In a bold effort, the University of California Office of Scholarly Communications has created a toolkit for those negotiating with publishers. The toolkit, well-conceived and including specific UC examples, can assist anyone in approaching complex negotiations (not only with publishers) and includes a section on communications efforts and execution, stressing the importance of the role of data analytics in the negotiation process.
The Office has also made public a recent presentation of the UC strategy to its leadership (link, with video, below).
Recent developments, including University of California developments, clearly explained together with a historical synopsis of the academic publishing industry:
This is a story about more than subscription fees. It’s about how a private industry has come to dominate the institutions of science, and how librarians, academics, and even pirates are trying to regain control.
Resnick, B. & Belluz, J. (2019). “The war to free science: How librarians, pirates, and funders are liberating the world’s academic research from paywalls.” Vox. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/6/3/18271538/open-access-elsevier-california-sci-hub-academic-paywalls
Rick Anderson has written a review of one alternative to Beall’s List: the subscription resource Cabell’s Predatory Journal Blacklist.
Overall, I find the Cabell’s Blacklist product to be a carefully crafted, honestly managed, and highly useful tool for libraries, faculty committees, and authors.
Anderson, R. (2018). Cabell’s Predatory Journal Blacklist: An Updated Review. The Scholarly Kitchen. https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2019/05/01/cabells-predatory-journal-blacklist-an-updated-review/
Mackie-Mason, Waibel, and Willmont from the University of California system teamed up to present their Blueprint for Negotiations at CNI on April 8. Power up the slides at: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1gmVXRxGIp_hWUQ82wP6jzhcDsYiaeDlfeLR-3speGGE/edit#slide=id.g55eeb5f918_8_20
Roger Schonfeld once again provides an excellent analysis, this time on the drivers of recent Elsevier deals:
…California, through its cancellation, has nevertheless maintained its position unambiguously. It does not need ongoing journal subscriptions through ScienceDirect. Put another way: A major customer’s perceived value in the product offering has declined. Elsevier apparently no longer has the pricing power it once could assert.
The source of the value decline is no mystery. Joe Esposito argued more than a year ago that ‘Sci-Hub is an unacknowledged reserve army prepared to enter the battle with publishers,’ noting elsewhere in the piece that time “is not on Elsevier’s side.”
But Sci-Hub is not alone. Sci-Hub is one of a series of services through which content is ‘leaking’ out of publisher sites through to users. While some of these sites are illicit and pirate, others like SSRN and institutional repositories are accepted parts of the ecosystem, and still others are like ResearchGate, whose intentions vary by observer.
Read more at: Schonfeld, R. (2019). Is the Value of the Big Deal in Decline? The Scholarly Kitchen. https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2019/03/07/value-big-deal-leakage/
Nature interviews open-access pioneer, Nobel Prize winner, and cell biologist Randy Schekman (UC Berkeley) about Plan S:
There will be a shakedown in the business. Some journals will lose out. Publishing is not a static business — the advent of the preprint server has really changed things, for example. Journals are going to change, and Plan S could have a strong influence.
Else, H. (22 Feburary 2019). Open-access pioneer Randy Schekman on Plan S and disrupting scientific publishing, Nature News Q&A. Available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00595-y?utm_source=twt_nnc&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=naturenews&sf208184622=1
There is enthusiasm and support for the overall goals of Plan S; however, there is also a great deal of concern about the implementation guidance and the very real possibility of negative unintended effects.
Hinchliffe, L. J. (2019). “Taking Stock of the Feedback on Plan S Implementation Guidance,” The Scholarly Kitchen. https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2019/02/11/with-thousand-of-pages-of-feedback-on-the-plans-s-implementation-guidance-what-themes-emerged-that-might-guide-next-steps/
Together, they will call themselves “Clarivate” and become listed on the New York Stock Exchange.