# MDPI Journals – 2015 to 2019 | Dan Brockington

“In a previous blog (published December 2019) I explored the performance and changes of the MDPI journals, examining their growth up to the end of 2018. Since I wrote that blog, data for 2019 are now available – and they are more remarkable than before (Table 1). Submissions in 2018 were over 140,000. In 2019 they were just under 240,000. Over 64,000 papers were published in 2018; in 2019 over 100,000. Estimated gross revenues (see note below Table 1) have increased by nearly 60 million Swiss francs. A downloadable PDF of this blog and the source data are available at the end of the document….

In this blog I reflect on what these trends mean for the arguments of my last blog – specifically, does growth demonstrate signs of vanity publishing? I also reflect on the responses to the first open letter that I wrote to the MDPI. The headline findings are that I believe that the growth has continued at the same rate (if not greater) because the journals provide a service that increasing numbers of academics find useful. At the same time the experience of publishing with an working for these journals remains uneven….”

# MDPI Journals – 2015 to 2019 | Dan Brockington

“In a previous blog (published December 2019) I explored the performance and changes of the MDPI journals, examining their growth up to the end of 2018. Since I wrote that blog, data for 2019 are now available – and they are more remarkable than before (Table 1). Submissions in 2018 were over 140,000. In 2019 they were just under 240,000. Over 64,000 papers were published in 2018; in 2019 over 100,000. Estimated gross revenues (see note below Table 1) have increased by nearly 60 million Swiss francs. A downloadable PDF of this blog and the source data are available at the end of the document….

In this blog I reflect on what these trends mean for the arguments of my last blog – specifically, does growth demonstrate signs of vanity publishing? I also reflect on the responses to the first open letter that I wrote to the MDPI. The headline findings are that I believe that the growth has continued at the same rate (if not greater) because the journals provide a service that increasing numbers of academics find useful. At the same time the experience of publishing with an working for these journals remains uneven….”

# 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 ….”

# Lessons From the Open Library of Humanities

Abstract:  The Open Library of Humanities was launched almost half a decade ago with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In this article, we outline the problems we set out to address and the lessons we learned. Specifically, we note that, as we hypothesized, academic libraries are not necessarily classical economic actors; that implementing consortial funding models requires much marketing labour; that there are substantial governance and administrative overheads in our model; that there are complex tax and VAT considerations for consortial arrangements; and that diverse revenue sources remain critical to our success.

# How can we afford Open Access in the humanities disciplines? — Expert voices – European University Association

09 March 2020 | Martin Paul Eve, Birkbeck, University of London

Open Access publishing needs new business models for universities and disciplines that want to support Open Access but are short on resources. Martin Paul Eve explains how the Open Library of Humanities has pioneered an inexpensive and efficient approach for Open Access publishing with the support of many universities in Europe and beyond.

# How can we afford Open Access in the humanities disciplines? — Expert voices – European University Association

09 March 2020 | Martin Paul Eve, Birkbeck, University of London

Open Access publishing needs new business models for universities and disciplines that want to support Open Access but are short on resources. Martin Paul Eve explains how the Open Library of Humanities has pioneered an inexpensive and efficient approach for Open Access publishing with the support of many universities in Europe and beyond.

# Transforming an academic publisher | Research Information

“The conversation in the industry has noticeably moved from ‘whether’ to ‘how’, eliciting a rich mix of excitement and trepidation. The fundamental basis of publishing is still largely in place: content dissemination underpinned by the proven principles of copyright, licensing and payment. But the potential for the internet to utterly transform how content is distributed, and all of the ramifications of this change, is still at an early stage of being realised.

Our ability to disseminate research outputs as open research, instead of putting them behind paywalls, has become tangible. There are, however, a bunch of other trends and pressures that are stimulating speculation about how scholarly communication will evolve in the next few years, and so complicating our decisions about how to deliver the open research transformation….

[One challenge:] When we (or pretty much any sizeable publisher) looks at a map of where our readers and authors are, there is only partial overlap….

The second major challenge I want to highlight is the need to avoid creating new barriers to authorship….”

# 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%.

# Here’s What You Can Do with Your Overhead · punctum books

“As punctum books over the last few years has tried to develop a sustainable model of scholar-led open-access publishing, and has devoted a considerable amount of resources to advocating for the common goods of public scholarship and knowledge, we have increasingly encountered arguments, both open and veiled, that somehow our practice would not be “replicable,” “scalable,” or, indeed, “sustainable.” These arguments often depart from the assumption that we—in one way or the other—are not playing by the rules of the academic publishing game. And because we would be rigging the game, our publishing model could reasonably never gain any traction, let alone serve as a model for others.

Some of these arguments suggest that we have poured our own supposed personal (or family) resources into punctum, and that this would give us an unfair advantage over traditional legacy publishers. If we choose to disregard the reality of the sizable endowments for certain university presses and the obscene profit margins of commercial players, it is indeed the case that for many years we have worked for salaries below the industry standard. However, we never made the claim that the scholar-led open-access model that punctum advocates necessitates such below-market remuneration levels; on the contrary, we believe that with the current money that is already in the system, all scholarly publishers, editors, and authors can be paid a reasonable living wage. We don’t assume that any open-access scholar-led publishing house that were to follow the model we are developing would have to make the same financial sacrifices we did in our early years—that, indeed, would be unsustainable and unreplicable….”

# Here’s What You Can Do with Your Overhead · punctum books

“As punctum books over the last few years has tried to develop a sustainable model of scholar-led open-access publishing, and has devoted a considerable amount of resources to advocating for the common goods of public scholarship and knowledge, we have increasingly encountered arguments, both open and veiled, that somehow our practice would not be “replicable,” “scalable,” or, indeed, “sustainable.” These arguments often depart from the assumption that we—in one way or the other—are not playing by the rules of the academic publishing game. And because we would be rigging the game, our publishing model could reasonably never gain any traction, let alone serve as a model for others.

Some of these arguments suggest that we have poured our own supposed personal (or family) resources into punctum, and that this would give us an unfair advantage over traditional legacy publishers. If we choose to disregard the reality of the sizable endowments for certain university presses and the obscene profit margins of commercial players, it is indeed the case that for many years we have worked for salaries below the industry standard. However, we never made the claim that the scholar-led open-access model that punctum advocates necessitates such below-market remuneration levels; on the contrary, we believe that with the current money that is already in the system, all scholarly publishers, editors, and authors can be paid a reasonable living wage. We don’t assume that any open-access scholar-led publishing house that were to follow the model we are developing would have to make the same financial sacrifices we did in our early years—that, indeed, would be unsustainable and unreplicable….”