Let It Flow: The Monopolization of Academic Content Providers and How It Threatens the Democratization of Information

Author : Dana Lachenmayer

The monopolization of academic journal publishers concentrates power and valuable information into the hands of a few players in the marketplace. It has detrimental effects on how information flows and is accessed.

This, in turn, has profound effects on how a nation progresses. Placed in a theoretical framework, utilizing the marketplace of ideas and the economies that coincide, this article takes a look at the history of Elsevier in order to chart this course toward monopolization.

It exhibits the effect it has already had on the academic community, while offering two models of Open Access as a much sounder option.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1080/0361526X.2018.1556189

Is It Such a Big Deal? On the Cost of Journal Use in the Digital Era

Authors : Fei Shu, Philippe Mongeon, Stefanie Haustein, Kyle Siler, Juan Pablo Alperin, Vincent Larivière

Commercial scholarly publishers promote and sell bundles of journals—known as big deals—that provide access to entire collections rather than individual journals. Following this new model, size of serial collections in academic libraries increased almost fivefold from 1986 to 2011.

Using data on library subscriptions and references made for a sample of North American universities, this study provides evidence that, while big deal bundles do decrease the mean price per subscribed journal, academic libraries receive less value for their investment.

We find that university researchers cite only a fraction of journals purchased by their libraries, that this fraction is decreasing, and that the cost per cited journal has increased.

These findings reveal how academic publishers use product differentiation and price strategies to increase sales and profits in the digital era, often at the expense of university and scientific stakeholders.

URL : Is It Such a Big Deal? On the Cost of Journal Use in the Digital Era

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.79.6.785

Vanishing industries and the rising monopoly of universities in published research

Authors : Vincent Larivière, Benoit Macaluso, Philippe Mongeon, Kyle Siler, Cassidy R. Sugimoto

Anecdotes abound regarding the decline of basic research in industrial and governmental settings, but very little empirical evidence exists about the phenomenon. This article provides a systematic and historical analysis of the contribution of various institutional sectors to knowledge production at the world and country levels across the past four decades.

It highlights a dramatic decline in the diffusion of basic research by industrial and governmental sectors across all countries—with a corresponding increase in the share from universities—as well as an increase of partnerships between universities and other sectors.

Results also shows an increase in the relative share of industries in applied research, as measured through patents. Such divergence in university and industry research activities may hinder industries’ ability to translate basic knowledge into technological innovation, and could lead to a growing misalignment between doctoral training and future job expectations.

Industries and universities must rethink strategies for partnerships and publishing to maximize scientific progress and to ensure the greatest gains for society.

URL : Vanishing industries and the rising monopoly of universities in published research

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202120

Scholarly Communication at the Crossroad: From subscription to Open Access?

Author : Gayle R.Y.C. Chan

Recent developments in the scholarly communication ecosystem toward open access (OA) have become highly complex in how researchers discover and use information, create, and select publication venues to disseminate their research. Institution policy makers, grant funders, publishers, researchers and libraries are coming to grips with the flux in OA publishing.

What is expected is that OA will secure a growing market share, with major funders pushing OA mandates with timelines and publishers launching new OA versus traditional journals. Libraries have a critical role to play in resolving the complexities resulting from the impending ‘flip’ of journals from subscription to OA.

The University of Hong Kong (HKU), being the foremost research institution in Asia, has experienced YOY double digit growth in gold open access publications in recent years. From the collection development perspective, there is an urgent need to understand the trend in research output in order to reassess the resources budget allocation and expenditures to accommodate the needed funding support for OA publishing.

This paper presents the strategies adopted by HKU in preparing the budget transition toward OA publishing and to strengthen the library’s negotiating power in securing sustainable big deals that factor in support for researchers to go the OA route.

The value for money, challenge and risk of committing in multiyear big deals without accounting for publishing expenditures in OA contents will be discussed. Analytics on research output, journal subscription and article publishing expenditures will be used to inform the bigger picture of funding access to scholarly contents.

URL : Scholarly Communication at the Crossroad: From subscription to Open Access?

Alternative location : http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2192

Global OA APCs (APC) 2010–2017: Major Trends

Author : Heather Morrison

The open access (OA) article processing charges (APC) project is a longitudinal study of the minority of fully OA journals (27% in 2016) that have APCs. The global average APC shows little change; in USD, 906 in 2010, 964 in 2016, 974 in 2017.

The average masks currency differences and the impact of a growing market; new APC journals often start with an APC of 0. Traditional commercial scholarly publishers are entering the OA market: the largest OA journal publishers’ portfolios in 2017 were Springer, De Gruyter, Elsevier, and Wolters Kluwer Medknow.

However, these are a small portion of OA journal publishing which is still marked by a very long tail and extensive involvement by very small, often university or society publishers. APC pricing shows a wide range and variability. The APC market can be described as volatile.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01816699

Data-Driven Transition: Joint Reporting of Subscription Expenditure and Publication Costs

Authors : Irene Barbers, Nadja Kalinna, Bernhard Mittermaier

The transition process from the subscription model to the open access model in the world of scholarly publishing brings a variety of challenges to libraries. Within this evolving landscape, the present article takes a focus on budget control for both subscription and publication expenditure with the opportunity to enable the shift from one to the other.

To reach informed decisions with a solid base of data to be used in negotiations with publishers, the diverse already-existing systems for managing publications costs and for managing journal subscriptions have to be adapted to allow comprehensive reporting on publication expenditure and subscription expenditure.

In the case presented here, two separate systems are described and the establishment of joint reporting covering both these systems is introduced. Some of the results of joint reporting are presented as an example of how such a comprehensive monitoring can support management decisions and negotiations.

On a larger scale, the establishment of the National Open Access Monitor in Germany is introduced, bringing together a diverse range of data from several already-existing systems, including, among others, holdings information, usage data, and data on publication fees.

This system will enable libraries to access all relevant data with a single user interface.

URL : Data-Driven Transition: Joint Reporting of Subscription Expenditure and Publication Costs

Alternative location : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/6/2/19

The Surge in New University Presses and Academic- Led Publishing: An Overview of a Changing Publishing Ecology in the UK

Authors : Janneke Adema, Graham Stone

This article outlines the rise and development of New University Presses and Academic-Led Presses in the UK or publishing for the UK market. Based on the Jisc research project, Changing publishing ecologies: a landscape study of new university presses and academic-led publishing, commonalities between these two types of presses are identified to better assess their future needs and requirements.

Based on this analysis, the article argues for the development of a publishing toolkit, for further research into the creation of a typology of presses and publishing initiatives, and for support with community building to help these initiatives grow and develop further, whilst promoting a more diverse publishing ecology.

URL : The Surge in New University Presses and Academic- Led Publishing: An Overview of a Changing Publishing Ecology in the UK

DOI : http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10210