Open Access Charges – Consolidation, Increases, and Breaking Through the $10k Barrier – Delta Think

“To compare like for like, we analyze non-discounted, CC BY charges. Overall, list prices are increasing slowly, but with some outliers:

The big headline is the high-impact journals now offering OA options. This has pushed maximum APCs for hybrid journals to well above their previous limits of $5,900. This year, the maximum is now $11,390 (from the Nature research journals), with the Cell titles mostly coming in at $8,900 ($9,900 for the flagship Cell).
The highest prices for fully OA journals have risen from $5,435 to $5,560.
Fully OA journal APCs are less expensive than hybrid, averaging around 58% of hybrid average APCs. This difference has increased a few percentage points over previous years, representing a small convergence.
The average hybrid APC has increased by just over 5%. This is significantly larger than the 1% or so increases over the previous few years.
The average fully OA APC has increased by 8.5% over the last year – more than twice that of previous years….”

Elsevier charge $37.95 for access to an unformatted manuscript with intrusive watermarking and the illustrations removed | Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

“It’s not, though. Because not only is this paper behind a paywall in Elsevier’s journal Cretaceous Research, but the paywalled paper is what they term a “pre-proof” — a fact advertised in a tiny font half way down the page rather than in a giant red letters at the top.

“Pre-proof” is not a term in common usage. What does it mean? It turns out to be an unformatted, double-spaced, and line-numbered manuscript. In other words, this is an AAM (author’s accepted manuscript) of the kind that the authors could have deposited in their institutional repository for anyone to read for free.

But wait — there’s more! By way of “added value”, Elsevier have slapped a big intrusive “journal pre-proof” watermark across the middle of every single page, to make it even less readable than a double-spaced line-numbered manuscript already is….”

Universities pressure Elsevier for cheaper journal fees | Financial Times

“Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.

https://www.ft.com/content/9525bbfc-87b7-44d8-bb58-fdc4eef19b11

British universities are demanding that Elsevier, the world’s largest academic publisher, cuts the cost of its journals and increases the share of articles made available for free online. The 160 higher education institutions which negotiate through the Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc), a non-profit technology provider for the sector, warn that their annual £50m bill is unacceptable at a time of intensifying financial pressure and demand for openly accessible science. The call comes as criticism grows of the traditional model of academic publishing, with increasing government and philanthropic funders including Wellcome insisting that the research they support is made available for free through “open access” online journals. The tensions have been accentuated with the surge in scientific articles including on Covid-19 topics published in recent months, against a backdrop of falling income to universities….”

Universities pressure Elsevier for cheaper journal fees | Financial Times

“Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.

https://www.ft.com/content/9525bbfc-87b7-44d8-bb58-fdc4eef19b11

British universities are demanding that Elsevier, the world’s largest academic publisher, cuts the cost of its journals and increases the share of articles made available for free online. The 160 higher education institutions which negotiate through the Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc), a non-profit technology provider for the sector, warn that their annual £50m bill is unacceptable at a time of intensifying financial pressure and demand for openly accessible science. The call comes as criticism grows of the traditional model of academic publishing, with increasing government and philanthropic funders including Wellcome insisting that the research they support is made available for free through “open access” online journals. The tensions have been accentuated with the surge in scientific articles including on Covid-19 topics published in recent months, against a backdrop of falling income to universities….”

NERL Demands a Better Deal?

“NERL members are among the most prestigious and productive research institutions in the United States, with researchers at NERL-affiliated institutions producing an estimated 10-12% of the most important and impactful scholarship in the world. We are committed to leveraging our influence to achieve global sustainability, parity, and access in scholarly publishing. Ensuring a sustainable ecosystem for scholarly communications is crucial across our institutions for impact, access, and preservation. When we say we demand a better deal, we mean more than a good price. In keeping with NERL’s support for The MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts, we are committed to contracts that allow for maximum flexibility and options for researchers. As partners in the scholarly communication ecosystem, publishers and libraries share in the challenges of unprecedented health and economic crises, and our shared priority must be opening access to scholarship as our best way of supporting solutions to those crises….”

Why Is Access to the Scholarly Journal Literature So Expensive?

“For more than 30 years the spiraling costs of scholarly journal subscriptions, often called the “serials crisis,” have been a hotly debated topic. Academics and librarians have pointed out the high profit levels of the major commercial publishers, despite that the content they sell is provided by unpaid authors and reviewers. The publishers then resell it to the universities of these same authors and reviewers. Publishers have attempted to justify their prices by cost increases, their investments in information technology, and the value they add. A useful framework for understanding the situation is Michael Porter’s five forces model for explaining the competitive conditions in an industry. Despite claims to the contrary, the degree of market concentration in scholarly publishing is not higher than that in many other industries, and it is not the main cause of the problem. But because the big deals of different publishers are complements rather than substitutes, the leading companies essentially do not compete for customers, in contrast to other industries, such as mobile phones or automobiles. The high barriers to new entrants, partly due to journal ranking lists and impact factors, as well as the low bargaining power of suppliers and customers, explain why this industry has been so well shielded from the disruptive forces of the Internet. The protected competitive position and high profitability are also major reasons why the big subscription publishers have been slow to adopt the open access business model….”

Fight for the Future – News – 2021-02-24-new-tool-shows-how-amazon-and-other-book

“WhoCanGetYourBook.com offers letter grades in accessibility and availability for books, laying bare prohibitive licensing costs, exclusive deals such as Amazon’s Audible Originals, and usability concerns that are keeping popular books out of the hands of our nation’s most-vulnerable readers….

The ‘Who can get your book?’ quiz offers authors and publishers a letter grade, granting one point for each equitable decision in how a book is released. For example, Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime receives a letter grade of D, based on the memoir’s lack of availability in audiobook format due to an exclusive with Amazon’s Audible—as well as restrictive licensing agreements for the ebook.

 

Access issues with audiobooks in particular don’t stop there. Despite an orientation to equity of access and rare download-and-own options for ebooks, PM Press’ Pictures Of A Gone City still received a C grade because the audiobook they paid to produce via Amazon’s ACX Services is only available on Audible….”

 

Textbook Task Force takes on the high costs of learning materials | Temple Now

“That sentiment echoes what Temple Student Government (TSG) found in a survey it conducted last fall on textbook affordability. In response to the prompt: “Indicate how course materials have affected you this [fall 2020] semester,” 41% of the respondents replied that they worked extra hours at their job to afford course materials, 24% said they chose classes and sections based on the cost of the learning materials and 28% had to prioritize the purchase of access code content over other learning materials. In their comments, students reported skipping meals and not paying bills in order to pay for course materials, while others admitted to dropping a class because they could not afford the textbook.

With students facing financial challenges compounded by the pandemic, including lower family earnings or lost part-time job wages, etc., the high cost of textbooks is more prohibitive than ever. That’s why a group of faculty and administrators, known as the Textbook Task Force , have doubled down on their efforts to ease that financial strain. 

The task force was organized by Executive Vice President and Provost JoAnne A. Epps in 2019 and is charged with developings strategies for creating more awareness among faculty about textbook affordability challenges students face and how faculty can seek out and adopt open and zero-cost learning materials….”

 

‘Price gouging from Covid’: student ebooks costing up to 500% more than in print | Higher education | The Guardian

“Librarians at UK universities say students’ reading lists for this term are being torn up because of publishers’ “eye-watering” increases to ebook prices, and some students are now reading what is available or affordable, rather than what their tutors think is best for their course.

With thousands of students studying in their bedrooms at home because of the pandemic, providing access to textbooks and research books online has become crucial. However, librarians say academic publishers are failing to offer electronic versions of many books, seen as critical to degree courses during the pandemic. And, they say, universities frequently cannot afford to buy the ebooks available, for which they can be charged more than five times as much as the printed version, often running into hundreds of pounds a copy, sometimes for one user at a time.

 

Nearly 3,000 librarians, academics and students have now signed an open letter calling for a public investigation into the “unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible” academic ebook market….”

Grossmann, Brembs (2021) Current market rates for scholarly publishing services | F1000Research

Grossmann A and Brembs B. Current market rates for scholarly publishing services [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research 2021, 10:20 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.27468.1)

Abstract: For decades, the supra-inflation increase of subscription prices for scholarly journals has concerned scholarly institutions. After years of fruitless efforts to solve this “serials crisis”, open access has been proposed as the latest potential solution. However, the prices for open access publishing are also high and are rising well beyond inflation. What has been missing from the public discussion so far is a quantitative approach to determine the actual costs of efficiently publishing a scholarly article using state-of-the-art technologies, such that informed decisions can be made as to appropriate price levels. Here we provide a granular, step-by-step calculation of the costs associated with publishing primary research articles, from submission, through peer-review, to publication, indexing and archiving. We find that these costs range from less than US$200 per article in modern, large-scale publishing platforms using post-publication peer-review, to about US$1,000 per article in prestigious journals with rejection rates exceeding 90%. The publication costs for a representative scholarly article today come to lie at around US$400. We discuss the additional non-publication items that make up the difference between publication costs and final price.