Unsustainable scholarship: How private companies control research in higher education – The Daily Tar Heel

“Research at UNC is financed by taxpayers and other grants. Neither the author nor peer reviewers are paid if their original research is accepted by a scholarly journal for publication.

Private publishing companies then package journals together in clumps, and sell university libraries access to them. The publishing companies charge each university differently, depending on its subscription history and school size, and have each school sign nondisclosure agreements, keeping universities from discovering costs paid by peers. 

Once the content is back in the hands of universities, it’s put behind a paywall, where only university affiliates can access the information.

In this model, taxpayers fund research, and then must pay again to access it. 

Nerea Llamas is the associate University librarian for collections, strategies and services, and her job is to strategize the acquisition and dissemination of academia in the digital age. 

She said this process can be unhealthy. 

“The effect is that not only are we paying multiple times, but we are cutting off access to other people who can’t afford to pay for that,” she said. “That could be other institutions in the U.S., but then also other institutions internationally.”

Llamas said the publishing companies advertise their packaged, multi-journal deals as the best cost available. But over time, the companies can raise the price by introducing new costs and subscriptions, like how cable companies can charge customers for unwanted perks, she said. 

Political science professor Timothy Ryan has published many scholarly articles, and said he sympathizes with the Libraries’ concern. 

“Publishers — and Elsevier is the clearest example of this — make a boatload by selling academics’ material back to us, at a steep premium,” he said. “It’s not at all clear what value they add.”

Elsevier is the world’s largest commercial publisher of scholarly journals, with close to $4 billion in 2018 revenue and profit margins consistently above 30 percent. …”

How to find and access peer-reviewed studies (for free) | The Logic of Science

“Let’s start with where to look. You can try simply doing a standard Google search, but odds are that you will get flooded with tons of blogs and websites, and it is a pretty inefficient way to find what you are after. A much better option is to use a database specifically tailored to peer-reviewed literature. There are two major ones that are freely available that I’m going to talk about: Google Scholar and PubMed (there are many others that are behind paywalls, but I am going to assume that most people reading this are not academics and don’t have access to those)….”

How to find and access peer-reviewed studies (for free) | The Logic of Science

“Let’s start with where to look. You can try simply doing a standard Google search, but odds are that you will get flooded with tons of blogs and websites, and it is a pretty inefficient way to find what you are after. A much better option is to use a database specifically tailored to peer-reviewed literature. There are two major ones that are freely available that I’m going to talk about: Google Scholar and PubMed (there are many others that are behind paywalls, but I am going to assume that most people reading this are not academics and don’t have access to those)….”

Free UKSG webinar – Working with Open Access | UKSG

“This webinar will introduce attendees to the basic concepts of Open Access and how they work together to build wider access to knowledge. Attendees will also be encouraged to think about the different ways in which librarians can build their skills and get involved in this rapidly growing and exciting area….”

New Opportunities in Libraries: Open Access, Open Content, and Collection: Library & Information Science Book Chapter | IGI Global

Abstract:  The emergence of open access is one of the most significant changes to the world of scholarly publications since the migration from print to digital publishing began. Reports of some authors have demonstrated how libraries across the membership are changing, in response to a need for new services and an increasingly diverse client group. In order to contribute to the existing knowledge in the area of open access movement in libraries, this chapter discusses how the 21st century library provides a service that can open access to knowledge for the growth and development of communities they serve by highlighting the concept of open access and open content, roles of libraries in open access initiative as well as library collection development and open access. This chapter also sheds light on legal and ethical issues in open access and the future of open access in libraries.

Open Science in Switzerland: Opportunities and Challenges

“Open Science stands for a new approach to the scientific process, based on cooperative work and new ways of making knowledge available. It is thus an umbrella term for various movements aiming to remove the barriers to sharing any kind of output, resources, methods or tools, at any stage of the research process (Figure 1).1 Here, we focus on the open access to scientific literature and to data because of their particularly high relevance to the scientific community in Switzerland, at which this factsheet is primarily addressed. Both Open Access and Open Data are important science policy topics in different parts of the world, but the developments in Europe are most pertinent for Switzerland. This factsheet therefore presents the issues at stake in the on-going discussion in Europe and Switzerland, points out opportunities and addresses challenges. The recommendations are guided by the key consideration to shape Open Access and Open Data so that they foster scientific progress and benefit society.”

Scientific Research Shouldn’t Sit behind a Paywall – Scientific American Blog Network

Most of the scientific research conducted in the U.S. and abroad is supported by federal government funds — that is to say, by taxpayer dollars. Yet much of the information that results from such funding is not publicly available outside of research institutions that can afford expensive scientific journal subscriptions.

Instead, students, doctors, researchers and the public often have to pay a fee of some $40 per article to read the latest scientific research. As a result, physicians, for instance, may not be able to read a paper with direct relevance to their clinical practice….

This is just not right.

Luckily, there’s a solution: open access. Open access is the idea that scientific literature, which was paid for largely by public funds, including author fees, should be available for all….

Unfortunately, commercial publishers have been slow to adopt the open access model for fear that it might reduce their sizable profit margins. The world’s largest scientific publisher, Elsevier, for example, enjoys a profit margin of about 40 percent for its publishing division — larger than that of nearly every other publicly traded corporation in the world….”

 

The open access wars: How to free science from academic paywalls – Vox

“This is a story about more than subscription fees. It’s about how a private industry has come to dominate the institutions of science, and how librarians, academics, and even pirates are trying to regain control.

The University of California is not the only institution fighting back. “There are thousands of Davids in this story,” says University of California Davis librarian MacKenzie Smith, who, like so many other librarians around the world, has been pushing for more open access to science. “But only a few big Goliaths.”

Will the Davids prevail?…”