Mar 232013
Academic and Professional Publishing - book review

My review of Academic & Professional Publishing, edited by Robert Campbell, Ed Pentz and Ian Borthwick has now been published in Learned Publishing where it is (currently) freely available . I liked it, a lot: The fact that book publishing deadlines (especially multi-contributor works) sometimes means that the rapid pace of events can overtake some [read more]

Apr 072011
Heading for the open road: costs and benefits of transitions in scholarly communications

I have a new report (jointly produced with CEPA for RIN) out today: Heading for the open road: costs and benefits of transitions in scholarly communications. We investigate the drivers, costs and benefits of potential ways to increase access to scholarly journals. The report identifies five different routes for achieving that end over the next five years, [read more]

Feb 252011

I was pleased to have been invited to talk at the Association of Subscription Agents Annual Conference this week, because otherwise I would most likely not have gone and this would have meant missing an interesting meeting. Nearly all the talks were informative and engaging, and even if not one then usually the other. For [read more]

Oct 242010

I’m down to talk under this title at the ASA Annual Conference next February 21/22. I’m going to base my talk on work that we’re doing with CEPA (Cambridge Economic Policy Associates) for RIN, the project on Dynamics of improving access to research papers. It’s going to be part of session titled The Subscription is [read more]

Sep 042009

The Publishing Research Consortium has published a new report by Mark Ware Consulting today: Access by UK small and medium-sized enterprises to professional and academic information From the press release (pdf): Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 250 employees or fewer, make up 99.9% of UK businesses, and represent 59% of private sector employment and [read more]

May 172009

Probably old news for most, but the Library Journal annual survey by Lee Van Orsdel and Kathleen Born is as good this year as ever: Reality Bites: Periodicals Price Survey 2009 (Library Journal, 15 April 2009). The authors are very pessimistic on the impact of the global recession and the prospect for library cuts. They [read more]

May 152009

We’ve been awarded a contract to develop a web-based toolkit to support key stakeholders (especially research funders, higher education institutions, libraries and publishers) to apply the common principles set out in an earlier RIN document, the Research and the Scholarly Communications Process: towards strategic goals for public policy. I’m working with Robin Beecroft of Searchlighter on this [read more]

Oct 292007

A New York Times story from last week:Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google and Microsoft to scan their books into computer databases, saying they are put off by restrictions these companies want to place on the new digital collections.The research libraries, including a large consortium in the Boston area, are instead signing on with the Open Content AllianceThe key issue is the terms of Google & Microsoft deals that prevent making the scanned material available to other commercial search services.

Oct 292007

MPS Vice President Kurt Mehlhorn said negotiations to extend the deal failed because, according to an MPS evaluation based on factors including usage and comparisons with other publishers, Springer was intent on charging “approximately double the price” the organization regarded as “reasonable.”… Because the subscriptions taken out in 1997 included the electronic archive rights, which according to the contract stay in force beyond the termination of the same, the scientists will, however, continue to enjoy online access to the paid-for, older volumes of the journals.In other words, the “Big Deal” arrangements have been cancelled but the underlying subscriptions continue.

Jul 182007
Decline in library usage

Extract:And then yesterday my friend Jerry McDonough of the University of Illinois’ Graduate School of Library and Information Science forwarded me a talk that he gave recently at the British Library called, “We Are Not Alone: The Role of the Research Library in a Suddenly Crowded Information Universe.”… But notice that this decrease is already well underway by 1995, when electronic journals did not have anything like the degree of penetration into library collections that they have today.“

Jun 152007

The UK Serials Group has now published the final report on the feasibility study into developing and implementing journal Usage Factors (UFs).The summary says that “based on these results it appears that it would not only be feasible to develop a meaningful journal Usage Factor, but that there is broad support for its implementation.”

Jun 092007

Under the agreement, Google will digitize “significant portions from CIC library general collections,” with each university to contribute “collection areas of particular strength and distinction.”… as a part of the agreement, the consortium will be able to create a “shared digital repository” that will enable CIC librarians to access the full content and “collectively archive and manage” as many as five million public domain works held across the CIC libraries.

Nov 212006

the grand vision of the DML is feasible: with today’s technology, it is actually a tractable task to put all 50 million pages of the past mathematical literature online.The older literature is particularly important in mathematics:Unlike researchers in many other disciplines, especially in the sciences and engineering, mathematicians rely heavily on past literature while working at the frontiers of research. Having that literature available electronically would have a large impact on current research in mathematics.The DML project is actually a fairly loose federation of separate digitisation projects, including Numdam (a French project supported by CNRS providing delayed open access to digitised maths journals), Göttinger Digitalisierungs Zentrum (the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft programme for retrospective digitisation of library materials), and Emani (an archiving & preservation project ).

Nov 152006

6 colloquium on issues in scholarly publishing, there were two points on which almost everyone agreed: The high costs for journal subscriptions charged by commercial publishers in recent years are unsustainable, and the ability to distribute articles electronically has fundamentally changed academic research and publishing.The colloquium, sponsored by Stanford University Libraries, invited presenters from Stanford and other institutions to discuss issues including ways in which institutions and scholars are responding to the ongoing crisis in journal pricing…. Bergstrom presented data comparing journal costs in 2004 that showed that the price-per-page of for-profit journals was about three times the average price-per-page of nonprofit journals.I think it is a shame that these discussions don’t reflect the reality that (for the larger publishers, i.e. those most criticised) the headline journal subscription price per title is no longer the only, or perhaps not even the most important, measure of the price of a journal.

Nov 132006

A couple of days ago I blogged on a new survey by Chris Beckett and Simon Inger of Scholarly Information Strategies looking at whether or not self-archiving of authors’ journal articles on open archives would be likely to lead to cancellation of journal subscriptions by libraries.I had also conducted a survey of librarians’ opinion on the same topic earlier this year which received responses from 340 librarians (report available on the ALPSP website here; free summary article here)…. (Incidentally, on a related point, I noted that Thomson’s Reynold Guida’s slides from his presentation on this at the Charleston conference included the point that “[WoS/arXiv integration] Provides links and citation data at article level as an incentive for every researcher to post work on IRs ”.)(6) Looking at the headline question of the new study, there’s enough in just the Part 2 findings to at the least suggest OA archives will be a factor in cancellations.

Nov 132006

I blogged a note the other day about the development of libraries and library services on Second Life, the online virtual environment. Information Today’s blog had a piece from the Internet Librarian 2006 conference about the InfoIsland Library:InfoIsland Library, the new library service that’s been built within the virtual-reality world of Second Life.

Nov 092006

Now the UK library systems vendor Talis and the Alliance Library System have just issued a joint press release, announcing their work together to extend and enhance current Info Island/ Second Life Library capabilities through the establishment of a brand new island inside the virtual world; Talis Cybrary City…. Features like a coffee shop and open-air reading rooms are also a reflection of Jade’s desire to create ‘a social atmosphere for residents who prefer not to go to clubs.’Though the library has yet to begin producing articles, Jade says the institution will take an active role in acquiring content….Visitors to the library will access its holdings through searchable and browsable terminals linked to a r/l database that will return a notecard visitors will be welcome to keep, free of charge.