cOAlition S response to the STM statement: the Rights Retention Strategy restores long-standing academic freedoms
« The statement published earlier today (3rd February) by the STM Association and signed by a number of its members (and a number of non-members), continues to perpetuate a number of myths and errors relating to the Rights Retention Strategy.
From the start it is worth stressing that cOAlition S continues to engage with many of the publishers who are signatories to the letter, supporting routes which enable the Version of Record (VoR) to be made Open Access. Funders, like Wellcome, are not only supporting Article Processing Charges in fully open access journals, but also allow their funding to be used to support transformative arrangements – such as Read and Publish agreements – and more recently, transformative journals (which a number of signatories – including Elsevier and Springer Nature – have developed). Although the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) is indeed being implemented as of January 2021, publishers have received notice of the Rights Retention Strategy since July 2020, and cOAlition S has held various meetings with them to discuss their concerns and explain what the RSS is trying to achieve.
We agree that management and support of the peer review process require significant resources. However, while we do not underestimate the value that publishers add to the process, we point out that peer review is conducted on a voluntary basis by the research community.
We are somewhat perplexed to read that the “Rights Retention Strategy ignores long-standing academic freedoms”. As these are left unspecified, it is hard to see how that could be the case. However, we believe the Rights Retention Strategy restores long-standing academic freedoms, in that it asserts the authors’ ownership of their publication after peer review, to re-use and share as they please. It is up to the publishers to demonstrate the added value of the Version of Record, for which cOAlition S funders are willing to pay, as we have repeatedly stated. (…) »