All posts by Pablo Markin

Recent Pre-Print Findings Cast Doubt and Spark Discussion on the Citation Performance of Open Access Journals

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-10-06
URL: http://openscience.com/recent-pre-print-findings-cast-doubt-and-spark-discussion-on-the-citation-performance-of-open-access-journals/

While Green and hybrid Open Access articles have been tentatively found to out-perform paywall-protected articles based on their citation statistics, Gold Open Access articles show lower citation levels than subscription access articles, which could be due to revenue performance differences between respective publishers.


Excerpt

In the United States, since the early 2000s print publications have been witnessing steeply declining advertising revenues, such as from more than 60 billion USD in 2000 to less than inflation-adjusted 20 bullion USD in 2012, after the absolute majority of which have begun to offer Internet-based Open Access to their contents, as the diagram cited by Alexander Gerber in 2013 shows. Given that newspapers have been projected by PricewaterhouseCoopers to deal with further decreases in their overall revenue performance toward the year 2020, apparently despite partial paywalls that some newspapers have introduced, the nature of the interrelationship between Open Access and performance in the publishing industry more generally continues to receive research and industry attention.

Thus, in his Scholarly Kitchen blog post, on October 4, 2017, David Crotty has offered a review of a pre-print, yet to be peer-reviewed article by Heather Piwowar et al. published on August 2, 2017 by PeerJ Preprints, an innovative Open Access repository service that accepts articles for publication without article processing charges or publishing membership fees that PeerJ journals charge upon a streamlined review by its editorial stuff. In the blog post, Crotty has highlighted that free access is not tantamount to Open Access, as defined within the guidelines of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, while drawing attention of its readers to the methodological flaws of the research results presented by Piwowar et al., such as imprecise Open Access categorizations and research population definitions.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Open Access May Remedy Traditional Journal Publishing’s Dysfunctional Aspects via Transparency

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-10-02
URL: http://openscience.com/open-access-can-contribute-to-remedying-the-dysfunctional-aspects-of-journal-publishing-if-it-adds-to-transparency/

As both criticisms of academic journal publication practices and recent empirical results suggest, transparency that Open Access (OA) tends to promote is likely to be associated with journal quality, since latest journal citation reports have shown that a significant share of highest-ranking scientific journals in medicine are published in OA.


Excerpt

In his extensive critique of the journal publication industry made available online in 2013, Mathias Binswager argues against the homogenization of higher education and scientific research that has been taking place in recent decades around the world, such as in Germany and Europe more generally, as quantitative measures of university excellence have become widely regarded as primary indicators on which institutional and governmental decision making has become based. This particularly applies to the journal publication procedures, since scholars and researchers receive appointments, funds and promotions primarily based on their publishing in high-ranking scientific journals, while a regular output of academic output has become widely expected in the academia.

However, given that the majority of top-ranking journals are subscription-based and most journals apply either single- or double-blind peer-review procedures to submitted manuscripts, arguably in order to increase the quality of the articles that they publish, this status quo has led to a large degree of non-transparency about the manner in which scientific journals operate. In Binswager’s view, this situation leads to deleterious effects on science, while impairing the validity of quantitative indicators of academic excellence, such as journal impact factors and article citation counts, since, provided the de facto gate-keeping functions of non-transparent peer-review procedures, scientific authors resort to tactics that are specifically targeted at increasing their chances of being published in selective journals the rejection rate of which can reach 95%. These tactics can include the strategic citation of possible reviewers, flatteringly positive assessments of approaches linked to scholars likely to act as reviewers, limited readiness to deviate from accepted theories and the reduction in the novelty of article manuscripts.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Though Arguments for Open Science are Aplenty, Institutional Barriers to Its Implementation Remain

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-09-29
URL: http://openscience.com/though-arguments-for-open-science-are-aplenty-institutional-barriers-to-its-implementation-remain/

As a latest Montreal-based initiative in neuroscience and the European “Horizon 2020” program show, despite efforts promoting it, Open Science continues to be exposed to budgeting and resources shortfalls.


Excerpt

As Giusppe Valiate reports, from 2016, based at Canada’s McGill University, the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (MNIH) has been applying Open Science principles to its artificial intelligence research. As part of implementing Open Access in various fields of scientific inquiry, Open Science does not suffer from a lack of definitions, schools of thoughts or academic articles proffering arguments in its favor as Benedikt Fecher and Sascha Friesike discuss in detail in their book chapter published in 2014. Perhaps due to the heteroclite nature of this phenomenon, as Open Science can refer to its technological infrastructure, knowledge creation accessibility, alternative impact metrics, knowledge access democratization, and collaborative research practices, its application in the research and scientific community continues to be divergent. Moreover, as far as academic journals are concerned, this term largely refers to Open Access.

Thus, what the MNIH initiative primarily boils down to is making its empirical, clinical and research data, such as brain imaging, biological sample and cellular data, available in Open Access. This contribution to Open Science is aimed at promoting drug discovery and development, e.g., via the facilitation of medicine tests, as part of the drive to openly share research data. At the same time, given that this field of research demands large-scale data sets, technical infrastructure for their storage and corresponding financial resources, this Open Science project also seeks to encourage a transition to Open Access, as an effort to cut costs. Similarly, Canadian researchers and scholars express increasing resistance to subscription-based journals of large publishers, such as by refusing to review their manuscripts and creating rival Open Access journals, e.g., the Journal of Machine Learning Research.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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De Guyter Webinar: Journal Transition from Subscription Model to Open Access

OPEN ACCESS WEEK 2017

Join DE GRUYTER webinar on:

JOURNAL TRANSITION FROM SUBSCRIPTION MODEL TO OPEN ACCESS

WHEN: 25. OCTOBER, 15.00 CET
WHERE? Follow the link.

OVERVIEW:

Serial crisis, sky-rocketing subscription prices as well as more and more widespread and powerful OA mandates have pushed many publishers to rethink the finance of publishing the journals. Considering a switch calls out numerous challenges but it is a path more and more travelled – and importantly so an economically – sustainable and one with long-term benefits – not only for readers, but also for authors and yes! the journal owners, too.
In 2014 De Gruyter converted 14 journals to OA – this webinar looks at overarching strategies for journal transition from subs to OA – including current OA publishing landscape and single factors (like managing submissions, citations and funding) that play a role during the process.  Is it worth it? Who will foot the bill? What to expect? And how to bring the EAB on board? The introductory one-hour webinar is built around three sections to allow participants to work out the flipping strategy for their publication and to timely and reasonably plan  the change.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:

  • Editors of subscription journals
  • Journal Editors
  • Managing Editors

PROGRAMME:

PART ONE: OA is the new black. Why many traditional journals take the plunge into OA?

  • OA Journals – Key Facts and Figures
  • Open Access options (differences between Green, Gold, and Platinum)
  • Why transform  journals from subscription to OA?
  • Funding Opportunities – mandates from major organizations (Author-pays and other options, Institutional Membership, Knowledge Unlatched)
  • Transformation by De Gruyter

PART TWO: Managing Change –  People. Finance. Workflows.

  • Author-Pays model  – how to learn to embrace it?
  • Communicating Change  – How the decision to transform the journal will influence key people –  EAB, authors base, reviewers
  • Authors’ support – paying and non-paying authors; waivers, APCs, transition times.
  • Business model – different approaches
  • Open Access – Three years on. What changed and what? The small triumphs and the challenges remaining.

PART THREE – No more chasing the subscription deals. It is now the new authors you’re after.

  • Boosting visibility and discoverability of contents
  • The need for a good journal/article ranking in Google
  • E-mailings. The difference between opt-in email and opt-out campaign – and why you should use both?
  • How to use science press rooms? Focus on articles PR.
  • OA conferences? Is it worth the hassle?

TO REGISTER:
FOLLOW THE LINK.

TUTORS:
Beata Socha – Product Manager, Open Access, DE GRUYTER
Agnieszka Bednarczyk-Drąg –Editorial Coordinator, Open Access, DE GRUYTER
Maria Hrynkiewicz – Senior Marketing Manager, Open Access, DE GRUYTER

Open Science Continues to Evolve as Preprint Repositories for Specialized Fields of Scientific Inquiry Multiply

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-09-25
URL: http://openscience.com/open-science-continues-to-evolve-as-preprint-repositories-for-specialized-fields-of-scientific-inquiry-multiply/

As Earth and Space Science Open Archive (ESSOAr) is inaugurated, open peer feedback to, rapid research output sharing of and digital object identifiers (DOIs) for pre-prints indicate a growing acceptance for Open Access in science.


Excerpt

On September 24, 2017, American Geophysical Union and Atypon have announced the launch of their ESSOAr initiative for the Open Access dissemination of earth and space science findings on a community-maintained preprint and conference presentation server. Similar to scholarly journals, this initiative will sport scientific community involvement, an international advisory board, and associations with scientific societies in the fields of earth and space sciences. Furthermore, this initiative receives its initial support from Wiley, one the world’s largest journal publishers. As a partner to this project, Atypon that provides hosted software-as-a-service publishing solutions to academic presses, societies and journals, such as Oxford University Press, will be developing this Open Access initiative on the basis of Literatum, its e-publishing platform for the monetization of online content usually geared to enterprise solutions and commercialization needs. Among the notable clients of Atypon are ElsevierSAGE Publications and Taylor & Francis Group.

Additionally, as an Open Access publishing initiative slated to start its full operation in 2018, ESSOAr expands the definition of a scientific manuscript by allowing for the archiving of elaborate conference presentations, posters and multimedia materials. This development corroborates the point that Sönke Bartling and Sascha Friesike make in their introduction to OpeningScience book published by SpringerOpen in 2014. In their book chapter entitled “Towards Another Scientific Revolution,” Bartling and Friesike, possibly bombastically, claim that the adoption of the principles of Open Access by the scientific community is likely to amount to a revolution in the manner in which contemporary science operates. Namely, these authors credit publication in Open Access, which they term as Open Science, as a likely trigger for a far-reaching change in the manner in which scientific knowledge is disseminated. Among the harbingers of this transformation that Bartling and Friesike mention is ResearchGate, an online community for scholars, scientists and researchers, where publications, ideas and data can be discussed and researched.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Amid Knowledge Access Concerns, the Switch of German Universities and Institutes to Open Access Can Bring Visibility

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-09-20
URL: http://openscience.com/amid-knowledge-access-concerns-the-switch-of-german-universities-and-institutes-to-open-access-can-bring-visibility/

Though concerted university-level transitions to Open Access can raise competitiveness concerns, such as in Germany, ranking systems and downloading statistics indicate that Open Access can raise the international visibility of academic institutions.


Excerpt

While the negotiations between German universities and Elsevier, as one of the largest publishers, over journal subscription charges appear to be stalled, according to David Matthews’ communication with Dr. Martin Köhler, a lawyer involved in these negotiations, for the Times Higher Education, interlibrary article loans, rather than illegal downloading, e.g., from Sci-Hub, can represent a viable alternative to prolongating the existing contracts between this publisher and German academic institutions. […]

Though severing subscription contracts with large journal publishers may raise concerns about the long-term competitiveness of German universities and institutes, as Elsevier has done, recent research results, as the 2017 presentation of Mikael Laakso from the University of Jyväskylä shows, on the impact of Open Access on academic organizations suggest that Open Access can significantly boost research discoverability. Furthermore, in 2016 Teplitskiy, Lu and Duede have found Open Access articles to be 47% more likely to be cited in Wikipedia than their subscription-protected counterparts. Consequently, German universities switching to Open Access can be expected to both remove barriers to the discoverability of their latest findings and increase their international visibility, especially since research reputation and citations can make up to 48% of university ranking scores, such as by the Times Higher Education. Furthermore, recent data suggest that Harvard University’s Open Access repository has been experiencing constantly growing yearly content downloading rates that have already reached more than 3,558,150 in 2017 alone.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Asian Countries Demonstrate a Strong Presence of Open Access Policies, Repositories and Journals

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-09-17
URL: http://openscience.com/asian-countries-demonstrate-a-strong-presence-of-open-access-policies-repositories-and-journals/

As a latest survey shows, in Asia Open Access enjoys robust state and institutional support for repositories, consortia memberships and article processing charges funds.


Excerpt

In their recent survey of Open Access activities in Asia conducted on behalf of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories published in June, 2017, Kathleen Shearer, Kostas Repanas and Kazu Yamaji have put Open Access policies in the context of the rapidly growing scientific profile that Asian countries have, which, according to the 2015 UNESCO World Science Report have their share of global economic output match their proportion of world’s research and development spending standing at 45% and 42% respectively. As China is poised to become a global leader in the number of scientific research articles published in short order, an increase in the coherence of Open Access practices, funding, and policies backed by both institutional and technological infrastructures across Asian states is likely to have far-reaching consequences both regionally and globally.

Yet, at present 50% out of Asian countries surveyed, e.g., Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, have no Open Access funding policies, even though in the other half of these states funding agencies supporting Open Access are present. By contrast, 70% of these Asian states have Open Access policies promulgated on either institutional or university levels, whereas in only 5 countries no policies of that type have been found to be present. This indicates a proactive stance of academic and research institutions in regard to the promotion of Open Access primarily through repositories for theses and dissertations, journal articles and other local and other language content.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Academic Self-Publishing Makes Market Inroads with Open Access Offerings and Innovative Business Models

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-09-13
URL: http://openscience.com/academic-self-publishing-makes-market-inroads-with-open-access-offerings-and-innovative-business-models/

Lulu, a book self-publishing platform, has recently launched Glasstree Academic Publishing, a division targeting the academic market, in a bid to disrupt existing scholarly publishing models.


Excerpt

In its primary business model, Lulu has been able to minimize its author-facing fees, such as publication charges, because it receives revenue percentages off e-book and print-on-demand sales, which has made this publishing house cost-effective. Transferring this approach to scholarly publishing has also demanded from this publishing house to translate efficiency gains from digitization of the publication and review processes into higher shares of the book sales that their authors receive, while providing a wide range of editorial, licensing and publicity options, such as publishing in Gold Open Access via Creative Commons licenses.

At the same time, in Canada university presses’ representatives point out that academics publishing with Glasstree Academic Publishing may underestimate the total costs that they are likely to have to assume within this model, such as for editorial services. By contrast, scholars from institutions based in developing countries, such as India, have been found to be enthusiastic about this expansion of self-publishing into the academic sector. Since in this model peer review, translation, editing and marketing are offered as fee-based, usually bundled services, ranging in their price from 2,000 USD to 5,250 USD depending on the scope of services ordered, in addition to its basic publication options that do not necessarily include hosting offered as a separate service, it can be said that Glasstree signifies the possibly disruptive arrival of self-publishing into the scholarly publishing market.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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The Economics of Flipping Back-List Book Titles into Open Access: Digitization at Cornell University and De Gruyter

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-09-10
URL: http://openscience.com/the-economics-of-flipping-back-list-book-titles-into-open-access-digitization-at-cornell-university-and-de-gruyter/

The digitization of out-of-print book titles incurs costs that Open Access projects tend to depend on external funding to cover, while hybrid models promise higher efficiency and larger scope.


Excerpt

As a press release by George Lowery has announced, the Cornell University Press (CUP), established in 1869, but actively operating since 1930, has received a second grant amounting to 100,000 USD from the United States’ National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supporting its Open Access (OA) book digitization initiative, Cornell Open, on April 4, 2017. According to this announcement, this grant is intended to be dispensed for the project of digitizing 57 back-list book titles in humanities and social sciences, such as literary criticism and political science, to make them openly accessible to the general public locally and internationally. This project is intended to bring the list of its Open Access digitized out-of-print titles to 77. […]

By contrast, on September 5, 2017, Eric Merkel-Sobota has released the news that De Gruyter’s digital book archive will be expanded from its current list of 10,000 digitized out-of-print books to 40,000 titles by 2020. More specifically, De Gruyter’s digital book archive is planned to encompass all of its out-of-print titles from 1749, when the foundational book-printing institution has set up its shop, to the present day. As in the case of the CUP’s digitization initiative, De Gruyter Book Archive will include titles of seminal significance for human and social sciences, e.g., Noam Chomsky’s Syntactic Structures published by Mouton, currently De Gruyter Mouton, in 1957. By the end of 2017, De Gruyter’s digitization drive will add 3,000 to its online book archive. The primary difference of De Gruyter’s digitization initiative from that of the CUP is that it will serve hybrid, on-demand and subscription models of access to these back-list titles, whereas the CUP has chosen OA as its preferred format, which has made it imperative to rely on governmental and private funding to launch its initiative.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Despite Reservations, Open Access to Case Data Can Dramatically Improve the Accessibility of Medical Knowledge

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-09-07
URL: http://openscience.com/despite-reservations-open-access-to-case-data-can-dramatically-improve-the-accessibility-of-medical-knowledge/

An Open Access medical journal that has sidestepped conventional peer-review procedures gains traction as an information source among doctors.


Excerpt

In her recent review, Megan Molteni, writing for Wired, has zeroed in on the usefulness of the Cureus Journal of Medical Science for practising physicians, especially if they work in specialized fields where access to medical case knowledge can be critical for operating room decision-making. Launched as recently as in 2012, this Open Access journal already rivals established, paywall-protected scientific journals as a trusted source of medical information. Launched by John Adler, a neurosurgeon from Stanford University, this journal has embraced the Open Access model, due to its mission to serve as a largest repository for medical case study information. To achieve this end, this journal deploys step-by-step article submission templates and streamlined review procedures that reduce the time gap from manuscript submission to publication to weeks. […]

In this case, this journal utilizes to the fullest the disruptive potential of Open Access to capture for scientific purposes medical case report information that would be unavailable otherwise to the medical practice and research community around the world. This is further facilitated by the blurring of the boundaries between academic journals and blogs, since this journal also acts as a platform for article-level quality and significance ratings and evaluations, which add an element of crowd-sourcing to its peer review model. This adds to the growing popularity of this journal that currently publishes close to 25 articles per week.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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German Academic and Research Institutions Increasingly Make Open Access their Default Option

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-09-01
URL: http://openscience.com/german-academic-and-research-institutions-increasingly-make-open-access-their-default-option/

Over 140 German university and institute consortia members cancel their subscription contracts with Elsevier, while making publishing in Open Access a requirement for German researchers.


Excerpt

In Germany, universities and research institutions spearhead the transition to Open Access in the framework of the Projekt DEAL consortium tasked with negotiating the terms of subscription contracts with large journal publishers. By August 2017, in Germany 50 universities, 50 research organizations, 34 higher education institutions and 3 regional libraries do not have contracts with Elsevier for the coming year, while either interim journal access arrangements or no access to pay-wall protected journals are in place, as a recent article by Leonhard Dobusch states. Though among the large-scale scientific societies, the Max Planck Society and Fraunhofer Society are not directly involved in this initiative that has been gathering momentum in Germany, they provide indirect support to the demands of the Projekt DEAL via the Alliance of Scientific Organizations.

As a consequence of this, a transition to Open Access may take place since, as Christian Gutknecht’s blog post on a Swiss survey conducted by ETH Zürich in March 2017 indicates, up to 72% of scholars are likely to be willing to forgo consulting subscription-based journals, especially if their publishers apply access pricing approaches that may be deemed unacceptable. Around 91%-93% of researchers participating in this study have indicated that they do not object to the prospect of not serving on an editorial board or acting as a reviewer for journals belonging to publishers demanding unjustifiably high subscription fees. In other words, in Switzerland not only 90% of surveyed scholars express stable levels of support for Open Access, as compared to a 2011 survey by the SOAP project that have demonstrated that 89% of sampled scientific community members are in favour of Open Access, but also that high levels of readiness to apply negative sanctions, such as resigning from editorial boards, exist, which under auspicious circumstances can translate into a wide-spread adoption of Open Access in the journal publishing sector.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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The Journal Publishing Market Between Supply- and Demand-Side Models: The Case of Open Access in Germany

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-08-25
URL: http://openscience.com/the-journal-publishing-market-between-supply-and-demand-side-models-the-case-of-open-access-in-germany/

Without significant support for Open Access journals, large-scale transitions to Open Access may be slow to come, as the German case indicates.


Excerpt

In their recent news item for the Science Magazine, Gretchen Vogel and Kai Kupferschmidt have expressed their expectation that a concerted negotiation front that German university libraries and research institutions present to large publishers, such as Elsevier, Wiley, and SpringerNature, may produce a nation-wide, disruptive switch to Open Access with possible momentous consequences globally. Contracts with these publishers may include provisions for both publishing in the journals they manage and accessing the collections they make available, which refers to the supply and demand sides of the academic articles market. This is part of the reason for which the possible transition to Open Access takes place at a slower pace than it can be expected, since different market forces are at play as far as producers and consumers of scientific knowledge in the form of articles are concerned.

While multiple reports on the per-article revenues of large publishers exist, such as that of Schimmer, Geschuhn and Vogler (2015) evocatively entitled “Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access”, it is important to keep in mind that publishers are also likely to bear significant costs to sustain their business models and that dividing industry-wide revenues by article output for subscription-based journals produces estimates before the costs of not only producing new articles, but also ensuring their accessibility and delivering distribution solutions are taken into account. This creates the supply and demand sides to the publishing market in which publishers, their institutional clients, funding bodies and governments are involved. In the subscription model, universities and institutes effectively stimulate the supply of academic articles, while facilitating the transfer of copy rights and intellectual property to publishers that put results of scientific research behind paywalls. Especially German universities with stagnant budgets and rising costs are likely to be interested in capping their constantly growing subscription fees by opting out of subscription agreements and choosing Open Access as a default option.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Subscription-Based Journals May Be Facing the Music Industry Predicament due to File-Sharing Platforms

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-08-18
URL: http://openscience.com/subscription-based-journals-may-be-facing-the-music-industry-predicament-due-to-file-sharing-platforms/

As large publishers fight via legal means illegal scientific article downloading, such as via Sci-Hub, empirical findings show that over 85% of paywall-protected article catalogues are accessible through no-fee, controversial repositories.


Excerpt

While legislative initiatives seek to strike a balance between the interests of academic journal publishing industry and those of scientific communities, such as by setting quotas for Open Access to publicly supported research publications, as has recently been proposed in Germany, they can be perceived as falling short of researcher needs that continue to be largely covered by scholarly journal subscriptions that university libraries and research institutions acquire on a regular basis. At the same time, digitization may be poised to unleash in the scientific journal publishing industry changes similar to those that illegal music download platforms have instigated in the music industry. […]

Likewise, journal publishing may be in the throes of a similar transformation, as digitization-related factors make pirated scholarly papers accessible for illegal downloading, such as through Sci-Hub, at no cost. Reachable through a series of websites providing access to direct, albeit illegal, downloading of academic papers from several repositories, Sci-Hub has been founded by Alexandra Elbakyan, Kazakhstan national who could not afford article access fees that large publishers charge, in 2011. In 2015, Elsevier, one of major international scientific journal publishers, has filed a copyright infringement complaint against Sci-Hub and other article downloading platforms, such as Library Genesis, in New York, while demanding 15 million USD in damages. Though a New York court has decided this legal case in favor of Elsevier in June 2017, this publisher has been increasing its Open Access portfolio holdings in recent years, which can indicate a change in its business model.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Shifting Power Relations between Journal Publishers and University Libraries as Open Access Models Take Hold

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-08-15
URL: http://openscience.com/shifting-power-relations-between-journal-publishers-and-university-libraries-as-open-access-models-take-hold/

Scientific journals switching to Open Access that seek to diminish the impact of traditional publishers on access to knowledge incidentally make libraries and foundations more central to the publication workflow.


Excerpt

As Open Access becomes an increasingly central requirement with which large journal publishers are met with in their dealings with university libraries, academic societies and individual scholars, some of these, such as Springer, express readiness to accommodate it in their business practices, e.g., by making archived journal issues freely accessible after specified grace periods. At the same time, these practices also empower journal editors and research libraries to seek a more central role in the emergent journal publishing ecology based on Open Access, as has been the case with the section editors and editorial board of Lingua, a linguistics journal published by Elsevier, that have decided to launch Glossa, a rival Open Access journal, in 2015 with the support of the LingOA initiative and the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), a charitable organization seeking to promote Open Access publishing without charging author-facing article processing charges (APCs).

Though last two decades have seen a number of journals being re-launched in Open Access, for publishers this process hardly represents a paradigm shift in terms of how their extant journals are run, notwithstanding their limited integration of Open Access options, since their existing business models continue to ensure the quality of subscription-based journals. Additionally, in many cases, even after competing Open Access journals are launched, existing journals continue to maintain their positioning in their respective academic fields. However, initiatives, such as the OLH, that explicitly seek to change the manner in which funds circulate between libraries, publishers and researchers based on Open Access can potentially reduce the hold of publishers on copyright, journal management and revenue streams, while making libraries more directly involved in editorial processes, publication workflow and business models that form the basis of academic journals’ sustainability.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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A Review of Institutional Change in the Public Sphere: Views on the Nordic Model Edited by Fredrik Engelstad et al.

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-08-13
URL: http://openscience.com/a-review-of-institutional-change-in-the-public-sphere-views-on-the-nordic-model-edited-by-fredrik-engelstad-et-al/

This timely volume provides a Nordic and theoretically informed perspective on the transformations that the public sphere has been undergoing in recent decades.


Excerpt

Published in April 2017 by De Gruyter Open, Institutional Change in the Public Sphere: Views on the Nordic Model, a collection of contributions from North European and international scholars edited by Fredrik Engelstad, Håkon Larsen, Jon Rogstad, and Kari Steen-Johnsen, casts a retrospective glance at the effect that information technology, social changes and institutional transformation had on the public sphere in developed countries more generally and in Northern Europe in particular.

In their introductory chapter on the changes in the public sphere, relevant institutional perspectives and neo-corporatist social transformations, Fredrik Engelstad, Håkon Larsen, Jon Rogstad, and Kari Steen-Johnsen take Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit: Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft, a seminal work by Jürgen Habermas orginally published in 1962 and translated into English as The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society by Thomas Burger and Frederick Lawrence in 1989, as a theoretical background for their discussion of the public sphere where communicative processes of civil society and among individual and collective agents, such as the state, take place. Consequently, changes in the mass and electronic media, communication technologies and related social spheres, such as literature, arts, science and education, can be expected to have a significant effect on social, political and economic processes. The attendant institutional transformations are linked by these authors to the rise of neo-corporatist frameworks, as concerns state-level regulation, the public sphere, media-related, civic and cultural institutions, social differentiation and resultant power struggles.

By Pablo Markin


The full-length original  blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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