Why Should Taxpayer-Funded Research Be Put Behind a Paywall? – Pacific Standard

Further, the “read and publish” model, used as a stopgap, has its critics. Roger Schonfeld, director of libraries, scholarly communication, and museums for Ithaka S+R, an educational-access consulting service, worries that problems arise with universities paying publishers one negotiated bundled fee that swallows article-processing charges. First, authors lose access to price transparency, and have no idea what the charge folded into the subscription cost was. Second, publishers could end up actually charging more than universities currently pay, which UC conceded was possible. And third, what open-access visionaries interpret as a temporary measure on the road to open access could easily become a permanent solution. Schonfeld writes, “To those European librarians who might say that their [‘read and publish’] deals are merely transitional, I would note that publishers are taking these models seriously as the future of their business.”…

Either way, the ultimate impact of UC’s split with Elsevier will depend on how other large university systems react. Early indications suggest that they are emboldened. Lorraine Haricombe, vice provost and director of libraries at the University of Texas–Austin, says that the UC move “came as a very, very pleasant surprise that has gotten the attention of our faculty on the Austin campus.” The UT system pays $50 million for a five-year contract with Elsevier. Reflecting on how the UC decision resonates at UT, Haricombe says, “we are all standing up a little bit straighter because of what they did.” “

New, powerfully simple library tool to deliver articles. No subscription needed.

“InstantILL is one box that instantly delivers papers your patrons need and simplifies your ILL process. It’s free and easily set up in minutes….

The Open Access Button is building a world where?—?regardless of a campus’ subscription access?—?there is a simple, community-owned, one-stop shop for students and researchers to get free, fast, and legal access to articles. We’re partnering with IUPUI to advance that mission through InstantILL, a new service that builds on ILL’s ability to give patrons rapid, easy access to any article, at any time, and at no cost. InstantILL will enable your campus to improve article delivery with or without a subscription and save money, and in turn, create a stronger negotiating position with publishers in reducing subscription costs….

InstantILL is a free, community-owned, and open source tool, and you’ll be able to get up and running in a matter of minutes. You can skip learning to code or a new ILL system, booting up a server, or tweaking logo placement. InstantILL just works with your current systems and brand….”

Is the Value of the Big Deal in Decline? – The Scholarly Kitchen

Last week, the University of California system terminated its license with Elsevier. There has been a great deal of attention to California’s efforts to reach a Publish & Read (P&R) agreement. The what-could-have-been of this deal is interesting and important. But I wish to focus today on the what-no-longer-is of scholarly content licensing, focusing on the big deal model of subscription journals bundled together on a single publisher basis for three to five year deals. In the eyes of major libraries in Europe and the US, the value of the big deal has declined. As a result, we are moving into a new period, in which publisher pricing power has declined and the equilibrium price for content and related services is being reset. What is the principal culprit? I will maintain today that we must look in large part to what publishers call “leakage.”…

I have heard estimates that suggest publisher usage numbers could be at least 60-70% higher if “leakage” was included in addition to their on-platform usage statistics. This includes “green” options through a variety of repositories (including some that are operated by publishers themselves in addition to library and not-for-profit repositories), materials on scholarly collaboration networks, and through piracy. The share of leakage among entitled users at an institution with a license is probably lower than this estimate, but it is likely well in the double digits.

I am in no way arguing against green models. Indeed, publishers have largely become comfortable with green open access. I am simply observing that these percentages are beginning to add up….”

A journal cancellation survey and resulting impact on interlibrary loan | Nash | Journal of the Medical Library Association

Abstract:  Objective: The research describes an extensible method of evaluating and cancelling electronic journals during a budget shortfall and evaluates implications for interlibrary loan (ILL) and user satisfaction.

Methods: We calculated cost per use for cancellable electronic journal subscriptions (n=533) from the 2013 calendar year and the first half of 2014, cancelling titles with cost per use greater than $20 and less than 100 yearly uses. For remaining titles, we issued an online survey asking respondents to rank the importance of journals to their work. Finally, we gathered ILL requests and COUNTER JR2 turnaway reports for calendar year 2015.

Results: Three hundred fifty-four respondents completed the survey. Because of the level of heterogeneity of titles in the survey as well as respondents’ backgrounds, most titles were reported to be never used. We developed criteria based on average response across journals to determine which to cancel. Based on this methodology, we cancelled eight journals. Examination of ILL data revealed that none of the cancelled titles were requested with any frequency. Free-text responses indicated, however, that many value free ILL as a suitable substitute for immediate full-text access to biomedical journal literature.

Conclusions: Soliciting user feedback through an electronic survey can assist collections librarians to make electronic journal cancellation decisions during slim budgetary years. This methodology can be adapted and improved upon at other health sciences libraries.

Heard on the Net: The New Deal May be No Deal

“With the advent of the worldwide financial downturn a decade ago, many libraries, in particular many medium-to-large academic research libraries in North America, found they could no longer afford the escalating costs associated with big deal journal packaging from major academic, commercial publishing houses. The results from the initial round of cancellations were scaled down versions of big deals. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has a tracking mechanism of big deal cancellations which can be found here: <https://sparcopen.org/our-work/big-deal-cancellation-tracking/>. There are currently around 30 instances noted on their spreadsheet, indicating where deals were reduced or switched over to ordering specific titles as requested/needed by faculty in North America. In addition, SPARC has also added where negotiations from big deal packages have failed worldwide.

Jacob Nash & Karen McElfresh note in their 2016 article “A Journal Cancellation Survey and Resulting Impact on Interlibrary Loan” there was, in fact, little to no impact on Interlibrary Lending of content that made up their big deal cancellation. (DOI: <10.3163/1536-5050.104.4.008>). This study appears to be indicative to what many others have reported once they lose their big deal. There does not appear to be a significant upswing in ILL once a deal ends or is significantly reduced….

Given this fear and often great concern, my goal became to listen to librarians from Germany and Sweden about their consortial decisions regarding the biggest publisher in the mix, Elsevier. Bibsam, a consortia for Swedish academic institutions was unable to reach an agreement with Elsevier, and their content access ended July 1, 2018 for all content published after this date. For Germany, the lack of a renewed DEAL contract has resulted in a cascading loss of access among higher education institutions and research institutions. In both Germany and Sweden, it is still very early days with their non-renewal of Elsevier deals. For Germany, a few research institutions continue to have access to content up through the end of 2018. In addition, their previous contracts supply perpetual access for the years to which they were subscribed, so backfile access for numerous titles has been retained. My two interviewees are Irene Barbers (IB), who is Head of Acquisitions, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Zentralbibliothek/Central Library, and Lisa Lovén (LL), Librarian, Licensing Coordinator, Stockholm University Library, Stockholm University. Both responded to four questions posed by me….”

SciTechSociety: Forward to the Past

“Libraries provide access to their site licenses through journal databases, OpenURL servers, and proxy servers. They pay for this expensive system so publishers can perpetuate a business model that eliminates competition, is rife with conflict of interest, and can impose almost unlimited price increases. Scholars should be able to subscribe to personal libraries as they do for their infotainment….

In the paper era, the interlibrary-loan department was the gateway to the world’s information. Today, it is mostly a buying agent for costly pay-per-view access to papers not covered by site licenses. Personal libraries would eliminate these requests. Digitization and open access can eliminate requests for out-of-copyright material.

Why is there no scholarly app store, where students and faculty can build their own libraries? By replacing site licenses with app-store subsidies, universities would create a competitive marketplace for subscription journals, open-access journals, experimental publishing platforms, and other scholarly services. A library making an institutional decision must be responsible and safe. One scholar deciding where to publish a paper, whether to cancel a journal, or which citation database to use can take a risk with minimal consequence. This new dynamic would kickstart innovation….”

No Big Deal: Three Libraries Survive Cuts to Serials Access | ALA Annual 2012

“À la carte journal purchasing is back in vogue, it seems. On Saturday at ALA in Anaheim, three librarians took to the podium to describe their experiences after finding that the big deal their library had in place was no longer affordable. The big deal, an arrangement that has been standard in libraries for years (and criticized for almost as long), refers to the purchase of bundles of journals from mega-publishers such as Elsevier and Wiley. The idea is that buying serials this way saves money on subscriptions and on staff time. It has been especially common in the purchase of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and medicine) materials, which have been regarded as too expensive to subscribe to any other way….

Open access is displacing interlibrary loan.

“See the slide presentation given by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the 2014 conference of the Medical Library Association. The slides report the results of a survey of users of DOCLINE, the NLM’s interlibrary loan (ILL) service….  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/docline/presentations/MLA_2014_DOCLINE_Update.pptx

Slide 34 shows that OA is the leading cause of the decline of ILL. Slide 36 shows that for these heavy ILL users, OA is the 2nd most common method for obtaining new literature, after ILL itself. The publisher’s web site is 5th, the author 6th, and pay-per-view 8th. ILL and OA are the only two methods used by more than 10% of respondents.”