Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

General questions

  1. 1
    What is SCOAP3?

    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.

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    What is Open Access?

    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.

  3. 3
    What is the SCOAP3 business model?

    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.

  4. 4
    Who runs the operation of SCOAP3?

    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.

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    Who are the SCOAP3 partners?

    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 SCOAP3the 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.

  6. 6
    I am a scientist and want to publish in a SCOAP3 journal, what do I need to do?

    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 are here.

Governance & partnership

  1. 1
    How does the governance of the partnership work?
    • SCOAP3 Governing Council

      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.

    • SCOAP3 Executive Committee

      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.

    • SCOAP3 Forum

      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.

  2. 2
    What are the Roles & Responsibilities in the collaboration?
    • 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.

  3. 3
    What are the benefits of being a SCOAP3 partner?

    Open access thrives through participation. Contributing partners:

    • have contractually enforcable and guaranteed reductions in subscription costs to journals participating in SCOAP3,
    • have a voice in the governance of SCOAP3,
    • have the option to automatically populate their institution’s digital repository with SCOAP3 peer-reviewed articles through a Search API,
    • have immediate access to information concerning the initiative,
    • are part of an open access community that is effecting positive change in scholarly publishing.
  4. 4
    Who represents my university in the Governing Council?

    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.

Get involved

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    I am a librarian. If my institution wants to participate, how much will I pay?

    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.

  2. 2
    Who should I contact if my institution wants to participate?

    If your country already participates, please contact your local representative listed here. Otherwise, please send a message to the SCOAP3 team at CERN.

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    My institution participates already in SCOAP3. How can I be more actively involved?

    Please contact the SCOAP3 Operations Team to learn more about participation in a working group.

  4. 4
    What are the implications of SCOAP3 reductions for my licensing agreements?

    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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    How can I stay informed about SCOAP3?

    Visit our website regularly or sign up to the newsletter to receive the latest updates via e-mail.

Technical

  1. 1
    What is the purpose of the SCOAP3 repository?

    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.

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    What is the SCOAP3 API?

    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, metadata returned by it is in MARCXML format. More information about API can be found here.

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    How can I get an API token?

    To get an API token please visit this address: http://api.scoap3.org 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.

  4. 4
    How can I download a full-text file via the API?

    URLs to full-text files are attached to the metadata of each record under the “856” tag field. Please check the documentation for MARCXML tags description.

  5. 5
    I have some ideas on how to improve the SCOAP3 Repository. Who can I contact?

    Please use the Idea Board link (on the left), where you can propose improvements to the SCOAP3 Repository. Your ideas will be discussed within the Repository Support and Strategy Working Group and might be implemented by the technical team at CERN.