berlin5 : SCOAP

Salvatore Mele (CERN) on SCOAP (the new CERN OA publishing model). HEP (high energy physics) is decades ahead in OA thinking

  • has been circualting preprints for 40 years
  • arXiv 1991
  • first peer-reviewed electronic journals
  • small community 20,000

and journals are only needed for non-communication reasons. The community

  • need journals as interface to officialdom
  • purchases subscriptions but actually reads arXiv
  • journal format is anachronistic

The authors, not librarians, drive the process.
Hybrid model has negligible success – why should I pay for what I can read anyway
So, sponsoring model (institutions) or institutional membership (e.g. JHEP and JINST)
So SCOAP3. 5000 articles in community of 20000. tripartite – funders, publishers, authors. “A consortium sponsors HEP pubs and makes them OA by redirecting subscription money”. The consortium pays for peer-review – articles are free to everyone.
Sponsoring and inst. membership on a world wide scale.
Most publishers are expected to enter negotiations if SCOAP is seen as stable. SCOAP open to all HEP journals in principle.
Will cost 10 M EUR / year (cost of experiment is 400 M EUR…) [PMR: not sure what experiment].
[…Lots of material on cost of publication omitted…]
GOAL: have SCOAP ready for first set of LHC results.
25% of funds have been pledged already.

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One Response to berlin5 : SCOAP

  1. Salvatore Mele says:

    Hi, the 400MEur are the cost of one of four experiments at the LHC accelerator which is worth (machine+experiment) 6bnEur.
    The point to retain is that we have the organisational expertise to put together hundreds of partner to commit these figures towards making physics and we using the same organisational machine to team up research funders and library consortia worldwide to rally up a smaller (easier?) budget.
    No point in comparing the yearly price of publications with the cost of the experiments as such, as 80% of the articles we are talking about are anyhow written by theoretical physicists working in small groups. The figure to retain is the comparison between these 10MEur and the amount spent worldwide in HEP journals, which is possibly 3-4 times larger.
    Further details are online at (full) and http::// (executive summary)

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