The Brief

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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.


Issue 33 • April 2021

Subscribe to Open (S2O) is an emerging OA model that is attracting attention — but for authors with funder mandates, submitting to a S2O may create a “Schrödinger’s cat” situation. Plus: PLOS’s new journals, CAS’s journal watch list, RIP Microsoft Academic Search, the STM Article Sharing Framework, and more.

California Dreaming

Issue 32 • February/March 2021

We talk a lot about the “Buckets of Money” problem at C&E. It is frequently said that there is enough money “in the system” to transition globally to open access (OA). The problem is that the money is in the wrong buckets. In this issue we explore the landmark Elsevier-University of California “transformative deal” and how UC has attempted to solve the buckets of money problem. We also discuss the Plan S Right Retention Strategy, Google Scholar’s new “public access” feature, and other topics.


Issue 31 • January 2021

An important albeit rarely invoked maxim is that if someone offers you a 7-times multiple of revenue for your publishing company, you take the deal. The more salient question is, Why would Wiley pay $298 million for a $40 million journal publisher with no recurring revenues? In this issue we explore the Wiley-Hindawi deal, the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy, a takeover of a journal by “rogue editors,” the rise of newsletter services, and other topics.

Avoidance of Doubt

Issue 30 • December 2020

The Plan S Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) has raised concerns among publishers, including many notable open access publishers. Elsevier follows Nature’s lead in announcing APC pricing for its flagship Cell portfolio (hint: not cheap). Ithaka S+R releases an extensive survey of library directors. eLife announces it will only review preprints.


Issue 29 • November 2020

Springer Nature’s extensive efforts to cooperate with open access (OA) mandates, including their new Nature Gold OA program (and its accompanyin $12,000 APC). cOAlition S’s inadequate Journal Checker Tool. The growth in the scientific literature during the pandemic, an AI tool for summarizing research papers, and more.

A World Elsewhere

Issue 28 • October 2020

PLOS announces Community Action Publishing (CAP) and seeks to move two highly selective Gold open access (OA) journals. Springer Nature cancels its IPO, but intends to offer Plan S across its entire journal portfolio. Wiley launches Natural Sciences, a broad-scope journal for authors affiliated with Projekt DEAL.

Lion Tamer?

Issue 27 • September 30, 2020

The Springer Nature and ResearchGate pilot project on making proprietary content openly accessible is a success. Open access (OA) publications are disappearing from the Internet. Making changes to peer review process, maximizing revenues through the SME market, and academics tweeting about preprints.

Seeking a Vaccine for Fake News

Issue 26 • August 2020

Bill Gates interview with Steven Levy, says most COVID-19 tests in the US “are completely garbage” and social media is a “poisoned chalice.” But he’s optimistic, placing his bets on massive innovation. A new library consortium in Texas, free access to scientific literature during the pandemic, and more.

End of an Era

Issue 25 • July 2020

HighWire Press, once the most prominent start-up in scholarly communications is sold to MPS for a stunningly low sale price. cOAlition S pens letter to publishers, providing several paths to compliant OA. The European Research Council is pulling out of Plan S. And more.