The “Open Access Wars”: An Academic Publishing Synopsis

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.

Full story:

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


Posted in Open Access, Open Science, Science Communications Research | Leave a comment

Alternative to Beall’s: Cabell’s Predatory Journal Blacklist

Rick Anderson has written a review of one alternative to Beall’s List: the subscription resource Cabell’s Predatory Journal Blacklist.

Anderson’s conclusion:

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.

Read more:

Anderson, R. (2018). Cabell’s Predatory Journal Blacklist: An Updated Review. The Scholarly Kitchen

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UC Slides: Blueprint for Negotiations

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:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Acquisitions, Discovery, Science Communications Research, Science Gateways | Leave a comment

University of California System Terminates Elsevier Agreement

Posted in Science Communications Research | Leave a comment

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:

Posted in Open Access, Open Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Open Access, Open Science | Leave a comment

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

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

Posted in Discovery | Leave a comment

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.


Posted in Discovery, Open Access, Open Science | Leave a comment

DORA Top 10 for 2018; London OA Community Spreadsheet

Posted in Academic Reputation, Open Access | Leave a comment