An illustration of the problem with the literature on predatory publishing

I’m becoming increasingly interested in the academic literature on predatory publishing, especially the differing definitions and argumentative strategies these articles use to illustrate the problem of poor-quality publishing. Over the weekend I scanned the recently-published article ‘Publishing in Predatory Journals: Guidelines for Nursing Faculty in Promotion and Tenure Policies’, by Broome et al. Through interviews …

What does the UKRI policy mean for open access book publishing?

UK Research and Innovation today published its updated policy on open access. For journals, the policy is simplified and normalised across the disciplines. Immediate open access under CC BY is mandated (with exceptions considered on a case-by-case basis), meaning no embargoes for green open access. Hybrid publishing will not be funded by UKRI where the …

The future relationship between university and publisher

As rumours circulate about the forthcoming UKRI open access policy announcement, fierce lobbying is underway by publishers worried that the policy may undermine their business models. Elsevier has even taken the step of directly emailing their UK-based academic editors to criticise the rumoured policy and encourage academics to relay the publisher’s views to UKRI. While …

All publishers great and small

It is common knowledge that the academic publishing industry is oligopolistic: a handful of large corporate publishers control the vast majority of the industry. Because it dominates so much of the industry, the oligopoly maintains market power through tentacular economies of scale and control of the publications which libraries must access. This is bad not …

New article in Development and Change

I’ve just published the article ‘Open Access, Plan S and ‘Radically Liberatory’ Forms of Academic Freedom’ in the journal Development and Change. Abstract below. Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/dech.12640 Abstract This opinion piece interrogates the position that open access policies infringe academic freedom. Through an analysis of the objections to open access policies (specifically Plan S) that draw …

Look to the commons for the future of R&D and science policy

Originally posted on the LSE Impact Blog The production and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is unquestionably good news and hopefully heralds the beginning of the end of the global pandemic. Much of this progress is down to the spirit of collaboration shown by scientists around the world in the race to beat the virus. …

OASPA panel on funding and business mechanisms for equitable open access

On 22nd September I’ll be participating in a panel on funding and business mechanisms for equitable open access for the 2020 OASPA conference. I’ll be using the opportunity to discuss some of the projects I’m involved in – notably the Radical Open Access Collective and the Community-led Open Publishing Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project – …

The datafication in transformative agreements for open access publishing

Transformative agreements are an increasingly common way for universities and consortia to shift publisher business models towards open access. They do this through a prearranged payment that allows institutions to access subscription content while allowing future research to published in an openly accessible form. These deals are a way for publishers to continue to receive …

How can we understand the different effects of UKRI’s open access policy on small learned societies in the humanities?

The UKRI open access consultation deadline is this Friday and we’re likely to see a flurry of responses leading up to it. One response to the consultation caught my eye today from the Friends of Coleridge, a society that ‘exists to foster interest in the life and works of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and …

COVID-19 and the future of open access

On February 26th, what feels like a lifetime ago now, the Los Angeles Times published a column with the headline ‘COVID-19 could kill the for-profit science publishing model. That would be a good thing’. Its author, Michael Hiltzik, argues that for-profit publishing is ‘under assault by universities and government agencies frustrated at being forced to …