2019 Big Deals Survey Report: An Updated Mapping of Major Scholarly Publishing Contracts in Europe

“The Second EUA Big Deals Survey Report is an updated mapping of major scholarly publishing contracts in Europe.

Conducted in 2017-2018, the report gathers data from 31 consortia covering an unprecedented 167 contracts with five major publishers: Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, Wiley and American Chemical Society. Readers will discover that the total costs reported by the participating consortia exceed one billion euros for periodicals, databases, e-books and other resources – mainly to the benefit of large, commercial scholarly publishers.

The report provides an overview of Big Deal negotiations across Europe, focusing on topics such as the organisation of negotiations, provisions on Open Access and transparency of contracts and costs. It also offers information on the consortia and focuses specifically on periodical Big Deal contracts with the five large publishers selected for this survey. Finally, the report addresses the costs of Big Deal contracts, offering conclusions and policy recommendations on the negotiation of contracts….”

Springer Nature are not a friend to Open Access – Green Tea and Velociraptors

“So, if we look at history, Springer Nature (SN) are the definition of bandwagon jumpers. Things like arXiv (1991), SciELO (1997) and PLOS (2000) were leaders on OA from around. SN acquired BMC (2008) and Frontiers (2013, via merger with Nature Publishing Group) to essentially neutralise them as a competitive threat. And also make it look like they cared about OA That does not mean they lead the way. This is like Microsoft saying they lead the way on Open Source because they purchased GitHub. It is propaganda.

In reality, Springer Nature have been dragged kicking and screaming into the OA space. They are part of a multi-billion dollar empire that has thrived based on a business model of preventing access to knowledge. OA was obviously a threat to that, so historically they fought hard against it until the could find a way to subvert it into a new revenue stream. Hence, their love of hybrid and high-APC OA. Even now, SN are launching new Nature-branded journals that are subscription only! That is not leadership. It is showing that they are using their brand strength to continue to pervert the scholarly communication process. Nature Communications costs $5000 (+VAT) for authors to publish their own work. No other industry operates this backwards. I refuse to believe that for an efficient, quality publishing system it costs more to publish a paper than it does to live in Bali for a year. (And I know how much this costs). It is daylight robbery, pure and simple, and the taxpayers and researchers are the ones who suffer. And again, statistically, if you look at the proportional figures, if SN are a “leader” in OA publishing, using the exact same numbers they are also still one of the largest barrier-based publishers out there.”

*Here, all of the statements that are made are demonstrably false based on how SN conduct their business in public (one example here).”

Transformative Publishing: Requirements for a new publishing standard A proposal from Springer Nature

“A transformative publisher would commit to:

1. Continuously increase the average level of OA take-up across its transformative journals portfolio at least at the rate permitted by the commitments of research funding bodies, institutions and consortia

2. Promoting the benefits of OA using comprehensive summaries of article metrics to authors of primary research articles prior to submission, at submission and during the peer-review process to allow for comparisons to be made and therefore to maximise the take-up of the OA option via a series of online reports, seminars and webinars

3. Updating authors regularly on their articles’ usage, citations and online attention while showcasing the advantages of OA publishing and encouraging take-up of the OA option in future submissions to that transformative journal

4. Providing annual public reports on the greater benefits of OA article usage and citations compared with other content published in these transformative journals and utilise this data in wider promotion of OA benefits

5. Reporting on the OA and subscription content volumes and usage of its transformative journals portfolio so that institutional librarians could evaluate the cost per article cost and the article cost per download of their subscription content

6. Being more transparent about their subscription pricing policies, enabling institutional librarians to understand how subscription pricing takes account of any reductions in the volume of subscription content

7. Operating more transparent APC pricing policy that explains the value and cost rationale of each APC pricing band ….”

Springer Nature proposes model for open access transition | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Springer Nature has proposed a model to accelerate the shift towards open access publishing, in a move that could see research papers from prestigious Nature titles made freely available….

The move comes ahead of the publication of updated guidelines for Plan S, due at the end of this month. The scheme’s leaders have indicated that there is unlikely to be a softening of the bar on open access embargoes for funded research, or of their attitude to hybrid journals, which make some content freely available in return for an article processing charge but reserve some content for subscribing readers. Funded research will be able to appear only in hybrid journals during a three-year transition period, and if they were part of a “transformative agreement” under which they were moving towards full open access.

Under Springer Nature’s new proposal, publishers could term themselves “transformative publishers”, under which they would commit to increasing the average level of open access take-up across their titles “at least at the rate of research funding bodies, institutions and consortia”, and would promote open access to researchers by releasing aggregated article metrics showing how they, for example, get more readers and citations than closed access papers.

 

At the end of a transition period, all of the publishers’ papers – in titles that were formerly hybrid or subscription – would be available open access, even titles such as Nature. Mr Inchcoombe said that, in the case of Nature, this would probably mean researchers being allowed to place their papers in open access depositories, with the journal’s editorial content continuing to be sold via subscriptions….”

OA2020 and cOAlition S Launch Joint Statement | Plan S

“One of several pathways pursued by OA2020 participants is to negotiate transformative agreements under which the funds previously spent for subscriptions are repurposed to cover the costs associated with open access publishing. This approach enables a swift and efficient transition to open access, in which ‘hybrid’ publishing models can be included to increase the proportion of articles published open access— without paying twice for services relating to one piece of content.

Institutions who engage in such agreements will contribute to delivering the greatest possible range in Plan S-compliant publishing options to their authors while significantly growing the proportion of research made openly available. At the same time, cOAlition S recognizes the importance, as one of three routes towards full and immediate open access, of those agreements in providing a strong incentive for scholarly publishers who have yet to pilot open access models. Publishers will find institutions and consortia willing to partner on such agreements in exchange for a commitment to a definitive transition to full and immediate open access with fair and transparent pricing. Neither the cOAlition S funders nor the OA2020 partners intend to pay for open access publishing in hybrid subscription journals outside such transformative agreements….”

OA2020 and cOAlition S Launch Joint Statement | Plan S

“One of several pathways pursued by OA2020 participants is to negotiate transformative agreements under which the funds previously spent for subscriptions are repurposed to cover the costs associated with open access publishing. This approach enables a swift and efficient transition to open access, in which ‘hybrid’ publishing models can be included to increase the proportion of articles published open access— without paying twice for services relating to one piece of content.

Institutions who engage in such agreements will contribute to delivering the greatest possible range in Plan S-compliant publishing options to their authors while significantly growing the proportion of research made openly available. At the same time, cOAlition S recognizes the importance, as one of three routes towards full and immediate open access, of those agreements in providing a strong incentive for scholarly publishers who have yet to pilot open access models. Publishers will find institutions and consortia willing to partner on such agreements in exchange for a commitment to a definitive transition to full and immediate open access with fair and transparent pricing. Neither the cOAlition S funders nor the OA2020 partners intend to pay for open access publishing in hybrid subscription journals outside such transformative agreements….”

UK signals move away from journal subscription model | Times Higher Education (THE)

“The UK could soon follow the example of Norway and Germany in ditching costly journal subscriptions in favour of more “read and publish” agreements, according to its lead negotiator.

Liam Earney, director of licensing at Jisc Collections, said it was clear that UK universities, like those in many other countries, were “no longer willing to pay for outdated systems” pushed by commercial publishers of the likes of Elsevier….

His comments followed news that the UK sector has signed a £9.6 million, three-year agreement to extend its read-and-publish deal with Springer Nature via the consortium. The deal allows UK researchers access to 2,150 Springer titles, but does not include access to Nature journals. Crucially, members will be able to make their articles freely available in Springer’s hybrid-model journals, a move that the publisher said was in keeping with open access guidelines under the Plan S initiative….

“From our point of view, we want to continue to work with Springer Nature. But it’s important that they put a workflow in place to support the transition to open access. That promise cannot just be rhetorical,” he said. “If we renew this next time around, I would hope that upfront [subscription] payments would be redundant.” …”

Open Statement: Why UC terminated journal negotiations with Elsevier

“The University of California has taken a firm stand on both open access to publicly funded research and fiscal responsibility by deciding not to renew its journal subscriptions with Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific publisher. Here’s why:

Elsevier’s proposal….

The UC proposal….”

The University of California and Elsevier: An Interview with Jeff MacKie-Mason – The Scholarly Kitchen

At the end of February, the University of California (UC) system announced that it had ended a long period of negotiations with Elsevier. Those negotiations had been undertaken as the system’s collective agreement for access to Elsevier’s complete list of scholarly journals (a.k.a. the “Big Deal”) was coming to an end, an inflection point at which UC hoped to create a completely new kind of agreement with the publisher. The close of those negotiations leaves UC without a deal, though not yet — as we shall see below — without access. Jeff MacKie-Mason, University Librarian and Professor of Information and Economics at UC Berkeley, graciously agreed to answer a few questions for Scholarly Kitchen readers about the background of UC’s decision and its plans and expectations going forward….”