SCOAP3, the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics, has developed an innovative model to achieve “Gold” Open Access to leading high-quality, peer-reviewed journals in High-Energy Physics (HEP). SCOAP3 acknowledges services of publishers of these journals – quality assurance in the publication process (peer review and editorial services) and the provision of the final published versions. SCOAP3 converted four journals from a subscription-based model to Open Access, at no cost for authors, while preserving all the value provided by publishers. Additionally, two subscription journals were partially converted as far as their HEP content is concerned while the remaining content is still available under a subscription model. Beyond these six journals, SCOAP3 also supports four more existing “Gold” Open Access journals in the field of High-Energy Physics. The SCOAP3 model is the product of extensive coalition-building with stakeholders in the community of scholarly communication across the world — authors, funding agencies, libraries and publishers and is based on a redirection of existing subscription money. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, acts as the Host Organisation for SCOAP3 as it does for the large collaborations performing experiments at the LHC collider. It administers the activities of the partnership on a day-to-day basis, leveraging its experience in managing international collaborations in science.
Articles funded by SCOAP3 are freely available for everybody on the publishers’ websites and in a dedicated repository as Open Access, in perpetuity. The permissive Creative Commons CC-BY license allows all users to read, to copy, to distribute, to transmit and adapt the works as needed, with proper attribution, to do text and data mining etc. (For exact definitions, see: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) The SCOAP3 team performs weekly compliance checks to ensure that all article are available in Open Access in a timely manner and according to the defined specifications.
In contrast to other Open Access models where libraries, authors or agencies pay a fee for each article, in SCOAP3 participating publishers have a single contract with CERN that centrally pays Article Processing Charges (APCs) for the publication services provided. The publishers in turn eliminate or reduce subscription costs to all customers. The SCOAP3 partners redirect the funds previously used to pay the subscriptions into a common pool which is then used for the central APC payments. This ensures efficient operations and allows to competitively set an APC level while primarily using funds already available in the publication system.
CERN the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, acts as the Host Organisation for SCOAP3 as it does for the collaborations performing experiments at the LHC collider. Leveraging its existing infrastructures to support cooperation in science, CERN ensures the technical and administrative operation of SCOAP3. CERN run also the competitive bidding process following for the benefit of SCOAP3. The operation provided by CERN is supervised by the SCOAP3 Executive Committee, subject to an independent annual audit and reported to the ultimate decision-making body of SCOAP3, the Governing Council.
SCOAP3 is organized as a partnership with CERN playing the role of the Host Organisation, as it does for the large international collaborations performing experiments at the LHC collider. Currently SCOAP3 comprises over 3,000 libraries and library consortia, universities, research institutions and funding agencies from 44 countries. In addition 3 intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) are partners of SCOAP3: the European Organisation for Nuclear research (CERN), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Joint Institute for Nuclear research (JINR).
Each country arranges their participation in the SCOAP3 Governing Council, usually via one or more organisation(s) called the “Representative(s)”. These organisation(s) typically sing a “Memorandum of Understanding” which is the legal basis of the SCOAP3 partnership. Representatives often support participating libraries in the country, e.g. collecting the national contributions to the SCOAP3 fund and are the first point of contact for all partner institutions or other interested parties within the country. Representing the diversity within the SCOAP3 partnership, some countries have more than one “Representative”, and in some other cases, several institutions have joined directly, and individually, SCOAP3, then arranging for representation in the SCOAP3 governance. A list of all countries and representatives can be found here.
Nothing changes! You can publish in your preferred journal just as before! And no surprises: you will not be asked to pay anything! In addition, after publication, you will retain copyright of the article (you can post it wherever you like, and re-use content in whichever way you see fit). As before, you might be asked to sign a form at the end of the review process, this might be slightly different, as it is now for Open Access publications. Further details about the SCOAP3 journal are available here.
SCOAP3 funds the Open Access publication of high-energy physics articles in the supported journals via two mechanisms, which determine which articles are covered:
High Energy Physics (HEP) content only (partial funding of a journal)
These journals are only covered for the high-energy physics articles (as determined by arXiv categorization, see Q. 8 below). Other articles in these journals are published either closed access or have to be made available in open access via other means.
Full funding of all articles (entire journal)
SCOAP3 fully supports journals that predominantly publish high-energy physics content. For those journals, all articles are automatically made available Open Access independent of the scientific field.
For journals that are only partially supported (see Q. 7 above), the arXiv categorization is used to determine eligibility for SCOAP3 funding. Articles that are submitted by their authors to arXiv.org with a primary category in high-energy physics (hep-ex, hep-lat, hep-ph, hep-th) ahead of the journal publication are considered eligible for SCOAP3 funding. Please note that arXiv moderators have the right to review and change categorization if it is deemed not correct. arXiv.org is a fully independent service by Cornell University, and neither CERN nor the SCOAP3 collaboration can challenge the decision of arXiv moderators regarding a possible reclassification of an article.
Up to 45 representatives from countries that contribute to SCOAP3 take decisions about the direction of the partnership in the Governing Council. National representatives are accountable to their constituencies, who select them. CERN as the Host Organisation appoints an additional member. For more details and summaries of the previous meetings please see here.
The SCOAP3 Governing Council appoints 4 to 6 members of the Executive Committee for a 2-year period, renewable up to two times. CERN as the Host Organisation appoints an additional member. The members should represent all geographical regions. Supported by community working groups, the Executive Committee oversees the day-to-day SCOAP3 operations supported by the SCOAP3 Operations Manager. The Executive Committee meets 1-2 times a month and reports regularly back to the Governing Council its decisions and discussion items. For more details please see here.
The Forum represents our “town hall”, where members hear about the latest developments in SCOAP3, discuss future plans and make recommendations to the SCOAP3 Governing Council. For more details and recordings of the webinars please go to the resources section below.
The Governing Council is the ultimate decision making body of SCOAP3. It consists of representatives of the partnership and defines the strategy of the initiative. The Governing Council meets regularly to discuss the development of SCOAP3 and decides on all steps.
The Executive Committee oversees the day-to-day operation of the partnership. Supported by the SCOAP3 Operations Manager and Community Working Groups the Executive Committee ensures a smooth operation and manages the ongoing relationship with partners and participating publishers.
The Operations Manager is the central point of contact for the National Contact Points in the countries as well as for the publishers, reporting to the Executive Committee.
CERN, for the benefit of SCOAP3, entered into contracts with the publishers and facilitates the operation of SCOAP3, such as the regular validation of article compliance, the maintenance of the SCOAP3 Repository and the management of the accounts of the SCOAP3 Fund. A dedicated team at CERN ensures this day-to-day management under the guidance of the Executive Committee.
Representatives: Each country has one or more Representatives, who have signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment and operation of SCOAP3, often on behalf of several partners in their region, other times individually. Representatives are typically supporting libraries to obtain reductions from participating publishers and arrange collection of local contributions to the SCOAP3 fund.
Open access thrives through participation. Contributing partners:
Each country is represented by one or several members in the Governing Council, according to specific local arrangements; different national governance models have been established to steer the collaboration internally in a country. A list of institutions acting as “Representatives” can be found here.
SCOAP3 budget envelope is shared across countries according to their overall share of authorship in High-Energy Physics publications. In most countries this national contribution is allocated locally. The starting point for the individual contributions of universities can be the reductions on subscription costs to SCOAP3 journals as arranged for all subscribers by the publishers. Your local representative in the SCOAP3 governance will be able to help.
Please contact the SCOAP3 Operations Team to learn more about participation in a working group.
Publishers participating in SCOAP3 have contractually agreed to reduce the prices of individual subscriptions, subscription packages, and other subscriber licenses (e.g. “big deals”) in order to facilitate the redirection of funds from subscriptions to SCOAP3. You will get reductions for each journal covered by SCOAP3 to which you subscribe, as part of your participation in SCOAP3.
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The SCOAP3 Repository plays a role as storage place for articles published under the initiative (and corresponding metadata). Its main goal is to provide the SCOAP3 partners a single point of access to all resources for further reuse in other repositories (institutional etc.) by maintaining public APIs that can be used for automated harvesting. Additionally, it provides an internal infrastructure to assure articles are compliant with the agreements with publishers. While the repository is open for everybody, it is not intended to offer a new service to researchers, who naturally continue to read preprints in arXiv, perform searches in INSPIRE, and thanks to Open Access can now access all articles on publishers’ web platforms.
It is a programming tool that can be used for automatic harvesting of records in the SCOAP3 repository. The API is compatible with all programming languages and platforms. More information about API can be found here.
To get an API token please visit this address and follow the procedure described. All requests need to be validated by the SCOAP3 Operations Team, which should typically take not more than 1 working day. Please note, that our API is accessible without an API token as well.
Please send us a message using our contact form. Your ideas will be discussed within the Repository Support and Strategy Working Group and might be implemented by the technical team at CERN.