MDPI 2019: price increases, some hefty, and more coming in July | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs

n brief: MDPI has increased prices, in many cases quite substantially (some prices have more than tripled). Even more price increases are anticipated in July 2019, which will have the effect of doubling the average APC and tripling the most common APC. Unlike other publishers’ practices, there are no price decreases. Comment and recommendation: open access advocates, along with policy makers and research funders, and keen to support a transition to open access. In my opinion, the enthusiasm of payers to support APC journals is causing an unhealthy and unsustainable distortion in the market. My advice: stick with green OA policy. Require deposit of funded works in an open access repository. This is a better means to ensure ongoing preservation and open access, and exerts market pressure in a way that is more suited to the development of an economically sustainable open access system.

The business of academic publishing: “a catastrophe” – ScienceDirect

Richard Smith, a former editor at BMJ, reviews Jason Schmitt’s film, Paywall.

As I watched Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, I was taken back 30 years to when I thought for the first time about the business aspects of academic publishing. I was an assistant editor at the BMJ, and the editor asked me to join a meeting with a group of rheumatologists who wanted a share in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, a journal we owned. “We do the research published in the journal”, said one of the rheumatologists. “We do the peer review, we edit the journal, we read it, and we store it in our libraries. What do you do?” “Tell them what we do”, said the editor to me. I was at a complete loss….”

My Response to Plan S – Toby Green – Medium

“1. Publishing has been hi-jacked by the reputation economy….

2. Publishing is a bundle of services: as the low-cost airlines showed, unbundling can open up markets….

3. The central problem isn’t open access, it’s that scholarly publishing costs more than available funds….

4. Finally, why not do it yourself?….”

My Response to Plan S – Toby Green – Medium

“1. Publishing has been hi-jacked by the reputation economy….

2. Publishing is a bundle of services: as the low-cost airlines showed, unbundling can open up markets….

3. The central problem isn’t open access, it’s that scholarly publishing costs more than available funds….

4. Finally, why not do it yourself?….”

Second Big Deals survey: Preview of the results

“EUA has published a preview of the results of the latest edition of its Big Deals survey. The large-scale initiative covers 31 consortia in Europe, representing universities and other organisations, responsible for the negotiation of Big Deal contracts with publishers. 

The preliminary results show that more than one billion euros are spent every year across Europe in electronic resources, of which more than 700 million go to periodicals alone. These numbers are subject to an average annual increase of 3.6%. Notably, universities support about 72% of these costs. 

The survey results illustrate EUA’s contribution to increasing transparency in the publishing area, particularly from the point of view of universities. This aim is also in line with the recent complaint that EUA presented to the European Commission, DG Competition, on the lack of transparency and competition in the academic publishing market in Europe and beyond. 

Conducted in 2018, this is EUA’s second Big Deals survey. The first edition was published early last year. Not only has the number of surveyed consortia increased from 27, but the quality of the data gathered has improved greatly. EUA will link the outcomes of this survey with other key areas in its work, namely institutional policies on Open Access, research assessment methodologies and its impact analysis of Plan S . 

The full survey report will be published in April 2019 on the occasion of the EUA Annual Conference….”

No Free Lunch — What Price Plan S for Scientific Publishing? | NEJM

“Open access to research articles is a goal that both scientists and the public will support. But eliminating subscription-based publication models without having alternatives in place that can reliably produce independently vetted, cautiously presented, high-quality content might have serious unintended consequences for the integrity of the scientific literature.”

Five Reasons Why Publishing Science for Profit Will Endure

[Access may require registration.]

Big Deals Are Actually a Good Deal….

Prestige Matters….

Boycotts Are Largely Symbolic….

Preprint Archiving Is Not Universal….

Publishing Quality Science Is Difficult and Expensive….

Open access mythbusting: Testing two prevailing assumptions about the effects of open access adoption – Pollock – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This article looks at whether there is evidence to support two prevailing assumptions about open access (OA). These assumptions are: (1) fully OA journals are inherently of poorer quality than journals supported by other business models and (2) the OA business model, that is, paying for publication, is more ‘competitive’ than the subscription journal access business model. The assumptions have been discussed in contemporary industry venues, and we have encountered them in the course of their work advising scholarly communications organizations. Our objective was to apply data analytics techniques to see if these assumptions bore scrutiny. By combining citation?based impact scores with data from publishers’ price lists, we were able to look for relationships between business model, price, and ‘quality’ across several thousands of journals. We found no evidence suggesting that OA journals suffer significant quality issues compared with non?OA journals. Furthermore, authors do not appear to ‘shop around’ based on OA price.

Martin Paul Eve, Response to cOAlition S Implementation Guidelines

“I write to provide feedback in an individual capacity on the Plan S implementation guidelines. I am extremely supportive of the cOAlition’s goals and Plan S in general. I disagree with those who say that the timeline is too short; many of these actors have not taken the opportunities over the last decade to experiment with open access or new business models and have only begun dialogue under the threat of immediate action. That said, I welcome the recent engagement by the Wellcome Trust and UKRI to speak with Learned Societies and to evaluate routes to their transition to Plan S compliance. Developing alternative revenue streams to support the activities of these bodies is not a small task, but it is crucial for the wellbeing of these disciplines, and for open access to prosper. There are a few areas where the document could provide greater clarity….”

My Draft Plan S Implementation Guidance Feedback | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“I write to provide feedback in an individual capacity on the Plan S implementation guidelines.

 

I am extremely supportive of the cOAlition’s goals and Plan S in general. I disagree with those who say that the timeline is too short; many of these actors have not taken the opportunities over the last decade to experiment with open access or new business models and have only begun dialogue under the threat of immediate action. That said, I welcome the recent engagement by the Wellcome Trust and UKRI to speak with Learned Societies and to evaluate routes to their transition to Plan S compliance. Developing alternative revenue streams to support the activities of these bodies is not a small task, but it is crucial for the wellbeing of these disciplines, and for open access to prosper.

There are a few areas where the document could provide greater clarity….”