Relx continues deal spree after spending nearly £800m this year | Financial Times

“With no end date for the pandemic in sight, many smaller participants in the events industry are facing bankruptcy. However Relx has been helped by its more diverse portfolio of subscription-based businesses, with events only contributing to 16 per cent of group revenue last year….

“The bulk of Relx’s business is in subscriptions and that is holding up very well,” said Sarah Simon, analyst at Berenberg….”

RELX PLC (RELX) Q1 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

“STM delivered underlying revenue growth of 1% in the first half, with growth in electronic revenues of 4%, partly offset by a higher-than-historical rate of decline in print revenue of 17%. In primary research, both subscription renewal completion rates and new sales are in line with recent years so far this year. Growth in article submissions for both our subscription and open access journals accelerated, with a total of 1.3 million article submissions in the first half. Submissions to our subscription journals grew by over 25%, and submissions to our expanded open access publishing program, which now includes over 430 dedicated journals, almost doubled for the second year in a row. Databases and tools continue to drive growth across market segments through content development and enhanced functionality….

The growth in open access, the rapid growth is — and the growth rate we talked about in submissions too that they have doubled now in the first half again for the second year in a row. Those are submissions to our stand-alone open access journals and not counting the — what’s going on in our submission journals because when you submit, you don’t indicate your payment model. So the stand-alone open access is growing very rapidly, and that’s therefore the majority of the growth. You said in our subscription journals, which you also access sort of open access sponsored articles, as you would refer to as hybrid journals, just many, a couple of thousand, it’s a very, very small portion that are open access articles. I mean order of magnitude, we’re talking about low single-digit percent as an overall ratio, right? It’s a few percent, right? So it’s very small. It’s growing, but it’s not growing at the same rate nearly as the stand-alone open access journals….

STM and R&BA delivered underlying adjusted operating profit growth in line with or slightly ahead of the underlying revenue growth, with cost action taken in reaction to the slower revenue growth compared to the full-year last year….

Onto margins. Although STM’s underlying profit growth was in line with underlying revenue growth, margins were higher as they benefited from exchange rate movements, including on the hedge book….

We have also continued to make progress on our key strategic and operational priorities with our primary focus on the organic development of increasingly sophisticated analytics and decision tools supported by selective acquisitions….

We think of ourselves as a service provider in the STM industry, and we think of ourselves as a service provider across a wide range of product sets. As you have noticed, it seems, again, that most of the questions here seem to be about academic primary research subscriptions to the academic market, which is a bit below half of the STM division. But we really focus on all the different tools, data sets and analytics for science and research across the world….”

Survey on the impact of the COVID-19 situation on museums in Europe

“The majority of museums in Europe and around the globe are closed. Closing doors to the public results in a drastic loss of income for many museums. While some museums have found their budget minimally impacted as of yet, some museums, especially the larger museums and the museums in touristic areas, have reported a loss of income of 75-80%, with weekly losses adding up to hundreds of thousands of Euros. 1…

In these times, digital cultural heritage is contributing to people’s enjoyment and creativity more than ever. NEMO wants museums and stakeholders to acknowledge that the digital museum is not a distant promise or a source of untapped potential, rather that digital cultural heritage and digital engagement has demonstrated its value in the past weeks by bringing people together, encouraging creativity, sharing experiences, and offering a virtual space to build ideas together. …

40% of the museums that responded to the survey have noticed increased online visits since they have been closed….”

John Wiley & Sons: It’s Time To Pound The Table – John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JW.A) | Seeking Alpha

How Wiley and Sons is Positioned Against Open Access

John Wiley & Sons is a mainly digital business. According to their 2019 annual report (Pages 25-27) the plurality of their earnings come from their research division where online academic journal subscriptions are their bread and butter. In fact, their reliance on online journal subscriptions is shown by the observation that it contributes more than half of their profits for their research segment. This sector also has continuously seen a decrease over the past 2 years. This decline is likely related to the growth of the open access publishing movement going on in academia. John Wiley and Sons understands this movement as well and has taken steps to accommodate. Between 2018 and 2019, they’ve increased their open access journal revenue by 30%. Where does this money come from though? It just so happens that authors have to pay a fee to publish their papers in Wiley and Sons online journals. These fees range anywhere between $500-$2000 fee per publication. Another avenue of revenue from their open access journals is that they contain advertisements.

Regarding Open Access, Wiley currently offers two models of Open Access that is at the author’s choice. A fully open access journal or a subscription journal offering called OnlineOpen is called Gold. The other option, Green, is free to the author, but allows for a 12 to 24-month embargo period. Wiley cites in its 2019 10-K that the hybrid open access is only available to authors that are publishing in the majority of the company’s academic journals are able to make their articles available through Wiley’s OnlineOpen. This is a network effect in play, if you want to publish in a particularly respected journal, you must access it via the Wiley tollroad. Not only that, the as stated below by Wiley and Sons, the open access journals cover a wide array of disciplines as per their 2019 10-K ….”

UK universities ‘paid big publishers £1 billion’ in past decade | Times Higher Education (THE)

“UK negotiators have vowed to strike “cost-effective and sustainable” deals with big publishers, as figures reveal that subscriptions to academic journals and other publishing charges are likely to have cost UK universities more than £1 billion over the past decade.

Data obtained using Freedom of Information requests show that UK universities paid some £950.6 million to the world’s 10 biggest publishing houses between 2010 and 2019. For the sector as a whole, however, the overall bill is likely to have topped £1 billion as one in five universities, including several Russell Group institutions, failed to provide cost information.

More than 90 per cent of this outlay was spent with five companies: Elsevier, Wiley, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis and Sage, with Elsevier claiming £394 million over the 10-year period, roughly 41 per cent of monies received by big publishers….”

UK universities ‘paid big publishers £1 billion’ in past decade | Times Higher Education (THE)

“UK negotiators have vowed to strike “cost-effective and sustainable” deals with big publishers, as figures reveal that subscriptions to academic journals and other publishing charges are likely to have cost UK universities more than £1 billion over the past decade.

Data obtained using Freedom of Information requests show that UK universities paid some £950.6 million to the world’s 10 biggest publishing houses between 2010 and 2019. For the sector as a whole, however, the overall bill is likely to have topped £1 billion as one in five universities, including several Russell Group institutions, failed to provide cost information.

More than 90 per cent of this outlay was spent with five companies: Elsevier, Wiley, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis and Sage, with Elsevier claiming £394 million over the 10-year period, roughly 41 per cent of monies received by big publishers….”

Business as Usual with Article Processing Charges in the Transition towards OA Publishing: A Case Study Based on Elsevier

Abstract: This paper addresses the topic of the article processing charges (APCs) that are paid when publishing articles using the open access (OA) option. Building on the Elsevier OA price list, company balance sheet figures, and ScienceDirect data, tentative answers to three questions are outlined using a Monte Carlo approach to deal with the uncertainty inherent in the inputs. The first question refers to the level of APCs from the market perspective, under the hypothesis that all the articles published in Elsevier journals exploit the OA model so that the subscription to ScienceDirect becomes worthless. The second question is how much Elsevier should charge for publishing all the articles under the OA model, assuming the profit margin reduces and adheres to the market benchmark. The third issue is how many articles would have to be accepted, in an OA-only publishing landscape, so that the publisher benefits from the same revenue and profit margin as in the recent past. The results point to high APCs, nearly twice the current level, being required to preserve the publisher’s profit margin. Otherwise, by relaxing that constraint, a downward shift of APCs can be expected so they would tend to get close to current values. Accordingly, the article acceptance rate could be likely to grow from 26–27% to about 35–55%.

Open Access, Open Data Increase Demand for STM Online Services

“Scientific, technical and medical publishers face upheaval from open access and open data, but this transition represents opportunity in online services, particularly for competitors that can develop broader discovery tools and dynamic content capabilities to win users’ loyalty—this according to the most recent report from Simba Information, a leader in media and publishing intelligence.

The report STM Online Services 2019-2023 focuses on the databases that offer online content or abstracting and indexing and are sold to academic, government and commercial customers. It found that between 2016 and 2018, online services revenue grew at a compound annual rate of 5.1% after elimination of trade between competitors — faster than STM journals or books. Growth was boosted somewhat by currency exchange in the period. Simba estimates the currency impact at roughly 1% over the two years.

Many of the products and services are already considered “must have” information sold in multi-year, multi-million-dollar bundles. As the corpus of data made open by research funder mandates grows, the value publishers provide will shift back toward discovery and integration….

STM Online Services 2019-2023 provides detailed market information for STM online services, segmented by: sci-tech standards, patents and online content, drug databases, clinical reference, training and certification, reference management and analytical tools, sci-tech abstracting and indexing, medical abstracting and indexing. It analyzes trends impacting the industry and forecasts market growth to 2023….”

Open Access Market Sizing Update 2019 – Delta Think

“Delta Think’s OA Market Sizing shows that the open access market continues to grow faster than the underlying journals publishing market, and faster than we previously expected. (Market Size represents revenue generated by providers or, conversely, costs incurred to buyers of content.) We estimate it to have been worth $675m in 2018 and on track to grow to over $758m in 2019….”

Increasing open access publications serves publishers’ commercial interests

Publishing for free is great, but when journals start charging researchers fees, they don’t lose business. A new journal might introduce a fee after a free introductory period. For example, when eLife introduced a US$2,500 publication fee in 2017, it still published more articles in 2017 and 2018 than it had in 2016. Similarly, Royal Society Open Scienceintroduced a US$1,260 fee in 2018 and continued to grow….

I then looked at the four biggest commercial open-access publishers that relied on publication fees: BMC, Frontiers, MDPI and Hindawi. I tracked 319 of their journals, their listed prices and the number of research articles they published between 2012 and 2018. I fed this data into a statistical model and it showed academics preferred to publish in more expensive journals.

The two publishers who raised their prices the most, Frontiers and MDPI, also saw the most growth in the average number of articles in each journal….”