Open Access Affects Business Models of Large Publishers as Elsevier Acquires a Digital Commons Platform

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-08-10
URL: http://openscience.com/open-access-affects-business-models-of-large-publishers-as-elsevier-acquires-a-digital-commons-platform/

As resistance to subscription deals grows, Elsevier takes over Bepress providing Open Access storage to faculty- and student-generated materials.


Excerpt

The recent acquisition by Elsevier of Bepress announced in early August 2017 can signify a growing accommodation by large publishers, such as Springer/Nature, Wiley, SAGE and Taylor & Francis, of Open Access as a publication model. At the same time, while this move can signify a growing corporate presence in Open Access as a university- and library-oriented solution, it is worth noting that Bepress has facilitated the outsourcing of content digitization by academic institutions, such as research result, data set, electronic journal, open textbook and archival material storage. In this respect, Bepress combines the features of institutional repositories with those of book and journal publishers, as it has an extensive list of both peer-reviewed and non-reviewed, student and narrowly focused journals in Open Access and behind pay-walls.

Thus, as a hybrid-model platform, Bepress has already developed fee-based services and offerings that capitalize on Open Access content that it hosts, which indicates that prior to its acquisition it already sported a sustainable business model. For Elsevier that continues to face multiplying demands that it accommodate Open Access as part of large-scale subscription deals it closes with universities and libraries, such as in Germany, broadening the scope of its operations to include this institutional repository makes business sense. Moreover, this take-over also indicates a wider-ranging change in Elsevier’s strategy after it has acquired SSRN, Social Science Research Network representing one of the world’s largest repositories for conference papers, pre-prints and unpublished research in both Open Access and fee-based formats especially in the fields of economics and law, in May 2016. Consequently, through these take-overs Elsevier has become one of the major global players in the field of Open Access journal publishing and institutional repositories.

By Pablo Markin


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

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Open Access Leads to the Reorganization of Traditional Publishing Rather than its Decline

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-08-04
URL: http://openscience.com/open-access-leads-to-the-reorganization-of-traditional-publishing-rather-than-its-decline/


Excerpt

[…] as recent developments in the field of Open Access textbooks demonstrate, such as the Canadian BC Open Textbook Project, open access solutions have demonstrated the ability to maintain a quality control of their offerings, while turning them into viable contenders in the publishing market. In Canada, provincial governments have made significant investments into the development of high-quality peer-reviewed online content in the Open Access format for the education sector. The British Columbia’s Open Access initiative has been emulated by the Open Textbook Library for Ontario project aimed at the creation of professionally composed textbooks in numerous academic areas, while attracting multi-million provincial-level investments. In other words, rather than decreasing the inflow of financial resources into the educational publishing market, these Open Access initiatives have acted as catalysts for further support for their business models, as developing these initiatives obviate the necessity of end-users and academic institutions to pay copyright-related fees for their educational materials in perpetuity.

By Pablo Markin


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

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Hong Kong’s Open Access Weeks Chart the Growing Awareness of Knowledge Sharing Benefits

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-07-31
URL: http://openscience.com/hong-kongs-open-access-weeks-chart-the-growing-awareness-of-knowledge-sharing-benefits/


From 2015, Hong Kong universities, such as the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, have been regularly arranging Open Access (OA) Weeks as events including presentations, workshops and exhibitions aimed at covering specific OA-related topics, e.g., research impact, publication sharing, and author rights. This active interest in OA has surfaced in the wake of the wide adoption of OA formats, such as Gold OA, by both scholarly community and large publishers.

Furthermore, Hong Kong universities are apparently responding to the exponentially growing journal subscription costs, even though digitization makes the costless sharing of research results easier than ever before. As a global trend, OA, thus, represents a disruptive development in the journal publishing industry, the ripple effect of which is increasingly discernible in Hong Kong as well. According to SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, OA and Open Data can make a significant contribution to economic growth, reduce the costs of learning materials academic institutions use, such as via the deployment of OA textbook, and promote cutting-edge scientific research in multiple areas.

By Pablo Markin


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

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Do Repositories Supported by Non-Profit Initiatives Represent the Future of Scientific Publishing?

Author:
Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-07-25
URL: http://openscience.com/do-repositories-supported-by-non-profit-initiatives-represent-the-future-of-scientific-publishing/


[T]he number of publications published in the pre-print format has been growing exponentially in recent years, as scientific disciplines, such as biology, and their subfields are increasingly recognizing the necessity of OA for furthering the sharing of recent research results, while minimizing the time gap between empirical research and manuscript availability. Thus, in 2017 the monthly number of pre-prints has reached over 1,400 articles from as little as between 400 and 200 in 2014. This pre-print growth has been fueled by the relaxation of peer review procedures, similar to arXiv. In fact, a parallel initiative in biology is dubbed bioRxiv that not only replicates arXiv’s approach to OA, but also has attracted extensive institutional backing in the form of both preprint publication pledges and financial support from non-profit organizations, such as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Though pre-print repositories’ review practices diverse from the strict peer review standards of scientific journals, their rapid and decentralized nature may be well fitting the pace of development in established and emergent research fields that are likely to benefit from OA to their findings.

By Pablo Markin


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

Media Question the Practices of Large Journal Publishers and their Effect on Science

Author:
Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-07-10

On June 27, 2017, The Guardian has published a long-read piece by Stephen Buranyi on the reported nefarious effects of the traditional publishing models on science by scrutinizing the business practices of Elsevier as a large journal exemplary of both the profitability of academic publishing and its attendant antinomies, such as the unpaid work of editors and reviewers that supports its fee-based model. Furthermore, Buranyi traces the historical development of the modern-day academic journal publishing business that has not only registered a steady rate of growth over the course of the twentieth century, but also monopolized the communication of scientific research results. […]

 

In this respect, despite the emergence of Open Access as a rival publishing model and its support by scientific and non-profit foundations, such as the Austrian Science Fund, Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, scientific articles published in Open Access represent approximately 25% of all scholarly articles published. The implications of this are that large publishers are likely to be unwilling to change their highly profitable business practices, especially given their not infrequent further incorporation into financial holdings that are likely to favor the retention of existing business models as against the incorporation of Open Access models associated with lower profitability levels but higher long-term sustainability for the scientific community, e.g., the 37% profit margin of Elsevier in 2016.

By Pablo Markin


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