“Scilit is a comprehensive content aggregator platform for scholarly publications. It is developed and maintained by the open access publisher MDPI AG. It is offered for free to scientists and scholars. Using widely automated approaches to sourcing and curating data, we cover newly published content from a variety of sources within hours or days. Scilit currently covers journal articles, book chapters, monographs and preprints. For more information, please see the Scilit brochure….”
“The proposed merger between Clarivate and ProQuest is likely to produce adverse competitive effects described in the Horizontal Merger Guidelines and result in foreseeable harm to consumers related to product quality, price, choice, and privacy. The merger would significantly decrease competition across key markets, resulting in a research enterprise increasingly dominated by a very small number of firms with extraordinary market power, relative to both their competitors and customers. Blocking this merger is a necessary step in pulling the research enterprise back from the brink of a future in which it is controlled by platform monopolies.”
“But just as the Web increased people’s access to information exponentially, an opposite trend has evolved. Global media corporations—emboldened by the expansive copyright laws they helped craft and the emerging technology that reaches right into our reading devices—are exerting absolute control over digital information. These two conflicting forces—towards unfettered availability and completely walled access to information—have defined the last 25 years of the Internet. How we handle this ongoing clash will define our civic discourse in the next 25 years. If we fail to forge the right path, publishers’ business models could eliminate one of the great tools for democratizing society: our independent libraries.
These are not small mom-and-pop publishers: a handful of publishers dominate all books sales and distribution including trade books, ebooks, and text books. Right now, these corporate publishers are squeezing libraries in ways that may render it impossible for any library to own digital texts in five years, let alone 25. Soon, librarians will be reduced to customer service reps for a Netflix-like rental catalog of bestsellers. If that comes to pass, you might as well replace your library card with a credit card. That’s what these billion-dollar-publishers are pushing.
The libraries I grew up with would buy books, preserve them, and lend them for free to their patrons. If my library did not have a particular book, then it would borrow a copy from another library for me. In the shift from print to digital, many commercial publishers are declaring each of these activities illegal: they refuse libraries the right to buy ebooks, preserve ebooks, or lend ebooks. They demand that libraries license ebooks for a limited time or for limited uses at exorbitant prices, and some publishers refuse to license audiobooks or ebooks to libraries at all, making those digital works unavailable to hundreds of millions of library patrons….”
Journals publishing open access (OA) articles often require that authors pay article processing charges (APC). Researchers in the Global South often cite APCs as a major financial obstacle to OA publishing, especially in widely-recognized or prestigious outlets. Consequently, it has been hypothesized that authors from the Global South will be underrepresented in journals charging APCs. We tested this hypothesis using >37,000 articles from Elsevier’s ‘Mirror journal’ system, in which a hybrid ‘Parent’ journal and its Gold-OA ‘Mirror’ share editorial boards and standards for acceptance. Most articles were non-OA; 45% of articles had lead authors based in either the United States of America (USA) or China. After correcting for the effect of this dominance and differences in sample size, we found that OA articles published in Parent and Mirror journals had lead authors with similar Geographic Diversity. However, Author Geographic Diversity of OA articles was significantly lower than that of non-OA articles. Most OA articles were written by authors in high-income countries, and there were no articles in Mirror journals by authors in low-income countries. Our results for Elsevier’s Mirror-Parent system are consistent with the hypothesis that APCs are a barrier to OA publication for scientists from the Global South.
University of Michigan Press is the flagship imprint of Michigan Publishing, publishing highly curated and peer-reviewed monographs in humanities and qualitative social sciences. Areas of particular focus are performing arts and media studies; classical studies; political science; American studies (especially disability and class studies); and Asian studies.
Following Springer Nature’s successful transformative agreements (TAs) in Europe and North America, the company is pleased to announce its first TA in the Asia-Pacific region. The agreement with the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) will give members of the CAUL consortium the ability to publish their research open access (OA) in over 2000 journals, making it CAUL’s largest TA to date.
“At STM, we promote the contribution that publishers make to innovation, openness and the sharing of knowledge and embrace change to support the growth and sustainability of the research ecosystem. As a common good, we provide data and analysis for all involved in the global activity of research. For the past 15 years, we have produced the STM report which has explored the trends, issues and challenges facing scholarly publishing. This latest iteration sees the adoption of a new format for the report, with a wealth of industry-leading data and insights presented across an annual selection of ‘supplements’ – each providing compelling snapshots on specific aspects and characteristics of the industry. The next issue will cover Open Access and Open Research, which remain a key area of focus for STM and its members as a means to advance knowledge worldwide. This first supplement in the new series – ‘STM Global Brief 2021 – Economics and Market Size’ shines a light on the scale and shape of scholarly publishing and provides updated figures covering 2018 onwards. We would like to thank all the contributors for their input, advice and insights….”
“Over the course of the COPIM project, Work Package 2 has been in the process of developing a new online infrastructural intermediary that can sit between scholarly libraries and OA publishers and other initiatives, to deliver new and more sustainable sources of revenue. As mentioned in our last report, the organisation that will support this intermediary now has a name: Open Book Collective (OBC).
The OBC will respond to the need for new forms of collaborative interaction between publishers, researchers, universities, and scholarly libraries by offering a contextual platform that supports the promotion of open access publishing activities and facilitates collective funding support. OBC will be a non-profit incorporated entity legally founded in the UK and we expect soon to be able to confirm its precise organisational form….”
“Earlier this year, Fight for the Future — a group of technology experts, policy makers, and creatives — launched a tool called Who Can Get Your Book, meant to highlight the challenges of accessibility and availability of ebooks in public schools and libraries, rural areas, and other communities where these disparities create burdens to information. It is but one organization seeking transparency around ebooks from publishers, and now, the US Senate Finance Committee is pushing for more.
Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D., Oregon) and U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D., California) lead the latest charge, drafting a series of letters to the Big Five publishers to clarify their ebook contracts with public schools.
Ebook contracts are notoriously tricky. For libraries, who can purchase print books and own them through their natural lifespan, ebooks come with restrictions on a number of fronts. They aren’t owned by the library and instead are licensed: at any time, the books may disappear or come with circulation limits, and those licenses come at astronomical prices. In cases where licenses can be negotiated with better terms for the library, costs only grow….”
This blog post is an update to a previous post “SFI’s updated Open Access Policy – The Why and How”, published in February 2021. It explains what Transformative Agreements are and looks at why our researchers recently received a message saying that our Open Access allocations for 2021 for four publishers are due to run out before the end of the year.
“Over the past few months, the team at Information Power has been hard at work with our latest project. On behalf of cOAlition S and ALPSP, we have created four Task & Finish Groups and are planning two public events in order to help facilitate Open Access Agreements between Libraries/Consortia and small, independent publishers that can be used universally.
During September and October, we advertised our working groups and over 100 people signed up! This was an excellent result and was really heartening to see so many people that wanted to volunteer their valuable time and expertise to help an important project that could really benefit many people all over the world.
The first Task & Finish Group started in late September and is centred around devising a set of shared principles to underpin Open Access arrangements involving small publishers. The group has met three times so far and each meeting has been immensely successful, with lots of spirited debate and a new draft set of principles….”
Cambridge University Press and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) have reached a transformative agreement to support Open Access (OA) publishing in Cambridge Journals for 2022. It is one of the first major uncapped transformative agreements reached with CAUL by a publisher of significant size in Australia and New Zealand.
“OA Agreements at ISU
Iowa State University’s OA Agreements are contracts and memberships that the University library manages to expand OA publishing options for ISU researchers. The first of our OA agreements was made in 2019 with De Gruyter, a German publisher with more than “900 journals in the humanities, social sciences, medicine, mathematics, engineering, computer sciences, natural sciences, and law.” Since then, we have since expanded our efforts to support over 10 individual publishers. These include both full OA journals, like PLOS and Frontiers, and hybrid OA journals like those published by Oxford University Press and Wiley.
Impact of the Agreements
The early impact of the library’s OA agreements was humble, but this changed in 2020, as more researchers across campus came to learn about these agreements through the University Library’s marketing and a new Open Scholarship Services website highlighting the publishers covered. That year, the library’s agreements supported the publication of more than 200 journal articles from ISU faculty, with nearly half of those articles coming from the departments of animal science or the College of Veterinary Medicine. This is due in large part to our agreements with Oxford University Press and Frontiers, which support excellent journals in the areas of animal science, genetics, and veterinary science. Other departments seeing noticeable support from our agreements include chemistry, agronomy, entomology, and ecology, evolution and organismal biology (EEOB).
Thanks to our new agreement with Wiley and the growing popularity of Frontiers, publishing under the library’s OA arrangements is on track in 2021 to more than double our 2020 output. A breakdown of our expected OA publishing output can be seen in Table 1….”
The United States Copyright Office is undertaking a public study at the request of Congress to evaluate current copyright protections for publishers. Among other issues, the Office will consider the effectiveness of publishers’ existing rights in news content, including under the provisions of title 17 of the U.S. Code, as well as other federal and state laws; whether additional protections are desirable or appropriate; the possible scope of any such new protections, including how their beneficiaries could be defined; and how any such protections would interact with existing rights, exceptions and limitations, and international treaty obligations. To aid in this effort, the Office is seeking public input on a number of questions. The Office also plans to hold a virtual public roundtable to discuss these and related topics on December 9, 2021.