A year ago (February 7, 2017) we were able to screen scrape pricing details for all Taylor and Francis fully open access open select journals, in multiple currencies. Today, to find the price one has to select a journal, type of article, and country to find the open access article publishing charge (APC) list price. This is a useful service – and a barrier to pricing transparency.
“Although I have not lived in Finland since 2013, I’ve kept in touch with the open science community there as well as with current open access discussions. On January 17, I got a rather unpleasant birthday present in the form of an announced three-year, 27 M€ deal between FinELib, a consortium of Finnish research institutions, and Elsevier, perhaps the most egregious of the big publishers. The deal was reached after two years of hard negotiations, supported by almost 3000 Finnish researchers who had committed in the #nodealnoreview boycott to refuse reviewing for Elsevier if the negotiations fail.
The glowing press release, seemingly written purely by Elsevier, compounded with an almost complete lack of details, left an immediate bad taste in my mouth. My opinion did not much improve through discussions in the Finnish Open Science Facebook group, and with journalist Richard Poynder whom I urged to try and get more details. He just published his Q&A with FinELib, which I warmly recommend you read. I have two principal concerns with the deal: the lack of transparency over the actual terms, and the hybrid OA discount option — especially as it was immediately implemented at the University of Helsinki….”
“Abstract: The past twenty years have witnessed a mounting crisis in academic publishing. Companies such as Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, and Taylor and Francis have earned unprecedented profits by controlling more and more scholarly output while increasing subscription rates to academic journals. Thus publishers have consolidated their influence despite widespread hopes that digital platforms would disperse control over knowledge production. Open access initiatives dating back to the mid-1990s evidence a religious zeal for overcoming corporate interests in academic publishing, with key advocates branding their efforts as archivangelism. Little attention has been given to the legacy or implications of religious rhetoric in open access debates despite its increasing pitch in recent years. This essay shows how the Protestant imaginary reconciles–rather than opposes–open access initiatives with market economics by tracing the rhetoric of openness to free-market liberalism. Working against the tendency to accept the Reformation as an analogy for the relationship between knowledge production, publishers, and academics, we read Protestantism as a counterproductive element of the archivangelist inheritance.”
“Two years have passed since I requested release of the PLOS One PACE data, eight months since the Expression of Concern was posted. What can we expect?…
The PLOS One Senior Editors completed the pre-specified process of deciding what to do about the data not being shared. They took no action. …
International trends will continue toward making uploading data into publicly accessible repositories a requirement for publication. PLOS One has slowed down by buying into discredited arguments about patient consent forms not allowing sharing of anonymized data….”
“The RWA didn’t explicitly say that it would amend copyright law, but it could could have done so implicitly, or by superseding any parts of current law inconsistent with the new law. Under the NIH policy, authors give permission for OA when they are still the copyright holders. Even when they later transfer some rights to publishers, they retain the right to authorize OA. Hence, OA through NIH is authorized by the relevant rightsholder, in this case by the author. But RWA Section 2.1 would have required publisher consent for that OA. It would have required publisher consent even when the holder of the relevant rights under current law had already consented. A consent which suffices under current copyright law would not suffice under RWA. Either that would violate US copyright law or amend it pro tanto (that is, amend it to the extent necessary to avoid irreconcilable conflict between the old and new statutes).
This may seem like a technical point of law. But it’s the most radical aspect of RWA. Under current law, in the US and around the world, authors are the copyright holders in their work until or unless they decide to transfer rights to someone else, such as a publisher. Copyright consists of a bundle of rights, and authors may lawfully transfer all, some, or none of those rights, as they see fit. If they retain the right to authorize OA, then no other permission is needed. Under RWA, however, publishers would have held a new right, beyond copyright, to overrule the rights exercised by authors under copyright law.
It was an unprecedented power grab by publishers. Unlike past, lopsided legal reforms to benefit publishers, this one was not limited to enhancing the rights of copyright holders against users and consumers. This one would have harmed all copyright holders except publishers, and benefited publishers even when they were not copyright holders….”
“In their rhetoric, publishers speak as if they are the copyright holders for these articles, and as if the NIH is blocking their full exercise of these rights or even expropriating them. But that is uninformed or deceptive. Because the NIH requires grantees to retain a key right, NIH-funded authors now transfer less than the full bundle of rights to publishers. Publishers don’t like that, and it may be a problem for them, but it’s not a legal problem. Despite their pose, publishers are not the copyright holders in these articles, without qualification, even after authors sign copyright transfer agreements. The NIH method of avoiding infringement means that there are plural rightsholders and divided rights in these articles: the authors have retained at least one and publishers have the rest. Publishers don’t acquire the key right which would allow them to deny permission for OA or claim infringement or expropriation. As for the rights publishers do acquire, the NIH policy does nothing to diminish publisher freedom to hold and exercise them.
Have publishers forgotten this central feature of the NIH policy? Have its legal consequences still not sunk in? I find that theory hard to believe. It would entail that they haven’t read, haven’t remembered, or haven’t understood the policy on which they have focused so much animus and lawyer time. And it doesn’t square with their justified reluctance to claim actual infringement. But if they do understand this aspect of the policy, then we’re only left with another cynical theory: that publishers deliberately stretch the truth by speaking without qualification as if they were the copyright holders for these articles. But strong or weak, the theory would explain a lot. If publishers did receive full copyright from authors, or if they believed they did, or if they had some reason to say they did, then their public rhetoric would make start to make sense. In that world, it would make sense to say that OA through PMC, against their wishes, would violate, diminish, or nullify one of their rights.
The snag, of course, is that the rhetoric is false, no matter what explains it. NIH-funded authors retain the key right and don’t transfer full copyright to publishers. This is what I meant when I said (in SOAN for February 2008) that “publishers cannot complain that [the NIH policy] infringes a right they possess, only that it would infringe a right they wished they possessed.” …”
“A new study conducted upon request of the European Parliament finds that the planned extra copyright for news sites is a terrible idea. But MEPs may not learn about it until after they have voted on the controversial proposal….None of the editors or publishers interviewed think an extra copyright for news sites is a good idea….All journalists interviewed categorically reject paying for linking and the snippets that accompany links….”