# CARL Members Release Journal Subscription Cost Data for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 – Canadian Association of Research Libraries

“Following up on a first release last year, university library members of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) have released their expenditure data for journal and database subscriptions licensed through the Canadian Research Knowledge Network consortium. This release covers subscription costs for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019….

Click to access 2017-2018 data set

Click to access 2018-2019 data set…”

# Will APC-OA lead to an exponential cost explosion? (#117) · Issues · Publishing Reform / discussion · GitLab

“We all know the increase in subscription costs for libraries (i.e., the serials crisis): (Image) A similar graph was recently published for APCs: Image source: http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10280

Both figures seem to indicate a linear increase in costs over time. However, the subscription costs cover total cost, i.e., the increase in number of publication is covered in this cost. In other words, if you divide the yearly subscription fees by the number of articles published, you arrive at a number of about US$4-5k per article. Remarkably, and this is crucially important here, this US$4-5k number has remained fairly constant since the 1990s!

The per-article APCs however, are not constant, they increase. The number of articles we published also increases, by about 3% every year. This means that in an APC-OA world, total spending on publishing is set to increase exponentially, as both the number of articles increases and the price per article.

In other words, if we could plot curves for expected total costs in a subscription world vs. expected costs in an APC-OA world, it would be plain obvious for anyone to see that the APC-OA costs explode, while subscription costs increase more slowly. If done well, I think such a curve could be the death-knell for the APC-OA idea. Who could help me plot that curve?…”

# Will APC-OA lead to an exponential cost explosion? (#117) · Issues · Publishing Reform / discussion · GitLab

“We all know the increase in subscription costs for libraries (i.e., the serials crisis): (Image) A similar graph was recently published for APCs: Image source: http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10280

Both figures seem to indicate a linear increase in costs over time. However, the subscription costs cover total cost, i.e., the increase in number of publication is covered in this cost. In other words, if you divide the yearly subscription fees by the number of articles published, you arrive at a number of about US$4-5k per article. Remarkably, and this is crucially important here, this US$4-5k number has remained fairly constant since the 1990s!

The per-article APCs however, are not constant, they increase. The number of articles we published also increases, by about 3% every year. This means that in an APC-OA world, total spending on publishing is set to increase exponentially, as both the number of articles increases and the price per article.

In other words, if we could plot curves for expected total costs in a subscription world vs. expected costs in an APC-OA world, it would be plain obvious for anyone to see that the APC-OA costs explode, while subscription costs increase more slowly. If done well, I think such a curve could be the death-knell for the APC-OA idea. Who could help me plot that curve?…”

# Publishing, technology, and lawsuits – IO: In The Open

“When Arizona State’s University Librarian, Jim O’Donnell, posted a link to an article about the status and strategy of four lawsuits brought in the past few years by commercial publishers on the LibLicense list, it started me on a series of rather disparate reflections about the state of scholarly communications.

Jim’s post was quite innocuous, of the “folks might be interested in this” variety, but he did note that some people might encounter a paywall. The article, “On the limitations of recent lawsuits against Sci-Hub, OMICS, ResearchGate, and Georgia State University,” by Stewart Manley, was published this summer in Learned Publishing, which is available, only with a subscription, through Wiley. My institution ended its Wiley “big deal” a year ago because we could no longer afford it, so I did encounter a paywall — $42 for this single, seven-page article (I ultimately obtained the article using inter-library loan, and am not providing a link to the pay-walled version). I commented, in response to Jim’s post, on this high cost of access, which leads to my first observation about the state of academic publishing. It s not surprising that many replies to my comment came from people who routinely use the LibLicense list to defend the status quo in commercial publishing, but I was bemused by a common theme that emerged, that I should obtain the article by subscribing to Learned Publishing via a membership in the Society for Scholarly Publishing, which, I was told, was a good deal at$180, with a discount for librarians. Since one of the major points made by Manley, in the article this was all about, is that publishers are using litigation as a last-ditch effort to avoid the ramifications of digital technology, this struck me as quite ironic. The journal issue as a package for multiple articles, only some of which might interest any particular reader, is an anachronism related to print technology. One of the great new affordances of the digital environment is to break open the journal issue and provide article-by-article access. But, because of the continuing desire to maintain excessive profit margins, publishers have undermined this potential with big deals and paywalls. The solution suggested was to return to still another way of paying for lots of stuff I don’t need in order to see the article I do want, just as I had to do in the print era….”

# Publishing, technology, and lawsuits – IO: In The Open

“When Arizona State’s University Librarian, Jim O’Donnell, posted a link to an article about the status and strategy of four lawsuits brought in the past few years by commercial publishers on the LibLicense list, it started me on a series of rather disparate reflections about the state of scholarly communications.

Jim’s post was quite innocuous, of the “folks might be interested in this” variety, but he did note that some people might encounter a paywall. The article, “On the limitations of recent lawsuits against Sci-Hub, OMICS, ResearchGate, and Georgia State University,” by Stewart Manley, was published this summer in Learned Publishing, which is available, only with a subscription, through Wiley. My institution ended its Wiley “big deal” a year ago because we could no longer afford it, so I did encounter a paywall — $42 for this single, seven-page article (I ultimately obtained the article using inter-library loan, and am not providing a link to the pay-walled version). I commented, in response to Jim’s post, on this high cost of access, which leads to my first observation about the state of academic publishing. It s not surprising that many replies to my comment came from people who routinely use the LibLicense list to defend the status quo in commercial publishing, but I was bemused by a common theme that emerged, that I should obtain the article by subscribing to Learned Publishing via a membership in the Society for Scholarly Publishing, which, I was told, was a good deal at$180, with a discount for librarians. Since one of the major points made by Manley, in the article this was all about, is that publishers are using litigation as a last-ditch effort to avoid the ramifications of digital technology, this struck me as quite ironic. The journal issue as a package for multiple articles, only some of which might interest any particular reader, is an anachronism related to print technology. One of the great new affordances of the digital environment is to break open the journal issue and provide article-by-article access. But, because of the continuing desire to maintain excessive profit margins, publishers have undermined this potential with big deals and paywalls. The solution suggested was to return to still another way of paying for lots of stuff I don’t need in order to see the article I do want, just as I had to do in the print era….”

# bjoern.brembs.blog » Is Open Access headed for a cost explosion?

“When not paying too much attention, both figures seem to indicate a linear increase in costs over time for both business models [subscriptions and APCs]. However, the situation is more complicated than that. For one, the Y-axis on the subscription graph indicates percent increase per year, so this is not a linear scale when one plots the numbers in actual currency. Moreover, the subscription graph plots total cost to libraries, i.e., the increase in number of publications of about ~3% year over year is included in this figure. In other words, if one divides the yearly subscription fees by the number of articles published in that year, one arrives at a number of about US$4-5k per article. Remarkably, and this is crucially important here, this US$4-5k number has remained fairly constant since the 1990s!

The per-article APCs, in contrast, are not constant, they increase. The number of articles we publish also increases, by about 3% every year. This means that in an APC-OA world, total spending on publishing seems likely to increase exponentially, as both the number of articles increases and the price for each article article….”

# EBSCO 2020 Serials Price Projections Report

“Factors that Influence Pricing

Many of the drivers that have influenced the scholarly information marketplace over the past several years remain in place (for example, library budget challenges, Open Access (OA), government mandates, country economic conditions, new assessment and evaluation tools, and alternative distribution networks). Some forces, such as organized piracy, are still a threatening disruption, but the impact to date is difficult to measure. In Europe, OA gained traction this past year with increased demand in OA publications, the negotiation of large Publish and Read as well as Read and Publish transactions and the launch of Plan S, which requires scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants to be published in compliant OA journals or platforms. Plan S is shifting subscription dollars away from libraries and the “reading” or consumption component of information publishing and toward the “publishing” or production side of publishing. In Asia, the Chinese government still asserts influence over academia and its related institutions, including how Chinese authors expose their scholarship to the world, especially as it relates to policies governing OA. This impacts access to core content within and from the country. Population contraction around the world also affects the serials marketplace. For example, South Korea now has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, which means fewer future university students, resulting in the closure or combining of Korean universities and decreased sales for publishers of academic content. The same population contraction trend has also been seen in Europe and is forecasted to eventually emerge in the U.S….”

# OA price and service transparency Survey

“The views of researchers, librarians, publishers, and funders about ways to increase the transparency of communications about the price of Open Access publishing services are sought in a new industry survey. The results of this survey will help to inform a collaborative project with publishers, funders, and universities to develop a framework for communications. The project is sponsored by the Wellcome Trust in partnership with UKRI on behalf of cOAlition S. You can visit the survey here ….”

# Open data on industry payments to healthcare providers reveal potential hidden costs to the public | Nature Communications

Abstract:  Healthcare industry players make payments to medical providers for non-research expenses. While these payments may pose conflicts of interest, their relationship with overall healthcare costs remains largely unknown. In this study, we linked Open Payments data on providers’ industry payments with Medicare data on healthcare costs. We investigated 374,766 providers’ industry payments and healthcare costs. We demonstrate that providers receiving higher amounts of industry payments tend to bill higher drug and medical costs. Specifically, we find that a 10% increase in industry payments is associated with 1.3% higher medical and 1.8% higher drug costs. For a typical provider, for example, a 10% or $25 increase in annual industry payments would be associated with approximately$1,100 higher medical costs and \$100 higher drug costs. Furthermore, the association between payments and healthcare costs varies markedly across states and correlates with political leaning, being stronger in more conservative states.

# Give EU more powers to take on academic publishers, says research commissioner | Science|Business

“The EU’s outgoing research commissioner has called for his successor to be granted stronger powers to negotiate lower prices with big science publishers.

Speaking at a Science|Business conference in Brussels on Tuesday, Carlos Moedas said the EU needed to flex more muscle with an industry that has been criticised for unyielding pricing policies.

The commissioner, who is leaving office on October 31, said he regretted his limited influence on this issue.

“The only thing I would tell my successor is to [get] a mandate to negotiate with publishers in full power. [I didn’t] have a mandate to say, I’m the one who calls the shots. Give that mandate to the commission. It’s not that difficult,” Moedas said.

Moedas praised the Plan S initiative, the European effort to knock down academic paywalls, but called for more political action against publishers, who wield great power when negotiating subscription deals with university libraries….”