These studies focus on the transformation of scientific publications in the current transition to open access and the implications of the growth of journals with article processing charges (APC) for researchers, as well as for public funding of science in Argentina.
In the Study of accessibility of Argentine publications and expenditures in article processing charges in the i+d+i Agency: 2013-2020, the expenditure records of projects funded by the i+d+i Agency between 2014 and 2020 were surveyed. From this, their amounts were analyzed according to the scientific area and the journals identified as recipients of payments were described. On the other hand, the total volume of APC payments that Argentine publications currently have was estimated using aggregator indexes such as Lens, Dimensions, Scopus and Google Scholar as a source. The comparison between the results of these two observations showed that the expenditure effectively disbursed in APC by the projects funded by the i+d+i Agency amounted to USD 1,317,536 for the period 2014-2020, while the estimate of the expenditure in APC of all the articles published by researchers between 2013 and 2020 rose to USD 13,906,326. A qualitative perspective was then adopted to analyze the publication styles of Argentine researchers, with particular reference to the disciplines in which journals with APC have the greatest incidence. On the basis of interviews and focus groups, various explanations were found to explain the gap between the payments made by the R&D&I Agency and the total estimated cost: the diversity of existing national and international funding, the survival of closed-access subscription journals that do not charge for APC, among others. The study revealed, however, that the speed of this transition to open access is accelerating and there is already evidence of harmful effects on the performance of publications in some disciplines.
The Study on accessibility and circulation of Argentine scientific journals provides a complete description of the universe of current publications surveyed and refers to the role of the Argentine Center for Scientific and Technological Information (CAICYT). Next, the structure of the Argentine scientific publishing space and its forms of circulation are analyzed, offering a classification of the journals. Finally, it relates the world of scientific publishing with academic evaluation systems in order to draw some conclusions and proposals to promote quality Argentine journals. In the same line, another study on Argentine production in open access and APC payments exposes the findings on the progress of open access in Argentine science, especially the production of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research, with the aim of understanding the incidence of the increase of costs in APC payments and the accessibility of publications. For this purpose, all publications from Argentina between 2013 and 2020 were tracked with data from the Lens, Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus, Unpaywall and Directory of Open Access Journals databases. Variables assigned to the different categories describing the publications were observed: type of access, publisher, number of citations, language, affiliations, APC payments and journal titles. This is a collaborative project between researchers from CoLaV (Colaboratorio para la Vinculación de Ciencias Sociales Computacionales y Humanidades Digitales -Universidad de Antioquia-) and CONICET which details the situation of open access in Argentina and, in particular, the production of researchers from the Council. The main findings of the report have been published on CONICET’s official website, which can be found at the following link. You can also download the full report from this link: https://www.conicet.gov.ar/wp-content/uploads/INFORME-CONICET-Argentina-Publicaciones-y-Pagos-de-APC.pdf.
The most recent study underway, Exploratory analysis of the perception of APC expenditures by researchers, aims to understand the practices, perceptions and assessments of Argentine researchers regarding scientific publications and the phenomenon of open access with APC, and to propose recommendations to stimulate non-commercial open access publication in the evaluation processes of the R&D&I AGENCY.