Facebook advertising Open Access “Are you a researcher?”

2012 has been a busy year in the world of Open Access.  From a UK funding point of view, the big news has included the Finch Report and the RCUK’s reaction this in its new Policy on Access to Research Outputs.  To cut a very long story short, the RCUK is now providing £17+ million to UK institutions (pro-rata to the size of grants) to help fund Gold Open Access: that is, payments of Article Processing Charges (APCs) in order to make journal papers free at the point of use, from the publishers’ website, with a Creative Commons By Attribution (CC-BY) licence, at the time of first publication.  There are many on-going debates about how to proportion this money, exactly what is covers, and how best to administrate and report the spending.

An unsurprising reaction to this has been from the open access hybrid publishers.  Pure Open Access Publishers (BioMed Central, PLoS etc) already run their business model this way.  Traditional publishers have had to introduce hybrid approaches to allow Gold APCs to paid to make papers available which would have normally been funded by subscriptions.  The latest changes for hybrid publishers have been to take into account the requirement for the CC-BY licence.  An example is the Nature Publishing Group who have introduced differential pricing based on the Creative Commons licence selected, for example to make up for the shortfall of income from reprints.  Another example is Wiley and their new Open Access schemes.

However the point of this blog post was my surprise at logging into Facebook this morning…

springerfacebook

In case you missed it, here is one advert in particular that I’ve not seen before…

areyouaresearcher

Clicking on this takes you to Springer’s web page on Open Access:

springer

Springer is advertising on Facebook to let authors know about their journals and open access publishing options, and most importantly, that there is money from RCUK to back it up (for RCUK-funded outputs).

I don’t want to pass judgement on this, I don’t really have an opinion on it, however it is an interesting development!  Those of us who work closely with these Open Access initiatives and the RCUK block grants need to be aware of the messages that are being put out there.  This is a new message in a new medium!

A prize will be offered for the first (genuine!!!) enquiry received about Open Access and the RCUK funding from an author who ‘saw it on Facebook’!  It will be interesting to see how well this message propagates and is understood.

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