A modest proposal: Given Coalition S’s recent Rights Retention announcement, what about embracing Elsevier’s cynical invention of the “mirror” journal concept? Recall that Elsevier has, in a stroke of evil genius, created over 40 “mirror” journals—each identical to its tolled/hybrid counterpart except for the “X” appended to its name:
To meet the evolving needs of our community and expand our open access publishing options, we are piloting the concept of open access “mirror journals”. These journals are fully gold open access but share the same editorial board, aims and scope and peer review policies as their existing “parent” journals – and the same level of visibility and discoverability.
Bullshit aside, the “mirror” journal concept was plainly designed to end-run Coalition S’s coming ban on hybrid journals. Elsevier’s mirror-journal scheme is in such unblushing bad faith that Coalition S had to publicly slap down the ruse.
So here’s the idea: Why not take leading Elsevier journals and mirror them—republish them—on an open platform like PubPub? The Rights Retention policy, after all, requires immediate, embargo-free CC BY archiving of the author’s accepted manuscript (AAM). So a newly published journal issue could be mirrored (i.e., republished) based on the CC BY–licensed AAM versions of its articles, harvested from whatever repositories they call home.
There’s always a catch, alas. Coalition is only requiring the no embargo CC BY rights retention for manuscripts whose authors have received funding from its members. Yes, the Coalition will “encourage” all publisher to extend the new policy to all “all authors”—not just Coalition S-funded scholars. Encouragement is not a promising lever, but it’s still time to heat up some popcorn and watch this unfold.