Publishers See Pitfalls to Open Access

I guess the opposite of Open is Closed? "Open access. Two bland words that have obliged scholarly publishers, librarians, scientists, funders, and governments to rethink their most basic assumptions, and in some cases begin to tamper with a business model that has held up for more than a century.

Open access (OA) calls for scholarly publications to be available online at no cost and without barriers. Arguments in favor include a broader and more rapid distribution of research results, and the essential fairness of allowing taxpayers who paid in part for the research to access it without paying again.

But publishers worry that making manuscripts freely available would weaken the scientific peer review process, because libraries, the main source of revenue for most publishers, would no longer have to pay for subscriptions to the journals. "

[Thanks to Graham for the link]


Three words of wisdom: standards, rights, & data

The Book Industry Study Group’s annual membership meeting on Friday concluded with a panel discussion among four industry executives who have leadership roles in the group. They are also four of the sharpest minds in publishing and they all had provocative things to say. Recollection of detail is not my strongest suit and I didn’t take any notes, but all of them said things that stuck with me and which struck me as ideas that deserve more attention than they get.

Full post here


Librarian Patience Has Run out on E-Book Lending Issues, Library Association Says

Speaking at a private gathering of publishers organized by the Association of American Publishers, Sullivan was explaining why earlier this week the ALA sent a strongly worded open letter to publishers about the need to figure out way for publishers to sell libraries e-books for “equitable use at a reasonable price.”

Publishers in the room, however, were not so conciliatory.

An executive from Perseus Book Group who did not identify herself said, “our executives are confused as to what is a library?” She cited concerns that the free and wide availability of e-books to library patrons could undercut publisher business.

But the most pointed questioning came from Wiley’s director of digital business development Peter Balis.

“When will the ALA start proposing to us some best practices on what models you think will work from your digital solutions working group? You put a lot on us and it’s created a lot of chaos and clearly it’s [e-book library lending] broken. We have twelve different models,” he said. “You have to come back to us with more than just ‘equitable access at a fair price.’”

As the question was being posed, many heads in the publisher-heavy audience were nodding in ascent.

Full piece

Big Open-access deal for particle physics

The entire field of particle physics is set to switch to open-access publishing, a milestone in the push to make research results freely available to readers.

Particle physics is already a paragon of openness, with most papers posted on the preprint server arXiv. But peer-reviewed versions are still published in subscription journals, and publishers and research consortia at facilities such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have previously had to strike piecemeal deals to free up a few hundred articles.

Print On Demand: Major Announcement Could Change How You Buy Books

Print-on-demand (POD) books could soon be everywhere, according to a major announcement made today.

On Demand, the makers of the POD Espresso Book Machine currently installed in fewer than a hundred bookstores nationwide, have announced new partnerships with Eastman Kodak and ReaderLink Distribution Services.

Under the arrangement, the company's POD technology will be made available to retailers who have Kodak Picture Kiosks, currently installed in 105,000 locations according to Publishers Weekly, including drugstores and supermarkets.

Full article

The Cruel Paradox of Self-Publishing

Digital and print-on-demand technology has made self-publishing much easier. But for every self-published work that gains traction, the overwhelming majority of books don't.

"Most self-published books sell fewer than 100 or 150 copies, many authors and self-publishing company executives say."


Layoffs at book company as schools shift towards digital reading

Perma-Bound books let go of 23 employees this week. Company president Jim Orr says about the same number of people were furloughed last year. He says some of this week’s layoffs were people who were brought back.

Perma-Bound employs about 280 people.

The company focuses on public and school library reading materials and school curriculum texts. Orr says part of the reason for the layoffs is due to the economy, but he notes that school districts aren’t ordering as much material as they used to.

BiblioLabs' new app may redefine libraries and help Charleston become a high-tech hub

BiblioLabs' new app may redefine libraries and help Charleston become a high-tech hub
Move over, Random House. Step aside, Penguin. Get the hell out of the way, Knopf. The publishing world has a new king, Charleston-based BiblioLabs.


How to bury your academic writing

Interesting... Google Scholar reveals, however, one factor that exerts a massive impact on whether a paper is cited or not: whether it appears in a journal or an edited book.

"My own solution would be for editors of such collections to take matters into their own hands, bypass publishers altogether, and produce freely downloadable, web-based copy. But until that happens, my advice to any academic who is tempted to write a chapter for an edited collection is don't. "

[Thanks Mita]


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