SCOAP3 will start operations on January 1st, 2014. SCOAP3 is a partnership among libraries, funding agencies, and research centers. SCOAP3 works with publishers to make key journals in high energy physics open access. Partners of SCOAP3 pay into a central fund that is then used to pay the publishers for the costs involved in publishing, thereby allowing them to make their journals open access.
SCOAP3 website: http://scoap3.org/
Faculty and researchers have a long practice of sharing their published articles. For a long time this was done through personal requests – via mail, telephone, and email – but for the past ten to fifteen years, faculty have been posting copies of their journal articles on either personal webpages or on sites like Academia.edu.
Posting PDF versions of articles online for anyone to access is frequently in violation of the copyright transfer agreements that authors sign when their article is published. While publishers may issue take-down notices in certain situations, there hasn’t been a wholesale effort on the part of publishers to remove “free” versions of published articles.
Recently, Elsevier took issue with the posting of articles from their journals to the site Academia.edu. They have started issuing take down notices by the thousands to Academia.edu. Scholars affected by this take-down spree have received emails from Academia.edu notifying them of the removal of their work from the site. While this may be a short-term solution to freely accessible copies of articles circulating around the Internet, it may end up backfiring on Elsevier by educating authors about the restrictive copyright transfer agreements authors are asked to sign. Some authors may choose to publish their work elsewhere to maintain more control over the work they created.
For more information, see this recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.