It’s All About Content “Leakage”: Analysis of the UC Elsevier Deal

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.

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University of California System Terminates Elsevier Agreement

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Interview with Randy Schekman about Plan S

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:

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Helpful Summary of Plan S Discussion Themes

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.

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…& Clarivate Merging with Churchill Capital Corp. & Going Public

Together, they will call themselves “Clarivate” and become listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Hot Off the Presses: Projekt DEAL Signs Agreement with Wiley

From the press release:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JW-A and JW – B), a global leader in research and education, announced today a countrywide partnership agreement with Projekt DEAL, a representative of nearly 700 academic institutions in Germany. Under an annual fee, this transformative three-year agreement … [means] researchers at Projekt DEAL institutions can publish articles open access in Wiley’s journals. The partnership will better support institutions and researchers in advancing open science, driving discovery, and developing and disseminating knowledge.


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DORA Top 10 for 2018; London OA Community Spreadsheet

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UC Talks Continue, with Faculty Contributions Front and Center

In a letter on Tuesday, [UCLA] campus officials asked faculty members to consider declining to review articles for Elsevier journals until negotiations ‘are clearly moving in a productive direction.’ The letter also asked professors to consider publishing research elsewhere, including in prestigious open-access journals.

Ellis, L. (2018). In Talks With Elsevier, Reaches for a Novel Bargaining Chip: Its Faculty. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from:

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Casey Fiesler’s Tech Ethics Curricula Spreadsheet

Casey Fiesler from UC Boulder (US) has improved the (in some circles) well-known Tech Ethics Curricula spreadsheet, including useful tabs to sample Codes of Ethics grouped by field:

Besides simply the number of classes represented here, I think another point this data makes well is how spread across disciplines these classes are. About 50 are taught in computer science departments, but the rest come from information science/studies, communication, law, philosophy, and others.

Fiesler, C. (2018). Tech Ethics Curricula: A Collection of Syllabi. Retrieved from:

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…from a report on the ITHAKA Next Wave 2018 conference:

Gen Z students don’t want the same things from college their Millennial predecessors did. Elite colleges will be just fine, but mid-tier campuses without defined niches will face extinction. And Elsevier, the for-profit scholarly communications giant that many librarians and researchers love to hate, will never go away.

Howard, J. (2018). Elsevier Faces Tough Questions About Its Business Model During Library and Publishing Conference. EdSurge. Retrieved from:


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