How does the growth of a particular publisher’s open access content factor into the relative value of a Big Deal? Part 2: The Findings – Delta Think

“Some final thoughts: (1) Overall usage was a stronger influence on the change in value than the small changes in the proportion of hybrid OA article usage. (2) Despite the range of research activity levels across our institutions, there wasn’t much difference in the proportion of the open versus controlled usage across the site-licensed institutions for either publisher. (3) COVID likely affected these trends, but precisely how was unclear. Did lockdown increase the usage or limit it? Did it affect our two publishers differently? We have no ‘non-COVID’ control unfortunately. (4) If the impact of transformative agreements on the rate of hybrid OA article output influenced these trends, the impact was quite small. Still, with more libraries negotiating transformative agreements, growth in the proportion of OA articles should accelerate. As long as usage in publisher packages continues to grow, cost per controlled use will increase more quickly than cost per use. This new cost per controlled use metric should help libraries track the return on investment from their journal package subscription payments as a growing proportion of underlying articles are free to read.”

Four Urgent Recommendations for Open Access Negotiations with Publishers – LIBER Europe

The Four Urgent Recommendations

100% open access under fair conditions, or no agreement
Pricing of open access publishing services must be fair and transparent
Define strategies to support a diversity of open publishing venues
Engage stakeholders in the process of transition

 

bjoern.brembs.blog » Why publication services must not be negotiated

“Recently, the “German Science and Humanities Council” (Wissenschaftsrat) has issued their “Recommendations on the Transformation of Academic Publishing: Towards Open Access“. On page 33 they write that increasing the competition between publishers is an explicit goal of current transformative agreements:

publishers become publication service providers and enter into competition with other providers

This emphasis on competition refers back to the simple fact that as content (rather than service) providers, legacy publishers currently enjoy monopolies on their content, as, e.g., the European Commission has long recognized: In at least two market analyses, one dating as far back as 2003 and one from 2015, the EC acknowledges the lack of a genuine market due to the lack of substitutability…

Without such prestige, the faculty argue, they cannot work, risk their careers and funding. Arguments that these ancient vehicles are unreliable, unaffordable and dysfunctional are brushed away by emphasizing that their academic freedom allows them to drive whatever vehicle they want to their field work. Moreover, they argue, the price of around one million is “very attractive” because of the prestige the money buys them.

With this analogy, it becomes clear why and how tenders protect the public interest against any individual interests. In this analogy, it is likely also clear that academic freedom does not and should not trump all other considerations. In this respect, I would consider the analogy very fitting and have always argued for such a balance of public and researcher interests: academic freedom does not automatically exempt academics from procurement rules.

Therefore, ten experts advocate a ban on all negotiations with publishers and, instead, advocate policies that ensure that all publication services for public academic institutions must be awarded by tender, analogous the the example set by Open Research Europe and analogous to how all other, non-digital infrastructure contracts are awarded.”

The Price of Publishing: An Investigation of the Open Access… : Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Abstract:  Background: 

Open access publishing in plastic surgery has rapidly gained traction in the past decade. This study investigated the digital landscape of plastic surgery open access publishing.

Methods: 

This was a cross-sectional bibliometric investigation of plastic surgery–focused journals. Three publication models were investigated: subscription-only journals, hybrid journals offering both paywalled and open access publishing, and open access–only journals.

Results: 

Eighty-two journals were investigated. In 2010, open access journals comprised 18 percent of all plastic surgery journals online, subscription journals comprised 79 percent, and hybrid journals comprised 3 percent. Conversely, in 2020, open access journals comprised 55 percent of all journals, hybrid journals comprised 45 percent, and there were no subscription-only journals. Multivariable linear regression adjusting for article type/content demonstrated that open access articles from hybrid journals [beta coefficient, 1.3; F(4, 18) = 790; p = 0.05] and high-quality open access journals [beta coefficient, 0.9; F(4, 19) = 738; p = 0.04] were significantly positively associated with number of full-text views. Although impact factor and article processing charges were positively correlated [Pearson correlation coefficient: r(25) = 0.39, p = 0.04] for open access publishing, some high-quality open access journals were found to offer fee waivers/free publishing. Lastly, level of evidence offered by articles from open access versus hybrid journals differed.

Conclusions: 

Overall, this study highlighted important distinctions between trustworthy and predatory journals offering open access publishing in plastic surgery. Open access publishing in trustworthy sources offers greater visibility and is not necessarily cost-prohibitive, but some open access journals can be limited in scope (i.e., less coverage of subspecialty topics) and quality of content. Study findings were used to generate recommendations for navigating open access publishing in plastic surgery.

The Price of Publishing: An Investigation of the Open Access… : Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Abstract:  Background: 

Open access publishing in plastic surgery has rapidly gained traction in the past decade. This study investigated the digital landscape of plastic surgery open access publishing.

Methods: 

This was a cross-sectional bibliometric investigation of plastic surgery–focused journals. Three publication models were investigated: subscription-only journals, hybrid journals offering both paywalled and open access publishing, and open access–only journals.

Results: 

Eighty-two journals were investigated. In 2010, open access journals comprised 18 percent of all plastic surgery journals online, subscription journals comprised 79 percent, and hybrid journals comprised 3 percent. Conversely, in 2020, open access journals comprised 55 percent of all journals, hybrid journals comprised 45 percent, and there were no subscription-only journals. Multivariable linear regression adjusting for article type/content demonstrated that open access articles from hybrid journals [beta coefficient, 1.3; F(4, 18) = 790; p = 0.05] and high-quality open access journals [beta coefficient, 0.9; F(4, 19) = 738; p = 0.04] were significantly positively associated with number of full-text views. Although impact factor and article processing charges were positively correlated [Pearson correlation coefficient: r(25) = 0.39, p = 0.04] for open access publishing, some high-quality open access journals were found to offer fee waivers/free publishing. Lastly, level of evidence offered by articles from open access versus hybrid journals differed.

Conclusions: 

Overall, this study highlighted important distinctions between trustworthy and predatory journals offering open access publishing in plastic surgery. Open access publishing in trustworthy sources offers greater visibility and is not necessarily cost-prohibitive, but some open access journals can be limited in scope (i.e., less coverage of subspecialty topics) and quality of content. Study findings were used to generate recommendations for navigating open access publishing in plastic surgery.

Article Processing Charges, Altmetrics and Citation Impact: Is there an economic rationale?

Abstract:  The present study aims to analyze 1) the relationship between Citation Normalized Score of scientific publications and Article Processing Charges (APCs) of Gold Open Access (OA) publications 2) the determinants of APCs. To do so, we used APCs information provided by the OpenAPC database, citation scores of publications from the WoS database and, for Altmetrics, data from this http URL database, over the period from 2006 to 2019 for 83,752 articles published in 4751 journals belonging to 267 distinct publishers. Results show that contrary to common belief, paying high APCs does not necessarily increase the impact of publications. First, large publishers with high impact are not the most expensive. Second, publishers with the highest APCs are not necessarily the best in terms of impact. Correlation between APCs and impact is moderate. Regarding the determinants, results indicate that APCs are on average 50% higher in hybrid journals than in full OA journals. The results also suggest that Altmetrics do not have a great impact: OA articles that have garnered the most attention on internet are articles with relatively low APCs. Another interesting result is that the “number of readers” indicator is more effective as it is more correlated with classic bibliometrics indicators than the Altmetrics score.

 

Publishing Giants Are Fighting Libraries on E-Books – Sludge

“According to a recent survey by the library group ReadersFirst, e-book prices for libraries have tripled over the past nine years, with publishers charging between $20 and $65 for an e-book copy that libraries cannot own permanently. For popular e-books, libraries pay $55 for a copy that expires after two years, or $550 for a copy for 20 years, compared with the about $15 that a consumer would pay, according to the American Library Association (ALA).

The Maryland law passed 130 to 0 in the General Assembly and 47-0 in the Maryland Senate, and took effect on the first day of this year. Last month, however, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction, siding with AAP’s argument in their lawsuit that the law interferes with federal copyright law. The Maryland attorney general will defend the state’s law, a stance applauded by the ALA. …

As it fights against these bills, the AAP and its affiliated groups, backed by massive corporations, have far more money and resources to apply to their legal work, and have spent far more on lobbying efforts and political contributions. …”

MLA Response to Decision by U.S. District Court of Maryland’s ruling on eBook legislation.

“This hearing has shown that the status quo of publishers charging what they want for limited licensing is unjust. Judge Boardman herself said in the hearing, !It does seem to me that there is inequity and an unfairness on how publishers have treated public libraries.” This inequity is on clear display when it comes to the cost libraries, and in turn taxpayers, pay for physical materials in comparison to the restricted access and high costs of eBooks. Under the current model set by the publishers, libraries pay anywhere from $54 to $75 for a two-year license for a single eBook. By comparison, the printed version of the same book would cost a library $15 to $18 and not be subjected to a time-limited license. This illustrates the truth to our Attorney General’s claim that this is not a matter of copyright protection, but about “the unfair and discriminatory trade practices of publishers at the expense of public libraries.” MLA will follow the proceedings with confidence in our position and with profound thanks to the Maryland Legislature and the Maryland Attorney General”s Office for their determined stance and support. The legislature”s unanimous support is a reflection of the will of Maryland residents that one should not be required to have a credit card to access information. MLA continues to support a call for publishers to enter into discussion with libraries. We further call for library associations to continue to raise awareness of the unfair trade practices and imbalance in terms employed by publishers. Libraries seek reasonable terms so we may ensure that our clients will have access to content; similar to the terms that have been considered reasonable for print material. More than a century’s worth of experience shows that the example of print, and its pricing model, is a fair standard for all: authors, publishers, libraries, and most importantly, readers….”

Maryland Library Association Releases a Statement — Readers First

“The Maryland Library Association (MLA) has released a statement about the ongoing hearing on its ebook law. Some highlights: …

This hearing has shown that the status quo of publishers charging what they want for limited licensing is unjust. Judge Boardman herself said in the hearing, !It does seem to me that there is inequity and an unfairness on how publishers have treated public libraries.” This inequity is on clear display when it comes to the cost libraries, and in turn taxpayers, pay for physical materials in comparison to the restricted access and high costs of eBooks. Under the current model set by the publishers, libraries pay anywhere from $54 to $75 for a two-year license for a single eBook. By comparison, the printed version of the same book would cost a [library] $15 to $18 and not be subjected to a time-limited license. This illustrates the truth to our Attorney General’s claim that this is not a matter of copyright protection, but about “the unfair and discriminatory trade practices of publishers at the expense of public libraries.” MLA will follow the proceedings with confidence in our position and with profound thanks to the Maryland Legislature and the Maryland Attorney General’s Office for their determined stance and support. The legislature’s unanimous support is a reflection of the will of Maryland residents that one should not be required to have a credit card to access information….”

Changes in Article Share and Growth by Publisher and Access Type in Journal Citation Reports 2016, 2018, and 2020

Abstract

 

 

Purpose

This study explored changes in the journal publishing market by publisher and access type using the major journals that publish about 95% of Journal Citation Reports (JCR) articles.

 

Methods

From JCR 2016, 2018, and 2020, a unique journal list by publisher was created in Excel and used to analyze the compound annual growth rate by pivot tables. In total, 10,953 major JCR journals were analyzed, focusing on publisher type, open access (OA) status, and mega journals (publishing over 1,000 articles per year).

 

Results

Among the 19 publishers that published over 10,000 articles per year, in JCR 2020, six large publishers published 59.6% of the articles and 13 publishers 22.5%. The other publishers published 17.9%. Large and OA publishers increased their article share through leading mega journals, but the remaining publishers showed the opposite tendency. In JCR 2020, mega journals had a 26.5% article share and an excellent distribution in terms of the Journal Impact Factor quartile. Despite the high growth (22.6%) and share (26.0%) of OA articles, the natural growth of non-OA articles (7.3%) and total articles (10.7%) caused a rise in journal subscription fees. Articles, citations, the impact factor, and the immediacy index all increased gradually, and the compound annual growth rate of the average immediacy index was almost double than that of the average impact factor in JCR 2020.

 

Conclusion

The influence of OA publishers has grown under the dominance of large publishers, and mega journals may substantially change the journal market. Journal stakeholders should pay attention to these changes.

 

 

 

University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Textbook Fee Model Keeps Students’ Interests at Center – SPARC

“In the battle to make textbooks more affordable, many colleges and universities are starting to explore the idea of including the cost in students’ tuition and fees. For some, it involves a model known as “Inclusive Access” that has been promoted by the textbook industry but comes with several challenges for students and faculty. 

Is there a way to include textbook costs in tuition and fees while putting students’ interests first?

Enter the University of Wisconsin-Stout. It has included textbook rentals into the price of tuition for more than a century, working closely with librarians and students….

Each semester, the Instructional Resources Service at UW-Stout charges students a set rental fee for print and digital textbooks, access codes, CDs and other materials for its courses.Students pay $13.15 per credit hour—on average, $315 per year—for textbook fees that are rolled into tuition. 

 

The university estimates that its model saved the students of UW-Stout roughly $4.5 million last year….”

EIFL principles for negotiating open access agreements with publishers

“In order to contribute to making open access the default where research articles are openly available for everyone to read and publishing in open access is affordable, EIFL has developed a set of principles for negotiating agreements with publishers, drawing on negotiation principles developed by other library organizations. EIFL represents library consortia in countries with a wide range of economic situations. Some of the library consortia receive free access whereas others are eligible for highly discounted access to paywalled content….”

bjoern.brembs.blog » Replacing the prestige signal

“Evidence suggests that the prestige signal in our current journals is noisy, expensive and flags unreliable science. There is a lack of evidence that the supposed filter function of prestigious journals is not just a biased random selection of already self-selected input material. As such, massive improvement along several variables can be expected from a more modern implementation of the prestige signal….

How could a more modern system support a ‘prestige signal’ that would actually deserve the moniker? Obviously, if journals were to be replaced by a modern information infrastructure, only our imagination is the limit for which filters the scholarly community may want to implement. Some general ideas may help guide that brainstorming process: If the use of such ‘prestige’ not only in career advancement and funding, but also in the defense of the current system is anything to go by, there should be massive demand for a prestige signal that was worth its price. Today, this prestige arises from selectivity based on expertise (Nature’s slogan always was “the world’s best science”). This entails an expert-based filter that selects only very few (‘the best’) out of of the roughly 3 million peer-reviewed articles being published each year. Importantly, there is no a priori need to objectively specify and determine the criteria for this filter in advance. In a scenario after all journals had been replaced by a modern infrastructure for text, data and code, such services (maybe multiple services, competing for our subscriptions?) need only record not just the articles they selected (as now) but also those they explicitly did not select in addition to the rest that wasn’t even considered. Users (or the services themselves or both) would then be able to compute track records of such services according to criteria that are important to them.

Mimicking current implementations, e.g., the number of citations could be used to determine which service selected the most highly cited articles, how many it missed and which it falsely didn’t even consider. But why stop at bare citations? A modern infrastructure allows for plenty of different markers for scholarly quality. One could just as well use a (already existing) citation typology to differentiate between different types of citations, one could count replications, media mentions, anything, really, to derive track records by which these services may be compared. Given the plentiful demand indicated by the fervent supporters of prestigious journals, services would compete with each other using their track records for the subscriptions of individual and institutional users, providing for innovation at competitive prices, just like any other service market. Such an efficient, competitive marketplace of services, however, can ever only arise, if the current monopoly journals are replaced with a system that allows for such a market to be designed. If demand was not as high as expected, but such a signal nevertheless desired by some, a smaller, more basic implementation could be arranged on a non-profit, open source basis, funded by the vast savings that replacing journals would entail. One may also opt to hold competitions for such services, awarding prizes to the service that best serves the needs of the scholarly community. The possibilities are endless – but only once the scholarly community finds a way to put itself into a position where it has any power over the implementation of its infrastructure.”

 

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Skenande kostnader för öppen tillgång – Biblioteksbladet

From Google’s English:  “In 2020, Swedish higher education institutions paid SEK 709 million for scientific literature and openly available articles. This is an increase of SEK 205 million from the previous year.

Almost three quarters of the increased expenditure, 145 million, can be explained by a newly signed agreement with Elsevier, which is one of the largest scientific publishers….

The big difference in expenses between 2019 and 2020 is due to the fact that we did not have an agreement with Elsevier for a year and a half, because we terminated it when we did not want to accept their terms. When we then entered into a new agreement after the termination, the cost came back, explains Wilhelm Widmark, chief librarian at Stockholm University and vice chairman of the Bibsam Consortium, which is the association of Swedish universities, colleges, authorities and research institutes that sign agreements with various publishers….

The goal is for a large part of that transformation to have taken place in 2024, when new agreements take over and the transformative agreements will hopefully be phased out.

– But many publishers probably want to permanent the transformative agreements. If they can continue to publish behind paywalls, they will make more money…”