U. of California Canceled Its Elsevier Subscription. Now It’s Losing Access. – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Elsevier began shutting off access to certain research articles for the sprawling University of California system on Wednesday, nearly five months after negotiations toward a subscription contract ceased.

California left the bargaining table in late February, after its latest five-year contract concluded at the end of 2018. The two parties disagreed over how much the university system should pay for a subscription agreement that would make all articles published by California scholars available free to anyone anywhere, instead of behind a paywall.

Access has remained for the 10 California campuses from February until now. UC will lose access to Elsevier articles published in 2019, after its contract expired, in addition to a portion of other historical content for which the system did not have perpetual access. The system had one day’s warning from Elsevier, a university official said….”

In act of brinkmanship, a big publisher cuts off UC’s access to its academic journals – Los Angeles Times

“The bitter battle between the University of California, a leading source of published research papers, and Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of research papers, just got more bitter.

As of Wednesday, Elsevier cut off access by UC faculty, staff and students to articles published since Jan. 1 in 2,500 Elsevier journals, including respected medical publications such as Cell and the Lancet and a host of engineering and scientific journals. Access to most material published in 2018 and earlier remains in force….”

Publisher Elsevier halts UC’s access to new articles | Berkeley News

Starting today (Wednesday, July 10), Elsevier, the world’s largest provider of scientific, technical and medical information, has shut off the University of California’s direct access to new articles. Its 2,500-journal portfolio includes such highly-regarded publications as The Lancet and Cell.

Fortunately, the UC Berkeley Library has developed a plan to help connect researchers with the materials they need, even while direct access to new articles is suspended. A special web page includes a graphic and a video that explain how to access Elsevier articles….”

Microsoft’s Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM | WIRED

YOUR ITUNES MOVIES, your Kindle books—they’re not really yours. You don’t own them. You’ve just bought a license that allows you to access them, one that can be revoked at any time. And while a handful of incidents have brought that reality into sharp relief over the years, none has quite the punch of Microsoft disappearing every single ebook from every one of its customers.

Microsoft made the announcement in April that it would shutter the Microsoft Store’s books section for good. The company had made its foray into ebooks in 2017, as part of a Windows 10 Creators Update that sought to round out the software available to its Surface line. Relegated to Microsoft’s Edge browser, the digital bookstore never took off. As of April 2, it halted all ebook sales. And starting as soon as this week, it’s going to remove all purchased books from the libraries of those who bought them….”

An Ongoing Treasure Hunt: One Library’s Practical Experiences Documenting Post-Cancellation Perpetual Access: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  Albertsons Library [at Boise State University] embarked on a practical effort this past year to document post-cancellation perpetual access for those electronic journal titles that had been or were part of large package purchases. Documenting entitled content was challenging and hampered by limits to accounting records maintained at the library and university; a change in the library’s integrated library system (ILS); limited or incomplete access to third-party subscription agent order and payment records; and changes or the demise of consortia. Decisions were made to work with the known more recent electronic journal content purchased, and to work backwards from there. Procedures for creating standardized perpetual access documentation by title was devised for use in the ILS cataloging module as well as the library’s electronic resource management system. By creating a method for documenting perpetual access, institutions are able to support claims for access purchased by the library, even as content shifts from one publisher to another.

Access to Top-Cited Emergency Care Articles (Published Between 2012 and 2016) Without Subscription

Abstract:  Introduction: Unrestricted access to journal publications speeds research progress, productivity, and knowledge translation, which in turn develops and promotes the efficient dissemination of content. We describe access to the 500 most-cited emergency medicine (EM) articles (published between 2012 and 2016) in terms of publisher-based access (open access or subscription), alternate access routes (self-archived or author provided), and relative cost of access.

Methods: We used the Scopus database to identify the 500 most-cited EM articles published between 2012 and 2016. Access status was collected from the journal publisher. For studies not available via open access, we searched on Google, Google Scholar, Researchgate, Academia.edu, and the Unpaywall and Open Access Button browser plugins to locate self archived copies. We contacted corresponding authors of the remaining inaccessible studies for a copy of each of their articles. We collected article processing and access costs from the journal publishers, and then calculated relative cost differences using the World Bank purchasing power parity index for the United States (U.S.), Germany, Turkey, China, Brazil, South Africa, and Australia. This allows costs to be understood relative to the economic context of the countries from which they originated.

Results: We identified 500 articles for inclusion in the study. Of these, 167 (33%) were published in an open access format. Of the remaining 333 (67%), 204 (61%) were available elsewhere on the internet, 18 (4%) were provided by the authors, and 111 (22%) were accessible by subscription only. The mean article processing and access charges were $2,518.62 and $44.78, respectively. These costs were 2.24, 1.75, 2.28 and 1.56 times more expensive for South African, Chinese, Turkish, and Brazilian authors, respectively, than for U.S. authors (p<0.001 all).

Conclusion: Despite the advantage of open access publication for knowledge translation, social responsibility, and increased citation, one in five of the 500 EM articles were accessible only via subscription. Access for scientists from upper-middle income countries was significantly hampered by cost. It is important to acknowledge the value this has for authors from low- and middle-income countries. Authors should also consider the citation advantage afforded by open access publishing when deciding where to publish.

The Feds Make a Killing by Overcharging for Electronic Court Records – Reason.com

If you want to find a federal court case—say, to look up the latest juicy filing in the prosecution of one of Donald Trump’s indicted cronies—odds are you’ll hold your nose and log on to the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) website, a system run by the federal judiciary.

It’s an old and clunky platform, running on the best interface the mid-1990s had to offer. Which might be excusable if it were free, but it’s not.

PACER charges 10 cents a page for court records and searches. There’s a $3 cap on large documents, and users pay nothing if their bill is under $15 per quarter. This keeps most casual users from needing to pony up—but for news organizations, researchers, and legal professionals, costs can pile up quickly….”

‘Access is not really the main issue anymore’ | Research Information

The biggest challenge is the circularity of the entire structure of how we communicate with each other: things are tied up in a way that makes it very difficult to break up. The publishers, librarians, and faculty scientists all have very different perspectives, and it’s very difficult to cooperate when everyone has different perspectives and different interests. In a short phrase: it’s a social problem. 

Libraries, for instance, say “we would instantly drop our subscriptions, if we knew that faculty would be publishing elsewhere” because they don’t realise that if we publish elsewhere we risk our jobs. You just have to look up job ads for faculty or tenure track positions, and you’ll see we have to publish in certain journals if you want that job. Usually librarians are quite aghast or surprised when I tell them that this is the choice we have, they seem to see it as some subliminal self-stroking ego if we publish in certain journals. If one looks at our journal system and most journals that virtually guarantee you a job, those are journals that are also publishing the least reliable science. If you’ve done that for the last 30 years, then maybe it’s no surprise that we’re wondering about the reliability of science….”

Living in Denial: The Relationship between Access Denied Turnaways and ILL Requests: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Access denied turnaway statistics are provided to libraries to help with serials collection development, but very little research about turnaways is available. This article examines the relationship between access denied turnaways and interlibrary loan (ILL) requests at one institution in an attempt to deepen our understanding of turnaways. The study showed that there is a moderate correlation with an overall ILL requests to turnaways ratio of 11.4%. The strength of the relationship and the ILL requests to turnaways ratio do vary depending on the publisher/provider. The article also discusses potential explanations and implications as related to the relationship.”

Paris’s High Court has ordered French ISPs to block access to the pirate libraries LibGen and Sci-Hub

For more than a decade, publishing research articles have been a lucrative business for research institutes. As a result, some sites such as Sci-Hub and LibGen have gained popularity because of offering free access to scientific articles obtained through web scraping.

For instance, Sci-Hub has more than 25 million articles, readily accessible by researchers from all over the world. But Sci-Hub and LibGen have come under intense pressure from academic publishers who are not happy with the service.

The academic publishers believe Sci-Hub and LibGen are pirate libraries which are a threat to their multi-billion dollar industry. The publishers have unsuccessfully drafted ways to shut the services down through lawsuits.

But on March 31, there was a victorious breakthrough for the academic publishers after the French Judiciary ordered several of the largest French ISPs to block access to the pirate libraries; LibGen and Sci-Hub….”