Tag Archives: Creative Commons

The Time of Postcapitalism

While the developed world is experiencing the 4th industrial revolution, digital technology, and mainly artificial intelligence, Karl Marx would return to London, where his tomb lies, to rewrite “Capital”,  his monumental work. For a very simple reason. Because the system of wealth production that he studied and partly admired, before criticizing it, is constantly transforming, but at the same time strengthening.

A Blog Article by Dimitrios Koumparoulis.

With a significant result, a country with a communist political status, China, is today the hottest advocate of the free market system and globalization.

It is also clear, as Paul Mason writes in his book “Postcapitalism”, that we have already entered new ways of production that overturn what we have learned and read to this day.

In 2006, Yochai Benkler, a professor of law at Yale, concluded that the Internet economy was a “new way of production that emerged at the heart of the world’s most developed economies”.  Benkler was trying to define the legal framework for the distribution of Open Source products, known as “Creative Commons”. In his book, “The Wealth of the Networks,” Benkler describes the economic forces that undermine intellectual property by creating patterns of communal and non-hierarchical production practices.

First of all, he said, the emergence of cheap computing power and communication networks gave a large number of people the means to produce intellectual products. Today, everyone can have a blog, make and distribute movies, self-publish digital books, and often get a million people together long before the author’s name is known to traditional publishers.

“The result is that this much more people want today can be made by people who interact and interact with each other on a human and social level rather than as members of the market that communicate and interact through the price system”.

This, he argued, causes the development of non-trade mechanisms, such as decentralized actions of individuals and work in a framework of cooperative and voluntary organization.

It generates new forms of participatory economy in which money is absent or not the basic unit of measure of value. Wikipedia is the best example. It is a digital encyclopedia founded in 2001, collectively written and currently has 26 million entries. Twenty-four million people have reported availability to contribute texts or fix existing ones. Twelve thousand are regular recorders and one hundred and forty thousand casual.

Wikipedia has a staff of 208 people. The thousands of authors offer the texts without remuneration. In a questionnaire that was given to them, 71% replied that he did it because he likes the idea of ​​working without pay, while 63% believed that the information should be free. Every month, eight and a half million entries are read, which places Wikipedia in sixth position over Amazon, the most successful online merchant and not only on the planet. According to estimates, if Wikipedia traded its product, its revenue would reach $ 2,800,000,000 a year.

However, Wikipedia does not make a profit. With its strategy, indeed, it has made it almost impossible for anyone else to have economic benefit in this area. And most importantly, it is one of the most valuable sources of information and information, and (so far) has resisted every attempt of censorship, undermining and plundering.

The principle on which Wikipedia is based is the same as GNU and Linux, which have been set up by Open Source developers, but within a sector of mass consumption. When we visit Amazon pages to buy a camera or a book, our choices, which are recorded, also help other users’ choices. In the language of finance, this is a positive “external consequence”, i.e. an unintentional economic gain. The economic impact of the Wikipedia phenomenon was summed up by Benkler as follows: The Internet makes it possible to organize production on decentralized and collaborative structures without using the market and the management hierarchy. Benkler called this kind of production “based on Common Peer Production”. The concept makes good the foundations of the dominant economic theory for good.

At this particular time when it was possible to produce non-market goods and companies, many were quick to make use of it.

As a result, a new economic universe emerges. That’s why the vulgar populism is lurking. Radical changes are his food.

Written by Dimitrios Koumparoulis

Edited by Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: New-Orleans post Katrina 2007, Fairground, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, June 25, 2007 | © Courtesy of Gilbert Mercier/Flickr.

Cite this article as: Dimitrios Koumparoulis, "The Time of Postcapitalism," in Open Economics Blog, 14/11/2018, https://oeb.hypotheses.org/522.

The Directory of Open Access Books’ Growth Accelerates Despite Download Format and License Heterogeneity

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-12-04
URL: http://openscience.com/the-directory-of-open-access-books-accelerates-its-growth-despite-download-format-and-access-license-heterogeneity/

As the Directory of Open Access Books has reached 10,000 titles in its catalogue in late 2017, it reflects an accelerated pace at which publishers join this Open Access initiative and make available their books and chapters to international audiences. Yet, only a minor share of these electronic publications is scientific, they entail a wide variety of licensing conditions, and are accessible in a variety of digital formats.


In its press release published on November 24, 2017, the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) has celebrated the increasing speed at which it has added new titles the total of which rose from circa 4,000 in 2015 to 6,000 in 2016 and from over 6,000 to more than 10,000 in 2017. In recent years, this accelerating expansion of the DOAB’s catalogue has been matched by the increasingly growing ranks of its supporting publishers that climbed from approximately 130 in 2015 to over 160 in 2016 and from the latter level to almost 250 in 2017, which represents one of its most significant membership growth spurts since 2011. More specifically, in no small part this development is owed to OpenEdition’s addition of approximately 40 Open Access book publishers from its partner network to the DOAB, which has contributed over 2,000 new titles to its directory.

This impressive yearly growth of the DOAB of over 65% and 40% in titles listed and participating publishers for the 2016-2017 period respectively is, thus, a result of the growing adoption of Open Access by scholarly book publishers, such as De Gruyter. As one of DOAB’s sponsors, De Gruyter, whose activity in the Open Access sector dates to 2005, has made available over 1,000 books that either it or its partners publish in Open Access by December 2017. In a whitepaper on the effect of Open Access on the usage of scholarly books authored by Christina Emery, Mithu Lucraft, Agata Morka and Ros Pyne that Springer Nature, another partner of the DOAB, published in November 2017, it is argued that books published in Gold Open Access demonstrate significantly higher performance than non-Open Access publications in terms of chapter downloads, book citations and online mentions.

By Pablo Markin

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

A Growing Number of International Open Access Initiatives Are Launched by Scientific Associations

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-11-26
URL: http://openscience.com/a-growing-number-of-international-open-access-initiatives-are-launched-by-scientific-associations-and-organizations/

As the august American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) founded in 1848 and publishing Science and other scientific journals, has announced on November 21, 2017, its Science Partner Journals initiative for Open Access publications, it has joined the larger trend of academic institutions making transitions to Open Access publishing.


Seeking to enter into collaborative relations with international scientific societies, institutions and foundations, the AAAS seeks to position its Science Partner Journals digital program in the high-quality sector of Open Access publishing, while banking on its reputation, visibility and expertise, in order to increase the accessibility of scientific findings to research organizations around the world. To pull off this initiative that intends to publish its articles under a generic Creative Commons license (CC BY), the AAAS has partnered with Hindawi as a publishing services provider, which indicates that this association did not have sufficient internal resources to go this project alone.

Since organizations joining this program will be editorially responsible for the content they publish, such as in respect to peer review and author relations services, it follows that the Science Partner Journal will be able to accommodate both the launch of new journals and the conversion of existing publication into Open Access. In this respect, a study by Reinhold Haux et al., published in 2016, indicates that Open Access is increasingly perceived by the international scientific community as an adequate format for disseminating research results, which has led to multiple cases flipping established journals, e.g., Methods of Information in Medicine, into one of existing Open Access models. These Open Access transformations are spurred by both government-supported mandates and available funding for transitioning subscription-based journals into Open Access, despite the concerns that may raise.

By Pablo Markin

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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.


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.

Tags: .

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.


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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .