What is SCOAP3? How does it work?

What is SCOAP3?

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Picture © 2014 by CERN CC-BY-SA 4.0

SCOAP3 is a one-of-its-kind partnership of over three thousand libraries, key funding agencies and research centers in 44 countries and 3 intergovernmental organisations. Working with leading publishers, SCOAP3 has converted key journals in the field of High-Energy Physics to Open Access at no cost for authors. SCOAP3 centrally pays publishers for costs involved in providing Open Access, publishers, in turn, reduce subscription fees to all their customers, who can re-direct these funds to contribute to SCOAP3. Each country contributes in a way commensurate to its scientific output in the field. In addition, existing Open Access journals are also centrally supported, removing any existing financial barrier for authors.

SCOAP3 journals are open for any scientist to publish in without any financial barriers. Copyright stays with authors, and a permissive CC-BY license allows text- and data-mining. SCOAP3 addresses Open Access mandates at no burden for authors. All articles appear in the SCOAP3 repository for further distribution, as well as being Open Access on publishers’ websites.

How does it work?

The SCOAP3 model is based on a lightweight central administration which arranges payment of Article Processing Charges at a competitive level, through funds made available from a redirection of former subscription money. Participating libraries redirect the money previously used for subscribing to the SCOAP3 journals into a common fund, from which the publication costs are paid. This redirection is possible as all publishers are reducing or eliminating subscription costs to the SCOAP3 journals and credit all their clients respectively.

The total amount contributed by each country is commensurate with its share in the worldwide scientific output in High-Energy Physics. For the third 3-year cycle covering the years 2020-2022 this is based on the geographical distribution of HEP authorship as in the years 2017-2018, i.e. the first two years of the initiatives Phase 2, as listed below.

Geographical distribution of HEP authorship amongst SCOAP3 partners

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CountryCountry share
Algeria0.05%
Argentina0.7%
Australia0.8%
Austria0.7%
Bangladesh0.02%
Belgium1.1%
Benin0.01%
Brazil3.1%
Bulgaria0.1%
Cameroon0.01%
Canada2.4%
CERN1.7%
Chile1.2%
China (PRC)9.7%
Colombia0.2%
Costa Rica0.01%
Croatia0.2%
Cyprus0.1%
Czech Republic0.6%
Denmark0.6%
Ecuador0.05%
Egypt0.05%
Estonia0.2%
Ethiopia0.01%
Finland0.4%
France2.6%
Germany8.9%
Greece0.5%
Hong-Kong0.1%
Hungary0.3%
Iceland0.01%
India5.0%
Indonesia0.02%
Iran2.0%
Ireland0.2%
Israel1.2%
Italy4.8%
Japan6.5%
JINR1.2%
Korea, Republic of2.5%
Kuwait0.02%
Lebanon0.05%
Lithuania0.05%
Macedonia0.01%
Malaysia0.01%
Malta0.05%
Mexico0.8%
Morocco0.1%
Netherlands1.2%
New Zealand0.02%
Norway0.3%
Oman0.05%
Pakistan0.5%
Peru0.02%
Poland1.3%
Portugal0.8%
Qatar0.01%
Romania0.2%
Russia3.0%
Saudi Arabia0.05%
Serbia0.1%
Singapore0.05%
Slovak Republic0.05%
Slovenia0.1%
South Africa0.3%
Spain3.1%
Sri Lanka0.01%
Sweden0.9%
Switzerland1.6%
Taiwan0.9%
Thailand0.2%
Turkey0.8%
United Arab Emirates0.05%
United Kingdom5.2%
United States18.2%
Uruguay0.05%
Venezuela0.01%
(Data as of 2017-2018)

SCOAP3 Executive Committee

The Executive Committee oversees the day-to-day operation of the partnership. Supported by both the SCOAP3 Operations Manager and several Community Working Groups, the Executive Committee ensures a smooth operation and manages relations with partners and participating publishers. The Executive Committee comprises 4 to 6 members appointed by the Governing Council as well as one representative of CERN as the Host Organisation. The Committee meets at least once a month and reports to the Governing Council.

Show the current Executive Committee members
The SCOAP3 Executive Committee currently consists of  5 members appointed by the SCOAP3 Governing Council:

  • Natalia Grygierczyk (Netherlands)
  • Matthew R Marsteller (United States)
  • Florian Schwennsen (Germany)
  • Anna Vernon (UK)
  • Yan Zhao (China)

CERN in its role as the Host Organization of SCOAP3 appoints Alexander Kohls as an additional member of the Executive Committee succeeding Salvatore Mele who pioneered SCOAP3.

Ivy Anderson (United States) as the Chair of the Governing Council as well as Kamran Naim as the SCOAP3 Operations Manager attend the meetings as observers.

Community Working Groups

The Governing Council decides about the creation of working groups and appoints the working group members.

Show the current Working Group members

Currently, the SCOAP3 governance includes the following working groups:

Audit Committee – selects the external auditor, defines the audit mandate and reviews the audit report.
Members: Natalia Grygierczyk (NL, chair), Ann Okerson (US), Kerstin Stieg (AT).

Communications and Outreach Working Group – provides advice on outreach and marketing material and the communication strategy.
Members: Nina Karlstrøm (NO, chair), Carol Hoover (US), Carolyn Alderson (UK), Alexander Kohls (CERN), Jens Vigen (CERN), Paola Gargiulo (IT).

Open Books Working Group – develops and executes a strategy to transform key text books and monographs in particle physics to Open Access, using the collaborative power of the SCOAP3 partnership.
Members: Tullio Basaglia (CERN), Celeste Feather (USA), Stefan Hohenegger (France), Nina Karlstrom (Norway), Alexander Kohls (CERN), Caroline Mackay (UK), Matthew Marsteller (USA).

Repository Strategy and Support Working Group – supports the SCOAP3 Repository Manager on strategic and technical aspects of the development of the SCOAP3 Repository and its interfaces. Members: Florian Schwennsen (DE), Jean-Blaise Claivaz (CH), Alexander Kohls (CERN), João Moreira (PT).

SCOAP3 Tender Working Group – develops a strategy for the procurement process and business model of the upcoming contract cycle of SCOAP3.
Members: Clare Appavoo (Canada), Adam Der (Germany), Kerstin Grossmaier-Stieg (Austria), Stefan Hohenegger (France), Salvatore Mele (CERN) in addition to the SCOAP3 Executive Committee members and the chair of the Governing Council.

SCOAP3 Governing Council

The SCOAP3 Governing Council is the decision-making body of the partnership responsible for its overall governance and strategic direction. The Governing Council is composed of representatives from countries that contribute to SCOAP3. The Governing Council appoints the Executive Committee and the Working Groups and meets at least once a year. The Governing Council is currently chaired by Ivy Anderson who took over this role from Ralf Schimmer.

Show reports of previous meetings
So far the Governing Council met six times. You can find summaries of the discussions as well as decisions taken during the meetings here:

  • Governing Council meeting at CERN on December 4th 2013
  • Governing Council meeting at CERN on May 26th 2014
  • Governing Council meeting at CERN on December 17th 2014
  • Governing Council meeting at CERN on June 15/16th 2015
  • Governing Council meeting at CERN on December 11th 2015
  • Governing Council meeting (remote) on March 18th 2016
  • Governing Council meeting at CERN on March 23-24th 2017
  • Governing Council meeting at CERN on May 3-4th 2018
  • Governing Council meeting at CERN on October 29-30th 2019
  • Governing Council meeting (remote) on October 20-21st 2020

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. To allow broad participation, the Forum is organised as a webinar. The Forum was chaired by Ivy Anderson through 2016. Since 2017 Brigitte Kromp is the SCOAP3 Forum chair. Recordings of the previous Forums are available here: