Virtual Training – Strategy and Pricing for Open Access Journals

“Are you involved in developing or executing OA publishing strategy? Do you have responsibility for implementing an OA programme? Do you need to inform your strategic planning of OA with a practical perspective?

This course will equip participants with the tools and insights to inform their OA strategic thinking and decision making. It will take people through the complexities and challenges of OA, highlighting the ways in which OA publishing is deeply different to subscription publishing (and some ways that it is the same!).

The course, aimed at senior managers, is an intensive half-day looking at the strategic aspects of overseeing and developing OA journals. There will be group discussion, case studies and scenarios to prepare delegates for meeting the challenges of planning and running OA journals. We will explore the issues encountered in setting strategy, budgets and pricing; the policy and competitive landscape; and sales and marketing….”

The New Abnormal: Periodicals Price Survey 2021 | Library Journal

“A large number of public and academic libraries are also looking at moderate to severe budget contractions due to unplanned COVID-related expenses, declines in tuition dollars, and/or local and state funding cuts. Many institutions are seeing or planning for permanent cuts between 9 and 13 percent to their base budget, a key difference from temporary cuts made after the Great Recession. Public libraries may fare better than academics: in an LJ survey of 223 public libraries across the United States, 84 percent reported an increase in FY21 total operating budgets for a rise of 2.9 percent. (See “The Price of a Pandemic.”) This was more modest than last year’s 3.5 percent increase, but represents continued, if uneven, gains….

Transformative agreements will make more content openly available, but they won’t pump any more money into library budgets or promise to make scholarly communications more sustainable. In the absence of national or statewide plans for funding OA (California being the notable exception), it’s difficult to see most “publish” universities in the United States agreeing to shoulder the costs of transformative agreements to make content open for all to read, particularly when faced with permanent budget cuts….

For the first time in a decade, libraries can anticipate subscription price increases of less than 6 percent: 3-4 percent is predicted for 2022. If a local serial portfolio skews toward large publishers, then the increase will be toward the 4 percent level. But with most institutions preparing for further collection cuts, even such a modest increase is not sustainable. Supported by faculty and emboldened by seeing the goals of Plan S and OA2020 start to come to fruition, libraries will be likely more prepared than ever to walk away from the table. Publishers will need to sharpen their pencils….

Although there were increases in the metrics for Impact Factor and Eigenfactor, the increases were not comparable to the increase in price. The average price ($6,637) for the most expensive journals was 18 times higher than the least expensive ($338), while the Impact Factor slightly more than doubled. The price increases for the more moderately priced titles were also lower than the more expensive titles, which showed close to a 4 percent increase. This analysis continues to show that higher priced titles do have higher Impact Factors and Eigenfactors, but the increase in the metrics is small when compared with the huge increase in costs….”

Requiem for impact factors and high publication charges: Accountability in Research: Vol 0, No ja

Abstract:  Journal impact factors, publication charges and assessment of quality and accuracy of scientific research are critical for researchers, managers, funders, policy makers, and society. Editors and publishers compete for impact factor rankings, to demonstrate how important their journals are, and researchers strive to publish in perceived top journals, despite high publication and access charges. This raises questions of how top journals are identified, whether assessments of impacts are accurate and whether high publication charges borne by the research community are justified, bearing in mind that they also collectively provide free peer-review to the publishers. Although traditional journals accelerated peer review and publication during the COVID-19 pandemic, preprint servers made a greater impact with over 30,000 open access articles becoming available and accelerating a trend already seen in other fields of research. We review and comment on the advantages and disadvantages of a range of assessment methods and the way in which they are used by researchers, managers, employers and publishers. We argue that new approaches to assessment are required to provide a realistic and comprehensive measure of the value of research and journals and we support open access publishing at a modest, affordable price to benefit research producers and consumers.


CRKN Meets Bold Negotiation Objectives in Elsevier Renewal | Canadian Research Knowledge Network

“Members of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) set bold negotiation objectives for the 2020 renewal with Elsevier: significantly reduce costs, increase open access, and ensure transparency of the agreement. After eleven months of negotiating, CRKN’s Content Strategy Committee (CSC) is announcing a renewal of the Elsevier ScienceDirect license, which includes:

A 12.5% reduction for 2021, followed by a 0% change for 2022, and a 2% increase for 2023. The renewed agreement maintains access to all journals in the Freedom Collection, including former Academic Press journals, and members’ subscribed titles, with no loss of perpetual access rights. This results in cost savings of US$17.4 million over three years (when compared with a three-year contract with anticipated 2% annual increases).
A 20% discount on Article Processing Charges (APCs) for both hybrid and gold open access journals. Cell Press, Lancet, and some other society-owned journals are excluded.
No confidentiality or non-disclosure clause which ensures transparency and allows the terms to be shared….”

Elsevier Negotiations – March Update | University of Houston Libraries

“The Texas Library Coalition for United Action (TLCUA) negotiations with academic publisher Elsevier that cover UH Libraries journal subscriptions and access to journal content are ongoing. We’ve seen progress on some issues and believe we are getting close to a final offer.

At the heart of the negotiations are three key issues:

Sustainable pricing models while maintaining title access
Journal pricing has been unsustainable for some time. The Coalition is trying to maintain as much access to currently subscribed titles as possible while significantly reducing overall expenditures.
Copyright retention/reversion for authors
Authors are often expected to sign over their copyright as part of the agreement with the publisher, which can impede how authors are able to re-use or re-publish their work in the future. The Coalition believes that ownership matters and that this must change; Elsevier has indicated a willingness to engage creatively on this topic.
Post-termination access to subscribed content
Post-termination access is the ability to access prior years’ content from subscribed journals in the future, regardless of the current status of the subscription. Much like with a print journal, where we can keep copies available to library users even after ending a subscription, we want to be able to retain access to journal articles that we subscribed to electronically after the subscription ends. We believe PTA is important to the preservation of knowledge and the creation of new scholarship….”

Six Questions (with Answers!) about UC’s and Elsevier’s New Transformative Deal – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As is so often the case with transformative deals, this one is complex; it’s also somewhat controversial, and the scholarly communication discussion space has been buzzing with questions. The good news is that the UC-Elsevier MOU is publicly available and it answers quite a few of them — while also fully illustrating the complexity of the deal.

Here I’d like to focus on six questions that I’ve had about the new UC-Elsevier deal, and share the answers I was able to find….”

Fixing the Broken Textbook Market, Third Edition | U.S. PIRG

“Textbooks are too expensive, and have been for a very long time. Little competition in the college publishing industry- and therefore little consumer choice – has contributed to the cost of course materials increasing at three times the rate of inflation since the 1970s. While the curve has plateaued the past couple of years, there has been little change in student experience. Students have continued to skip buying assigned course materials due to cost at similar rates. 

Then COVID-19 happened. To protect public health, educators adjusted their courses for emergency remote instruction at breakneck speed. In the spring, some publishers and education technology companies offered temporary free access to online books and homework platforms for the final few months of the spring term, but the return of full-price materials in the summer coincided with the second wave of COVID-19. An economic crisis has dovetailed the public health crisis, where youth unemployment in the summer of 2020 was double that of summer 2019 and over 8 percent higher than the general population. Any member of the campus community can tell you that the pandemic has exacerbated existing weaknesses within higher education – but how does textbook affordability factor into this difficult landscape for teaching and learning?

This national survey of more than 5,000 college students was taken in September 2020, and builds on similar surveys from 2013 and 2019. It offers a snapshot in time of student experiences, particularly those at four-year institutions, in the first full semester of the pandemic and points out more long-term problems that institutions and national leaders must work to solve. …”

2020 Elsevier Journal Title Level Pricing for Five U.S. Research Universities

“This data includes 2020 Elsevier title level pricing for five universities, including Florida State University; Iowa State University; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; West Virginia University; and an anonymous university named “Institution A” in the data set.

In addition, the data includes a summary analysis that includes for each university the 2020 Published List Price, Adjustment from List Price, Average Cost per Journal, and number of Subscribed Titles. This data will be of interest to anyone interested in examining title level pricing from a major commercial publisher….”

Open Access Charges – Consolidation, Increases, and Breaking Through the $10k Barrier – Delta Think

“To compare like for like, we analyze non-discounted, CC BY charges. Overall, list prices are increasing slowly, but with some outliers:

The big headline is the high-impact journals now offering OA options. This has pushed maximum APCs for hybrid journals to well above their previous limits of $5,900. This year, the maximum is now $11,390 (from the Nature research journals), with the Cell titles mostly coming in at $8,900 ($9,900 for the flagship Cell).
The highest prices for fully OA journals have risen from $5,435 to $5,560.
Fully OA journal APCs are less expensive than hybrid, averaging around 58% of hybrid average APCs. This difference has increased a few percentage points over previous years, representing a small convergence.
The average hybrid APC has increased by just over 5%. This is significantly larger than the 1% or so increases over the previous few years.
The average fully OA APC has increased by 8.5% over the last year – more than twice that of previous years….”

Elsevier charge $37.95 for access to an unformatted manuscript with intrusive watermarking and the illustrations removed | Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

“It’s not, though. Because not only is this paper behind a paywall in Elsevier’s journal Cretaceous Research, but the paywalled paper is what they term a “pre-proof” — a fact advertised in a tiny font half way down the page rather than in a giant red letters at the top.

“Pre-proof” is not a term in common usage. What does it mean? It turns out to be an unformatted, double-spaced, and line-numbered manuscript. In other words, this is an AAM (author’s accepted manuscript) of the kind that the authors could have deposited in their institutional repository for anyone to read for free.

But wait — there’s more! By way of “added value”, Elsevier have slapped a big intrusive “journal pre-proof” watermark across the middle of every single page, to make it even less readable than a double-spaced line-numbered manuscript already is….”