Thornton | Elsevier Title Level Pricing: Dissecting the Bowl of Spaghetti | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION This study will explore the issue of pricing opacity associated with prices paid by academic libraries that have recently unbundled from the Elsevier Big Deal journal package. Additionally, this study will provide metrics for assessing the fair market value (FMV) of unbundled journal packages. The pricing metrics will assist academic libraries in negotiations of subscription and open access agreements. METHODS Pricing information was gathered from five academic libraries. The data was analyzed to arrive at two key metrics (adjustment from list price and the average cost per journal) for establishing comparables, i.e., prices paid by similarly sized institutions, to assess the collective FMVs for unbundled Elsevier journal packages. RESULTS & DISCUSSION The study results show that significant variations existed in the way institutions were charged for content. Additionally, the comparables show wide variations among institutions when measured by the overall adjustment from list price and the average cost per journal. CONCLUSION The pricing metrics developed in this study, adjustment from list price (ALP) and average cost per journal (ACJ), will help libraries assess their final net prices for individual journal subscriptions. The results will be useful to administrators, collection development personnel, and negotiating teams in understanding the prices paid by other institutions for unbundled journal packages to determine FMVs.

 

Delhi HC Might Have Killed Intellectual Liberty

“In what may be a landmark case related to copyright law, Delhi HC ordered online article and book repositories Sci-Hub and Libgen to stop uploading material from thousands of journals controlled by Elsevier, Wiley India and American Chemical Society….”

Beginning of JPR’s great voyage to the open science world

“Many academic societies are currently undergoing this transition [to OA], and in the process, some major international publishers are double dipping, charging high subscription fees as well as expensive APCs. We strongly support open science initiatives and have long sought to move JPR to be a fully open journal. However, if we had continued to publish under Elsevier, moving to a fully open journal would have resulted in significant costs for both the authors and Japan Prosthodontic Society (JPS). After much discussion, we have finally made a decision regarding this crucial issue.

In 2021, JPS changed publishers, moving from Elsevier to J-STAGE, which now publishes JPR as a full-OA journal….”

Practical Idealism: UC’s Approach to Open Access

MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship at the University of California, Davis, provides the following commentary on UC’s recent transformative agreements with Elsevier and other publishers.

Gelenkte Wissenschaft: Die DFG warnt vor Einfluss des Plattformkapitalismus (“Guiding” science: DFG warns against influence of platform capitalism) | Frankfurter Allgemeine

German Research Foundation warns against the growing influence of major publishers on research. Scientific freedom is under threat from two sides.

 

 

Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft warnt vor dem wachsenden Einfluss der Großverlage auf die Forschung. Die Wissenschaftsfreiheit ist hier von zwei Seiten bedroht.

Update Swiss Elsevier R&P Agreement – June 2021 | Open Access Monitoring

“After a first disillusioning analysis of the Swiss Elsevier Read & Publish Agreement (2020-2023) in August 2020, it is time for another update after 18 months of contract duration….

The low degree of exploitation is not due to the fact that Swiss authors publish less with Elsevier. Rather, many publications that could/should actually be Open Access by agreement remain Closed Access. My monitoring now shows 560 such Swiss Corresponding Author Papers, whose total APC list price amounts to €1.5 million. Publications for which Elsevier does not publish the submission date and therefore the eligibility cannot be determined with certainty are not even included in this number. Example: 10.1016/j.cagd.2021.102003

Why so many papers are closed access seems to have several reasons. I have received feedback from two authors that the option to OA was not displayed in the submission process, leading to suspicion that the affiliation identification at Elsevier is not working reliably.

 

Other authors apparently deliberately chose not to use the OA option because they feared hybrid costs. Since the Swiss OA community (and the SNSF) has been making researchers aware of hybrid and double-dipping for the past 15 years, this is actually good news….

An increase to 61% OA is without doubt a clear improvement over subscription-only. But the cost of this step is extremely high. Currently, the PAR fee for 2020 is over 6000€. If the quota is fully utilised, the PAR fee will come to 4500€ EUR….

Unfortunately, my conclusion from last year does not change much. Those responsible for this deal have quite unnecessarily embarked on something half-baked that no one can really be satisfied with (except Elsevier). It is true that the increase to 61% OA is positive, but only as long as one does not know the price. When I also learn that Swiss OA responsibles now have to chase authors when the submission did not work out with OA, we are actually at the point where we could have reached the 61% via Green Road OA without embargo with the same effort, but much less money. The millions could have been put into more worthwhile alternatives….”

Elsevier launches India COVID-19 Healthcare Hub to curb spread of misinformation

“A recent study showed that 67.2 percent of misinformation in India involves health-related topics, such as falsehoods on the COVID-19 vaccine, other forms of medical treatments, medical institutions, and healthcare facilities.

The same study also found that online media was responsible for higher volumes of inaccurate news (94.4 percent) in comparison with mainstream media (5.6 percent), with false claims being distributed mainly on social media platforms.

 

To address this problem, Elsevier, a global information and analytics business, launched its India COVID-19 Healthcare Hub for frontline healthcare workers and members of the public in India. It offers the latest evidence-based information along with information on the management and prevention of the virus, thereby limiting the spread of misinformation….”

Open search tools need sustainable funding – Research Professional News

“The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered an explosion of knowledge, with more than 200,000 papers published to date. At one point last year, scientific output on the topic was doubling every 20 days. This huge growth poses big challenges for researchers, many of whom have pivoted to coronavirus research without experience or preparation.

Mainstream academic search engines are not built for such a situation. Tools such as Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science provide long, unstructured lists of results with little context.

These work well if you know what you are looking for. But for anyone diving into an unknown field, it can take weeks, even months, to identify the most important topics, publication venues and authors. This is far too long in a public health emergency.

The result has been delays, duplicated work, and problems with identifying reliable findings. This lack of tools to provide a quick overview of research results and evaluate them correctly has created a crisis in discoverability itself. …

Building on these, meta-aggregators such as Base, Core and OpenAIRE have begun to rival and in some cases outperform the proprietary search engines. …”

Elsevier Title Level Pricing: Dissecting the Bowl of Spaghetti

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION This study will explore the issue of pricing opacity associated with prices paid by academic libraries that have recently unbundled from the Elsevier Big Deal journal package. Additionally, this study will provide metrics for assessing the fair market value (FMV) of unbundled journal packages. The pricing metrics will assist academic libraries in negotiations of subscription and open access agreements. METHODS Pricing information was gathered from five academic libraries. The data was analyzed to arrive at two key metrics (adjustment from list price and the average cost per journal) for establishing comparables, i.e., prices paid by similarly sized institutions, to assess the collective FMVs for unbundled Elsevier journal packages. RESULTS & DISCUSSION The study results show that significant variations existed in the way institutions were charged for content. Additionally, the comparables show wide variations among institutions when measured by the overall adjustment from list price and the average cost per journal. CONCLUSION The pricing metrics developed in this study, adjustment from list price (ALP) and average cost per journal (ACJ), will help libraries assess their final net prices for individual journal subscriptions. The results will be useful to administrators, collection development personnel, and negotiating teams in understanding the prices paid by other institutions for unbundled journal packages to determine FMVs.

 

When free access is not open access | CCSD

“You have downloaded your article from the website of the journal and you think that, since it is available free, you can deposit this published version in HAL. Well, sometimes it is true but …. sometimes it is not.

Does the mention “Open Access” or “Open” is included in your file? or a Creative Common license (CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, etc) ? If so, you can deposit this publisher’s version in HAL. You sometimes need good eyes to find the licence: in the Elsevier’s files, it is at the bottom of the first page (example); idem for the articles published by Oxford University Press (example). On the other hand, for articles in journals published by Nature Publishing Group and MDPI, the licence is on the last page of the file (example).

But if these mentions are not included in the file, you cannot deposit the published version without first checking if the publisher approves it….”

University Rankings and Governance by Metrics and Algorithms | Zenodo

Abstract:  This paper looks closely at how data analytic providers leverage rankings as a part of their strategies to further extract rent and assets from the university beyond their traditional roles as publishers and citation data providers. Multinational publishers such as Elsevier, with over 2,500 journals in its portfolio, has transitioned to become a data analytic firm. Rankings expand their abilities to monetize further their existing journal holdings, as there is a strong association between publication in high-impact journals and improvement in rankings.  The global academic publishing industry has become highly oligopolistic, and a small handful of legacy multinational firms are now publishing the majority of the world’s research output (See Larivière et. al. 2015; Fyfe et. al. 2017; Posada & Chen, 2018). It is therefore crucial that their roles and enormous market power in influencing university rankings be more closely scrutinized. We suggest that due to a combination of a lack of transparency regarding, for example, Elsevier’s data services and products and their self-positioning as a key intermediary in the commercial rankings business, they have managed to evade the social responsibilities and scrutiny that come with occupying such a critical public function in university evaluation. As the quest for ever-higher rankings often works in conflict with universities’ public missions, it is critical to raise questions about the governance of such private digital platforms and the compatibility between their private interests and the maintenance of universities’ public values.

 

Rights, sharing, and embargo policies

“Cell Press supports responsible sharing. We recognize that authors want to share their papers and we encourage this. Find out how you can share your paper here: www.elsevier.com/sharing-articles .

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There are, however, some differences between Elsevier’s general policies and those of Cell Press. Most Cell Press articles are under a press embargo until the article is published because we generate substantial media coverage for relevant articles….

We are happy to consider manuscripts previously posted on preprint servers such as arXiv(opens in a new window), bioRxiv(opens in a new window), BioRN(opens in a new window), ChiRxiv(opens in a new window), ChiRN(opens in a new window), or SSRN(opens in a new window). Some of our journals, including Cell Genomics, Cell Reports, Current Biology, and iScience, also support direct submission of manuscripts from bioRxiv and/or medRxiv via transfer of manuscript files and metadata to the journal’s Editorial Manager site. Our support for posting of preprints only applies to the original submitted version of the manuscript; we do not support posting to preprint servers revisions that respond to editorial input and peer review or final accepted manuscripts….

For authors submitting from January 2021 onwards all Cell Press journals offer an open access publishing option. We have a range of journals that are either full open access, where all articles are published on an open access basis, or hybrid open access, which offer a choice between subscription and open access publishing.

Authors of papers published by Cell Press can share their accepted manuscript (the post-peer-review version that does not incorporate copy editing and proofing) via non-commercial hosting platforms, such as their institutional repository, after a posting embargo period has elapsed (this is distinct from the press embargo mentioned above)….

Cell Press open access and hybrid research journals support open access publication for groups of authors from Research4Life (R4L) countries. For papers where all of the authors are from a Group A and/or Group B R4L country we will grant a waiver or discount of the standard publishing fee, as appropriate. For fully open access journals the R4L eligibility check will be automatic. For hybrid journals please highlight your situation to the journal team during the submission process so we can adjust accordingly….”

ATG! The Podcast- Episode 109: Conversation on the University of California/Elsevier Open Access Agreement – Charleston Hub

“We’re pleased to feature a conversation and interview with Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, University Librarian and economics professor at UC Berkeley, and co-chair of UC’s publisher negotiation team, and Ivy Anderson, Associate Executive Director of the California Digital Library and co-chair of UC’s publisher negotiation team about the University of California’s recent pioneering open access agreement with Elsevier. The interview is conducted by Leah Hinds, Executive Director of the Charleston Hub, and Tom Gilson, Associate Editor of Against the Grain….”