Downloads and Impact in Scholarly Book Publishing

resist meaningless metricsIt’s hard to tell how often a scholarly book has been read. Neither digitalisation nor open access change that. Misrepresenting downloads as impact or usage of books—paywalled or open access—isn’t useful and can even be irresponsible, when this metric is used as a justification.

 

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Open Access Quiz

 

Open Access

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Reasoning and Interest: Clustering Open Access

Reasoning and Interest-Clustering Open Access_KnöchelmannThe conception of an open future with scholarly publications being freely accessible, sharable, and reusable cannot be easily subsumed under a single term. That is, it can. But the term has conflicting objectives. The reasoning behind Open Access interests is diverse with two essential concepts being ‘research advancement’ and ‘economic benefit’. This article clusters stakeholders regarding their Open Access interest and reasoning, leading to the clusters a Open Access as a threat, b a pain, c the ideal Open Access, and d the exploitative Open Access. 

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Library Publishing, or How to Make Use of Your Opportunities

While the talk of transition and failed disruption abounds in scholarly communication, the opportunities for new paths are available. Libraries are set to make use of these opportunities. With forms of institutional self-publishing, libraries can drive change and at the same time surpass market failures of the prevalent transition period. With their already available (affiliated) brands, library publishing can lure researchers out of their inertia and prevent the uptake of self-publishing. This article will look into library publishing as an optional model, starting with a separation of self-publishing and institutional self-publishing and followed by a discussion of Book Processing Charges, the cost of monograph publishing, and how libraries can empower change with an effective reallocation of budgets into publishing initiatives.

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Marx and Marxism: Anticipating Change

It is Karl Marx’s 200th birthday on the 5th of May 2018. Following on from the many anniversary events last autumn celebrating 150 years of Capital and 170 years of The Communist Manifesto, Marx’ theories seem to be more alive than ever. Especially with capitalism creeping from crisis to crisis and developing paradigmatic counterfeits which seem to sneak into every part of Western society, Marxism is fuel for revolutionaries. Yet, it is a huge step from Marx to Marxism. When cutting through the latter, there is a lot to learn from Marx.

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Open Access: From Opening Access to Justifying Business

This text is a revised[1] version of the speech I gave on 11th November 2017 in Oxford. I was invited by the Society of Young Publishers to give insights into my work regarding Open Access.

Considering that most of the talks on Open Access either showcase individual success story of Open Access, or bemoan how scholarly publishing is broken and only Open Science can fix it—without acknowledging the complexity of research communication, I wanted to provide a critique on why the current development of Open Access is not providing the hoped-for benefits. Surely the talk touched only some points of the already large movement, but it’s something that is not being talked about much at conferences. The talk sparked some interesting conversations, which is why I wanted to publish the content of the talk to keep the conversation going. Please do reach out to me in public @lepublikateur or in private marcel.knochelmann.15(at)ucl.ac.uk.

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Open Access as the New Standard: Disruption at What Cost?

open access disruption at what costThe current phase of transition shows that gold Open Access (OA) is likely to be a disruptive force for the establishment. Libraries and institutions aim to cut costs by pushing for more Open Access; publishers seek to raise profits, or at least stay in business. New ventures are growing in between those needs: they’re cheaper than established offerings, but can survive on lower profit margins. Those ventures gradually build the infrastructure for future scholarly communication. But at what cost?

*** This article originally appeared with minor changes in SYP’s InPrint 2017 autumn edition; it’s the teaser for my talk at SYP’s conference in Oxford on  the 11th November 2017. ***

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Open Access and the Prisoner’s Dilemma

Open Access Book PublishingGold Open Access is an accepted, yet isolated model in academic book publishing. Publishing houses only dare to scale open access in small steps. While books, especially monographs, are still the preferred medium to communicate scholarship in many disciplines, foremost in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, the overall market of academic books is in recession. Less sold books means less access. Large scale Open Access publishing may be a solution. But publishing houses seem to be in a prisoner’s dilemma: to adapt Open Access on a large enough scale required a systematic approach in which all publishing houses would have to act. My recently published study (June 2017, UCL Press) provides a theoretical explanation for this.

 

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Sci-Hub—Elsevier: 62 million for more openness—15 million against

“This ruling should stand as a warning to those who knowingly violate others’ rights,” comments Matt McKay of the STM Association on the decision of a New York district court against Sci-Hub. The court ruled that Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis, and similar illegal projects will have to pay $15m to the claimant. Sounds about right, it’s copyright infringement. Of all the laws, publishers should hold up those dealing with intellectual property the highest.

Yet, the claimant is Elsevier, which gives the ruling a bitter taste.

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Signifiers of Relevance or Identifiers of Communities at SSP

Brand Equity and Its Strategic Source in Scholarly Journal Publishing

A teaser for the session at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Boston:  Brands are gatekeepers to content. At least partly. A comprehensive theory of a brand and its equity is important to understand the influence brands have on customers’ behaviour. This starts with seeing brands as more than just logos, and goes on with shaping value propositions with regards to potential customers. In journal publishing—a form of network economy—it highly depends on how you define your customer: reader (with a need for easy-to-access and reliable content) or author (with a need to accumulate high-IF brands on her CV). Or both?

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