BishopBlog: Universities vs Elsevier: who has the upper hand?
peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-11-14
"The academic publisher Elsevier is currently negotiating a deal with UK universities. In Oxford, as in other universities, there have been extensive discussions about the proposed deal; the goals are to reduce costs to sustainable levels and to provide full and immediate open access to UK research. I have a nasty feeling that we could end up in the situation of those at the COP summit: with a deal that where the publishers feel they are giving away a huge amount, while the consumers are still unsatisfied....
The discussions have largely centred around money, and this is a real concern. Publishers charge massively inflated subscription charges, taking as profit money that our libraries could otherwise put to good use. But the problems go way beyond that, including blocking open access to authors' own work, and giving poor quality and even fraudulent material a veneer of respectability. The publisher currently has considerable power over what gets published but takes little responsibility when things go wrong.
But we also have power, and I think it's time we started to wield it. I have two proposals: one radical and the other less so, both of which go beyond what is currently being considered in the JISC discussions.
The radical option: move publishing in-house...
The less radical option. An agreement with Elsevier that reflects what we want and need...."