Archive for the 'Publishing' Category

Co-Action Publishing News: One Journal Converts to OA and a New OA Journal Is Launched

Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Journals on October 15th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Co-Action Publishing has announced that, starting in January 2008, the Swedish Nutrition Foundation's Scandinavian Journal of Food & Nutrition will become an open access journal and be renamed Food & Nutrition Research. Co-Action Publishing also announced the launch in the first quarter of 2008 of a new open access journal, Ethics & Global Politics. Both journals will be under Creative Commons licenses.


German Publishers Just Say No to Google Book Search: Libreka Launched at Frankfurt Book Fair

Posted in E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on October 14th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

German publishers who want to retain control of their content have a new alternative to Google Book Search: Libreka, a full-text search engine that initially has about 8,000 books from publishers who opted-in for inclusion. Searchers retrieve book titles and cover images, but no content.

Source: "German Publishers Offer Alternative to Google Books." Deutsche Welle, 11 October 2007.


Publisher Perpetual Access Information Wiki Established

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, E-Journals, Publishing on October 5th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Publisher Perpetual Access Information wiki has been established by the ER&L Forum.


Contact the Senate Now to Support the NIH Public Access Policy Mandate

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving, Serials Crisis on September 26th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

If you are a U.S. citizen, now is the time to contact your Senators if you want to support the NIH open access mandate.

You can easily contact your senators using the ALA Action Alert Web form with my cut-and-paste version of ALA/ATA text or you can use the same form to write your own text.

If you want to write your own message, Peter Suber has gathered together key documents for talking points. If you use my cut-and-paste text, add a few sentences at the start of the text to personalize it.

Here's what Peter Suber has to say about the Senate fight:

This year is our best chance ever to win an OA mandate at the NIH. But the opposition from the publishing lobby is fierce. Remember that the AAP/PSP has launched PRISM, the behemoth Copyright Alliance has weighed in, and Elsevier has hired an extra lobbying firm. If you're a US citizen, please do what you can: contact your Senators and spread the word.


Here's Some Advice That Won't Cost the AAP $500K

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on September 23rd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

After the PRISM fiasco, it may be time for the Association of American Publishers to consider a new initiative: CIA (Change Instead of Annihilation).

CIA would have a single goal: to develop new business strategies so that AAP members could survive and thrive in a scholarly communication system where open access prevails. The AAP doesn't have to embrace open access to launch CIA—CIA can be a contingency plan. However, CIA will fail if its participants do not take the underlying premise that open access can succeed seriously, and CIA will require intense brainstorming that lets go of long-held beliefs about conventional publishing models.

To that end, why not let the barbarians at the gate in and have lunch? Who better to bring fresh perspectives than open access advocates? After all, open advocates are not generally anti-publisher—they just want to change publishing models to support open access. If Elsevier, Wiley, and others can do it, so be it.

It may sound crazy, but ask yourself this: Who do you want to be if open access gains enough momentum to trigger the collapse of conventional publishing models, the guy with a plan or the guy without a plan? It looks to me like Elsevier is starting to think outside of the box with initiatives such as OncologySTAT and Scirus, and Elsevier has always been a tough, smart competitor in the publishing marketplace. If the day of reckoning comes, how far behind Elsevier do you want to be?

Which brings us to why the AAP may never do CIA. Having an open access plan is a competitive advantage, and publishers may not want to share that advantage. But, that doesn't mean they can't have their own internal planning process, even if it's clandestine.

So, is it time to dance with the devil?


The Dezenhall Proposal: What Would $300K to $500K Buy the AAP?

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals, Self-Archiving on September 20th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The leaked text of Eric Dezenhall's anti-open-access proposal to the Association of American Publishers has been made available as part of a NewScientist article by Jim Giles, who broke the Dezenhall story in January.

This is a must read for those interested in open access issues.

Source: Suber Peter. "Background on the AAP Hiring of Eric Dezenhall." Open Access News, 20 September 2007.


SPARC Consulting Group’s Latest Member: Greg Tananbaum

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Communication on September 18th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Greg Tananbaum, former President of The Berkeley Electronic Press, has joined the SPARC Consulting Group.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Tananbaum is best known for his leadership as recent President of The Berkeley Electronic Press, though also for writing a regular column on emerging developments in scholarly communication for Against the Grain and for his work as past Director of Product Marketing for EndNote. He holds a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Yale University. Since leaving The Berkeley Electronic Press in 2006, Tananbaum has offered a range of consulting services at the intersection of technology, content, and academia.


With the Exception of Some Archives, Online Access to The New York Times Will Be Free

Posted in Open Access, Publishing on September 18th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The New York Times has announced that, with the exception of some articles in the 1923 to 1986 period, online access to its site will be free starting at midnight tonight. Free backfiles will be available for the 1851 to 1922 and 1987 to present periods.

Here's an excerpt from "Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site":

What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue. . . .

Colby Atwood, president of Borrell Associates, a media research firm, said that there have always been reasons to question the pay model for news sites, and that doubts have grown along with Web traffic and online ad revenue.

“The business model for advertising revenue, versus subscriber revenue, is so much more attractive,” he said. “The hybrid model has some potential, but in the long run, the advertising side will dominate.”

Source: Pérez-Peña, Richard. "Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site." The New York Times, 18 September 2007, C2.


Wiley Reports Strong First Quarter Growth

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Books, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on September 17th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Boosted by its acquisition of Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. reported strong earnings growth in the first quarter.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JWa) (NYSE:JWb) announced today that revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 of $389 million increased 48% from $263 million in the previous year, including $116 million of revenue from Blackwell Publishing Ltd. (Blackwell), which Wiley acquired on February 2, 2007. Revenue excluding Blackwell increased 3% over last year's strong first quarter to $273 million, or 2% excluding favorable foreign exchange. . . .

U.S. STM revenue of $56 million was flat with the previous year's first quarter mainly due to the timing of journal, book and backfile releases. In addition to healthy journal license renewals, several new Enhanced Access Licenses were signed by academic and corporate customers around the world. Direct contribution to profit as a percent of revenue declined in the first quarter mainly due to the flat top-line results. Excluding Blackwell, global STM revenue was up 4%, including the favorable effect of foreign exchange. . . .

During the first quarter, U.S. STM signed several new, renewed, and extended contracts with societies to publish their journals, including a multi-year agreement with the American Association of Anatomists, with whom Wiley already partners, to publish Anatomical Sciences Education; the International Society for Autism Research to publish Autism Research; and the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) to publish IUBMB Life. . . .

According to the Thomson ISI® 2006 ISI Journal Citation Reports, Wiley and Blackwell combined now publish more journals in the Social Science Citation Index than any other publisher. A third of these titles experienced significant increases in impact factors, more than any other publisher.


A Closer Look at OncologySTAT: Elsevier's Version of Open Access?

Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on September 10th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

In a prior posting, I discussed Elsevier's release of OncologySTAT. In this one, I'll take a closer look at the system.

It appears that OncologySTAT permits registration by any type of user. As noted previously, it gathers fairly detailed registration information.

Is it an open access system? Let's look at it from the point of view of Peter Suber's' Open Access Overview. The barrier of registration exists, but the system removes price barriers. Since it doesn't change the underlying copyright terms of the included journals, it doesn’t remove permission barriers. However, as Suber states:

While removing price barriers without removing permission barriers is not enough for full OA under the BBB definition [see this explanation], there's no doubt that price barriers constitute the bulk of the problem for which OA is the solution. Removing price barriers alone will give most OA proponents most of what they want and need.

Moreover, some major open access advocates, such as Stevan Harnad, argue that free access is sufficient.

How is OncologySTAT funded? Here's an excerpt from the About OncologySTAT page:

OncologySTAT is commercially supported by online advertising, sponsorship, and educational grants. Individual access to OncologySTAT is free, based on users registering with the site.

The Advertise page offers a more detailed description of advertising options:

OncologySTAT offers an array of online advertising and sponsorship opportunities including:

  • Run-of-Site Online Advertising
  • Targeted Online Advertising: Behavioral, Contextual or Keyword
  • E-Newsletters: OncologySTAT InfoBLAST weekly e-newsletter
  • 27 Cancer-Type Sponsorships (Breast, Lung, Prostate, etc)
  • Banners, Spotlights, Skyscrapers, Keyword Search
  • iPanels – Interactive expandable ad units
  • Section and Content Sponsorship (Video, Chemotherapy Regimens, Article Downloads, etc.)
  • MicroSites: custom branded content/advertorial
  • Interactive live and on-demand Webinars

Here's what Suber says about ways that open access journals can be funded (italics added):

OA journals pay their bills very much the way broadcast television and radio stations do: those with an interest in disseminating the content pay the production costs upfront so that access can be free of charge for everyone with the right equipment. Sometimes this means that journals have a subsidy from the hosting university or professional society. Sometimes it means that journals charge a processing fee on accepted articles, to be paid by the author or the author's sponsor (employer, funding agency). OA journals that charge processing fees usually waive them in cases of economic hardship. OA journals with institutional subsidies tend to charge no processing fees. OA journals can get by on lower subsidies or fees if they have income from other publications, advertising, priced add-ons, or auxiliary services.

OncologySTAT is unusual in that the journals it covers also remain available under free-based, restricted-use licenses and as print subscriptions. However, if anyone can obtain free access though registration, is this a significant issue or an artifact of an older business model?

It appears that OncologySTAT is a limited open access experiment embedded in a larger conventional fee-based, restricted-access publishing model.

It will be interesting to see how OncologySTAT affects library subscriptions to these expensive medical journals. Cancellation decisions will be influenced by how permanent OncologySTAT appears to be: it will be more tempting to cancel subscriptions if the system shifts into a more permanent mode. Since there appears to be no change in underlying digital preservation arrangements, cancellation decisions will also be affected by how strongly libraries are committed to the long-term access to and preservation of these journals vs. short-term access to them. An immediate, massive rush to cancellation doesn't seem highly probable, and consequently OncologySTAT is more likely to add revenue than subtract it.


Elsevier Experiments with Free, Ad-Sponsored Access for Oncologists

Posted in E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on September 10th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Reed Elsevier has launched OncologySTAT, which offers oncologists free access to its medical journals in exchange for registration. Users will also have access to summaries of relevant research published elsewhere. Elsevier plans to support the service with online ads and the sale of mailing lists.

Here's an excerpt from "A Medical Publisher’s Unusual Prescription: Online Ads":

. . . Reed Elsevier executives hope that users will be an attractive target for advertisers, providing a model for an array of portals they could set up for health care professionals. Future sites may focus on specialties like neurology, psychiatry, cardiology and infectious diseases, company officials said. . . .

Monique Fayad, an Elsevier senior vice president, said the total online advertising market was growing “in double digits” and added, “We expect it will be a $1 billion opportunity within the next two years.” . . .

Source: Freudenheim, Milt. "A Medical Publisher’s Unusual Prescription: Online Ads" The New York Times, 10 September 2007, C1, C5.


Perpetual Digital Access Policies Spreadsheet

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, E-Journals, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on September 7th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Laura Edwards has made available a spreadsheet that summarizes the perpetual digital access policies of publishers. A wiki version should be up shortly.


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