Archive for the 'Serials Crisis' Category

"Serials Price Projections for 2014"

Posted in Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on September 30th, 2013 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

EBSCO has released its "Serials Price Projections for 2014."

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

For 2014, the overall effective publisher price increases for academic and academic/medical libraries are expected to be in the range of 6 to 8 percent (before currency impact).

The projected mid-single digit serial price increases indicate that the ongoing initiatives and debates in the academic publishing world are having very little impact on fundamental business models and pricing strategies. Librarians and smaller publishers will continue to face difficult choices as the renewal of individual journal titles and other non-bundled content is balanced with the ongoing obligations of e-journal package or "Big Deal" content.

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Harvard: "Faculty Advisory Council Memorandum on Journal Pricing: Major Periodical Subscriptions Cannot Be Sustained"

Posted in ARL Libraries, Open Access, Research Libraries, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on April 23rd, 2012 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Harvard University's Faculty Advisory Council on the Library has issued "Faculty Advisory Council Memorandum on Journal Pricing: Major Periodical Subscriptions Cannot Be Sustained"

Here's an excerpt:

Since the Library now must change its subscriptions and since faculty and graduate students are chief users, please consider the following options open to faculty and students (F) and the Library (L), state other options you think viable, and communicate your views:

1. Make sure that all of your own papers are accessible by submitting them to DASH in accordance with the faculty-initiated open-access policies (F).

2. Consider submitting articles to open-access journals, or to ones that have reasonable, sustainable subscription costs; move prestige to open access (F).

3. If on the editorial board of a journal involved, determine if it can be published as open access material, or independently from publishers that practice pricing described above. If not, consider resigning (F).

4. Contact professional organizations to raise these issues (F).

5. Encourage professional associations to take control of scholarly literature in their field or shift the management of their e-journals to library-friendly organizations (F).

6. Encourage colleagues to consider and to discuss these or other options (F).

7. Sign contracts that unbundle subscriptions and concentrate on higher-use journals (L).

8. Move journals to a sustainable pay per use system, (L).

9. Insist on subscription contracts in which the terms can be made public (L).

| Transforming Scholarly Publishing through Open Access: A Bibliography: "This work gives an outstanding overview of scholarship relating to the growing Open Access movement." — George Machovec, The Charleston Advisor 12, no. 2 (2010): 3. | Digital Scholarship |

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RLUK Wants Serials Price Reductions to Avoid Cuts That Would "Fatally Compromise" Research

Posted in Publishing, Research Libraries, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on November 30th, 2010 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Research Libraries UK has issued a press release about needed serials price reductions.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

At its recent conference, RLUK announced it would not support future journal big deals unless they showed real price reductions. With a cut to the teaching grant and research budgets flat at best, RLUK members believe that unless this happens they will be forced to cancel significant numbers of subscriptions which will fatally compromise the UK's capacity for research.

For the past several years JISC Collections have negotiated with the publishers on behalf of UKHE. RLUK is so worried about the current situation that it has instructed JISC Collections to secure contracts which will not only rescind the unreasonable price rises of the last three years, but also offer affordable deals for the future. If reasonable deals cannot be struck RLUK libraries will be forced to provide information resources to their researchers and students in other ways.

"The capacity of UK universities to continue to pay such large year-on-year increases for access to scholarly journals is not infinite," said Professor Michael Arthur, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds and Chair of the Russell Group of Universities. "To ensure the continued vitality of the UK's world-beating research base we need to reassess the costs of electronic access and find a new balance between the value added by publishers and the charges they make. We realise that finding such a balance may not be easy, but if we fail to address the problem now there will be serious long-term consequences for research and teaching in the UK."

"The UK Higher Education sector now spends almost £200m per year on access to journals and databases," explained David Prosser, RLUK's Executive Director. "This is 10% of the total QR funding the sector receives and increases above inflation each year. We understand the value publishers add to the publication process, but publishers must also understand that they cannot continue to increase prices at a time when budgets are so tight. We do not wish to cancel big deals, but we shall have no alternative unless the largest publishers substantially reduce their prices."

"Some RLUK members now pay over £1m a year to access journals from the largest publisher," said Phil Sykes, Chair of RLUK and Librarian at Liverpool University. "With annual journal price inflation running at double the rate of RPI since 2000, it has distorted the acquisition policies of libraries, with an ever-increasing proportion of budgets being spent on electronic big deals. This leads to diminishing funds for monographs, textbooks, and journals from smaller publishers, which cannot but damage scholarship and teaching in UKHE."

| Digital Scholarship |

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Serials Crisis: "California against Nature"

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on July 6th, 2010 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Peter Suber has published "California against Nature" in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Here's an excerpt:

* If publishers have been accelerating into a brick wall for decades, and libraries have been warning about the inevitable collision for decades, then why hasn't there been a collision before now?

There are two answers. First, many collisions have already occurred, even if they came and went without the same media attention. Universities have been canceling titles by the hundreds—and in the case of big-deal cancellations, by the thousands—for years. Even when collisions are incremental and cumulative rather than sudden and explosive, they have the same finality. And they have the same catastrophic effect on access to the portion of new research that is metered out to paying customers.

Second, when universities renewed more titles than they could realistically afford, it's not because found previously undiscovered or undisclosed pots of money. It's because they made painful cuts in order to find the money. Most of these cuts came from their book budgets, extending a serials crisis in the sciences to a monograph crisis in the humanities. The long series of small collisions is a measure of the pain universities have endured to postpone a wider and larger one.

At some point there really isn't any money left, or the money can only be found through cuts more painful than journal cancellations. After several decades of hyperinflationary price increases, followed by a severe recession, continuing business as usual will bring a critical mass of universities to that critical point. Publishers aren't just witnesses to this impending crunch. Those that continue to charge hyperinflationary price increases are accelerating it. Those that won't survive the resulting shake-out, even if their own prices had been moderate and affordable, will be co-victims with researchers and research institutions.

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ICOLC “Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Consortial Licenses” Reissued

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on June 20th, 2010 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) has updated and reissued its "Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Consortial Licenses."

Here's an excerpt:

The ICOLC is reissuing its Statement on the Global Economic Crisis to update information providers on the state of library and library consortia budgets in 2010. The updates below reinforce the ICOLC Statement in three substantial ways.

  1. ICOLC did not overestimate the severity of cuts to library and library consortia funding levels in its original Statement. Furthermore, we believe the worst may still be before us, as US state governments suffer the loss of stimulus funds and continued weak regional economies. All parts of the world are facing negative economic repercussions from the European debt crisis. The need for pricing restraint and options remains paramount.
  2. Fifty ICOLC member groups from around the world have participated in an anonymous survey to measure 2009 to 2010 price changes from over 30 major vendors and publishers of electronic databases and journals. This survey reveals that 38% of the price changes provided price control in the form of 1% increases or less. Seven percent (7%) of the price changes provided price reductions. We wish to commend those suppliers who have worked with libraries and consortia to contain prices. However, significant room for improvement remains. Some suppliers have done a much better job of containing prices than others. We call upon the full range of suppliers to show price restraint in 2010-2011 to enable customers to sustain as many information resource licenses as possible.
  3. We take this opportunity to highlight the added potential negative impact of exclusivity on prices, as well as access. A new Principle 3 on page 3 of this document expresses the strongly held belief of ICOLC members that, over the long-term, multiple distribution channels for licensed content provide the most affordable and suitable options for access across diverse library communities.
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"Seeking the New Normal: Periodicals Price Survey 2010"

Posted in Libraries, Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on April 15th, 2010 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Kittie S. Henderson & Stephen Bosch have published "Seeking the New Normal: Periodicals Price Survey 2010" in Library Journal.

Here's an excerpt:

A number of publishers upped prices for 2010. Springer announced a five percent increase. Elsevier price increases are also in the five percent range, with the notable exception of The Lancet. The 2010 price for The Lancet jumped nine percent over 2009 levels; that increase was still smaller than in previous years. In October, the library world reeled as Nature Publishing Group (NPG) announced a 640 percent price increase (from $39.95 in 2009 to $299 in 2010) for a print subscription to Scientific American. The cost for the digital site license also rose substantially, and a number of consortia, like the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and the Oberlin Group, refused to renew. The announcement came only weeks after NPG bought the magazine.

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Canadian Research Knowledge Network Completes License Agreements Worth $140 Million

Posted in ERM/Discovery Systems, Licenses, Serials Crisis on January 18th, 2010 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network, which has 73 academic institutions as members, has completed three-year license agreements worth $140 million with 14 scholarly publishers. It is estimated that over $40 million was saved compared to institutional licenses for comparable content.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Despite major financial constraints and uncertainty worldwide, CRKN continues to meet its goals of providing high-impact content for over 850,000 university researchers and students across the country. “This achievement signals CRKN’s contribution to a fertile research environment in Canada, and ability to maintain advantageous terms and price predictability in spite of turbulent economic conditions,” states Deb deBruijn, Executive Director. “Through strong arrangements with vendors, member participation in these national agreements has been largely maintained from the previous period, and has even grown on some agreements, across all sizes of universities.” Please refer to the Backgrounder for publishers, products and participation levels.

CRKN members have taken advantage of new flexibility offered in the renewal as multiple agreements have been unbundled by CRKN, allowing members to tailor their participation in each separate agreement. Members’ return on investment is high through these agreements. A conservative estimate reflects savings of between 15% to over 50% within the national agreements compared to institutional prices for comparable content, representing savings of over $40 million over a three-year period. In addition, members derive value through superior price protection with caps on annual increases set below market norm, expanded usage terms through the CRKN model license agreement, and the most strategic influence with publishers regarding future services and developments. . . .

In keeping with the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and its Impact on Consortial Licenses, CRKN seeks to work with strategic partners that demonstrate flexibility, competitive pricing models, and delivery of long-term value. Vendors with whom CRKN works have shown their commitment to members by providing flexible payment terms, making cost containment a priority, and developing forward-looking ways to add value to the relationship. For example, several vendors will now provide support for Shibboleth, an open-source implementation for identity-based authentication and authorization, and will also participate in the recently-implemented Canadian Access Federation, which will provide federated access management services for identity providers (including universities and libraries) and service providers (such as publishers).

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Presentations from "Rough Waters: Navigating Hard Times in the Scholarly Communication Marketplace"

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Communication, Serials Crisis on July 28th, 2009 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

SPARC has released presentations from the "Rough Waters: Navigating Hard Times in the Scholarly Communication Marketplace" SPARC-ACRL forum at ALA Annual 2009.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The economy and its impact on library and higher education budgets are the most urgent concern for the library community today. While libraries have long been grappling with constrained collection budgets, we face a new urgency in continuing the transformation promised by Open Access and new technologies. This forum took a bird's eye view of the scholarly communication marketplace and suggested tactics for navigating through tough times.

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"SPARC-ACRL Forum: Doomsday Clock Countdown for Scholarly Communications?"

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on July 17th, 2009 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

In "SPARC-ACRL Forum: Doomsday Clock Countdown for Scholarly Communications?," Josh Hadro reports on the 2009 SPARC-ACRL Forum, including libraries' new "zero tolerance for price increases."

Here's an excerpt:

"It’s time to give up the kumbaya of librarianship," [James] Neal said as he approached his last few proposals, and "radicalize our approach to collaboration."

We are just a few minutes from midnight, he said as he invoked the Doomsday Clock metaphor to dramatically portray the relationship between libraries and publishers. We are, he warned, quickly headed "toward potentially explosive conditions."

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“Not Served on a Silver Platter! Access to Online Mathematics Information in Africa”

Posted in Open Access, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on June 21st, 2009 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Anders Wandahl has self-archived "Not Served on a Silver Platter! Access to Online Mathematics Information in Africa" in arXiv.org.

Here's an excerpt:

The "truly free" resources listed in the table [e.g., open access journals] above are free to anyone and anywhere. Resources provided by other programmes and initiatives, which are described below [e.g., HINARI], are also free to end-users in all or most African countries. However, there is an importance difference between these two groups of resources. The second group requires some sort of authentication before the user is allowed access. . . .

In order for the IP number control system to work smoothly, the public IP number(s) should be fairly stable. In Africa, this is not always the case, since a change of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) also usually means a change of the IP number. African institutions sometimes see an advantage in negotiating terms and prices with a new Internet Service Provider now and then, in order to find a more favorable deal, but this means that the new IP numbers must be supplied to all journals and publishers before access is reestablished.

To complicate this picture a little further, there is a distinction between static and dynamic IP numbers. In general, there is a world-wide shortage of IP numbers. In order to cope with this situation, the numbers are sometimes assigned to universities and institutions in a dynamic as opposed to static way. A dynamically assigned IP number may change any time (even though they usually are pretty stable over time). A static number is assigned once and is not supposed to change as long as you have a running contract with an Internet Service Provider, which makes them better for authentication purposes. The flip-side of the coin is that static numbers are more expensive.

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Costs and Benefits of Research Communication: The Dutch Situation

Posted in Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on June 14th, 2009 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The SURFfoundation has released Costs and Benefits of Research Communication: The Dutch Situation.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This study examines the costs and potential benefits of alternative models for scientific and scholarly publishing in the Netherlands. It is a follow-up of the Australian study 'Research Communication Costs, Emerging Opportunities and Benefits' (Houghton et al. 2006) and the UK/JISC study 'Economic Implications of Alternative Scholarly Publishing Models'. The Dutch study was commissioned by SURFfoundation and led by Professor John Houghton from the Centre of Strategic Economic Studies at Melbourne's Victoria University and Jos de Jonge and Marcia van Oploo of EIM Business & Policy Research in the Netherlands. . . .

The study Costs and Benefits of Research Communication: The Dutch Situation compares three publication models. The greatest advantage is offered by the Open Access model, which means that the research institution or the party financing the research pays for publication and the article is then freely accessible. Adopting this model could lead to an annual saving of EUR 133 million. Even if the Netherlands were the only country to adopt this publication model and continued to pay for licences to access periodicals, there would still be a saving of EUR 37 million.

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“Who Profits From For-Profit Journals?”

Posted in Publishing, Scholarly Journals, Serials Crisis on June 14th, 2009 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

At the "Corporate Appropriation of Academic Knowledge" session of the American Association of University Professors annual conference, scholars were urged to publish in nonprofit journals, not commercial ones.

Read more about it at ""Who Profits From For-Profit Journals?"."

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