Tag: Open Science

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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