The future of Open Access should not be left to the legacy publishers

“It is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect the legacy publisher’s shareholders to voluntarily forgo their projected profits. The interests of the legacy publishers cannot co?exist with the ideals of many of us in the Open Access movement.

The way forward for Open Access, therefore, can not be guided by the legacy publishers.”

Quitting For-Profit Preprints | science of psych

“I’ve decided to quit academia.edu and researchgate and put all of my pre-prints/manuscripts on PsyArXiv. I deleted any manuscript copies that I had uploaded to academia.edu and RG and removed my accounts from them. I’m writing you because you posted a copy of our collaborative work on researchgate. It is of course your prerogative as to how you share our work, but I thought I might ask you to consider taking that copy of our paper down. I’m trying to streamline access points for our work and also to redirect traffic away from these commercial sites. PsyArXiv is indexed by Google scholar, so the work remains freely accessible in a space backed by a non-profit entity (the Open Science Framework). Another benefit of OSF is that it is backed by a large preservation grant, so that the works on PsyArXiv will be supported in perpetuity even if OSF grows or changes.”

Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too

Much of the rhetoric around the future of scholarly communication hinges on the ‘open’ label. In light of Elsevier’s recent acquisition of bepress and the announcement that, owing to high fees, an established mathematics journal’s editorial team will split from its publisher to start an open access alternative, Jefferson Pooley argues that the scholarly communication ecosystem should aim not only to be open but non-profit too. The profit motive is fundamentally misaligned with core values of academic life, potentially corroding ideals like unfettered inquiry, knowledge-sharing, and cooperative progress. There are obstacles to forging a non-profit alternative, from sustainable funding to entrenched cynicism, but such a goal is worthy and within reach.”

Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too

Much of the rhetoric around the future of scholarly communication hinges on the ‘open’ label. In light of Elsevier’s recent acquisition of bepress and the announcement that, owing to high fees, an established mathematics journal’s editorial team will split from its publisher to start an open access alternative, Jefferson Pooley argues that the scholarly communication ecosystem should aim not only to be open but non-profit too. The profit motive is fundamentally misaligned with core values of academic life, potentially corroding ideals like unfettered inquiry, knowledge-sharing, and cooperative progress. There are obstacles to forging a non-profit alternative, from sustainable funding to entrenched cynicism, but such a goal is worthy and within reach.”

Impact of Social Sciences – Increasingly collaborative researcher behaviour is the real threat to the resilient academic publishing sector

“Traditional academic publishing has been rumoured to be imperilled for decades now. Despite continued criticism over pricing and a growing open access movement, a number of recent reports point to the sector’s resilience. Francis Dodds suggests this is partly attributable to the adaptability of academic publishers but also highlights attitudes of researchers surprisingly committed to the status quo as another key factor. However, other aspects of researcher behaviour may prove more disruptive in the long term, with greater collaboration leading to the growing informal use and exchange of free material between researchers….”

The strange world of academic publishing | Ecology Ng?tahi

“A couple of days ago I tried to explain to my parents (non-scientists, obviously) how publishing a paper works and why it is so important for us scientists. No problem to wrap your head around the publish or perish principle. Naturally they wanted to know where they could read these papers and that’s where the story became a little bit more complicated and confusing for an outsider. It just doesn’t make sense to them that scientists give their work to publishers for free and that reviewers and editors, who also put in considerable work hours don’t see a penny either. The publishing companies on the other hand earn huge amounts of money by selling single articles to individuals and more importantly journal subscriptions to numerous university and research libraries worldwide. The big publishing houses basically make their profits from selling free work from scientists back to them through the university libraries with profit margins of up to 40%. Sounds a bit insane, right?”

Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science? | Science | The Guardian

“Scientists are well aware that they seem to be getting a bad deal. The publishing business is ‘perverse and needless’, the Berkeley biologist Michael Eisen wrote in a 2003 article for the Guardian, declaring that it ‘should be a public scandal’. Adrian Sutton, a physicist at Imperial College, told me that scientists ‘are all slaves to publishers. What other industry receives its raw materials from its customers, gets those same customers to carry out the quality control of those materials, and then sells the same materials back to the customers at a vastly inflated price?’ (A representative of RELX Group, the official name of Elsevier since 2015, told me that it and other publishers ‘serve the research community by doing things that they need that they either cannot, or do not do on their own, and charge a fair price for that service’.)”

Combating the lucrative nature of scientific publishing | News for Doctor, Nurse, Pharmacist | General News | MIMS Singapore

“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.”

Scholarly journal publishing in transition– from restricted to open access

Abstract: While the business models used in most segments of the media industry have been profoundly changed by the Internet surprisingly little has changed in the publishing of scholarly peer reviewed journals. Electronic delivery has become the norm, but the same publishers as before are still dominating the market, selling content to subscribers. This article asks the question why Open Access (OA) to the output of mainly publicly funded research hasn’t yet become the mainstream business model. OA implies a reversal of revenue logic from readers paying for content to authors paying for dissemination via universal free access. The current situation is analyzed using Porter’s five forces model. The analysis demonstrates a lack of competitive pressure in this industry, leading to so high profit levels of the leading publishers that they have not yet felt a strong need to change the way they operate. OA funded by article publishing charges (APCs) might nevertheless start rapidly becoming more common. The driving force currently consists of the public research funders and administrations in Europe, which are pushing for OA by starting dedicated funds for paying the APCs of authors from the respective countries. This has in turn lead to a situation in which publishers have introduced “big deals” involving the bundling of (a) subscription to all their journals, (b) APCs for their hybrid journals and (c) in the future also APCs to their full OA journals. This appears to be a relatively risk free strategy for the publishers in question to retain their dominance of the market and high profit levels also in the future.

Open access to the scientific journal literature

Abstract:  None of the advantages of traditional scientific journals need be sacrificed in order to provide free online access to scientific journal articles. Objections that open access to scientific journal literature requires the sacrifice of peer-review, revenue, copyright protection, or other strengths of traditional journals, are based on misunderstandings.