‘Inclusive access’ takes off as model for college textbook sales

Major education publishers — including Pearson, Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education — report that the number of colleges offering “inclusive-access” programs has grown rapidly in recent years. Where previously students might have been assigned textbooks individually, now many institutions are signing up whole classes of students to automatically receive digital course materials at a discounted rate, rather than purchasing individually. The “inclusive” aspect of the model means that every student has the same materials on the first day of class, with the charge included as part of their tuition. For publishers with struggling print businesses, the inclusive-access model is a lifeline. Tim Peyton, vice president of strategic partnerships at Pearson, said it was no secret that publishers like Pearson had made textbooks too expensive and had seen sales drop as a result. “The print model is really a broken business model for us,” he said, adding, “we’re thinking about how to move away from print, and move towards digital.”

Do US Patent Incentives Need To Change To Get The ‘Cancer Moonshot’ Off The Ground? – Intellectual Property Watch

“The Moonshot is a partnership with the public, and significant public funds are being invested in the project. It is not so simple, however, to argue that information generated under the Moonshot can be ordered to be shared. When private companies work together on this project, they won’t just be sharing their data but sharing how they collect that data. Much of this information falls under the category of trade secrets, which companies guard closely….Sherkow advocates for prohibiting information that could be shared from eligibility as trade secrets….This would be coupled with a broadening of patentability criteria, said Sherkow. “Broadening up patentable subject matter has its disadvantages, to be sure, but in something like a public-private partnership, where the name of the game is creating information and then disclosing it to people, that’s definitely better than having the taxpayer pay for private trade secrets that vest in a for-profit company,” he said….”

Elsevier’s 50-day tease. From +Elsevier: “The new Share Link service…allows…

“From +Elsevier: “The new Share Link service…allows authors and their network to access their final published articles on ScienceDirect for free for a 50-day period.” 

Comment. OA is better. It’s not limited to 50 days. You can get OA by publishing your work in an OA journal (“gold OA”) or by publishing in a non-OA journal, including an Elsevier journal, and depositing a copy of your peer-reviewed manuscript in an OA repository (“green OA”). If you haven’t done this before, here’s how.
Note one of Elsevier’s arguments for its new offer: “Researchers who publish in academic journals understand the necessity to expose their papers to the widest audience possible.” That’s true. But it’s an argument for real OA, not a 50-day tease. A more precise formulation makes Elsevier’s true statement false: “Researchers who publish in academic journals understand the necessity to expose their papers to the widest audience possible for 50 days, and then keep them locked behind a paywall.” 
Another Elsevier argument for the new offer: “The new Share Link service makes it easy for authors to share their articles so they can get more exposure and more citations.” That’s also true. But it’s also an argument for real OA, not a 50-day tease. If you really want more exposure and citations, do you want to stop with a 50-day window onto a global audience, or do you want an ongoing global audience?
Elsevier is right that 50 days of free online access is better than no free online access. But watch it try to make that case without making the case for full-bore OA.”

SPARC Statement on House Committee markup of FIRST Act | SPARC

“Following is a statement by Heather Joseph, Executive Director of  the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Research Coalition (SPARC), on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology markup of H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act.   Last night, Representative Lofgren (D-CA) offered an amendment to Section 303 on behalf of herself and Representative Sensenbrenner (R-WI) to replace the current language with the text similar to that of the Public Access to Public Science Act (H.R. 3157). The amendment passed by voice vote….”