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.

 

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.

Negotiating Open Access Journal Agreements: An Academic Library Case Study | Hosoi | Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice

Abstract:  The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity for academic libraries to advance open access (OA) to scholarly articles. Awareness among faculty on the importance of OA has increased significantly during the pandemic, as colleges and universities struggle financially and seek sustainable access to high-quality scholarly journals. Consortia have played an important role in establishing negotiation principles on OA journal agreements. While the number of OA agreements is increasing, case studies involving individual libraries are still limited. This paper reviews existing literature on publisher negotiation principles related to OA journal negotiations and reflects on recent cases at an academic library in Pennsylvania, in order to identify best practices in OA journal negotiations. It provides recommendations on roles, relationships, and processes, as well as essential terms of OA journal agreements. This study’s findings are most relevant to large academic libraries that are interested in negotiating with scholarly journal publishers independently or through consortia.

 

Negotiating Open Access Journal Agreements: An Academic Library Case Study

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity for academic libraries to advance open access (OA) to scholarly articles. Awareness among faculty on the importance of OA has increased significantly during the pandemic, as colleges and universities struggle financially and seek sustainable access to high-quality scholarly journals. Consortia have played an important role in establishing negotiation principles on OA journal agreements. While the number of OA agreements is increasing, case studies involving individual libraries are still limited. This paper reviews existing literature on publisher negotiation principles related to OA journal negotiations and reflects on recent cases at an academic library in Pennsylvania, in order to identify best practices in OA journal negotiations. It provides recommendations on roles, relationships, and processes, as well as essential terms of OA journal agreements. This study’s findings are most relevant to large academic libraries that are interested in negotiating with scholarly journal publishers independently or through consortia.

Enabling smaller independent publishers to participate in Open Access transformative arrangements: a commitment from key stakeholders – ESAC Initiative

The ongoing transition of scholarly publishing to full and immediate Open Access is a process that requires all stakeholders to adapt.

Alignment amongst research funding organizations, publishers and research performing organizations – with their research communities, their libraries and library consortia – is particularly needed to enable smaller independent publishers to transition to open access publishing models. These publishers are highly valued by the research community for their activities in promoting excellence in research, for the scholarly communication services they provide, and for the key role they play in ensuring a diverse, open scholarly publishing landscape.

Ouvrir la Science – The Committee for Open Science

“The mission of this committee is to propose the directions that Open Science should take and to teach the subjects on questions of Open Science, as well as to animate and accompany the actions associated with it, in a fluid structure that simplifies the expression of ideas, suggestions and contributions, and their transmission to the different working groups.

The Steering Committee for Open Science ensures the implementation of a policy supporting open publications and research data. The committee’s missions are:

To ensure the coordinated implementation with higher education and research of a national plan aimed at making all publications and research data openly available;
To enable the development of open science skills in the scientific community;
To coordinate national action in the field of open science on the European and international levels;
To define the principles and directions to be adopted concerning the assignment of financing from the national fund for open science and how it is used;
To define the principles and directions to be adopted for negotiations with the main scientific publishers;
To propose all actions likely to strengthen or promote the access to knowledge or research data to ministers of higher education and research and all public authorities….”

 

15th BERLIN OPEN ACCESS CONFERENCE ADAPT AND ADVANCE

“The 15th Berlin Open Access Conference (B15): Adapt and Advance, will be co-hosted by the University of California (UC) and Open Access 2020 Initiative (OA2020), and held virtually from September 28 to October 01, 2021. To facilitate global participation, the event will be offered twice: track 1 for the Americas, Australia and Oceania; and track 2 for Europe, Africa and Asia. To ensure B15 offers attendees ample opportunity to discuss, share and collaborate, participation will be limited to 200 people per track.

Similar to prior Berlin Conferences, B15 will assemble members of the global research community interested in furthering transformative open access frameworks, where publisher subscription agreements are transitioned into open access publishing models. B15 workshops and sessions will support both those who have already begun signing transformative agreements and those looking to build capacity in planning for negotiations. The conference will address key topics, including: …”

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.

 

CRKN Meets Bold Negotiation Objectives in Elsevier Renewal | Canadian Research Knowledge Network

“Members of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) set bold negotiation objectives for the 2020 renewal with Elsevier: significantly reduce costs, increase open access, and ensure transparency of the agreement. After eleven months of negotiating, CRKN’s Content Strategy Committee (CSC) is announcing a renewal of the Elsevier ScienceDirect license, which includes:

A 12.5% reduction for 2021, followed by a 0% change for 2022, and a 2% increase for 2023. The renewed agreement maintains access to all journals in the Freedom Collection, including former Academic Press journals, and members’ subscribed titles, with no loss of perpetual access rights. This results in cost savings of US$17.4 million over three years (when compared with a three-year contract with anticipated 2% annual increases).
A 20% discount on Article Processing Charges (APCs) for both hybrid and gold open access journals. Cell Press, Lancet, and some other society-owned journals are excluded.
No confidentiality or non-disclosure clause which ensures transparency and allows the terms to be shared….”

No, it’s not The Incentives—it’s you – [citation needed]

“There is, of course,  an element of truth to this kind of response. I’m not denying that perverse incentives exist; they obviously do. There’s no question that many aspects of modern scientific culture systematically incentivize antisocial behavior, and I don’t think we can or should pretend otherwise. What I do object to quite strongly is the narrative that scientists are somehow helpless in the face of all these awful incentives—that we can’t possibly be expected to take any course of action that has any potential, however small, to impede our own career development.

“I would publish in open access journals,” your friendly neighborhood scientist will say. “But those have a lower impact factor, and I’m up for tenure in three years.” …

It’s also aggravating on an intellectual level, because the argument that we’re all being egregiously and continuously screwed over by The Incentives is just not that good. I think there are a lot of reasons why researchers should be very hesitant to invoke The Incentives as a justification for why any of us behave the way we do. I’ll give nine of them here, but I imagine there are probably others….”

Elsevier Negotiations – March Update | University of Houston Libraries

“The Texas Library Coalition for United Action (TLCUA) negotiations with academic publisher Elsevier that cover UH Libraries journal subscriptions and access to journal content are ongoing. We’ve seen progress on some issues and believe we are getting close to a final offer.

At the heart of the negotiations are three key issues:

Sustainable pricing models while maintaining title access
Journal pricing has been unsustainable for some time. The Coalition is trying to maintain as much access to currently subscribed titles as possible while significantly reducing overall expenditures.
 
Copyright retention/reversion for authors
Authors are often expected to sign over their copyright as part of the agreement with the publisher, which can impede how authors are able to re-use or re-publish their work in the future. The Coalition believes that ownership matters and that this must change; Elsevier has indicated a willingness to engage creatively on this topic.
 
Post-termination access to subscribed content
Post-termination access is the ability to access prior years’ content from subscribed journals in the future, regardless of the current status of the subscription. Much like with a print journal, where we can keep copies available to library users even after ending a subscription, we want to be able to retain access to journal articles that we subscribed to electronically after the subscription ends. We believe PTA is important to the preservation of knowledge and the creation of new scholarship….”

‘OA should be the default’ | Research Information

“This month, 157 UK universities started negotiations with Elsevier, the world’s largest academic publisher. In these negotiations, universities, on behalf of their researchers and students, have two core objectives: to reduce costs to levels they can sustain, and to provide full and immediate open access to UK research….

Jisc is supporting the negotiations and has spent the past nine months consulting with each of the 157 institutions involved. My fellow library directors and I have made it clear that the sector wants an agreement with Elsevier that supports full and immediate open access to research, and that reduces expenditure with Elsevier to levels universities can sustain, with a competitive cost per article.

This isn’t going to be easy to achieve. We are a very diverse consortium, and large-scale, multi-institution transformative agreements are notoriously complex. However, we want to make things easier for our academics and make the transition to open access as smooth as possible. …

Community of Practice – OA2020 US Working Group and Community of Practice

“The OA2020 Community of Practice was established to expand the shared knowledge and implementation of OA (open access) and transformative agreement principles and mechanisms.

The number of new open access and transformative agreements is rapidly growing, yet an understanding of how they work is far from universal.  Mutual exchanges of ideas, tactics, and a deeper knowledge of the current and potential models will foster opportunities for open access publishing on a larger scale. 

Experienced OA and transformative agreement pioneers share their experiences and approaches and collaboratively address emerging issues and models. Collectively, the Community discusses such topics as the importance of data analysis in agreements, faculty and institutional buy-in, and the impact of shifting funding models and workflows into open access….”