The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era

“The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines, has not yet been analyzed. This paper provides such analysis, based on 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period 1973-2013. It shows that in both natural and medical sciences (NMS) and social sciences and humanities (SSH), Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, and Taylor & Francis increased their share of the published output, especially since the advent of the digital era (mid-1990s). Combined, the top five most prolific publishers account for more than 50% of all papers published in 2013. Disciplines of the social sciences have the highest level of concentration (70% of papers from the top five publishers), while the humanities have remained relatively independent (20% from top five publishers). NMS disciplines are in between, mainly because of the strength of their scientific societies, such as the ACS in chemistry or APS in physics. The paper also examines the migration of journals between small and big publishing houses and explores the effect of publisher change on citation impact. It concludes with a discussion on the economics of scholarly publishing.”

URL : The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era

DOI :10.1371/journal.pone.0127502

Evolution or revolution? Publishers’ perceptions of future directions in research communications and the publisher role

“This report presents a snapshot of the views of a wide range of publishers, covering their perceptions of future directions in research communications, scholarly publishing and the role of publishers. It is important to emphasise that there is not a single “publishers’ view” on these matters: the publishers represented here are of differing scale, ownership, (dominant) business model, discipline, and tradition, and their views reflect that diversity of experience.

 Nearly 20 publishers of different types and scale were interviewed: for-profit and not-for-profit; open access and subscription-based; commercial, society, university presses; and with representation from all scholarly fields. We aimed to synthesise the views thus gathered, while reflecting the diversity of opinion where salient.”

 URL : Evolution or revolution? Publishers’ perceptions of future directions in research communications and the publisher role

Related URL : http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/RCUK-prod/assets/documents/international/EvolutionOrRevolution.pdf

Digitization, Internet publishing and the revival of scholarly monographs: An empirical study in India

“This research shows the growing utility of internet-based digital models in reviving the crisis-stricken traditional print monograph publishing. The rising prices of scientific journals in the past three decades forced academic and research libraries to resort to cutbacks on monograph budgets. The declining sales to libraries and rising production costs led to a significant drop in global demand for print monographs, rendering monograph publishing financially unattractive. Combining the flexibility of digitized content with the global reach of the Internet, three emerging digital models — print on demand, bundled e-books, and e-consortia — are beginning to revamp the monograph publishing business.”

URL : http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4932

Les couleurs de la publication scientifique – Mutations dans la sous-filière de la revue scientifique STM, analysées par les industries culturelles

“La diffusion de la revue scientifique dans les domaines STM s’inscrit aujourd’hui dans un contexte où cohabitent quatre modèles représentés par des couleurs : le « Blanc » pour le payant, le « Vert » pour les archives ouvertes, le « Doré » pour les revues en libre accès et enfin le « Gris » pour les données de la recherche. Ce « tableau en couleurs » est le résultat, encore mouvant de mutations qui opèrent au sein de l’édition de la revue scientifique STM et qui intègre les acteurs du Web et de la communication.

Ces couleurs interviennent dans les tensions qui régissent les relations et les stratégies entre anciens et nouveaux acteurs. L’objet de cet article est double. Il rend compte des logiques socio-économiques qui construisent les stratégies et positionnements des acteurs pour renouveler la sous-filière de l’édition de la revue scientifique. Dans le même temps, il propose le cadre d’analyse des industries culturelles, capable de prendre en charge l’intelligibilité des mouvements qui opèrent entre industries de l’information scientifique, industries de la communication et médias sociaux.”

URL : http://lesenjeux.u-grenoble3.fr/2014/04-Boukacem/index.html

Evaluating big deal journal bundles

“Large commercial publishers sell bundled online subscriptions to their entire list of academic journals at prices significantly lower than the sum of their á la carte prices. Bundle prices differ drastically between institutions, but they are not publicly posted. The data that we have collected enable us to compare the bundle prices charged by commercial publishers with those of nonprofit societies and to examine the types of price discrimination practiced by commercial and nonprofit journal publishers. This information is of interest to economists who study monopolist pricing, librarians interested in making efficient use of library budgets, and scholars who are interested in the availability of the work that they publish.”

URL : http://www.econ.ucsb.edu/~tedb/Journals/PNAS-2014-Bergstrom-1403006111.pdf

Scénarios prospectifs pour l’édition sc…

Scénarios prospectifs pour l’édition scientifique :

“Cet article s’intéresse au marché de l’édition scientifique et à son évolution dans le cadre de l’Internet et du développement du libre accès. Il s’attache à montrer la diversité de ce marché en fonction des champs scientifiques, notamment par le type d’éditeurs impliqués, les lectorats concernés, les économies associées. Il met en garde sur le nécessaire discernement de ces marchés face aux critiques générales de dysfonctionnement soulignées. Il pointe certaines effets contrastés du numérique conduisant à certaines reconfigurations paradoxales. Enfin, la vision prospective sur le devenir de ce marché insiste sur la pluralité des modalités de progression vers le libre accès, le poids de la dimension politique et celui des processus d’évaluation de la recherche. La voie d’un partenariat public-privé est privilégiée au regard de valeurs centrales : indépendance, qualité, accessibilité et pérennité des publications scientifiques”

URL : http://archivesic.ccsd.cnrs.fr/sic_00558746/fr/