The Brief

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Issue 43 • June 2022

A year into its Transformative Journals route to compliance, cOAlition S revises its requirements. Does the list price for a journal subscription really mean anything anymore? An open data policy without monitoring and enforcement is not really an open data policy. And have postdocs finally recognized the realities of the academic job market and fled elsewhere?

The Permanent Record

Issue 42 • May 2022

Meeting presentations are increasingly being recorded, preserved, and made publicly available in perpetuity. But do some things work better when they’re ephemeral? CCC’s purchase of Ringgold offers a contrast between the benefits of open, community-owned infrastructure and the speed and robustness of private efforts. And almost ten years after its release, just what does it mean to become a DORA signatory?


Issue 41 • April 2022

Publishers navigate Russian sanctions and make hard decisions in an increasingly fragmented market for scholarly content. BOAI at 20: new recommendations and a continued anti-commercialism. cOAlition S releases a new toolkit. Elsevier buys Interfolio. Wiley has a new ticker. Annual Reviews embraces S2O. James Daunt is succeeding.


Issue 40 • February/March

Should SPARC eat its own (transparency and openness) dog food? Robert-Jan Smits returns! Plus upheaval at OSTP, NIH’s new open data policy is not that open, and a verdict for the ResearchGate lawsuit.


Issue 39 • January 2022

Is Elsevier creating a new “supercontinent”? Why is Wiley investing so heavily in “services”? What do transformative agreements actually transform? Plus Maryland’s ebook law, a new “Journal Comparison Service” from cOAlition S, Inside Higher Ed acquired by THE, Plus NEJM launches a new title and other Briefly Noted stories.

Going Meta

Issue 38 • November/December 2021

Facebook has a new company name that will be familiar to readers of The Brief. Wiley continues to fill out its services portfolio, with acquisitions of Knowledge Unlatched and eJournalPress. Meanwhile, ResearchGate strikes new deals for OA content and Martin Eve and Anthony Cond provide a look at the state of play for OA monographs. The flurry of M&A activity in 2021 continues.

Special Issue

Issue 37 • September/October

The secret behind MDPI’s extraordinary growth, Plan S’s unusual theory of pricing, Sci-Hub reboots (and seeks donations), preprints become a more accepted part of the scientific and scholarly workflow, supply chains for books hit snarls, M&A accelerates, and more.

The Subscriptionization of Everything

Issue 36 • July/August

Pearson+ turns the textbook into a subscription. But how do the economics work and is something similar viable in scholarly publishing? Also, UKRI’s OA policy is released, PeerJ pivots, a many tentacled Octopus seeks to disrupt scholarly publishing, and “tortured phrases” are appearing in the scholarly literature signaling the use of (not very good) automated translation software.

Citation Advantage?

Issue 35 • June 2021

You might think that after 130 studies on the subject, we’d have consensus on the effect that open access (OA) publishing has on an article’s citation performance. Alas, the picture is far from clear. In addition to probing OA citation advantage (OACA) we discuss the likelihood that Plan S “transformative journals” will meet targets, the impact of cancelling Big Deals on researchers, the impact of transformative agreements on societies, and more.

The Missing Elephant

Issue 34 • May 2021

Clarivate’s acquisition of ProQuest is front and center in this issue. We also discuss PLOS’s latest business model, Clarivate’s new metrics, abuse of CC-BY licenses, 15th Century manuscript production, and more.