Access to chemical database Reaxys under threat in UK as fees spiral | Chemistry World

Concerns have been raised that institutional access to the Reaxys chemical and reactions database could end at universities across the UK in a row over rising costs. The dispute over subscription fees is being described as a potentially significant problem for chemists in the UK, and maybe worldwide.

Reaxys incorporates Beilstein – the largest organic chemistry database – and Gmelin – a sizeable repository of organometallic and inorganic compounds and databases, as well as other key chemistry resources. Launched in 2009 and licensed by commercial publishing giant Elsevier, Reaxys enables research chemists to search and find chemical compounds, reactions, properties and synthesis planning information. It also includes chemical patent literature.

The Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc), an organisation that assists UK universities with digital resources and negotiates on behalf of the UK higher education and research sector, is currently in talks with Elsevier to make institutional access to Reaxys more affordable.



The Oligopoly’s Shift to Open Access. How For-Profit Publishers Benefit from Article Processing Charges | Zenodo

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. 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.

Cell Press and The Lancet titles now included in UC-Elsevier open access publishing agreement

Beginning September 1, 2022, UC corresponding authors publishing in Elsevier’s prestigious Cell Press and The Lancet journals will be able to publish their articles as open access with financial support from the UC libraries. Cell Press publishes 50 scientific journals in the life, physical, earth, and health sciences. The Lancet is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journals.

Journal of Food Protection transition to Open Access: Frequently Asked Questions

“The Journal of Food Protection will be moving to an open access (OA) publishing model with Elsevier beginning January of 2023! We are excited about this change because: • All articles published open access are immediately and permanently free for everyone to read, download, use and distribute. • All research published in the journal are now immediately and fully available on Agricola, BIOSIS, FSTA, Chemical Abstracts, Dairy Science Abstracts–CABI, Google Scholar, Index Medicus, Pubmed/Medline, Scopus, Science Citation Index, and many more. • Millions of researchers globally will be able to find and read your work for free. • Open access (OA) publishing accelerates the pace of research and encourages sharing and collaboration across disciplines. • It accommodates many global research funders’ requirements. • Our journal research will become more discoverable online….”

Exclusive licence to publish – now here’s a thing | Plan S

by Sally Rumsey, Jisc’s cOAlition S OA Expert Imagine this scenario. You’ve written an article and want to make it Open Access (OA). To do this, you submit it to a journal that enables gold OA, i.e. the publisher makes the article immediately OA on publication. You decide to apply a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND licence to your manuscript. This licence does not allow users, by default, to make commercial use (NC=non-commercial) nor derivatives (ND=no derivatives) unless they receive a corresponding authorisation. On acceptance, the publisher of the journal presents you with a Licence to Publish (LTP). This is where the problems surrounding the assignment of the CC-BY-NC-ND licence start. The LTP comprises the grant of a licence to the publisher by you, the original copyright holder and licensor, required for the publisher to publish your article. It also includes a long list of Terms & Conditions created by the publisher. For now, I’ll skate over the fact that you, as the author, are the original copyright holder, and as such, it is you who grants the LTP. Nevertheless, the LTP and its terms and conditions are written by the publisher using their terms – I have written about this unacceptable cock-eyed situation previously (see Licence to publish – the boot is on the wrong foot). […]  

Update zu DEAL |

2021 wurden über 27.000 Publikationen im Rahmen der DEAL-Verträge in Zeitschriften von Wiley und Springer Nature veröffentlicht. Mehr als 95 % der Autor:innen nutzten dafür die Open-Access-Option, was zu einem Anstieg des OA-Anteils bei den deutschen Publikationen geführt hat1. Da der Vertrag mit Wiley zum 31.12.2022 endet und die reguläre dreijährige Laufzeit des Vertrags mit Springer Nature ebenfalls zum Jahresende abschließt, verhandelt die DEAL-Gruppe nun wieder mit den Verlagen. Einen Einblick in die Verhandlungen gab es kürzlich auf verschiedenen Wegen1,2, was wir zum Anlass nehmen möchten, die derzeitigen Pläne zur Weiterführung der Verträge im Folgenden zusammenzufassen.


From paywall builders to data tracking moguls or.. How the big publishers have put on a new super vilain costume. – The political economy of academic publications

“Elsevier is a felon, that is a given. This company epitomizes all the crimes, misdemeanors and petty theft that can be accomplished by a publisher. Its wikipedia page is so full of affairs, scandals and raunchy stories that it would be enough to read it to give a talk to an academic congress. And yet Elsevier still find new ways to extract value from academic communities, which both produces new profits and new critiques. This post is the story of the publisher becoming a data company….”

Elsevier’s Acquisition of Interfolio: Risks and Responses – SPARC: Community Owned Infrastructure | report JUN 29, 2022

“This analysis details the potential risks posed by Elsevier’s acquisition of Interfolio, what institutions should watch for, and proactive steps institutions can take to reduce the negative impacts of consolidation….”

FIM4L Working Group in Talks with Elsevier — Towards Federated Access Best Practices – LIBER Europe

“At the beginning of 2022, the LIBER FIM4L Working Group and Elsevier held a series of talks on the topic of federated access. 

Federated access, also called Shibboleth or SSO, can be used by libraries to provide access to electronic resources. During the login process information about the user is (often) exchanged with the publisher. The library, publisher, and user can decide which information to share…

Points of consideration for anonymous login:

Not all Elsevier products support anonymity.
If an anonymous, logged-in user decides to set up alerts at e.g. Sciencedirect, they will be informed that they should log in first. Then they probably create a new user account, perhaps apart from an existing one, and their current session gets terminated.
When an identified user logs out, they cannot log in anonymously anymore in that session.


If anonymous login would be officially supported by a publisher, then it is important to inform a user using very clear communication. This is difficult for two reasons: Users do not understand these login differences and there could always be cases during the user’s journey where they might not at all be informed….”

“Open access is like a window of knowledge”

“A lifelong desire to improve the world has led Prof Gawsia Wahidunessa Chowdhury to embrace open access and its ability to extend the reach of her research….

Gawsia comments:


Open access is like a window of knowledge. When I’m doing research, I always want to make the science open for all, so people in other parts of the world can replicate the research.

Plastic pollution is a universal story, it is not just relevant in Bangladesh or India. This crisis connects all of us. It’s my duty to make the science accessible and understandable for everyone.”


Letting Open Access bloom: a bright future for research publishing | Opinion | News | The University of Aberdeen

“In previous blog posts, I have discussed the value of open research, the reasons behind its complexity, and the importance of retaining rights over our research outputs. In this final post of my short series, I look to the future, with an optimism….

I am timing this post to align with the news that the sector has struck a landmark deal with Elsevier for continued access to ScienceDirect. This agreement both saves the sector money and increases its ability to publish openly in Elsevier titles. It is policy compliant and removes a layer of administration, saving time for researchers and for librarians. The work across the sector to achieve this has been enormous, but the result more than vindicates the efforts we have put into it. I am delighted that Aberdeen played a significant part in this work. My colleagues have contributed to a national initiative to test an alternative to a bulk subscription, and I have represented the sector at the strategic level through membership of the Jisc/UUK Content Negotiation Strategy Group. As well as being a major success for this round of negotiations, our collaborative work has also delivered a framework for all future negotiations with major publishers.

This is very timely, as we are now close to the launch date of the new UKRI Open Access Policy, on 1 April. I discussed this in my most recent post, but as a reminder, this policy will restrict your Gold Open Access publishing options, and it will require any Green Open Access deposits to have no embargo imposed on the date of their open access release. The Library has been doing a lot to communicate this, but if you are unaware of the changes and need advice or information, visit our web page about UKRI OA policy.


This is not a reason to rest on our laurels, however pleased I am about what we have achieved with Elsevier. There are four reasons I remain enthusiastic to do more….

The best way to guarantee we can achieve open access to our research, in all circumstances, is to stop giving away our control over it. I discussed this in my previous blog, and can now announce that Research Policy Committee have supported my proposal to enshrine this in University policy. I will now start to develop a draft and consult on whether this can replace our existing policy (which is now extremely out of date). From my perspective, asserting that we will no longer give our rights away seems like a blindingly obvious thing to wish to do, but it’s really important that I hear other perspectives, and provide reassurance where there are concerns. You will have formal opportunity to comment as the draft makes its way through the committees, but I’d really like to hear from you now, whether it is to learn more, to express support, or to challenge my views….”

Revisiting: When is a Publisher not a Publisher? Cobbling Together the Pieces to Build a Workflow Business – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Ultimately, Elsevier’s user acquisition and monetization strategy here is as sophisticated as anything we have seen in scholarly publishing to date. Open access advocates might be concerned about some of these directions, but my sense is that many of these scientists and librarians remain largely focused on trying to compete with, or at least influence, scientific publishing. Building businesses that support, and potentially monetize, researcher workflow is a very different animal. While the Center for Open Science and the SHARE initiative are trying to offer up counterweights, there is little evidence that the open access community as a whole is engaged with Elsevier’s transformation. Springer Nature’s sibling Digital Science is probably Elsevier’s foremost competitor in this space, albeit with a different investment and integration model….”

Oable incorporates all of Elsevier’s journals – Knowledge Unlatched

“Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, is establishing a pilot with Oable, the innovative open access (OA) workflow management solution developed by Knowledge Unlatched, to simplify the librarian approval workflow for open access publishing.

Oable supports libraries in managing their OA activities across publishers, including different types of commercial agreements and products. The new partnership will be piloted with select institutions with the aim of streamlining transactions and reducing the administrative burden on librarians and university officials. This means librarians for the institutions participating in the pilot will be able to manage their OA agreements and arrangements for all Elsevier journals through the Oable platform….”