From Google’s English: “The opacity of how much public institutions invest in subscriptions to scientific journals is maximum. Until now there was nothing published about it. However, records analyzed by Teknautas and the Data Unit of El Confidencial offer a first estimate: Spain spends around 25 million euros annually on subscriptions to Elsevier , an amount that doubles or triples the expenditure of other European countries.
Until recently, the activity of this editorial went unnoticed by the common non-scientific mortals despite billing 2,600 million euros in 2016. However, one day they saw their business threatened and decided to counterattack ….”
“Currently, according to Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), there are 255 existing Open Access repositories in Africa. To address a project of federating Open Access repositories across the multiple African regions in which they operate, the identification of key capabilities and training needs for African HEI librarians is needed.The survey aimed to produce a rounded picture of how higher education sector librarians view the enabling and constraining factors of their practice as information resource managers especially regarding the development, implementation and maintenance of Open Access Repositories….
Regarding the existence of a national policy on the management of research outputs, only 32% of the sample confirm that their respective countries have such a policy in place. As many as 45% say they do not have any such thing. As a reality check we compared these results against statistics from the Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP1) and found that similarly, two types of policy seemed to exist in African countries (one related to institutions and one related to funders) and the incidence of the latter was non existent in eastern African countries and not too signficant in southern African countries.
Meanwhile, a significant 23% are also ignorant about the existence of a national policy, exposing the gaps in advocacy, particularly for countries which have such policies….
Drawing from the above, unsurprisingly, the survey records a low incidence on the existence of national open access repositories – only 20% of respondents say they have national repositories in their countries. 64% do not have OARs and some 16% are ignorant about the existence of such in their countries….
The general consensus on the insufficiency of funding for the management of digital information resources is quite disturbing (see figure 12). Expectations on the efficiencyand availability of information resources is likely to be low if as many as 84% say that funding is inadequate…”
Abstract: Objective: The research describes an extensible method of evaluating and cancelling electronic journals during a budget shortfall and evaluates implications for interlibrary loan (ILL) and user satisfaction.
Methods: We calculated cost per use for cancellable electronic journal subscriptions (n=533) from the 2013 calendar year and the first half of 2014, cancelling titles with cost per use greater than $20 and less than 100 yearly uses. For remaining titles, we issued an online survey asking respondents to rank the importance of journals to their work. Finally, we gathered ILL requests and COUNTER JR2 turnaway reports for calendar year 2015.
Results: Three hundred fifty-four respondents completed the survey. Because of the level of heterogeneity of titles in the survey as well as respondents’ backgrounds, most titles were reported to be never used. We developed criteria based on average response across journals to determine which to cancel. Based on this methodology, we cancelled eight journals. Examination of ILL data revealed that none of the cancelled titles were requested with any frequency. Free-text responses indicated, however, that many value free ILL as a suitable substitute for immediate full-text access to biomedical journal literature.
Conclusions: Soliciting user feedback through an electronic survey can assist collections librarians to make electronic journal cancellation decisions during slim budgetary years. This methodology can be adapted and improved upon at other health sciences libraries.
“With the advent of the worldwide financial downturn a decade ago, many libraries, in particular many medium-to-large academic research libraries in North America, found they could no longer afford the escalating costs associated with big deal journal packaging from major academic, commercial publishing houses. The results from the initial round of cancellations were scaled down versions of big deals. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has a tracking mechanism of big deal cancellations which can be found here: <https://sparcopen.org/our-work/big-deal-cancellation-tracking/>. There are currently around 30 instances noted on their spreadsheet, indicating where deals were reduced or switched over to ordering specific titles as requested/needed by faculty in North America. In addition, SPARC has also added where negotiations from big deal packages have failed worldwide.
Jacob Nash & Karen McElfresh note in their 2016 article “A Journal Cancellation Survey and Resulting Impact on Interlibrary Loan” there was, in fact, little to no impact on Interlibrary Lending of content that made up their big deal cancellation. (DOI: <10.3163/1536-5050.104.4.008>). This study appears to be indicative to what many others have reported once they lose their big deal. There does not appear to be a significant upswing in ILL once a deal ends or is significantly reduced….
Given this fear and often great concern, my goal became to listen to librarians from Germany and Sweden about their consortial decisions regarding the biggest publisher in the mix, Elsevier. Bibsam, a consortia for Swedish academic institutions was unable to reach an agreement with Elsevier, and their content access ended July 1, 2018 for all content published after this date. For Germany, the lack of a renewed DEAL contract has resulted in a cascading loss of access among higher education institutions and research institutions. In both Germany and Sweden, it is still very early days with their non-renewal of Elsevier deals. For Germany, a few research institutions continue to have access to content up through the end of 2018. In addition, their previous contracts supply perpetual access for the years to which they were subscribed, so backfile access for numerous titles has been retained. My two interviewees are Irene Barbers (IB), who is Head of Acquisitions, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Zentralbibliothek/Central Library, and Lisa Lovén (LL), Librarian, Licensing Coordinator, Stockholm University Library, Stockholm University. Both responded to four questions posed by me….”
“One hundred days have now passed since the contract with Elsevier was terminated. The cancellation has received a lot of attention, both from within Sweden and abroad. Questions and comments from researchers to libraries have been much fewer than expected, something which can partly be explained by the summer vacation period, but most probably due to the fact that users have not been greatly affected since they still have uninterrupted access to all material published until the first of July 2018.
Comments from researchers have been both positive and negative. The support for open access is strong and many also regard the high profit margins of the publisher as unreasonable. Those with negative comments mostly concern problems accessing the articles they need for their research. All comments receive a reply with a description of the current situation, and underline the fact that all Swedish Vice-Chancellors collectively stand behind the recommendation to terminate the contract.
Some higher education institutions (HEIs) have used the money saved post-cancellation to pay for their researchers’ article processing charges in pure open access journals. Part of the money has also been used to pay for the extra costs involved when important articles have to be ordered via on-demand document delivery services….”
“As you have understood, open science can only be conceived as a comprehensive approach that integrates all facets of scientific activity. We can eventually achieve the figure of 100% of French scientific publications being available through open access. We must initiate processes to open research data to all, whenever it is reasonable, ethical and legal to do so. We must develop training courses, new tools and new services, or simplify and improve existing ones. But we must also be part of the global Open Science movement. I would like France to be a proactive leader in the field of open science, participating fully in its global reach. France supports, in particular, the initiatives of the European Union which, since 2012, has adopted voluntary policies with respect to open science. This is why we will support the “S plan” [Plan S] for open publications that ScienceEurope and Robert-Jan Smits have developed and which will be announced at the EuroScience Open forum (ESOF) Congress in Toulouse in the presence of Commissioner Carlos Moedas. We will thus be in sync with the implementation of the Conclusions of the May 2016 Competitiveness Council in full support of Commissioner Moedas’ Open Science agenda….”
“The money that Stockholm University saves at the cancelled agreement with large science publisher Elsevier will be used to publish research in full Open Access journals.
Sweden’s research libraries have, through the national consortium Bibsam, terminated its agreement with Elsevier as of 1st of July. The reason why is that the parties could not agree on a reasonable price model and a sustainable solution for a transition towards open science.
According to Stockholm University, the transition to open science is slow and the publishing in hybrid journals, where you publish separate articles Open Access in an otherwise subscription-based journal, does not urge the development quickly enough.
Stockholm University will therefore use the money deposited on the terminated agreement to support those of the university’s researchers who want to get published in full Open Access journals. According to the university, publishing in full Open Access journals with all publishers help to urge the development towards a sustainable transition to open science….”
“Because the lion’s share of both the University’s research output and of our library budgets is bound up with the services of journal publishers, advancing these goals [journal affordability and the moral imperative of achieving a truly open scholarly communication system] is inextricably entwined with the University’s ongoing relationships with publishers and must be addressed in the context of the agreements we sign with them. Our goal, simply put, is to responsibly transition funding for journal subscriptions toward funding for open dissemination. As we approach major journal negotiations for 2019, the UC system will be guided by the principles and goals outlined below in negotiating agreements with publishers….
We believe the time has come to address these issues head-on through a combined strategy that places the need to reduce the University’s expenditures for academic journal subscriptions in the service of the larger goal of transforming journal publishing to open access. Through our renewal negotiations with publishers, we will pursue this goal along two complementary paths: by reducing our subscription expenditures, and investing in open access support….
It has become increasingly clear that the problem of rising journal costs in the context of a widespread movement toward open access can only be addressed by tackling the subscription system itself….
As a leading research institution that produces 8% of all US research output, UC is uniquely positioned to both contribute to and accelerate such transformation, locally, nationally, and globally. Indeed, we believe that as a public university sustained by taxpayer and extramural funding, we have a signal obligation to do so; and we invite our colleagues in the North American research community to embark with us on this journey….
Strategic Priorities for Journal Negotiations
We will prioritize making immediate open access publishing available to UC authors as part of our negotiated agreements.
We will prioritize agreements that lower the cost of research access and dissemination, with sustainable, cost-based fees for OA publication. Payments for OA publication should reduce the cost of subscriptions at UC and elsewhere.
We will prioritize agreements with publishers who are transparent about the amount of APC-funded content within their portfolios, and who share that information with customers as well as the public.
We will prioritize agreements that enable UC to achieve expenditure reductions in our licenses when necessary, without financial penalty.
We will prioritize agreements that make any remaining subscription content available under terms that fully reflect academic values and norms, including the broadest possible use rights.
We will prioritize agreements that allow UC to share information about the open access provisions with all interested stakeholders, and we will not agree to non-disclosure requirements in our licenses.
We will prioritize working proactively with publishers who help us achieve a full transition to open access in accordance with the principles and pathways articulated by our faculty and our libraries.
We will adjust our investments to follow and support transformative initiatives mounted by academic authors, editorial boards, and societies when they seek to establish a journal on fair open access principles, including transitioning support from prior legacy journals when necessary.
We will actively seek to partner with other national and global research institutions in transforming research output to OA….”
“The most important thing that librarians can do to change the rules of the game is to invest in bold new experiments in scholarly communication; by which experiments I mean The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) partners such as MIT CogNet, BioOne, Columbia Earthscape, New Journal of Physics, Project Euclid, and others.
In investing in these new forms of scholarly communication, we are steadily building the publishing infrastructure so that future scholars may never have to publish in an expensive commercial journal in order to be academically successful. Despite the fact that we are spending a small percentage of our budgets compared to the Big Deals, these initiatives are profoundly subversive to the commercial publishing system — and the commercial publishers know it….”
“Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Sven Fund. Sven is the Managing Director of Knowledge Unlatched and founder of fullstopp, a digital consulting agency serving publishers, libraries, and intermediaries. From 2008 to 2015, Sven was the CEO of Berlin-based publisher De Gruyter. Prior to that he served in different functions from Managing Director to Executive Board member at what is now Springer Nature. He is a lecturer at Humboldt University in Berlin.
Open access (OA) is undergoing yet another metamorphosis. So far, the space has been dominated by author-pays (via Article Processing Charges – APCs) models, both hybrid and “pure”. And while funders like Wellcome and the German Research Foundation are reviewing their policies – many of them a decade old by now – it is becoming ever clearer that APCs will not be the future of OA, at least not uniquely. With their normative approach of flipping traditional acquisition budgets, Ralf Schimmer, Kai Geschuhn and Andreas Vogler have been advocating in principle that which is now becoming reality: i.e. that in order to really shake up the academic publishing market, other transactional models are necessary….
To make OA really work, libraries have to cooperate and co-spend in order to shift the market-shaping from publishers to themselves. Publishers are structured like supermarkets: They operate as global consortia around their own products, generating demand, shouldering financial risk and investments and in the process generating profit. As long as libraries or other agents are not prepared to supersede this role with a better structure, the underlying problem will remain….”