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Elsevier's substantial profit margin has persisted for as long as it has partly because of the lack of awareness and the apathy among stakeholders; those factors are changing.
The short investment thesis for Reed Elsevier is based on: 1) the low-probability but high-impact scenario of a revolt on the part of academics, libraries, governments, or any combination of the three that decides it no longer wants to subsidize this particular corporation; and 2) the new threat from disruptive green and gold open access competitors. As long as Elsevier takes a defensive, oppositional posture, competitors like Springer and others have the experimental open access field to themselves, with all of the brand-building and academic goodwill that comes with it. Neither scenario is likely to have an impact on share prices in the very short term. Even if the White House were to endorse immediately an open access policy on all federally-funded research, it would take some time before the effects would be felt in corporate profit margins. However, lackluster performance in the other business divisions and the short put option payoff structure of the Elsevier division make the company look like a safe short candidate than most. One short term risk to watch for is of an unexpected sale of the exhibitions or RBI divisions at a significant premium.
Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.
We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research. Expanding access would speed the research process and increase the return on our investment in scientific research.
The highly successful Public Access Policy of the National Institutes of Health proves that this can be done without disrupting the research process, and we urge President Obama to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research.
As an author of multiple technical books, and a prolific online writer, I care a lot about intellectual property issues as they pertain to my content. On one level, you might think I would be extremely concerned about people stealing and re-using my content. And don't get me wrong... I am concerned. I choose distribution licenses carefully and I have pursued those who have scraped my content to simply wrap it in ads. But I do NOT see "DRM" as the answer.
As a reader and as an author, I truly hate Digital Rights Management (DRM) for ebooks and look forward to the day when it ceases to exist. My latest book, "Migrating Applications to IPv6" was published DRM-FREE by O'Reilly and I plan to publish all future books DRM-free as well.
York goes on to list six reasons why he hopes to see the end of DRM in the near future.
20 years of cowardice: the pathetic response of American universities to the crisis in scholarly publishing
Although their record is pretty bad, universities could still play a major role in making scholarly publishing work better – and save themselves money in the process – with two simple actions:
--Stop the flow of money to subscription journals. Universities should not renew ANY subscriptions. They should, instead, approach them with a new deal – they’ll maintain payments at current levels for 3 more years if the journal(s) commit to being fully open access at the end of that time.
--Introduce – and heavily promote – new criteria for hiring and promotion that actively discourage the use of journal titles in evaluating candidates.
Harvard vs. Yale: Open-Access Publishing Edition
Earlier this week, Yale university student, Emmanuel Quartey, posted a video interview with the school's librarian, Susan Gibbons, in which he asked her about open-access publishing. Her response was far more ambivalent than the Harvard faculty council's. Though she noted that open-access journals are more accessible, she worried that asking younger faculty to publish in open-access (presumably less prestigious) journals could jeopardize their chances to attain tenure. In essence, prestige would stay put but tenure would move away from younger Yale professors. So, the library would continue to support both open and closed-access journals. You can read her full answer below or check out the video interview.
Walking away isn't always easy. It means we won't be able to submit our work to many journals, some of them with strong reputations. We may have to turn down review requests from friends who serve as editors. We may have to explain to tenure and promotion committees that our choices were made to further knowledge, and furthering knowledge is at least as important as building our reputations. This is why we should congratulate all those who are willing to put their tenure on the line to do the right thing.
I've just published the 2012 edition of Beall's List of Predatory, Open-Access Publishers.
It's available on my blog and in a PDF version.
http://metadata.posterous.com/83235355 [HTML version]
http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~jbeall/Beall's%20List%20of%20Predatory,%20Open-Access%20Publishers%202012.pdf [PDF Version]
Jeffrey Beall, Metadata Librarian / Assistant Professor
University of Colorado Denver
1100 Lawrence St.
Denver, Colo. 80204 USA
The unexpected reader
"Open access serves all of these unexpected readers of scholarly works. As Carroll summed up his point, every time we create an open environment, we get unexpected developments and innovations. We have come far enough down this road now that the burden of proof is no longer on open access advocates, it is on those who would claim that the traditional models of publishing and distribution are still workable."
Royal Society journal archive made permanently free to access
The Royal Society has today announced that its world-famous historical journal archive – which includes the first ever peer-reviewed scientific journal – has been made permanently free to access online.
Around 60,000 historical scientific papers are accessible via a fully searchable online archive, with papers published more than 70 years ago now becoming freely available.
ACM opens another hole in the paywall
Unlike some newspapers, which are suffering badly in the Internet age, major nonprofit scholarly publishers such as the ACM are in good financial health, with a diverse array of activities and revenue sources: membership dues, conferences, refereed journals, magazines, paid job-advertisement web sites, and so on. Still, there is a lot of experimentation about how to survive as a publisher in the 21st century, and this appears to be the latest experiment.