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Sticker Shock: Micro- and Macropolitics of the Academic Serials Crisis from a Researcher’s Perspective by Professor Philippe Baveye Editor-in-Chief, Journal.

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Presentation on theme: "Sticker Shock: Micro- and Macropolitics of the Academic Serials Crisis from a Researcher’s Perspective by Professor Philippe Baveye Editor-in-Chief, Journal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sticker Shock: Micro- and Macropolitics of the Academic Serials Crisis from a Researcher’s Perspective by Professor Philippe Baveye Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Hydrology SIMBIOS Centre, University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee, Scotland

2 Conflict of interest statement: “ Intellectual honesty impels the author to alert the readers to the fact that he has been Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hydrology, an Elsevier publication, since November 2007 and in that capacity receives a modest honorarium. Nevertheless it is the author’s firm conviction that none of the statements made in the present article, whose writing largely preceded the author’s appointment as Editor-in- Chief, are colored in any way by his relationship with Elsevier. In return, the views and perspectives presented here are not necessarily shared by Elsevier.”

3 One of the first things a scientist does, when confronted with a new problem, is to find the perspective that seems most likely to yield a solution… So… is publishers’ greed the right angle to analyze the Academic Serials Crisis? (Syllabus, 2004)

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5 ,666 pages 16,463 pages 30% increase Consumer Price Index 17.44% increase 60 % Price increase, instead of 30%

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7 Euro relative to the dollar… 59% increase

8 There may be such a thing as publishers’ greed (after all, commercial publishers are private companies) but it does not appear that looking at the Academic Serials Crisis from that angle is really productive

9 ,666 pages 16,463 pages 30% increase Consumer Price Index 17.44% increase 60 % Price increase, instead of 30%

10 With respect to inflation…  Why is it that the operating budget of libraries at Cornell has not kept pace with inflation over the last two decades, at a time when tuition has far outpaced inflation, or the salaries of top university administrators has reached levels never seen before… ???  Why is it that CU spends a mere 2% of its total operating budget on its libraries, on a par with … Tompkins County ???

11 Open access…  The same administrators who are choking libraries are promoting “open access” journals or society-based journals as “the” solution…  All these journals do is transfer the cost of publishing to the authors… with potentially huge risks for disciplines where it is difficult to attract research funding at this point, let alone attract more funding to cover the cost of publications…  What about the numerous scientists in developing countries who will never be able to afford the cost of publishing in “authors-pay” journals?

12 ,666 pages 16,463 pages 30% increase Consumer Price Index 17.44% increase 60 % Price increase, instead of 30%

13 numbers of papers From a researcher’s perspective, the key cause of the proliferation of articles is a decision, made in the late seventies and never really challenged, to evaluate faculty productivity on the basis of numbers of papers published…

14 There is a little work done on better indicators of impact and productivity, but so little…

15 Take home message… The real solution to the Academic Serials Crisis is to get back to a point where scholarly productivity is not evaluated on the basis of numbers of papers… Fifty years ago, nobody would have dreamt of equating productivity with numbers of papers published… There must be a way to get back there… if we don’t give bean counters a say, and if researchers take charge of the process...


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