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LIBLICENSE-L  August 2017

LIBLICENSE-L August 2017

Subject:

Re: Incompetence vs. deception (Re: Beall speaks)

From:

LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 7 Aug 2017 19:01:49 -0400

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text/plain (102 lines)

From: Joseph Esposito <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2017 20:26:17 -0400

I believe that the amount of money going to "scam" OA publishers is
small. Not zero, but small. It should be stopped, but it's hardly the
biggest problem in scholarly communications today.

I also agree with Jan that traditional publishers "stuff" their
packages with lower quality journals. That indeed is one (not the only
one) reason for large aggregations in the first place. But librarians
are very good about studying usage and negotiating on the basis of
that usage. So I think that "stuffing" is also a small matter.

As for "super-profits," what are the numbers? Everyone always talks
about Elsevier's huge profit margins, but I know of many publishers
(professional societies and university presses) that lose money on
journals. Does the industry *as a whole* make money? I don't know. But
I would not be so quick to talk about super-profits without the data.

Even assuming that there are indeed "super-profits," is it not
possible that they are earned? Do you begrudge Apple the cost of an
iPhone or HBO the price of a subscription? "Game of Thrones" comes on
in a half-hour: to my mind (at least at this instant) HBO is quite a
bargain. I feel the same about The New England Journal of Medicine,
Science, and Nature. As Gertrude Stein never said, a bargain is a
bargain is a bargain.

Joe Esposito


On Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 7:31 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> From: "Jan Erik Frantsvåg" <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2017 06:27:18 +0000
>
> Thanks for reading my post, Rick - and responding to it!
>
> Of course, there are still single journal purchases around, but the
> large money is spent on packages. And packaging can motivate sellers
> to create low-level (to say the least) journals to stuff the package
> with. I was responding to a point on traditional publishers, as
> opposed to OA publishers, not having any motivation to create
> low-quality jornals – in my opinion this motive exists, especially for
> package sellers.
>
> The financial burden: A matter of scale here. Of course, APCs to scam
> journals present a burden, but I have never seen any calculations
> showing this burden to be near the level of burden the super-profits
> of major publishers are. Super-profits are burdens, APCs to scam
> publishers are more on the level of financial nuisances. So for "the
> burden",  stress the "the" to make it "the important burden". If you
> have any fresh numbers on the total of APCs paid to scam publishers,
> I'd be happy to get a link. It merits close following.
>
> Best,
> Jan Erik
>
> Jan Erik Frantsvåg
> Open Access Adviser
> The University Library
> UiT The Arctic University of Norway
> phone +47 77 64 49 50
> e-mail [log in to unmask]
>
> -----Opprinnelig melding-----
> From: Rick Anderson <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2017 01:30:33 +0000
>
> >a. Librarians now choose between packages, not journals. And packages
> >may be stuffed with low-quality journals, in order to show an increase
> >in titles and articles to justify price increases.
>
> I’m surprised by how often this inaccurate statement is repeated in
> forums like this. While it’s certainly true that libraries regularly
> buy journals in packages (both comprehensive publisher Big Deals and
> smaller, subject-specific packages), it is not true that libraries are
> no longer buying individual journal subscriptions. At my institution,
> for example, we have a Big Deal package with Elsevier, and large
> subject packages with several other publishers. But we also have more
> than 1,000 individual journal subscriptions, and we make choices
> between individual journal subscriptions on a pretty much constant
> basis. This is also the case at every other research library of which
> I’m aware.
>
> >b. Predatory: There cannot be any doubt that the financial burden upon
> >science does not currently lie in APCs to dubious journals, but in the
> >profit margins of major publishers like Elsevier (nearly 1 billion GBP
> >2016).
>
> I think you’re proposing a false dichotomy, Jan-Erik. Why can only one
> of these things be “the financial burden”? Can’t subscription charges
> and APCs charged by scam journals both be “financial burden(s)” upon
> science?
>
> ---
> Rick Anderson
> Assoc. Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication Marriott
> Library, University of Utah
> Desk: (801) 587-9989
> Cell: (801) 721-1687
> [log in to unmask]

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