STM Publishing – June 2022
Clarivate and OCLC battle over library metadata
The global library organisation OCLC has filed a lawsuit against Clarivate – and its subsidiaries Clarivate Analytics, Ex Libris, and ProQuest – seeking to stop the company from using collaboratively created assets as part of a new Ex Libris service called MetaDoor.
OCLC maintains that Clarivate is prompting OCLC members to violate their contracts with the organisation by sharing collection data that includes OCLC’s WorldCat records; moreover, that by offering MetaDoor as a free competitor to WorldCat, Ex Libris is attempting to force OCLC out of the integrated library system market.
Clarivate responded with a statement expressing its disappointment at the suit, describing it as ‘without merit’, and insisting that it will defend its position ‘vigorously’. It describes MetaDoor as ‘a free and open … community-based platform’ enabling the sharing ‘metadata created and owned by libraries’.
On June 27, however, a US District Court judge granted OCLC a temporary restraining order; Clarivate has agreed to comply with the order, though it maintains its position that the suit is meritless.
Transformative journals and deals
Cambridge University Press and Springer Nature have both issued updates on the amount of open access research being published in their transformative journals. Cambridge announced an increase of almost 70%, with the overall proportion of open access research in Cambridge journals more generally increasing by almost half to 36%. Springer Nature announced an increase of 40%, with 730 of its journals meeting the requirement targets set by cOAlition S – more than all other publishers combined.
SAGE has concluded a transformative agreement with the University of California that will provide access to all the journals included in SAGE’s 2022 Premier Journals Package and a discount on fees for open access publication in the publisher’s hybrid and fully gold open access journals. University libraries will contribute $1,000 to all article publishing fees and pay the difference where grant funding is unavailable. The deal will run to the end of 2024.
Wiley has signed a four-year agreement with the Italian Bibliosan consortium that will see 68 institutions gain read access to the company’s complete journals portfolio and the ability to publish in all Wiley’s hybrid and gold open access journals.
Meanwhile, a white paper produced by open access publisher Frontiers has attacked transformative agreements for reinforcing the status quo, locking out innovators, and avoiding ‘basic competition and procurement rules’; it also criticises the decision by cOAlition S to accept hybrid journals as a ‘loophole’ enabling publishers to ‘prolong and validate’ their existing business practices and calls on the signatories of Plan S to ‘negotiate conditions such that … at least 75% of content is OA across a publisher’s full portfolio by the end of 2024’.
cOAlition S has itself released its new Journal Comparison Service, through which publishers can make information on their services and prices at a journal level available for librarians to access; the aim is to ‘enable conversations and comparisons that will build confidence amongst customers that these prices are fair and reasonable’.
Jisc is launching Octopus, a new platform for publishing and reviewing research. The platform divides the typical research paper into eight components – problem, hypothesis/theoretical rationale, methods/protocol, data/results, analysis, interpretation, real-world implementation, and peer review – which can be created and published by different people at different times. Funded by UK Research and Innovation, it aims to enable the faster sharing of results, with credit given to work at all stages of the process.
The Microbiology Society is relaunching its journal Access Microbiology as an open research platform with a fully transparent peer review process: all article versions will be posted to the platform as pre-prints, alongside reviewer reports, editor comments and decisions, and author responses; the manuscript review tools Penelope.ai, SciScore, and iThenticate will also be incorporated.
Wolters Kluwer will take on publication of the American Society of Nephrology’s three journals – the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and Kidney360 – from January 2023.
Cambridge University Press will publish Animal Welfare, the official journal of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, from January 2023, when the journal will become fully open access.
Wiley, which this month appointed Brian O’Harold Hemphill to its board of directors, has announced its results for the financial year ending April 2022. For the first time, the company’s revenues passed the $2bn mark, up 7% on 2021.
Swiss-based publisher Karger has acquired the British science communications agency Research Publishing International for an undisclosed amount.
Taylor & Francis has partnered with the Charlesworth Group to deliver status updates on submitted manuscripts to researchers using the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat.
Alastair Horne is a lecturer in publishing studies at the University of Stirling.
Alastair writes our STM Publishing and our Academic Publishing Newsletters.