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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday February 15 2020, @05:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

A quiet revolution is sweeping the $20 billion academic publishing market and its main operator Elsevier, partly driven by an unlikely group of rebels: cash-strapped librarians.

When Florida State University cancelled its “big deal” contract for all Elsevier’s 2,500 journals last March to save money, the publisher warned it would backfire and cost the library $1 million extra in pay-per-view fees.

But even to the surprise of Gale Etschmaier, dean of FSU’s library, the charges after eight months were actually less than $20,000. “Elsevier has not come back to us about ‘the big deal’,” she said, noting it had made up a quarter of her content budget before the terms were changed.

Mutinous librarians such as Ms. Etschmaier remain in a minority but are one of a host of pressures bearing down on the subscription business of Elsevier, the 140-year-old publisher that produces titles including the world’s oldest medical journal, The Lancet.

The company is facing a profound shift in the way it does business, as customers reject traditional charging structures.


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by HiThere on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:29PM (1 child)

    by HiThere (866) on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:29PM (#958605) Journal

    There are a few problems with the web system as it exists. Peer review is one of them. Prestige is another. These need to be fixed.

    That said, the current system has done a lot over the last few decades to discredit itself as any better. Fake journals and reviewers pushing agendas are only a couple of the problems. And, of course, expense.

    What's probably needed is a system of "editors" who establish a reputation based on what papers they recommend. They wouldn't have any censorship rights, but they would be able to chose what papers they recommended. One thing this might develop from is web sites like http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/ [sciencemag.org] or possibly from something like http://www.politifact.com/ [politifact.com] , only focused on scientific papers rather than politics.

    --
    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:48PM (#958608)

    https://forbetterscience.com/2020/01/24/the-full-service-paper-mill-and-its-chinese-customers/amp/ [forbetterscience.com]

    54 papers in Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 15 in BioFactors, 15 in Journal of Cellular Physiology, 5 in Phytotherapy Research (Wiley);
    42 in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 26 in Experimental and Molecular Pathology, 10 in Life Sciences, 9 in International Immunopharmacology (Elsevier);
    5 in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 4 in Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, 8 in BMC Cancer (Springer Nature);
    whooping 75 papers in Artificial Cells Nanomedicine and Biotechnology (Taylor & Francis),

    Those are businesses, paid for publishing content AND for reading that published content. Doing better review to remove bulk customersfraudsters would hurt their bottom line, so it isn't done. Empty talk about "high quality reviewing", on the other hand, can be bought in bulk for a pittance, so it is.