A new initiative to provide open access to peer-reviewed particle physics research literature was launched at CERN on 1 October by the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics – SCOAP3. Open dissemination of preprints has been the norm in particle physics for two decades but this initiative now brings the peer-review service provided by journals into the open-access domain.
In the SCOAP3 model, funding agencies, research institutions, libraries and library consortia pool resources that are currently used to subscribe to journal content and they use them to support the peer-review system directly. Publishers then make electronic versions of their journals open access. Articles funded by SCOAP3 will be available under a Creative Commons, CC BY licence, meaning that they can be copied, distributed, transmitted and adapted as needed, with proper attribution.
Representatives from the science-funding agencies and library communities of 29 countries were present at the launch. The publishers of 12 journals, accounting for the vast majority of articles in particle physics, have been identified for participation in SCOAP3 through an open and competitive process. With a projected SCOAP3 budget of SwFr36 million over three years, more partnerships with key institutions in Europe, America and Asia are foreseen as the initiative moves through the technical steps of organizing the re-direction of funds from the current subscription model towards a common internationally co-ordinated fund. SCOAP3 expects to be operational for articles published as of 2014.
• For more information, see http://scoap3.org/.