6. Findings: Publishing Research

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The publishing industry has undergone huge changes in recent years as it has adapted to the web, a changing attitude to openness, a broader range of research outputs, and a shifting balance of power with the rise of huge scholarly publishing conglomerates.

Such a rapidly changing system is producing winners and losers, heroes and villains, and there is a lot of bad feeling, much of which is directed at the publishers. But as is reflected in the interviews in this chapter, in this time of ‘disequilibrium’ (Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe), we should remember ‘publishers’ are not a homogenous group of carpetbaggers, but include university presses (Clare Hooper) and publishers with new alternative models (Jean Roberts). Nonetheless, there is often the feeling that the big publishers are taking advantage of this time of change (Stephen Curry).


6.1 Changing Publishing Model

The current system is widely seen as broken, and we are in a time of huge upheaval. It is a time of ‘disequilibrium’, to use the term of Lisa JanickeHinchliffe, but as she also points out, this means ‘there’s the potential to do things that haven’t been done before’. A point that is reiterated by Jean Roberts, of Glasstree Academic Publishing: ‘Being broken has allowed technology platforms like Glasstree to come in and offer a new solution. Yes, it is a disruptive solution, but not all disruption is bad.’

Changing publishing models was joint-third highest of the 20 issues raised by respondents; it was a topic in 56 of the 463 comments. It was the topic raised most often as the biggest challenge facing publishers: changing publishing models was the topic of 36 comments, whereas accessibility was only a topic of 35 comments. It was also raised as a challenge facing the research sector 12 times, and the library sector eight times.

There is recognition of a need to move from traditional publishing models:


‘Moving beyond the legacy of paper-based publishing. We really haven’t yet.’ (Librarian)


‘It’s continued reliance on 20th century publishing models.’ (Librarian)


Although the form the new models should take is not necessarily clear:


‘Find new sustainable business models.’ (Librarian)


‘Disagreement about the business model for scholarly publishing.’ (Researcher)


There is also the feeling that there are vested interests slowing the speed of the change:


‘Resistance to change from vested scholarly publishing interests, whose high profits depend, to a large degree, on the outdated subscriptions model.’ (Researcher)


There are many drivers behind the need for new publishing models. As well as the often mentioned reluctance of users to pay for content, there are also pressures from within the publishing sector as smaller publishers struggle to continue with a traditional model:


‘Changing business models, in a world where everyone expects it all to be free.’ (Researcher)


‘Consolidation of publishers and associated services into behemoths prevents smaller publishers from succeeding.’ (Publisher)


‘Big Four domination, exacerbated by major trend of mergers in recent years’ (Publisher)


‘The rise of the super journal. How can small journals compete on cost?’ (Publisher)


The changing publishing model also has important implications for the library, both in how they apportion their budgets and how their role is perceived by their users (see also Institutional relevance):


‘Transfer from holdings-based infrastructure to service-based research support.’ (Librarian)


‘Reallocate money from acquisition budget to publication funds.’ (Librarian)


‘Moving away from being seen only, or primarily, as a buyer.’ (Librarian)


For some publishers the changing publishing model has come with a change in what it means to be a publisher. The success of Elsevier in changing its business model was noted by Charles Oppenheim, who commented on its ‘strategic long-term view’.

As Gemma Hersh, of Elsevier, stated, ‘We really take a holistic view across the researcher workflow. We are a publisher, but we are also increasingly an information analytics company, and our role really is to support researchers and drive research 



  • Scholarly publishing is a complex system with a wide range of actors and differing practices; as such respondents’ suggested changes to the scholarly publishing system are equally wide ranging:
  • Publishers should focus on promoting the article, not the journal;
  • Publishers should have greater involvement in the research workflow;
  • Publishers should switch to open access publishing to help the libraries free resources for service-based research support;
  • Publishers should stop viewing the research sector as customers and start thinking about them as partners;               
  • Publishers should be more collaborative, less competitive and definitely less monopolistic;
  • Libraries should encourage better understanding of copyright ownership, open science and the dissemination of research;
  • Libraries should take over parts of the publication process, providing infrastructure and services to support and enable open science;      
  • Libraries should be relaying researchers’ needs to publishers;
  • Libraries should be advocating for more open access;
  • Libraries should be evaluating the new products;
  • Researchers should be taking greater interest in the publishing process and implications of their decisions;
  • Researchers should be lobbying libraries not to buy exorbitant journal subscription bundles;
  • Researchers should be submitting to open access journals, or submitting peer-reviewed papers into an open access repository;
  • Researchers should engage with publishers over publishing agreements, rather than simply sign away copyright. 


6.2 Open access and licensing

Open access is, in many ways, the poster boy for the changing publishing model. It is, in the words of Elaine Westbrooks, the thing libraries have been ‘championing the most’. However, it is by no means the panacea to all the ills of scholarly publishing, as Westbrooks also notes: ‘Open access has been positive, but it has still not enabled me to purchase the materials that our scholars want.’ Open access also serves to illustrate the highly integrated nature of scholarly publishing, and the knock-on effects that the changes in one area of the cycle can have on others.

Open access and licensing was joint third of the 20 issues raised by respondents; it was a topic in 56 of the 463 comments. It was raised as a challenge facing the publishing sector 28 times, the research sector 23 times, and the library sector five times. It was the fourth most important of the 14 topics respondents were asked to rate, rated 8.06 out of 10.

The fundamental idea of open access is simple, but its implementation can bring confusion:


‘Making articles open access and bypassing big for-profit publishers.’ (Researcher)


 ‘Multiple different OA mandates and the confusion that brings to authors.’ (Publisher)


It can be costly where there the emphasis is on gold, rather than green, open access:


‘Finding sufficient funds for all researchers to be able to publish in Open Access journals (i.e.  not just the RCUK funded researchers. There are lots of humanities scholars who have no recourse to block grants).’ (Publisher)


‘That the Finch report has resulted in a near feeding frenzy on the part of some large publishers as they seek to ensure they benefit from the additional money allocated through RCUK and the expense of seeking a true and meaningful transition to more open scholarly communication. Moreover, because of the publisher behaviour, no other country has gone down the Finch Route, which means that a funded transition globally (for it would have to be that) is now not possible.’ (Librarian)


While some publishers are seen as making more money from open access, others see it as a battle for publishers to overcome:


'Making money in a world of open access.’ (Researcher)


‘Fighting open access.’ (Researcher)


‘The constant push to ensure publishers are NOT rewarded for their services, whether that be via green OA with no mandates or at the other extreme, theft and piracy of content.’ (Publisher)



Many of the suggestions, especially by researchers and librarians, were for the wholehearted embracing of open access. Those that are more specific often echo the wider suggestions about the need to change the publishing model.

  • Publishers should recognise they make money from academic labour;
  • Publishers should have clear open access policies across journals and assist authors with compliance;
  • Publishers should focus on work with funders to find agreed solutions;
  • Publishers should be transparent about actual costs; 
  • Libraries should support authors in open access mandate compliance;
  • Libraries should encourage better understanding of copyright;
  • Libraries should empower research, making responsible and informed publishing decisions;
  • Libraries should support user-friendly green open access workflows;
  • Libraries should negotiate ‘publish and read’ contracts (as is offered with Springer Compact);
  • Libraries should negotiate transparent subscription contracts;
  • Libraries should become publishers;
  • Libraries should make more open access funds available, reducing subscriptions and support open access;
  • Libraries should work with publishers who embrace new models, educating publishers and cancelling journal subscriptions;
  • Libraries should be more informed about the business side of publishing, costs and budgets;
  • Researchers should be more collaborative with publishers in resolving OA issues, understanding the impact of their sharing decisions;      
  • Researchers should reward innovation by publishing with publishers who offer useful, transformative services;
  • Researchers should gain a richer understanding of the role of publishers;
  • Researchers should factor in publishing costs in funding grants.


6.3 Data and non-traditional scholarly output support

There is undoubtedly growing recognition of the importance of data and support for non-traditional scholarly outputs, but it is by no means seen as one of the biggest challenges in scholarly publishing.

While it was the joint-fifth most important of the 14 topics respondents were asked to rate, rated 7.46 out of 10, it was only 11th of the 20 issues raised by respondents. It was a topic in just 10 of the 463 comments. It was raised as the biggest challenge facing researchers six times, the publishing sector twice and the library sector twice.

Growing recognition of new research outputs comes with challenges throughout the scholarly publishing cycle. New types of output provide new challenges for curation:


Moving beyond the flat PDF and providing users with an interactive experience that includes the accompanying artefacts that are needed for reproducibility, such as code and data.’ (Publisher)


‘Curating the code and data needed for reproducibility.’ (Publisher)


There are additional compliance requirements for researchers, who have to ensure it is managed and shared properly, but also increasingly greater expectations of publishers from researchers:


Compliance with myriad mandates with, most lately, growing complexities in the data management space leading to further standards and mandates...’ (Publisher)


‘Content mining (data become more important than documents).’ (Researcher)


Data mining was also mentioned by Charles Oppenheim as an area where librarians have not been strong enough in defending researchers’ rights to undertake text and data mining for non-commercial purposes: ‘Libraries are too nervous of the publishers, too worried about the potential loss of the subscription, and they really ought to be more assertive.’ 



The publication of non-traditional scholarly outputs is a relatively new and developing system, and researchers often require greater support from publishers and libraries. At the same time, it is important that this nascent system doesn’t perpetuate the failings that are currently found in the existing system for scholarly publications.

  • Publishers and libraries need to offer workflow solutions for researchers to ease the process of organising and publishing non-traditional outputs;
  • Libraries need to enable open access for all types of research content; 
  • Researchers need to work with libraries, providing the repositories with the data and information that they need.


6.4 Trust and validation

Trust and validation was second highest of the 20 issues raised by respondents, it was a topic in 68 of the 463 comments. It was raised as the biggest challenge facing researchers 36 times, the publishing sector 31 times, and the library sector twice. It was the third most important of the 14 topics respondents were asked to rate, rated 8.21 out of 10.

The importance of the Trust and validation to the publishing sector and the research sector is understandable. In an age when the web allows anyone to publish anything, trust and validation is what distinguishes scholarly publishers from the noise, but the rise of predatory publishers and other unauthoritative sources is making such distinction increasingly difficult for researchers to make:


‘Predatory publishing activities by commercial editing agencies and start-up publishers.’ (Researcher)


‘Fighting against misinformation freely available on the internet e.g. – Wikipedia.’ (Librarian)


‘Proliferation of bogus information online and the erosion of the availability of the version of record.’ (Publisher)


‘From well-structured “regulated” publishing to a myriad of fuzzy information channels and forms.’ (Librarian)


The challenge for publishers is to not only stay relevant, but demonstrate value at a time of change:


‘Remaining relevant and scholarly in a pool that includes “predatory”, or less-scholarly, publishers.’ (Librarian)


 ‘Asserting their value-add.’ (Researcher)


‘Changes in the perception of the importance and value of the availability of publisher-mediated information.’ (Publisher)


Ensuring the quality of research is increasingly difficult where there is a strong ‘publish or perish’ mind-set (see section Publish or Perish):


‘Scientific fraud: making up results, publishing the same paper in different journals, plagiarism.’ (Publisher)


‘Many papers sent for publication are rubbish.’ (Researcher)


Many of the comments on trust and validation focused specifically on the importance of peer-review and its growing problems:


‘Reviewers. Reviewing is a serious work and with so many manuscripts there are not enough qualified reviewers. People start reviewing manuscripts very early in their career after they have published only a few papers. As an editor, I find it very difficult to get real expert opinions. I often have to disagree with the reviewers. As a reviewer, I cannot commit to more than one review per month. As an author, I prefer to submit my manuscripts to journals in which the editors are very familiar with the topic.’ (Researcher)


‘Institutions don’t value the time researchers spend on peer review; therefore, top scholars aren’t spending time reviewing peer work.’ (Publisher)


‘The proliferation of publishing houses with inadequate or complete lack of peer review board.’ (Researcher)


Peer review does have drawbacks, however:


‘Peer reviewing leading to a lack of variety in publications.’ (Researcher)


 ‘Needing to publish research in a timely fashion, while engaging with reviewers who are reviewing on a voluntary basis.’ (Researcher)


The timeliness of publication was also an issue that was raised by interviewees. Jean Roberts queried whether there had been catastrophes that could have been prevented if research had been published in a more timely manner, while Stephen Curry highlighted the sharing of research on the Zika virus before publication, asking:


‘If you are doing it for Zika, why aren’t you doing it for research into HIV or TB or antimicrobial resistance? These are areas where almost all the funding comes from the public, and there’s massive public interest in making sure we try to tackle these problems as urgently as we can.’



As with so many of the issues within scholarly publishing, trust and validation is impacted by other issues in scholarly publishing, most notably the culture of ‘publish or perish’, access to research, data and non-traditional scholarly outputs, and the perceived relevance of the library. This is reflected in many of the suggestions as to how the issue could be addressed:

  • Publishers should demand that researchers submit their data and code along with their research;
  • Publishers should improve the quality of peer review and implement strict peer review standards;
  • Publishers should pay referees;
  • Publishers should be more objective while taking decisions to publish an article or not;
  • Publishers should be willing to publish ‘failed’ studies;
  • Publishers should provide better access to verified sources;
  • Publishers should be more transparent about costs;
  • Libraries need to help researchers curate code and data;
  • Libraries need to help researchers identify good publishers and rule out predatory publishers;
  • Libraries need to educate researchers about the value and benefit of peer-reviewed and publisher-mediated information;
  • Libraries need to guide patrons in the use of trusted resources, cataloguing ethical sources only;
  • Researchers need to focus on fewer but better publications, not repeatedly publish the same publication with minor amendments;
  • Researchers need to take the time to get to know library resources;
  • Researchers need to support good peer review and not press for faster and faster responses.


Professor Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction, University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


What do you see as the biggest challenges in scholarly publishing today?

We are in a time of intentional and unintentional transition to new models, and so we have a period of disequilibrium. I hesitate with that word because sometimes people might hear a word like ‘disequilibrium’ and think that it’s a negative thing. But I think it’s just a different thing. In fact, some people probably see this as a very exciting time, because there’s the potential to do things that haven’t been done before. There’s a potential to correct things that perhaps were barriers for people in the past, or challenges that can now be met. At the same time, there’s a sense of risk that we could lose things that we do value, or that the hopes that we have might not come to fruition.


What can libraries do to help with this period of disequilibrium?

Some of the ways that librarians might help is to further it. There are obviously intentional policy decisions and program developments that are intended to catalyse some of this disequilibrium and to challenge practices. At the same time, librarians are in a position to support people who are navigating the system, to help them understand what the different aspects are, the different issues, the different players and even the politics of how some of these decisions about the how system is evolving are made.

Libraries are in this somewhat challenging position right now where we are consumers of publishing output, and yet we are also, in many cases, trying to move more actively to a publisher and producer role. That is also challenging us to think about these different roles and how they interact with each other, and how we can intentionally shape them, so that the overall effect is positive for the communities that we serve and the values we want to uphold.

An important strategy for librarians is developing a greater understanding of the overall system. This is crucial as libraries are emerging as publishers, and are also providing support for traditional publishing. There is greater need to understand overall structures. As predictability decreases, a greater understanding of the system is necessary.


What is the role of researchers in this time of disequilibrium?

The researchers themselves are creating some of the disequilibrium by saying ‘I want to think about research and the production of knowledge in a way that is reflective of the capabilities and affordances of the world in which I do my work, and I want to think about disseminating that knowledge in a way that is reflective of the capabilities and affordances of the environment in which I do my work.’

If a researcher is going to pursue the creation, production and dissemination of knowledge, then they need to be thinking about whether the system that they are using and working within is maximising that outcome. Not every researcher has to be pushing on the system, but some are choosing to do so. In many ways, I think the role of the researcher in this time of disequilibrium is engaging with that disequilibrium. Asking those questions about whether the systems that we have are achieving the ends that they want at the greatest level possible, and then adjusting their own choices, as well as influencing local systems to align with the kinds of systems they’d like to see emerge more globally.


What do publishers need to do during this time of disequilibrium?

Publishers are pursuing the very same question as libraries and researchers: ‘How do we engage in whatever issues we’re engaging in order to best serve the community and uphold the values that we have?’ At that overarching level there is a commonality of purpose, even if it’s not always as apparent, because of the ways that the abstracted ideal gets played out and the decisions that are made in playing it out. It can look like – and at the tactical and strategy level often it is the case – those different communities or even different individuals or companies are pursuing strategies that conflict with the strategies and tactics of other groups.


Professor Stephen Curry

Professor of Structural Biology, Imperial College London


What do you see as the biggest challenges in scholarly publishing today?

The cost to the research community. It still hasn’t found a way to pay for the costs of full open access, and the reason that that situation carries on is because researchers and institutions and funders are still preoccupied with general prestige expressed in impact factors, and it’s proving very difficult to break that dependency among the research community.

This is clearly a long-standing and well-discussed problem, but it’s a fact that people still don’t believe that their work will be judged on its own merits, and that means they get trapped into submitting to prestige venues which can charge a lot of money, both for subscriptions and also for APCs if they are open access journals. As a result, we haven’t yet leveraged the opportunities that digitisation and the rise of the internet have offered the research community for two decades now.


What do you think libraries can do to overcome these challenges?

One of the most powerful things they can do is go out and talk to researchers, and explain to them how the economics of scholarly publishing actually work. There are a lot of academics who are just insulated from it, in the sense that they have no idea what the true costs are of subscriptions. In some cases librarians have been prevented from sharing information, because of the restrictions that some publishers have placed on the deals that they negotiate with libraries. We shouldn’t be signing such deals; they were criticised in parliament, and the research community need to think a lot more about taking responsibility for ensuring that we do a proper job of disseminating our research.

We should also ensure that we get value for money in doing that. Any time you get a grant and there’s a big piece of equipment on it, you’re supposed to go out to tender and get competitive quotations, but none of that happens in researchers’ minds when it comes to scholarly publishing, and that’s why the big brands have such a powerful place in the market.

Many researchers are sympathetic to the motivations of open access; it’s about being open, but they don’t really care about the cost so much – unless they find themselves that they don’t have the money. I’d like to see funders putting a cap on what they are prepared to pay for articles to be published, while still insisting they have to be open access. But funders tend to be a bit shy of doing that.


So what can researchers do?

They need to think through how they go about evaluating one another. It’s not just reviewing other people’s papers; there’s the recruitment process, internal promotion processes, serving on funding panels. It’s making sure the people participating in those are well aware of the problems of judging work simply based on the journal where it happens to be published.

There is a core, a subset of researchers, who have been involved in these issues, but I am aware that many of my colleagues don’t make the time for it because it’s a secondary consideration. They feel under pressure continuously to perform; they’ve got to keep publishing in order to be able to write grants because they don’t want to lose their jobs. We’re doing a disservice to ourselves, to our peers, but also to the wider public, because the pressure creates perverse incentives. That’s why you see high-profile cases of fraud, concerns about the reliability of research, and under-powered studies that produce a positive result, that once you look a bit deeper turns out to be noise.


What do the publishers need to do to help overcome the challenges?

I’m beginning to wonder more and more whether we do have to work together, because 75 per cent of academic literature is publicly-funded research, and we have a duty to behave responsibly with the money that we receive from them. Major publishers using market dominance to extract profit margins of 40 per cent, which are unheard of in most other modern industries, shows that the market system is broken for subscription journals, and I don’t think enough people are angry about it. Whenever it is raised, the publishers sort of roll their eyes and say ‘here we go again’. I’ve been called a communist by one publishing executive for the views I’ve put forward; I’m not against free market economics, but I think the market has to be regulated. In markets where the vast majority of the money is coming from public sources, then clearly some sort of regulation or control or restrictions of the funds available should be in place.


Have there been changes that you are optimistic about?

The invention of the open access mega journal was a revolution that nobody really saw coming. I would give PLOS credit for that, and it’s a model that has been successfully replicated by Springer Nature, Elsevier, and others, and PeerJ has come in and is nimbler and better value for money. It’s good to see there is competition in that space.

The renewed interest in preprints among life scientists and various other disciplines now emerging is definitely a good thing. It helps it to reinforce the message that it’s communication that’s important, and in many cases, the quality of the work that is largely present in manuscripts before peer review. It just helps to reinforce the philosophy that we have a duty to communicate and make sure that we don’t retard scientific process in the quest we have for the gold shiny badges that high-impact journals hand out.


Clare Hooper

Head of Journals, Liverpool University Press


What do you see as the biggest challenges in scholarly publishing today?

Declining or static library budgets. The issue for Humanities and Social Sciences publishing specifically is over-publication in many fields as a result of successive research assessments, the high price of STM journals, and library budgets that haven’t kept up in real terms. It’s a fairly toxic set of problems that imperils the best humanities scholarship.

There’s a need to respond to ever-changing Open Access policies and regulations, which have meant that publishers need to find ways to make more research available free to access online, but still cover costs There’s a need to keep up with user expectations with regards to online functionality and impact, which means that publishers must invest more in digital requirements.

The HE market is changing, with a lower number of students enrolling (particularly in the US) – publishers must make sure that we respond to this by providing what customers want and need.


Are there any challenges that are particularly faced by the university presses?

Size – in terms of list, number of staff, and budget. University presses tend to be smaller than commercial outfits, with fewer journals, books and staff! This means it can be difficult to compete with large companies who may be able to offer libraries big deals with large amounts of content at a discount. Directly related to that challenge is the opportunity of not being a corporate behemoth: we can offer genuinely bespoke publishing, because each and every journal and book matters to us.

Budgets are tight – most university presses in the UK do not receive subsidies from their institutions and so need to support their publishing programmes themselves. University press lists are interdisciplinary, and working across many subjects means that we have many different author and reader groups (with different needs to cater for).

However, many presses are based within universities, both geographically and structurally, meaning we better understand the ‘university’ perspective. Being closer to researchers means we can address their needs more easily than commercial publishers can.


What could researchers do to help overcome some of the challenges facing the scholarly publishing cycle?

Researchers are already working closely with publishers to overcome challenges. They are working with publishers to promote smaller newer journals and emerging scholars in their subject areas, being on editorial boards and reviewing papers (which is already happening). Researchers discuss new initiatives with publishers, being open to change, embracing new metrics, using social media to promote their research (through tools like Kudos or Altmetric). Researchers recommend papers in journals to their students, adding them to their reading lists. Researchers can advocate for publishers. The debates are dominated by a handful of people, and often seem to take place between libraries and publishers and policymakers, with minimal academic input, but the future of scholarly publishing is fundamental to every academic.


What could libraries do to help overcome some of the challenges facing the scholarly publishing cycle? 

Collaboration is key – libraries and publishers ultimately share many of the same goals – providing access to scholarly research to as many readers and researchers as possible being one of them. Libraries are already working closely with publishers on new initiatives, while recognising that university presses are expected to be self-sustaining and that publishing is not ‘free’. An example is publisher-library committees, which offer advice and support to each other on new ideas and policies.

It is important for librarians to involve publishers in discussions around open access and licensing, with both parties being open to compromise. It is also important for librarians not to lump all publishers in together; university presses have a very different business model and ethos to commercial publishers. 


What do publishers need to do to help overcome some of the challenges facing the scholarly publishing cycle? 

Concentrate on publishing quality research within their subject areas: ‘content is king’. If a journal is well used by researchers, a library will be hesitant to cancel it. Engage with the latest metrics and work with the latest technology companies – so that user needs are fulfilled. Remain relevant to the scholarly community by working closely with researchers on the latest important research areas – stay connected to our scholarly communities. Be flexible – for example, offer hybrid OA on journals where there is a demand for it, provide support to ECR who wish to publish OA. Be agile – respond to market needs and don’t be afraid to take risks. Provide a viable alternative to commercial publishers by concentrating on quality not quantity.


Jean Roberts

Business Development Director UK/Europe, Glasstree Academic Publishing


What do you see as the biggest challenges in the scholarly publishing cycle?

The major one across all stakeholders is academic authenticity and integrity. Academics need to trust other academics’ work. That is a primary concern for just about all of the stakeholders at the moment. The other concern is academic control: how do institutions get an equitable return on the research and the academic they have nurtured. One of the complaints that has been levelled at traditional publishing is very, very, slow publication times, where things can actually come to market where research is outdated.

The publishing cycle is dominated by a small number of commercial publishers, which are very profit focused. It’s not just domination of them; it’s the fact that some of those publishers also go on to buy the ancillary companies that service the academic market.


How does Glasstree challenge the traditional publishing model?

Glasstree is the emergence of an innovative technology platform that helps answer some of those frustrations for academics. It was born as an academic-led publishing platform. We worked very closely with a lot of academics bringing the platform to market, but what became very quickly evident was that the platform was also suitable for academic-led publishing.

So, that’s for small publishers; that’s for publishing institutions; for new academic presses that are forming. To be able to give them very easy access to things like DOIs, creative commons licenses, marketing pre-press, without actually having to reinvent the wheel themselves.


What can researchers do to help overcome some of these challenges facing scholarly publishing? 

We should be asking what the universities and institutions should be doing, because those researchers sit within institutions; they’re nurtured by the universities. The answer is a difficult one, because, with all the changes afoot with Brexit, what will the research culture look like in the future? What social changes will impact on research, and which countries will become more or less active in research? We could see a major cultural change in the research arena, but nobody knows what that looks like at the moment.

JISC has just completed a report (http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6666/1/Changing-publishing-ecologies-report...). There’s been a trend over the past five years in both the US and UK for universities to start up their own university presses. Universities are looking to differentiate themselves, and brand build, and by forming university presses, in terms of brand building it’s a way to attract good academics. If you attract good academics you attract good students and the profile of the university goes up. If you’re not commercially driven in a decision to start a university press, the nice side-shoot of it is that that content can be commercialised and it gives income generation, and that income generation can then be used to fund other research within the university.

It’s interesting to think what it would look like if every university had a small press, that’s got to change the landscape in terms of the commercial publishers, because certainly that great big glut of academics who are out there looking for commercial publishers are starting to be published by their own institutions.


What can libraries do to help overcome the challenges facing scholarly publishing?

LIBER has recently published Open Access: Five principles guide for negotiations with publishers (http://libereurope.eu/blog/2017/09/07/open-access-five-principles-negoti...). It is a five-step guide for academic libraries, as to how to deal with the publisher in negotiating open access contracts, and the overriding thing that comes out of it, is that it has to be a fair and open process.

There has to be transparency for licensing deals, and there has to be an end for double-dipping, where the author pays the book or article processing charges to the publisher, then the academic institution effectively pays again through its subscription fees.


What can publishers do to help overcome the challenges facing scholarly publishing?

Publishers are being asked very publicly what they bring to the table now, and the answer will be different depending on what type of publisher you talk to. But what publishers are being asked to bring to the table and answer for, at the moment, just across the board, is transparency. More transparent in their dealings across the board with the academics and the libraries and the institutions. They’re being asked to look at the authenticity and the integrity of the publications they put out there.

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