New funding model for journals, SCOAP3, advances; join now

For more than four years, ACRL has supported the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access in Particle Physics Publishing (SCOAP3) initiative (see the ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit for an overview). ACRL has long welcomed this experimental new funding model as having tremendous potential to inform scholarly publishing more globally and has encouraged libraries to participate.

Now, we are pleased to share good news about significant progress in this project to convert the peer reviewed journal “version of record” literature of an entire discipline (High Energy Physics, HEP) to open access. If your library subscribes to HEP journals, please join in this initiative now and express a firm commitment to redirect your subscription money. To join, contact Ann Okerson of the Center for Research Libraries. She serves as the national contact person for SCOAP3 at Lyrasis and recently provided this update:

This message comes to share excellent news about a most ambitious gold open access project.  Over time, you’ve seen in various sources occasional progress reports about SCOAP3, the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics.  Hosted in Geneva by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, this is the first- ever planned experiment in converting the peer reviewed journal “version of record” literature of an entire discipline (High Energy Physics, HEP) to open access.  SCOAP3 is funded without additional cost to libraries, via re-direction of their currently funded HEP subscriptions.

After an intense period of behind-the-scenes effort, CERN’s open access, library, purchasing, and legal staff, along with the SCOAP3 global Steering Committee and Technical Working Group, secured with leading publishers the participation in principle of 12 HEP (full or partial) journals; developed a project governance structure; crafted a framework for performing calculations for subscription reduction and re-direction; and are putting into place a series of National Contact Persons (NCPs), who are responsible for securing participation from libraries, library consortia, research institutions, and funding agencies in their countries.

SCOAP3 is happening NOW.  Participating libraries and institutions are being contacted to begin the process of commitment and planning for funds re-direction.  The goal is that arrangements will be in place for SCOAP3 go-live with articles published beginning January 2014.  For the United States, the LYRASIS consortium is the chosen National Contact Organization, with Ann Okerson as the NCP.

In the US, the institutions that earlier submitted Expressions of Interest have been and are being re-contacted at this time, along with other libraries that subscribe to the chosen SCOAP3 journals.  US libraries can obtain information and join in this initiative now, by contacting Ann Okerson.  In a short time, there will be specific information and instructions on how to express a firm commitment and calculate subscription amounts; Lyrasis has created a SCOAP3 Web site which contains initial documentation.  Also, please refer to the CERN site, and in particular the SCOAP3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), which contains links to key documents on the site.

Please join us in supporting this significant, ground-breaking project.