For Further Reading
The best introductory article on changes in scholarly communication?
Try an Economic Analysis of Scientific Research Publishing.
- The problems in scholarly publishing: the need and move toward change | scientific publishing | publishing in the humanities | university presses
- Determining value
- Organizations supporting change
- Open access initiatives and funders: Finding alternative publishers | About open access | Declarations in support of open access | Digital repositories | Funding Agencies in Support of Open Access
See also: Expressly by and for the UC community
The Problems in Scholarly Publishing
The Need and Move Toward Change
- Igniting Change in Scholarly Communication: SPARC, its Past, Present,and Future, Mary M. Case. Advances in Librarianship, 26 (2002): 3. (PDF)
- Global Changes in Scholarly Communication, Suzanne E. Thorin. Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A. (PDF)
Thorin discusses the history of traditional publishing; three aspects of scholarly communication; new models for formal publishing; and the role for university repositories.
- Morgan Stanley: Equity Research: Europe: Industry: Media: Scientific Publishing: Knowledge is Power, Paul Gooden, Matthew Owen, Sarah Simon, and Louise Singlehurst. September 27, 2002. (PDF)
Includes an analysis of academic budgets, sources of revenue, and scholars' continuing desire for even the highest-priced journals. The authors describe the large market share that Reed-Elsevier owns in this industry, and their belief that even if some downturn in this market occurs, "Reed is likely to continue to outperform the market." They conclude, "We forecast industry growth of 6% … [a] very healthy growth by the standards of the publishing industry. Given the strong barriers to entry enjoyed by the journal publishers and that the concerns of the libraries are likely to be dampened … the only risk we forsee is that the UK's Office for Fair Trading (OFT) takes action because the profitability of Reed's journal division rises to unprecedented levels."
- Issues in Scholarly Communication: a website developed and maintained by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
- Journal pricing: a website with links to a series of articles by Ted Berstrom, Chair of Economics, UCSB.
- ARL Statistics 2001-02: Research Library Trends, Kyrillidou and Young.
An article describing trends over time in expenditures, materials purchases, and changes in library services. Current effects of serial inflation on research libraries are demonstrated.
- Publisher Mergers: A Consumer-based Approach to Antitrust Analysis. Susman, Carter and Gray, and the Information Access Alliance. June 2003. (PDF)
The authors document the rise of journal prices to the consumer after the majority of mergers affecting publishers in Science, Technology, Medicine, and Law. They discuss how present anti-trust legislation does not adequately protect libraries as consumers. "In the biomedical field alone, significant price incresases occurred in 10 of 11 mergers over the past decade."
- The Matrix Reloaded: New Ages in Collection Development. by Ann Okerson, Yale University. Presented at IFLA Preconference, Is Digital Different? New Trends and challenges in Acquisition and Collection Development, Munich, July 2003.
Ms. Okerson reviews how the processes of selection, collection, and preservation have changed since the 1960's. She points out that with the advent of electronic publishing, consortial negotiations, and bundled-title packages, libraries acquire less and even while having more ubiquitous access. At the same time, librarians actively select less while spending more time managing agreements, assessing format, and ensuring reasonable access interfaces for their users. She posits that this trend toward consortial purchase with local librarian mediation of access may change not only librarian roles with regard to their users, but the relationship that libraries have to their funding agencies (campus, city, etc.).
- Scholarly Communication and Epistemic Cultures, by Blaise Cronin, Rudy Professor of Information Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. (PDF)
Paper offered at Scholarly Tribes and Tribulations: How tradition and Technology Are Driving Disciplinary Change. ARL, Washington, D. C. October 17, 2003.
Cronin discusses the real differences in how various disciplines create and share information, and how these cultural differences interact with new technologies. He discusses individual vs. collaborative creation of content; establishing trust as a peer-review, society, or institution-accredited phenomena; acceptable distribution of information on a pre-print or formally published basis. He concludes:
For most of the twentieth century there was one medium of scholarly publishing: print. At the same time, there were a few well-established genres of academic writing, the monograph and journal article being the dominant textual forms across disciplines. In such an environment it made sense to talk about 'the primary communication system' or 'the scholarly publication system.' Monothetic thinking was not out of place. Today there is a plurality of media and genres; scholars can publish, distribute, post, and archive their research in a variety of ways. New publishing modalities are emerging, new forms of collaboration are establishing themselves, and new approaches to peer review…. The present environment allows communication channels and information resources to be matched more effectively with the cultural characteristics and needs of epistemic communities.
- The Chemical Abstract Centennial: Whither CAS. David Flaxbart. Viewpoints, Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. Winter 2007.
David Flaxbart, Chemistry Librarian, University of Texas at Austin recounts the history of CAS, and speculates on how/if it will be able to respond to new researchers desire for a new information environment:
But as the information landscape shifts rapidly under everyone's feet, CAS typifies an increasingly outlying Old Guard. Its monopolistic approach to creating and marketing its information services is more and more at odds with the trends of the Google universe. CAS remains the ultimate information fortress, guarding its treasures with increasingly aggressive tactics.
- Economic Analysis of Scientific Research Publishing. The Wellcome Trust, 2003.
An in-depth analysis by this funding agency of the key players (authors, commercial publishers, society and not-for-profit publishers, libraries, funding agencies and promotion-granting institutions) in publishing of Scientific, Technical, and Medical journals and how their interests shape the market.
Our analysis also indicates that the commercial publishers are likely to take an increasing interest in the STM journals market and that their objectives are not wholly aligned with those of the research community. It is clear that the commercial publishers carry out many activities very well and provide many researchers with most of the things they need effectively. Taking the dissemination of scientific research as a whole however, the individual actions of academic staff, prompted and supported in some cases by commercial publishers, do not add up to an outcome which best serves the needs of the community as a whole. We are not confident that the different forces operating in the market will necessarily produce better outcomes of themselves.The article also sets out several possible future scenarios, which could emerge depending on how various key players exert their influence on the issue.
- Do Electronic Site Licenses for Academic Journals Benefit the Scientific Community? Bergstrom and Bergstrom. December 7, 2001. (PDF)
Authors Tom Bergstrom and Carl Bergstrom discuss the economics behind site licensing and conclude, "Our models suggest that university libraries, acting in their collective interest should agree to purchase a journal site license [from a commercial publisher] only if the subscription price is close to the publisher's average cost…. For non-profit journals, individual and collective incentives operate in the same direction. The scientific community benefits and individual universities benefit if libraries purchase site licenses and make access freely available to their faculty and students.
Publishing in the Humanities
- The Crisis in Scholarly Publishing in the Humanities by John M. Unsworth, Associate Professor, Department of English, and Director, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia.
Remarks presented at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Council of Learned Societies. Unsworth discusses alternatives to the traditional print monograph for disseminating humanities scholarship:
I predict that the genre of scholarship that will replace the book will be the thematic research collection.Note: John Unsworth was Chair of a Mellon-funded ACLS sponsored national committee charged to examine the cyberinfrastructure needs of the humanities and social sciences. Final report: Our Cultural Commonwealth (PDF)
Maybe we could enlarge the audience for humanities scholarship, not by dumbing it down, but by making it more readily available.
- The Future of Scholarly Publishing, MLA Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Scholarly Publishing. 2002. (PDF)
The Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Scholarly Publishing, established by the Modern Language Association in 1999, set out to examine the current state of academic publishing in the fields of languages and literatures. The committee's charge was to investigate and understand the widely perceived crisis in scholarly publishing and make recommendations to address the situation…. Library budgets for monographs in the humanities have declined steadily, in relative and sometimes in absolute terms, leading to proportional reductions in the number of scholarly books sold. Subsidies for university presses have also declined as operational costs have risen, often placing the publishers under great pressure to make profit-based decisions. Even as they face growing economic problems, university presses are receiving ever more submissions as a result of increased expectations for promotion and tenure in our disciplines and at our institutions of higher learning…. [T]he need for well-informed decisions by university administrations became apparent. After all, the same universities that have reduced the proportional budgets available for library acquisitions in the humanities and for scholarly press subsidies have also raised standards for tenure, thereby leading to increasing production of manuscripts submitted to presses.
- Report of the CIC Summit on Scholarly Communication in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Committee on Institutional Cooperation. December 2, 2003.
From the summary:
Through both pre-meeting research and discussion at the meeting, it was determined that there is not a "crisis" linked to book publication or the scholarly monograph in CIC member universities. While views differ on the relevance or importance of the book as object, CIC faculty are not having difficulty finding publishing outlets for meritorious manuscripts — nor could a single case be identified where a faculty member was denied promotion or tenure solely because they could not find a publisher for their work. Moreover, the research and discussion revealed that faculty are open to new forms of scholarly publishing…. Within the CIC, there is no need to abandon reliance on the book for promotion and tenure in certain disciplines… While there is not evidence of a crisis tied to scholarly monographs and promotion and tenure in the CIC universities, there is recognition that other aspects of the scholarly communication system are problematic (including increasing costs of scientific journals, declining sales of university press publications, and a shift in library acquisitions from monographs to serials)…. Peer review, dissemination, and archiving of scholarly works are all critical elements of the system, and must be integral to any new system.
- Understanding the Economic Burden of Scholarly Publishing by Cathy N. Davidson, Vice Provost for interdisciplinary studies and Professor of English, Duke University. Chronicle of Higher Education, issues dated October 3, 2003.
Davidson provides ten practical models to either find or shift funding in the short term to ensure continuation of university presses. "My motivation is to find ways to save the kind of scholarship that academics are trained to write and that is the basis of teaching and research at colleges and universities. At present, university presses provide the most careful, impartial, and efficient system of brokering, networking, evaluating, editing, publishing, and distributing serious scholarship."
- Periodicals Price Survey 2004: Closing in on Open Access, Orsdel and Born. Library Journal, April 2004.
This article is the 2004 version of an ongoing series that describes price increases by general subject area, as well as by place of publication. Tables also exist for the average cost of serials titles by discipline. This article covers 2000-2004.
- Periodicals Price Survey 2003: Big Chill on the Big Deal, Orsdel and Born. Library Journal, April 2003.
This is the 2003 version of the ongoing Orsdel/Born analysis of serials pricing. This article covers increases documented for 1999-2003. Rates from this article were used in appropriating funds to UCB selectors for serials purchases.
- Ulrich's Periodicals Directory
A bibliographic database providing information on serials published throughout the world. It covers all subjects, and includes publications that are published regularly or irregularly and are circulated free of charge or by paid subscription.
- Swets Blackwell Serials Price Increases (PDF).
- U.S. Periodical Prices –2002 by Albee and Dingley. American Libraries, May 2001.
This article reports a 7.9% average increase in serials prices projected for 2002 based on publishers list prices of 3,919 titles in a variety of disciplines. Includes tables by subject category.
- The Rise and Rise of Journal Subscription Prices in African Studies, by Hans Zell, published in the Africana Libraries Newsletter No. 111, June/September 2003. (PDF)
An analysis of subscription rates in 1989, 1997, and 2002/03 for 13 leading African studies journals and two bibliographic tools published in English. Rates of increase between 1997 and 2002-2003 range from 10% per year to 100% per year.
- ISI Journal Citation Reports
citation data drawn from over 8,400 scholarly and technical journals including specialties in the areas of science, technology, and the social sciences.
- Collection Management Initiative Preliminary Findings from the Journal Use and User Preference Studies, July 2003.
This report documents the strong interest expressed by UC scholars for ubiquitous access to electronic resources.
Organizations Supporting Change
- eScholarship. From their website:
The eScholarship program facilitates innovation and supports experimentation in the production and dissemination of scholarship. Through the use of innovative technology, the program seeks to develop a financially sustainable model and improve all areas of scholarly communication, including its creation, peer review, management, dissemination, and preservation.
New modes of scholarly publication include: Repositories for research and scholarly output, including pre-publication materials and peer-reviewed content.
- Web-based publications of digitally reformatted content.
- Electronic editions of academic monographs of interest to both scholarly and general-interest readers.
- Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
"An alliance of academic research libraries and organizations working to correct market dysfunction in the scholarly publishing system…."
- Create Change
Create Change is co-sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries, Association of College and Research Libraries, and SPARC with support from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. From their website:
CREATE CHANGE seeks to address the crisis in scholarly communication by helping scholars regain control of the scholarly communication system-- a system that should exist chiefly for them, their students, and their colleagues in the worldwide scholarly community, not primarily for the benefit of publishing businesses and their shareholders.
CREATE CHANGE has as its core goal to make scholarly research as accessible as possible to scholars all over the world, to their students, and to others who might derive value from it. We believe this goal can be achieved by the following strategies:
- Shifting control of scholarly publication away from commercial publishers and back to scholars…
- Creating alternatives to commercial scholarly publications, both competitive alternative journals in more affordable electronic formats and programs that make scholarly research more directly available to scholars…
- Fostering changes in the faculty peer review system….
- Information Access Alliance. From their website:
The Information Access Alliance believes that a new standard of antitrust review should be adopted by state and federal antitrust enforcement agencies in examining merger transactions in the serials publishing industry. When reviewing proposed mergers, antitrust authorities should consider the decision-making process used by libraries — the primary customers of STM and legal serial publications — to make purchasing decisions. Only then will these mergers be subjected to the degree of scrutiny they deserve and adequate access be preserved.
Open Access Initiatives and Funders
Finding Alternative Publishers
- Directory of Open Access Journals
This directory lists free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals, with the intent to cover all subjects and languages. As of October 2003, the directory included over 800 titles, accessible by subject.
- SPARC publishing partners
- SHERPA information on Publisher copyright policies and self-archiving
Use this website to look up what permissions are normally given as part of each listed publisher's copyright transfer agreement.
About Open Access
- There are a variety of new business models in use. For an overview, see The Nine Flavours of Open Access Scholarly Publishing, by J. Willinsky, University of British Columbia, Canada (2003. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, vol 49, Issue 3.)
- Editorial, Journal of Biology 3, 5 (2004), on the four main advantages of open access.
- Joe Esposito points out in a discussion group thread that the biggest benefit of moving to open access isn't monetary savings.
Declarations in Support of Open Access
- Budapest Open Access Initiative
In 2001, the Open Society Institute (OSI) met to accelerate progress in the international effort to make research articles in all academic fields freely available on the internet. They drafted the Budapest Open Acess Initiative, which has since been signed on to by over 3000 individuals and 230 organizations.
- Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, October 2003. (PDF)
From a related press release: (PDF)
For the first time ever, the Internet offers the possibility of making knowledge universally accessible. As a result, publishing practices and the system of quality assurance used thus far in the sciences and the humanities are expected to undergo considerable changes. In signing the 'Berlin Declaration', the research organizations advocate consistently using the Internet for scientific communication and publishing. Their recommendations in favor of open access are directed not only at research institutions but also and to the same extent at cultural institutes such as libraries, archives, and museums.
- the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing
The purpose of this document is to stimulate discussion within the biomedical research community on how to proceed, as rapidly as possible, to the widely held goal of providing open access to the primary scientific literature.Three statements of principles were drafted in April 2003 and later endorsed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Wellcome Trust, a U.K. independent research funding charity.
- the Statement on Open Access of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA):
IFLA affirms that comprehensive open access to scholarly literature and research documentation is vital to the understanding of our world and to the identification of solutions to global challenges and particularly the reduction of information inequality. Open access guarantees the integrity of the system of scholarly communication by ensuring that all research and scholarship will be available in perpetuity for unrestricted examination and, where relevant, elaboration or refutation."
There is currently no comprehensive list of digital repositories. One of the better lists is OAIster, a project of the University Of Michigan, originally funded by a Mellon grant. A directory of directories to other open-access-initiative-compliant archives is maintained by Peter Suber at his website.
Funding Agencies in Support of Open Access
- Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
- The Wellcome Trust has issued a statement of support for open access publishing.