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Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2009

Catherine Maskell

Academic library consortia activity has become an integral part of academic libraries’ operations. Consortia have come to assert considerable bargaining power over…

Abstract

Academic library consortia activity has become an integral part of academic libraries’ operations. Consortia have come to assert considerable bargaining power over publishers and have provided libraries with considerable economic advantage. They interact with publishers both as consumers of publishers’ products, with much stronger bargaining power than individual libraries hold, and, increasingly, as rival publishers themselves. Are consortia changing the relationship between academic libraries and publishers? Is the role of academic library consortia placing academic libraries in a position that should and will attract the attention of competition policy regulators? Competition policy prohibits buying and selling cartels that can negatively impact the free market on which the Canadian economic system, like other Western economies, depends. Competition policy as part of economic policy is, however, only relevant where we are concerned with aspects of the market economy. Traditionally, public goods for the greater social and cultural benefit of society are not considered part of the market economic system. If the activities of academic library consortia are part of that public good perspective, competition policy may not be a relevant concern. Using evidence gained from in-depth interviews from a national sample of university librarians and from interviews with the relevant federal government policy makers, this research establishes whether library consortia are viewed as participating in the market economy of Canada or not. Are consortia viewed by librarians and government as serving a public good role of providing information for a greater social and cultural benefit or are they seen from a market-economic perspective of changing power relations with publishers? Findings show government has little in-depth understanding of academic library consortia activity, but would most likely consider such activity predominantly from a market economic perspective. University librarians view consortia from a public good perspective but also as having an important future role in library operations and in changing the existing scholarly publishing paradigm. One-third of librarian respondents felt that future consortia could compete with publishers by becoming publishers and through initiatives such as open source institutional repositories. Librarians also felt that consortia have had a positive effect on librarians’ professional roles through the facilitation of knowledge building and collaboration opportunities outside of the home institution.

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Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-580-2

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Ahmed Shehata, David Ellis and Allen Foster

The purpose of this paper is to investigate scholars’ attitudes toward informal publishing and dissemination to provide a view of the challenges and advantages of using…

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1900

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate scholars’ attitudes toward informal publishing and dissemination to provide a view of the challenges and advantages of using such channels. Although considerable research has been carried out in relation to peer-reviewed scholarly publishing, relatively few studies have investigated the adoption of informal scholarly communication platforms in the scholarly publishing process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper deployed a grounded theory approach using semi-structured interviews as a qualitative research tool. A theoretical sample of 40 researchers in 4 universities were interviewed to gather data regarding informal publishing, platforms, factors that affect the researchers’ decision and the use of informal channels in dissemination.

Findings

Results of the interviews suggest that there is an increasing trend among researchers toward informal publishing and dissemination throughout the scholarly communication cycle. The paper shows that there are three types of scholars who are involved in the scholarly communication process: conventional, modern and liberal scholars. Each of these scholars carries different beliefs regarding the scholarly communication process.

Research limitations/implications

This paper was conducted on a relatively small sample of academic researchers, and therefore, the results cannot be easily generalized into a wider community of scholars.

Originality/value

The paper provides insight into informal scholarly publishing practices using a grounded theory approach. This approach helped to capture the changes in both scholarly publishing practices and the adoption of informal techniques among the scholarly community.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Charles Oppenheim, Clare Greenhalgh and Fytton Rowland

This paper provides an extensive survey of the recent literature on scholarly publishing and its conversion to the electronic medium. It then presents the results of a…

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1664

Abstract

This paper provides an extensive survey of the recent literature on scholarly publishing and its conversion to the electronic medium. It then presents the results of a questionnaire survey of the UK‐based scholarly publishing industry. The results of this survey suggest that the publishers are moving quickly towards the use of the Internet as a major medium for the distribution of their products, though they do not expect an early print publication. They also do not expect that any alternative system, based on scholars providing their results free of charge at the point of use, will seriously threaten the future of the commercial scholarly publisher. They do, however, perceive several significant difficulties in the near future. These include a shortage of appropriately trained staff, uncertainties about pricing mechanisms, lack of adequate budgetary provision by universities for library purchases, and unrealistic expectations on the part of scholars that electronic information should be inexpensive.

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Journal of Documentation, vol. 56 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Sherrie S. Bergman

To provide an overview of the growing international movement of librarians, faculty members, and researchers who are working together to develop new methods of scholarly

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4773

Abstract

Purpose

To provide an overview of the growing international movement of librarians, faculty members, and researchers who are working together to develop new methods of scholarly communication, including Open Access (OA) journals, digital e‐print archives, and institutional repositories, and to press for public access to federally funded research.

Design/methodology/approach

Key elements which have created pressures for change in the scholarly communication system are reviewed: the development and expansion of the Internet and networked technologies, and rapidly increasing journal costs due to consolidation, pricing structures and title aggregating in the commercial journal publishing industry. Effects of these pressures on libraries, citing Bowdoin College as an illustrative case, and examples of OA and affordably priced journal publishing models and OA principles and infrastructure are presented.

Findings

The OA movement has gained momentum and appears to be meeting with some success, with worldwide efforts to make federally funded research available to taxpayers and the largest science, technology and medicine journal publishers revisiting pricing structures. It is predicted that commercial journals, OA journals and digital repositories will continue to co‐exist as information resources for the scholarly community for the foreseeable future.

Research limitations/implications

This is not an exhaustive history, but rather a review of movement highlights, written by a steering committee member of SPARC, a major scholarly communication movement stakeholder.

Originality/value

A useful overview for librarians and researchers unfamiliar with the movement who wish to educate local faculty members about the implications for their publishing and professional activities, as well as for commercial publishers and scholarly presses interested in learning more about the movement.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2008

Catherine A. Maskell

The purpose of this paper is to report on research that examined the potential affects of academic library consortia activity on the scholarly publishing cycle.

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2211

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on research that examined the potential affects of academic library consortia activity on the scholarly publishing cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews of 30 university librarians from across Canada and representatives from six federal government agencies involved in university funding, copyright and competition policy, were used to examine consortia activity in the broad context of the scholarly publishing cycle from the competing perspectives of the market economy and the public good. The principles of competition and copyright were used to define the theoretical premise of the research.

Findings

University librarians primarily see consortia activity as supporting academic libraries' public good role of providing access to information as equitably and as barrier‐free as possible. They saw consortia as more than just buying clubs, but also as a means for libraries to share resources and expertise. Federal government agency representatives saw consortia activity firmly anchored in the market economy, levelling the playing field between libraries and publishers, and providing libraries opportunities to leverage their budgets.

Research limitations/implications

This research was unique to the Canadian situation of federal funding of universities and only a sampling of university librarians was feasible.

Practical implications

The results show a need to educate librarians and government funding bodies and policy makers as to the goals and outcomes of consortia activity.

Originality/value

At the time of the defence of the thesis this work had not been done before.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

Leah Halliday and Charles Oppenheim

This article explores recent developments in the production and delivery of scholarly journal articles in digital form. It identifies the key stakeholders as authors…

Abstract

This article explores recent developments in the production and delivery of scholarly journal articles in digital form. It identifies the key stakeholders as authors, publishers, librarians and end users. It explores their concerns with regard to the digital journal production and delivery chain. It also explores the interrelationships of different stakeholder groups and considers how their concerns accord or conflict. The paper goes on to review cost and pricing developments. There appears to be no relationship between production costs and subscription prices of scholarly journals. Journals are priced according to what the market will bear, but, at the same time, the market is inelastic. As a result, prices have consistently increased annually at a rate well above the general inflation rate for the last two decades. Digital publishing by publishers has done nothing to relieve this problem. The ‘serials crisis’ has been the impetus for a number of developments that aim to use digital technology to reduce costs for the HE sector. These include alternative models of journal production such as that proposed by Harnad, and initiatives that aim to influence the structure of the market for scholarly journals with a view to driving prices down such as SPARC and HighWire Press. These developments are reviewed.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 57 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2020

Jairo Buitrago Ciro and Lynne Bowker

This is a comparative investigation of how university libraries in the United States, Canada and Spanish-speaking Latin America are responding to predatory publishing.

Abstract

Purpose

This is a comparative investigation of how university libraries in the United States, Canada and Spanish-speaking Latin America are responding to predatory publishing.

Design/methodology/approach

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings was used to identify the top ten universities from each of the US and Canada, as well as the top 20 Spanish-language universities in Latin America. Each university library's website was scrutinized to discover whether the libraries employed scholarly communication librarians, whether they offered scholarly communication workshops, or whether they shared information about scholarly communication on their websites. This information was further examined to determine if it discussed predatory publishing specifically.

Findings

Most libraries in the US/Canada sample employ scholarly communication librarians and nearly half offer workshops on predatory publishing. No library in the Latin America sample employed a scholarly communication specialist and just one offered a workshop addressing predatory publishing. The websites of the libraries in the US and Canada addressed predatory publishing both indirectly and directly, with US libraries favoring the former approach and Canadian libraries tending towards the latter. Predatory publishing was rarely addressed directly by the libraries in the Latin America sample; however, all discussed self-archiving and/or Open Access.

Research limitations/implications

Brazilian universities were excluded owing to the researchers' language limitations. Data were collected between September 15 and 30, 2019, so it represents a snapshot of information available at that time. The study was limited to an analysis of library websites using a fixed set of keywords, and it did not investigate whether other campus units were involved or whether other methods of informing researchers about predatory publishing were being used.

Originality/value

The study reveals some best practices leading to recommendations to help academic libraries combat predatory publishing and improve scholarly publishing literacy among researchers.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 72 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 31 October 2018

Tim C.E. Engels, Andreja Istenič Starčič, Emanuel Kulczycki, Janne Pölönen and Gunnar Sivertsen

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the evolution in terms of shares of scholarly book publications in the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in five European…

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3171

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the evolution in terms of shares of scholarly book publications in the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in five European countries, i.e. Flanders (Belgium), Finland, Norway, Poland and Slovenia. In addition to aggregate results for the whole of the social sciences and the humanities, the authors focus on two well-established fields, namely, economics & business and history.

Design/methodology/approach

Comprehensive coverage databases of SSH scholarly output have been set up in Flanders (VABB-SHW), Finland (VIRTA), Norway (NSI), Poland (PBN) and Slovenia (COBISS). These systems allow to trace the shares of monographs and book chapters among the total volume of scholarly publications in each of these countries.

Findings

As expected, the shares of scholarly monographs and book chapters in the humanities and in the social sciences differ considerably between fields of science and between the five countries studied. In economics & business and in history, the results show similar field-based variations as well as country variations. Most year-to-year and overall variation is rather limited. The data presented illustrate that book publishing is not disappearing from an SSH.

Research limitations/implications

The results presented in this paper illustrate that the polish scholarly evaluation system has influenced scholarly publication patterns considerably, while in the other countries the variations are manifested only slightly. The authors conclude that generalizations like “performance-based research funding systems (PRFS) are bad for book publishing” are flawed. Research evaluation systems need to take book publishing fully into account because of the crucial epistemic and social roles it serves in an SSH.

Originality/value

The authors present data on monographs and book chapters from five comprehensive coverage databases in Europe and analyze the data in view of the debates regarding the perceived detrimental effects of research evaluation systems on scholarly book publishing. The authors show that there is little reason to suspect a dramatic decline of scholarly book publishing in an SSH.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 70 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Golnessa Galyani Moghaddam

This paper aims to examine the reasons for the high costs of scholarly journals.

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1216

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the reasons for the high costs of scholarly journals.

Design/methodology/approach

A brief review of the literature on journal publishing costs is carried out. The paper focuses on the economics of scholarly English language journals published mainly in the USA and Europe, but which are sold worldwide, largely to academic and research libraries.

Findings

Journal literature has long played a prominent role in the scholarly communication chain. In recent decades, however, the scholarly communication system has been facing a crisis due to the ever‐escalating costs of journals. Two of the features of the journal publishing industry cited a decade ago and still valid today are a lack of competition and perverse incentives. “First‐copy cost” is reported to be the main reason for high journal prices both in print and electronic publishing.

Originality/value

The paper provides a useful overview to researchers and document supply librarians, enabling them to achieve quickly a clear picture of journal publishing industry costs.

Details

Interlending & Document Supply, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-1615

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Christine L. Borgman

This article explores the relationship between scholarly communication, an established research area receiving renewed interest, and digital libraries, a relatively new…

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3165

Abstract

This article explores the relationship between scholarly communication, an established research area receiving renewed interest, and digital libraries, a relatively new area of research. Scholarship is inherently a social process and it is embedded in a structure of relationships with other scholars, with scholarly societies, and with publishers and libraries. These stakeholders agree that the relationship has become unbalanced with the advent of electronic publishing, digital libraries, computer networks and associated changes in pricing, intellectual property policies and contracts, but they do not agree on solutions to redress the balance. Several problems worthy of research lie at the intersection of scholarly communication processes and digital libraries. These include the ability of digital libraries to support the cycle of information seeking, using and creating; the ‘social life’ of documents; and electronic publishing. Other interesting problems exist at the intersection of structures of scholarly communication and digital libraries. These include increased interdependency of scholarly documents, as links are embedded between documents, both within and between digital libraries; the indefinite preservation of digital documents; business models for electronic publishing and digital libraries; and conflicts between the physical and virtual aspects of libraries.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 56 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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