‘Obscenely priced books and journals, glacial timescales and limited formats’

May 10, 2010 at 9:39 am | Posted in Journals Publishing | Leave a comment

Times Higher Education – It’s time to put the point back into the pen of scholarly writing:

Obscenely priced books and journals, glacial timescales and limited formats are squeezing the life out of academic publishing …The problem is the near-complete disconnection of academic publishing from the rest of literary culture and the monomaniacal focus of the academy on only a limited range of publication formats… academic publications are often self-limiting due to their formats: crazily priced books that will be bought only by libraries; obscenely priced journals that are difficult to access; and protracted publishing timescales that limit contemporary relevance. Whether or not these limitations are economically inevitable (and I cannot for the life of me see why a publisher should deliberately produce books in formats that ensure exclusivity), the result is that academic publications are further ensconced in the ivory tower, regardless of their possible wider interest.

UK Serials Group 2010 Summary

May 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing, Libraries, Open Access | Leave a comment

LiveSerials: Hannah Whaley’s UKSG summary: ”

A number of themes started to recur through the sessions and discussions, as summarised:

  • Big deal bubble must burst, as it is unsustainable for many institutions
  • We must move further towards open access, but it is not yet clear how
  • Journal impact factor isn’t good enough anymore, we need to
    review the commentary and produce new ranking factors
  • Linked information is nearly here, allowing informal and pre-publish conversations to be viewed and measured in a structured way on the web
  • The age of the article is here, meaning metrics, usage and discoverability will increasingly be at article level rather than the ‘journal container’
  • Just-in-time must replace just-in-case, as no one can maintain a full array of items that may only occasionally be required
  • In the eyes of faculty, electronic versions of journals are now utterly mainstream

    April 13, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing | Leave a comment

    Ithaka S&R Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies:

    In the eyes of faculty, electronic versions of journals are now utterly mainstream. While print journals may continue to play a limited role for faculty with specific needs that are otherwise poorly met, digital versions are clearly the medium of choice for most faculty members, even among humanists. Bringing together the preservation and business models to wind down print publishing and collections programs wherever appropriate would probably reduce expenditures by publishers and libraries alike.

    Economics Consultants to Examine Bloc Payment Mechanisms for Online Journals : JISC

    March 26, 2010 at 11:41 am | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing | Leave a comment

    JISC Collections invites proposals to explore the metrics that could be used for the redistribution of costs between all the libraries participating in bloc purchase and to create a model that demonstrates the cost benefits of participating in a bloc purchase.  In this context a ‘bloc’ could be all of the higher education institutions in a country, Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland or any combination of institutions in those countries, or indeed all of the UK higher education institutions in the UK.

    Economics Consultants to Examine Bloc Payment Mechanisms for Online Journals : JISC

    Compact for OA Publishing Equity

    September 15, 2009 at 8:39 am | Posted in Journals Publishing, Open Access | Comments Off on Compact for OA Publishing Equity

    Compact for OA Publishing Equity:

    Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, MIT and UC Berkeley have all signed up to this compact:

    We the undersigned universities recognize the crucial value of the services provided by scholarly publishers, the desirability of open access to the scholarly literature, and the need for a stable source of funding for publishers who choose to provide open access to their journals’ contents. Those universities and funding agencies receiving the benefits of publisher services should recognize their collective and individual responsibility for that funding, and this recognition should be ongoing and public so that publishers can rely on it as a condition for their continuing operation.

    Therefore, each of the undersigned universities commits to the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds. We encourage other universities and research funding agencies to join us in this commitment, to provide a sufficient and sustainable funding basis for open-access publication of the scholarly literature.”

    Progress toward OA in the social sciences and humanities

    June 5, 2008 at 7:37 am | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing, Monographs, Open Access | Comments Off on Progress toward OA in the social sciences and humanities

    Progress toward OA in the social sciences and humanities: ”

    Tracey Caldwell, OA in the humanities badlands, Information World Review, June 4, 2008. Excerpt:

    The field of social sciences and humanities (SSH)…faces a…crisis in publishing [similar to that in the STM fields]. In STM, this crisis has been one of the drivers for open access, but this has not been the case in SSH so far.

    The dearth of funding in the SSH sector has been one the main reasons it has lagged behind in getting research online and embracing open access. There is not a lot of money around to finance author-pays models of open access (OA), although there has also been an absence of drive on the part of researchers towards open access, backed by a cultural resistance in some disciplines to any sharing of research at all.

    But recently, there has been a dawning of understanding among researchers that OA can bring benefits much broader than simple speed and ease of access to research.

    At the same time, publishers facing demands for open access have started to make their concerns known, citing the long tail of access to research in this sector that would threaten their business model. Compared with the STM sector, there is a much higher proportion of journal articles accessed for the first time over a year after publication in SSH….

    The launch of the Open Humanities Press (OHP), an international OA publishing collective in critical and cultural theory, at the end of April is one sign of the growing realisation of the need for OA in humanities….

    The EU has put its weight behind moves to hasten OA in SSH through the so-called Action 32 of the STM-based COST (Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research) European programme. Action 32 aims to create a digital infrastructure for collaborative humanities research on the web….

    [Jonathan Gray of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF)] believes the first step to OA in the SSH sector is to provide better access to research that is already in the public domain….

    Many researchers in this sector simply do not know how to go about making their research open access. A survey by RIN showed that only 14% of arts and humanities researchers (compared with 30% in the physical sciences and 36% in the life sciences) think they are familiar with the options for making their research outputs open access.

    [David Green, global journals publishing director for Taylor & Francis] believes it is too early to tell what the true impact of OA would be on the SSH sector.

    ‘One of the big American medical journals found a one-time drop of around 5-10% of subscriptions when it made its back archive free to access after a couple of years. We saw something similar, if less marked, with two of our journals when they introduced their 12- and 24-month embargo postprint policies. Renewals since have been good. This seems a common experience: a small loss in the first year after introducing some form of OA, followed by a large increase in usage.’

    So would it hold more widely in SSH? ‘Hard to say, but we would remain concerned that SSH material has a much longer half-life and much longer usage tail than STM….

    [Michael Jubb, director of the Research Information Network (RIN)] is part of a concerted effort to guide institutions towards centralised arrangements to pay publishing fees. He says: ‘I see no sign at all that research councils have much enthusiasm for meeting the costs of publishing. I am chairing a meeting on payment of publication fees and the practicalities of how institutions might take a more strategic approach to payment for publication….

    The idea of providing a quality assurance layer to open access articles deposited in institutional repositories [sometimes called ‘overlay journals’] may be of especial interest to the fragmented and cash-strapped social sciences and humanities communities….

    (Via Open Access News.)

    Open Humanities Press

    May 7, 2008 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Electronic Publishing, Journals Publishing, Open Access, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Open Humanities Press

    The Open Humanities Press will launch next Monday. From today’s announcement:

    On May 12, 2008, the Open Humanities Press (OHP) will launch with 7 of the leading Open Access journals in critical and cultural theory. A non-profit, international grass-roots initiative, OHP marks a watershed in the growing embrace of Open Access in the humanities.

    ‘OHP is a bold and timely venture’ said J. Hillis Miller, Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine, a long-time supporter of the Open Access movement and OHP board member. ‘It is designed to make peer-reviewed scholarly and critical works in a number of humanistic disciplines and cross-disciplines available free online. Initially primarily concerned with journals, OHP may ultimately also include book-length writings. This project is an admirable response to the current crisis in scholarly publishing and to the rapid shift from print media to electronic media. This shift, and OHP’s response to it, are facets of what has been called ‘critical climate change.’’

    ‘The future of scholarly publishing lies in Open Access’ agreed Jonathan Culler, Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cornell University and fellow member of OHP’s editorial advisory board. ‘Scholars in the future should give careful consideration to the where they publish, since their goal should be to make the products of their research as widely available as possible, to people throughout the world. Open Humanities Press is a most welcome initiative that will help us move in this direction.’ …

    (Via Open Access News.)

    Stirling University adopts an OA mandate

    April 9, 2008 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Institutional Repositories, Journals Publishing, Open Access | Comments Off on Stirling University adopts an OA mandate

    The University of Stirling has become the first academic institution in the UK to oblige staff to make all their published research available online.

    Clare Allan said:

    The University now requires all published journal articles to be deposited by authors, as soon as possible after they are accepted for publication, and in compliance with the publishers’ copyright agreements. 

    (Via Open Access News.)

    LJ Periodical Price Survey 2007

    April 18, 2007 at 10:54 am | Posted in Institutional Repositories, Journals Publishing, Open Access | Leave a comment

    Library Journal‘s Periodical Price Survey 2007 is now available. Overall price rises for 2008 renewals are expected to be in the range of 7 to 9%. There is also an interesting analysis of the impact of Open Access and Institutional Repositories.

    Subscription model faces threat from self-archiving

    December 6, 2006 at 11:47 am | Posted in Institutional Repositories, Journals Publishing, Open Access | Leave a comment

    Information World Review reports on a recent study conducted by the Publishing Research Consortium in which 400 librarians worldwide were surveyed:

    Librarians are likely to cancel journal subscriptions in favour of free access to peer-reviewed research via open access repositories … The study found that librarians are sensitive to the embargo period: with a 24-month embargo, just over 50% prefer the paid-for version of a journal article.

    Chris Beckett, director of Scholarly Information Strategies said: “The sooner publishers develop alternatives to enable OA, the better.”

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