuels the development of the so-called “predatory” scientific publication, multiplying dubious or even fraudulent journals and discrediting scientific production in general. Finally, it participates in cost inflation: APC amounts unrelated to the cost of the service provided by the publisher continue to increase, year after year, at most publishers, particularly those considered “prestigious.” main goal is to make a profit. In conclusion, there is no reason to pay APCs, which could also be called “prestige loads of articles”, for being published.

What about articles deposited in subscribed journals (reader payment system)?

AS: The CNRS asks those who publish in a subscription journal to submit the accepted author’s manuscript (MAA) as soon as it is published in the open HAL filethat many magazines allow.

If the journal does not authorize it, the levers provided for by the Law for a Digital Republic may be used, which allows the MAA to be deposited in an open archive with a possible embargo not exceeding 6 months in science, technology and medicine (STM). , or 12 months in humanities and social sciences. HAL enables this embargo option and access becomes automatic once the embargo period has elapsed.

A guide to implementing the non-assignment policy (Rights retention strategy) will be posted online soon by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. The application of this strategy allows to publish the MAA without embargo in an open archive, which will also be mandatory for projects funded by the ANR or Horizon Europe. The CNRS recommends the application of this strategy.

What model does the CNRS recommend to its researchers?

AS: It is possible to publish in one of the many open access journals that do not require publication fees. This so-called “diamond” model, funded by scholarships, allows researchers to distribute their work in open access without paying publication fees and read the articles for free. On March 2, 2022, the ANR, Science Europe, the OPERAS research infrastructure, and the “cOAlition S” published the “diamond” open access action plan announced during the European Open Science Conference (OSEC). The CNRS has long recommended this route, in order to diversify the routes of open access publications, and is one of the first signatories of this plan. 100% of CNRS articles in open access at no extra cost to scientists, is possible!

Learn more: – CNRS research data plan – CNRS open science roadmap

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