“What I find intriguing is not so much that commercial publishers have learned how to involve academics in peer review, but rather that the learned societies appear to have relinquished the intellectual leadership that [David] Martin assumed was theirs.
With so many journals now being published by so many different societies, university presses and commercial firms, disciplinary leadership is more diffuse than it was 60 years ago and no longer obviously lies with learned societies. Based on ownership, the big four commercial publishers have a clear claim to leadership in the business of academic publishing. But these firms have no grounds on which to claim leadership in the provision of academic prestige.
Given current debates about how the future of academic publishing will be shaped by technology and open access, this matters hugely – and not simply because of the cost of access to research….”
“PLOS is pleased to announce the appointment of Alison Mudditt as its Chief Executive Officer, effective June 19, 2017.
For the past six years Mudditt served as Director of University of California Press (UC Press) where she ushered in new strategies to lead the company into the digital age, including the innovative journal and monograph Open Access programs Collabra and Luminos.
Prior to UC Press, Mudditt was Executive Vice President at SAGE Publications, Inc., leading publishing programs across books, journals and digital platforms. Her 25 plus years in the publishing industry include leadership positions at Blackwell Publishers in Oxford, UK, and Taylor & Francis Inc., in Philadelphia, US. Mudditt received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Bath and her Masters in Business Administration from The Open University.”
“Wiley has partnered with the British Journal of Surgery society to launch an exciting new open access title, BJS Open. Like its sister title, British Journal of Surgery (BJS), BJS Open will publish high-quality work on all aspects of general surgery and related topics.”
Evaluating the cost/benefit of the ‘Big Deal’ at the Universite de Montreal.
“At each stage of the process of analysis and renegotiations, we created multiple opportunities for discussion among our personnel, the faculty union, departments, senior administrators, and students’ groups. Every effort was made to remind members of our community of their role in the scholarly publishing ecosystem and of the alternatives available to them, starting with Open Access publishing….”
“Studies have shown that the academic publishing industry achieved impressive revenue levels of approximately USD5,000 per published article in 2011.
In this multi-billion dollar business, the profit of each article was estimated to be between USD3,500 and USD4,000. Even for open-access publishers which charge a much lower fee, the average price per article still hovered around USD660 in the same year. However, the world of academic publishing is not as blissful as many aspiring academicians and researchers would like to believe. In reality, the business of scientific publishing is extremely lucrative.”
“While advocates of traditional publishing often criticize open access (OA) publishing as lacking in editorial standards, this is not necessarily so. Green OA has the same editorial standards as the traditional publications that provide the articles for a Green deposit into a repository. [Fee-based] Gold OA is a different matter, however, as the ‘author-pays’ aspect of it limits the payment to what the traffic — meaning the author or his or her benefactor — will bear. Kitchen readers have heard me make the point about the average revenue per article before: If the journals industry has combined revenues of $10 billion, and the number of articles published each year is around 2 million, then the average revenue per article is about $5,000. In an all-[fee-based]Gold world, publishers with revenue greater than $5,000 per article (which includes every one of the most prestigious journals) are highly exposed, especially when some Gold publishers charge as little as $1,500 per article. Thus in a dystopian future where [fee-based] Gold OA dominates, there will be insufficient revenue to cover the high editorial costs of the most distinguished editorial operations. The accelerating decline and fall of the editor can thus be laid at the feet of BioMed Central, which pioneered the [fee-based] Gold model. Of course, not everyone will be unhappy if editors find their next career as a Starbucks barista.
Which brings us to the agencies that support [fee-based] Gold OA by tying OA to research grants. Why would such organizations take steps that would lead to the undermining of outstanding editorial programs? There are three possibilities, the first of which is Hanlon’s Razor. Hanlon’s Razor states that one should never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Then there is the cynical view: how galling it must be to back a researcher with a large sum of money only to see the high-impact journals reject the papers that grow out of that research. Distinguished publishers, in other words, hold grants officers accountable — and who wants to be held accountable? The cynics among us suspect that funding agencies are leading the war on editors, with the aim of reducing scientific publishing to content marketing: articles become content that promotes the brands of their tax-advantaged funders. Finally, we have the Law of Unintended Consequences, whose realm is boundless. In this view (which overlaps with Hanlon’s Razor) the funding agencies are attempting to do a good thing, but don’t appreciate that their actions may serve to weaken the strongest and most distinguished editorial franchises.”
In the traditional sense of open access, I will encourage you to pay attention to what open access publishers say about what they intend to do with the work that you submit to them. LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) and CLOCKSS (Controlled LOCKSS) are examples of programs designed to provide publishers with digital preservation tools and networks to ensure the safety of their content. If you are submitting your articles to a publisher who is openly involved with LOCKSS or CLOCKSS, then you can be reasonably assured that they have your best preservation interests at heart. But they’re not the only tools available to publishers, so be a good investigator when you explore your publication possibilities.
This introduction is the first part of two posts about digital preservation and access. Look out for the next post with four simple rules for incorporating digital preservation into your personal research routine.”