On January 6th, 2021, NTNU library announced that it would no longer be possible to apply for support for open access from NTNU’s publishing fund. No warning or prior announcement were made, leaving many temporary scientific employees with limited options when it came to the work they had submitted or were about to submit to a publication which publication cost (APC) was formerly covered by this fund. Meanwhile, no extension or increase of quotas have been negotiated as part of the UNIT agreement, to compensate for the loss of support from the NTNU publishing fund.
While some faculties or departments are exploring solutions to replace the support provided by the NTNU publishing fund, other are unable to do so, leaving the cost of open access publishing to the employee, their project budget or their supervisors. It should also be noted under Plan S, many temporary scientific employees not only want to publish in open access but have to, under the funding their position is based. Moreover, due to the nature of their contract (e.g. PhD thesis) many temporary scientific employees have to get their work published in the near future and cannot afford any delays (e.g. having to withdraws and re-submit or wait for a new funding mechanism to be created next year).
DION is greatly concerned about the inequalities between employees, departments and faculties this situation is leading to, and the risk it presents to employees whose thesis or contract depends on having their work published within the year. Therefore, DION urges NTNU faculties, NTNU board and the prorector for research to act:
- In the short term, DION urges NTNU to ensure equitable funding solutions for 2021 for temporary scientific employees publishing in open access publications formerly covered by the NTNU publishing fund.
- In the long term, DION calls on NTNU to build and extend sustainable mechanisms and agreements to support open access publishing amongst temporary scientific employees.