“This is the sixth year I’ve rounded up the year in open access – and it was the most remarkable. When the year began, the world’s largest academic publisher, Elsevier, had increased their annual profits, with an operating profit approaching US$1.2 billion in science, technology, and medicine – a profit margin of over 36%. [PDF] By year’s end, a hefty chunk of the world’s research community was walking away from big subscription deals with Elsevier and others.
That was a last resort after years of hard bargaining. While we could never be sure one or other side wouldn’t blink before it came to this, this didn’t seem to come out of the blue. What did, was a dramatic announcement from Europe in September that could usher in immediate open access to much publicly-funded research – not just after a one-year embargo….
Here are my month-by-month highlights of an action-packed year in open access to the scientific literature…..”
“How has the cancellation affected Swedish researchers, students and government agency users? Users from the 44 Swedish institutions that subscribed to Elsevier at the time of cancellation are asked to respond to this survey.…”
“University of California System is playing hardball with Elsevier in negotiations that could transform the way it pays to read and publish research. But does the UC system have the clout to pull it off?…”
“As an agreement on terms of access to paywall-protected journals between Germany’s educational and scientific organizations and the international publishing house Elsevier continues to elude the negotiating parties, a growing criticism from the side of scholarly publishers and university representatives indicates that journal subscriptions are critical for scientific research and publication processes, in spite of the expected transition to Open Access….”
“Q.4 If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
Like many other contributors to this blog series, my first choice would be changing the promotion and tenure process to incentivize faculty to make their work open. Perhaps the best example of this, for me, is the Liège model, where faculty are required to deposit the full text of their works in the institutional repository in order to have them considered for the purposes of internal research evaluation / P&T. If even a few U.S. institutions were able to implement similar policies, I think that belief in the value of institutional OA policies (and the feasibility of Green OA, more generally) would soar as a result.
To vary the conversation a bit, a close second for me would be increased collaboration around big deal cancellations. I’m thinking here about the nationwide cancellations and renegotiations that have taken place in the Netherlands, Germany, and Finland, for instance, where hundreds of universities have banded together to cancel (and later renegotiate) their big deal contracts with Elsevier on the grounds of unsustainable pricing practices, insufficient respect for authors’ rights, and reluctance (if not outright opposition) to advance the cause of open access. In following these developments, I’ve long wished that we could present a similarly united front on these issues here in the U.S., whether at the state, regional, or national level….”
“Behind closed doors, the University of California is staging a revolt against the world’s largest journal publisher, threatening to drop all subscriptions when its contract with Reed Elsevier soon expires.
This is no pointy-headed dispute: Publication is how new discoveries are shared, building the foundation for future intellectual breakthroughs.
The university was poised to lose access to Elsevier’s journals when its five-year contract ends on Dec. 31. But on Friday [12/21] afternoon, the adversaries agreed to extend the deadline for one more month.
If an agreement is not reached, everyone in the UC system — 21,200 faculty and 251,700 students — could face tighter access to new research findings. (Access to older articles would continue uninterrupted.) The university’s library says it would work to get them through other means, such as a loan from a non-UC library….”
“Germany’s Max Planck Society – one of the world’s largest research organisations – is cancelling its subscription to Elsevier journals in a bid to secure a decisive shift towards open access publishing….
The society expressed its support for Germany’s Project Deal initiative, led by the German Rectors’ Conference, which is seeking to replace the subscription model with a system under which articles are made freely available in return for the payment of article processing charges. Nearly 200 German universities and research institutions have cancelled their Elsevier agreements in the past two years in protest at the publisher’s refusal to strike a deal on its terms.
Elsevier, for its part, maintains that it supports open science, but argues that German researchers cannot have free access to articles in its portfolio published by academics from other countries that still use the subscription system – a key demand of Project Deal. Negotiations between the company and Project Deal were suspended in July….”
“With Plan S rapidly approaching the editorial boards of some journals are considering leaving the paywalled journals at major publishing houses and ‘flip’ their journal to open access. To prevent editors from leaving, Elsevier now appears to be willing to pay editors considerable yearly amounts to stay on….
At this moment multiple editorial boards are moving to ‘flip’ their titles away from the paywalled model….