Tag Archives: Elsevier

German Editors-In-Chief and Editorial Board Members Resign from Subscription-Based Elsevier-Owned Journals

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-10-18
URL: http://openscience.com/german-editors-in-chief-and-editorial-board-members-resign-from-subscription-based-elsevier-owned-journals/

First eight German researchers and scientists have announced their resignation from editorial duties at Elsevier-supported journals on the background of the ongoing efforts of Germany-based universities and research institutes to switch to Open Access.


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As the negotiations over subscription contracts between Elsevier, a large journal publisher, and Germany-based scientific and academic institutions continue to bear no fruits, a growing number of leading German editors and editorial board members at paywall-based journals associated with this publisher announce resignations from their positions. Multiple other German scientists and researchers are reportedly ready to follow suit, in their effort to create a momentum for the switch-over to Open Access as the default option for scientific article publication. Germany-wide associations, such as the Project DEAL, are willing to support the transition to the Open Access model by offering Elsevier and other large publishers lump-sum payments that will cover the article processing charges of German scientific authors in exchange for access to their journal and article collections.

However, Elsevier keeps rejecting this deal, since its profit performance is closely related to the subscription payments from universities and institutions around the world. Allowing for Open Access provisions for German academic and scientific organizations in circumvention of traditional subscription contracts could create an international precedent with possible negative effects for Elsevier’s revenues. Thus, German scientists, such as Kurt Mehlhorn from Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik, Saarbrücken, who has resigned from Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, may have little choice but to launch rival Open Access journals, to maintain their involvement in their research fields.

By Pablo Markin


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

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Despite Growth, Scientific Networking Sites Are Likely to Complement, Not Replace Open Access Repositories

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-10-12
URL: http://openscience.com/despite-their-initial-proliferation-scientific-networking-sites-are-likely-to-complement-not-replace-open-access-repositories/

Even though social media performance becomes increasingly important for scientists, questions about the implications that the business models of scholarly networking sites have persist, while leaving institutional repositories and Open Access publishers with a significant role to play in knowledge sharing.


Excerpt

As scholars become increasingly concerned with the visibility and view counts that their scientific articles generate, social networking platforms have been slated to become the primary venues for the dissemination and sharing of scientific knowledge. However, as Jessica Leigh Brown implies, as these scholarly social networking sites, such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu, have sought to achieve both economic sustainability and reputation within different scientific communities, Open Access institutional repositories run by universities and institutes are likely to continue to be important for ensuring content availability in the long term.

In other words, either as open source projects, e.g., Zotero, or startup initiatives, such as ResearchGate, Academia.edu and Mendeley, these scholarly networks depend on either non-profit, donation-based or private funding, which can either limit their scope or involve the privatization of digital commons with possible non-positive responses in the scientific communities. For instance, ResearchGate has had to demonstrate swift reaction to copyright infringement allegations from large journal publishers, Academia.edu has not met with an enthusiastic response from scholars to its attempts to introduce paid-for services and Mendeley, upon its purchase by Elsevier in 2013, has raised concerns that its content sharing practices might deviate from the principles of Open Access.

By Pablo Markin


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

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ResearchGate is at the Epicenter of Legal Controversy, as Large Publishers Sue it over Copyright Infringements

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-10-09
URL: http://openscience.com/researchgate-is-at-the-epicenter-of-legal-controversy-as-large-publishers-sue-it-over-copyright-infringements/

While global publishing companies, e.g., Elsevier, Wiley and Brill, take ResearchGate to court over scientific article sharing, transition to Open Access can unshackle communication between scholars from legal constraints, due to its licensing conditions.


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As a blog post by Robert Harrington published on October 6, 2017, announces, the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, an umbrella organization uniting ACS Pubications, Brill, Elsevier, Wiley and Wolters Kluwer, has recently filed a lawsuit against Berlin-based ResearchGate on the grounds that the practices of this website serving the purpose of networking and collaboration among scholars, such as the distribution of scientific articles, violate copyright. At present, according to figures Harrington cites, ResearchGate is the most consulted website in the scientific community. As a startup company with multimillion venture capitalist funding, ResearchGate hosts articles that are both copyright-protected and materials and publications the sharing of which does not infringe on intellectual property rights of large publishers.

While efforts have been made to arrive at a resolution between ResearchGate and the Coalition for Responsible Sharing that would not involve litigation, these have apparently failed. According to the existing ResearchGate’s guidelines, article removal requests need to be made on a case-by-case basis, such as via take-down notices. This represents a piecemeal solution to the risk the unrestricted article sharing poses to the core business model of the publishers the coalition represents, which is based on subscription paywalls and copyright restrictions that non-Open Access publications require for their dissemination in the scientific community. Effectively, the moment scientists file the final versions of their articles with subscription-based journals of large publishers, these become commodities bought and sold on the global knowledge marketplace.

By Pablo Markin


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

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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.


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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.


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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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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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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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