Abstract: Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, Springer Nature, Wiley, and SAGE: Many researchers know that the five giant firms publish most of the world’s scholarship. Fifty years of acquisitions and journal launches have yielded a stunningly profitable oligopoly, built up from academics’ unpaid writing-and-editing labor. Their business is a form of IP rentiership—collections of title-by-title prestige monopolies that, in the case of Nature or The Lancet, underwrite a stable of spinoff journals on the logic of the Hollywood franchise. Less well-known is that Elsevier and its peers are layering a second business on top of their legacy publishing operations, fueled by data extraction. They are packaging researcher behavior, gleaned from their digital platforms, into prediction products, which they sell back to universities and other clients. Their raw material is scholars’ citations, abstracts, downloads, and reading habits, repurposed into dashboard services that, for example, track researcher productivity. Elsevier and the other oligopolist firms are fast becoming, in other words, surveillance publishers . And they are using the windfall profits from their existing APC-and-subscription business to finance their moves into predictive analytics.
“What does open access (OA) / public access (PA) mean for your business?
It’s a slowish but profound reconfiguration of the research landscape. As William Gibson, the cyberpunk novelist, once put it ‘the future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed’. When it comes to gold OA there are parts of well-funded STM publishing that have gone OA already and the rest just should follow. And we are accelerating toward OA in this respect. But with social science (and the humanities), it’s a more complex story, and one that my colleagues and I don’t tire of telling. For instance, the National Science Foundation in the US has an annual budget of $9.8B, while the Social and Behavioral Science Directorate gets $285M of that, and yet the measly political science budget of around $18M is routinely targeted by US politicians as a ‘waste of taxpayers’ dollars. You can imagine what that does for a model based primarily on APCs!
Since it is not one size fits all, I feel we need to take a lead in differentiating the OA future by subject domain. Engineering and Sociology need different things to flourish. It is true to say that the growth of national and consortial transformative agreements can give us a way to transition across all subject domains, but I suspect this will still — as the deals are renewed and assessed by the biomedical model — be challenging for social science research for reasons that lead to them being under-valued more generally….”
“SAGE Publishing and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), the negotiating body representing universities in Australia and New Zealand), have announced a new Open Access Agreement which will expand publishing opportunities for ANZ researchers. The three year agreement, which begins on the 1st January 2023 and will last through to the 31st December 2025, provides researchers with: • Unlimited open access publishing rights in SAGE’s 900+ hybrid journals. • A discount on article publishing charges for SAGE’s 150+ pure Gold Open Access journals….”
SAGE and the Italian consortium of Biomedical Research Libraries, Bibliosan, have announced a new open access agreement. The deal will provide online access for Bibliosan’s network, which includes 68 research institutions, to SAGE’s full journal collection of 114 fully open access and 240 hybrid peer-reviewed journals.
Butler, Leigh-Ann, Matthias, Lisa, Simard, Marc-André, Mongeon, Philippe, & Haustein, Stefanie. (2022). The Oligopoly’s Shift to Open Access. How For-Profit Publishers Benefit from Article Processing Charges (Version v1). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7057144 Abstract: This study aims to estimate the total amount of article processing charges (APCs) paid to publish open access (OA) in journals controlled by the large commercial publishers Elsevier, Sage, Springer-Nature, Taylor & Francis and Wiley, the so-called oligopoly of academic publishing. Since the early 2010s, these five academic publishers control more than half of peer-reviewed journal articles indexed in the Web of Science (WoS), expanding their market power through acquisitions and mergers. While traditionally their business model focused on charging subscriptions to read articles, they have now shifted to OA, charging authors fees for publishing. These APCs often amount to several thousand dollars, excluding many from publishing on economic grounds. This study computes an estimate of the total amounts of APCs paid to oligopoly publishers between 2015 and 2018, using publication data from WoS, OA status from Unpaywall and annual APC prices from open datasets and historical fees retrieved via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. We estimate that globally authors paid the oligopoly of academic publishers $1.06 billion in publication fees in the 4-year period analyzed. Of the 505,903 OA articles analyzed, 60.9% were published in gold OA journals, 8.6% in diamond (gold with APC=$0) and 30.5% in hybrid journals. Revenue from gold OA amounted to $612.5 million, while $448.3 million was obtained for publishing OA in hybrid journals, for which publishers already charge subscription fees. Among the five publishers, Springer-Nature made the largest revenue from OA ($589.7 million), followed by Elsevier ($221.4 million), Wiley ($114.3 million), Taylor & Francis ($76.8 million) and Sage ($31.6 million). With Elsevier and Wiley making the majority of APC revenue from hybrid fees and others focusing on gold, different OA strategies could be observed between publishers.
“SAGE Publishing is pleased to announce a partnership with The Wikipedia Library to provide Wikipedia editors full-text access to SAGE’s more than 1,100 journals beginning immediately. The partnership will connect peer-reviewed research to those outside of academia for greater societal understanding and increase research connections….”
SAGE Publishing and the University of California (UC) announce an agreement to expand open access publishing opportunities for researchers at all 10 UC campuses. Running through 2024, the agreement will provide funding for UC researchers to make their SAGE research articles free and openly available to the world. SAGE is one of the largest publishers of UC research in the social sciences and humanities.
” “Our publisher, SAGE Publications, has entered into an agreement with The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN)(www.crkn-rcdr.ca/en) that will be transformative for our Journal.”2
I announced this agreement in my July/August 2021 editorial with the assertation that open access is now a financial reality for Canadian authors publishing in JCMS [Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery]. The agreement will cover the costs of open access for Canadian authors affiliated with Canadian Universities publishing in JCMS….
Open Access is serving us well. JCMS and JCMS Case Reports are available internationally and I trust you will share my pride in your accomplishments with our colleagues….”
“The Library has signed three new agreements to cover article processing charges (APCs) for open access (OA) articles published by Waterloo researchers between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2023 with Sage, PLOS Medicine and Biology, and Cogitatio Press.
Here is what this means for Waterloo researchers:
APCs are covered by the Library when you publish open access in over 900 Sage Choice journals
There is also a 40% discount on APCs on over 130 Sage Gold Open Access Journals (these journals are fully OA)
PLOS Medicine and Biology
APCs are covered by the Library when you publish in PLOS Medicine or PLOS Biology
APCs are covered by the Library when you publish in any Cogitatio Press Journal …”
“Advance: a SAGE preprints community allows researchers within the fields of humanities and social sciences to post their work online and free of charge. Advance welcomes a variety of preprint* types, including, but not limited to, original research, literature reviews, commentaries, and case studies. Once accepted, each preprint will be freely available online to the research community and peers and will benefit from our monitored commenting feature. Check out our infographic on the 7 benefits of preprints….”
“The University Library is pleased to announce that McMaster has signed open access publishing agreements with PLOS Biology and SAGE through the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN). As of January 1, 2021, McMaster authors do not have to pay Article Processing Charges to cover the cost of open access publishing in PLOS Biology or in over 900 SAGE Choice journals….”
“Good news! Researchers at Western who want to make their work open access can now benefit from new agreements with three major publishers that offer new discounts and waivers for open access journal Article Processing Charges (APCs). These agreements with SAGE, PLOS, and Elsevier were negotiated by the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) on behalf of researchers at CRKN member institutions.
The agreement with SAGE means that Western-affiliated authors who publish in over 900 SAGE journals will have their work made openly available to the public without paying APCs. This applies to all SAGE journals that operate on the hybrid subscription/OA model (some exceptions apply). There is also a 40% discount on APCs for journals published on the gold OA model (entirely funded by APCs)….”
“The University of Ottawa Library is pleased to announce updated open access publishing agreements with the following three publishers: PeerJ, PLOS, and SAGE.
Authors affiliated with the University of Ottawa may publish in PeerJ with a Three-Year (Limited Term) Basic Membership. Funded by the Library, the membership allows for authors to publish up to three articles at no cost at any time within a three-year period (provided all co-authors on an article have an appropriate PeerJ membership).
The Library, along with 18 other Canadian institutions, is also participating in PLOS’ Communication Action Publishing Program. Through this program, affiliated corresponding and contributing authors can benefit from no-fee publishing in PLOS Medicine and PLOS Biology.
Finally, thanks to a nationally negotiated agreement with SAGE, authors may be eligible for a discount or a waiver on article processing charges (APCs) for participating journals. Authors who publish in eligible SAGE Choice journals may do so free of charge and authors publishing in SAGE’s fully open access journals can receive a 40% discount on APCs for participating journals….”
“Having worked to promote openness of research findings for some considerable time, it’s great to come across examples that illustrate why you’re making all the effort. The Journal of Patient Experience (published by the Association for Patient Experience/SAGE) uses a publication model that demonstrates an excellent use case for openness. This journal describes itself as: Giving voice to our patients and our providers, the Journal of Patient Experience (JPE) is an open access, peer-reviewed journal which focuses on presenting advances and applications that impact the patient experience….”
“SAGE Publishing has opened resources from six titles that received 2020 Textbook Awards from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). Materials from the winning texts (see the full list of titles below) support online teaching and learning and include videos, webinars, author interviews, and more.
A new landing page with the featured resources joins SAGE’s other various initiatives to provide free content for the teaching, learning, and research community during the COVID-19 pandemic, including free-to-access courseware, research, and digital textbooks. …”