Edwin Mellen Press to join forces with the Lancet and the Discovery Institute

In a recent press release, Edwin Mellen Press said that they will jump head-first into the Open Access bandwagon.  The publisher will work with the Discovery Institute and the editors of the Elsevier journal, The Lancet, to learn more about Open Access publishing.  A source close to the press, Richard Herbertson, noted:

“For crying out loud, will you librarians please get off our backs?  Ok, what if we start publishing some OA monographs, will that finally make you all happy and whatnot?”

The Society for Scholarly Publishing denounces Public Access to Federal Research

The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) recently posted the following statement:

The Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research proposal from the Office of the President is absurd.  Scholarly publishers make information public, not the government.  (When is the last time you saw any information published by the US Government?)  They have no God Damned right to say how publishers should do business with their private research works.  Just because the government pays for research does not mean that they have any right to limit the profits derived from the publicly funded research.  The system needs to be sustainable.  In other words, commercial publishers need to keep reaping huge profits from the fruits of the labor of researchers who hand them the articles for free and provide peer-reviewing services.  Never mind the fact that many publicly funded educational institutions pay for access to that research.  The commercial publishers have it coming and going.  The member publishers need to hide access to publications.  Pay no attention to the fact that the point of public-ation is to make information available to the public.  Our industry is a cash cow!  Please, please, please don’t take it away!

American Chemical Society to create a MOOC

The American Chemical Society has decided to get into the MOOC education market.  The administrators have been reading all about MOOCs on a blogger.com blog, and they figured now is the time to see if they can figure out how to suck even more money from the academic market.  John Farley, Chair of the Education Committee of the ACS, said that “Those stupid librarians have figured out that we are charging way too much money for our journals.  I can’t believe that some colleges and universities are cancelling the journal packages.  That irrepressible Jenica Rogers has started a horrible trend, getting librarians to think and act. ”  He also said “I know what we’ll do.  We will sidestep librarians and go straight to the chemists.  We can sell our educational services directly to them.  They are even better suckers than librarians!”

Betsy Ross-Kingsly, the Associate Director of Educational Outreach for the ACS, said “I have no idea what the fuck a MOOC really is, but I hear it is a great way to make boat loads of cash, so we need to get in on this deal.”

Jerry McKlein, a noted education blogger, was excited to learn about the initiative.  He spammed 39 different library discussion lists about the big news.

Scholarly Kitchen to charge subscription fees

The Library Radish has learned that the Scholarly Kitchen Blog is one of the first blogs to start charging subscription fees for readers.  As of September 1, 2012, readers will need to pony up over $5,000/year for an online subscription. 

In an interview with one of the blog’s frequent authors, Kent Anderson noted that the idea for a subscription fee occurred in the middle of writing this book review, “Review: ‘Free Ride: How Digital Parasites are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back’.”  He said, “You know, it just came to me.  Here we are creating extremely valuable information and insight, and we are just giving it all away for free on this blog.  Why the fuck are we doing that? I bet we could make a crap ton of money if we sold subscriptions to this blog.  Everybody knows that people only value things when they have to pay for it out of their own pocket.”  When asked how they came up with the subscription charges, he replied, “Well, our accountants figured that the suckers [oops, I mean readers; you aren’t going to keep that are you?] would be willing to part with $99 on their credit card each week to have access to the blog.  We publish about 3-5 items a week, and we figured, hey, those items are worth about $20-33 per article, right?” 

Jeremy B. Eel’s list of Predatory Microformat Publishers

Jeremy B. Eel created a HUGE list of Predatory Microformat Publishers.  This includes those awful predatory publishers of content on microfilm, microfiche and micro-opaques!  Some of the predatory publishers include the likes of Adam Matthew, BMI and others.  Take a look at this scandalous list here.

Web of Knowledge platform for Ewoks

Over the last month, almost 7,500 Ewoks signed a petition to request that Thomson Reuters create a research platform suited to the research needs and desires of the Ewok community. Sure, they could use Google Scholar translated to the language Ewokian, but the search features on the free site were lacking. Thomson Reuters relented, and they created a new platform specifically for Ewoks.

More information can be found at: http://thenewewok.com

The New Ewok

The New Ewok

73 Wiley & Springer staff sign pledge not to support Elsevier

The editor of the Radish recently learned that many staff members from the publishing houses of John Wiley and Springer signed a declaration concerning Elsevier.  The Cost of Knowledge declaration states that they “will not support any Elsevier journal unless they radically change how they operate.”  This appears to be a reaction to the fact that Elsevier supports the Research Works Act.

At this moment, there are 73 staff members from both publishers consisting of assistant editors, copy editors, layout editors, marketing specialists, sales representatives and janitors.  The list of signers from Springer and John Wiley is growing.

One of the assistant editors from John Wiley said “well, no shit Sherlock.  Elsevier made over a billion dollars in profits last year for a rate that exceeds well over 35% of their revenue.  The less money they suck from libraries means those libraries can hand over more money to John Wiley.  I can’t speak for Elsevier, but it’s like we are just printing money over here.”  John Wiley had a profit margin of only 42% for 2011.

A janitor from Springer said that he “was not planning on submitting any scholarly articles to Elsevier at any point in the near future” so it was not that difficult for him to make the pledge.  Because he support the Open Access publishing system, he usually submits his articles on high energy physics to the arXiv, PLoS ONE or the IOP Journal of High Energy Physics. He noted that he is familiar with the Springer based OA journals, but they did not have a good outlet for his research on Chern-Simons-matter theories and M2-branes.  He also noted that “the author-paid OA fees were often too much with my meager janitor wages.”

Reaction to SLA Proposal: ALA to Change Name

The Special Libraries Association announced yesterday that the membership of the organization “failed to approve a proposal to change the organization’s name.”

Today, in a surprise move by the American Library Association (ALA), they announced that as of January 1, 2010, the organization will change their name from the American Library Association to the “Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals”!

The Executive Director of ALA, Keith Michael Fiels, said “If the members of the SLA have failed to take advantage of this awesome proposal, there is no stinkin’ way that we’re going to let that great name pass us by.  We have already contacted SLA Headquarters about transferring the registration of the URLs of ASKPro.org and ASKP.org.”

Most of the leadership of ALA (soon to be called the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals) have reacted favorably to the change.  James Austin noted that all of the ALA members provide strategic knowledge, either to their organizations or for their patrons.  He asked “Why did it take so long for the ALA to realize this?”  Susan Fernando, a member of the ALA Council, was excited about the impending change.  She said “I will be very proud to put ASKPro on my resume.”

However, there were some minor concerns raised by some of the members.  An anonymous member questioned the name change process.  She said, “Ummm, this wasn’t exactly a bottom up proposal, since I never heard about this until today.  Doesn’t stuff like this need to go through multiple committees?  Didn’t anyone read the by-laws to see how to change the name of ALA? ”

Executive Director Fiels responded to the three complaints.  He said “Tough cookies. The name Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals was available, so we took it.”

Elsevier reverses direction, becomes nonprofit

The Chairman of Reed-Elsevier, Jan Hommen, sent out a press release today announcing a completely new direction for the corporation. As of Monday, July 20, 2009, Reed-Elsevier will buy back all of the stock from their current shareholders, and they will become a private not-for-profit Open Access publisher.  This change in corporate direction will effect Elsevier, LexisNexis, and Reed Business Information.  Reed Exhibitions will be sold off.

In fact, the corporation will be giving back ALL of the profits they had garnered over the last 23 years.  How was 23 years arrived at?  He explained that the ARL started their in-depth analysis of the rise of journal prices in 1986, so 23 years seemed to be a good number.

Starting January 1, 2010, thousands of libraries and thousands of individuals will be given a large windfall from the Billions of dollars (with 7% compounded interest) Reed-Elsevier had made off the backs of libraries and other subscribers.  One very large midwestern public university plans to give $32,451,488.07 back to citizens of the state.  A medium sized east coast private university plans to reduce tuition by 21.7% starting with the Fall 2010 enrollment.  A small liberal arts college library will complete their expansion in 2011, and they plan to name the new wing after either Elsevier or Mr. Hommen.  The student body will take a vote later this summer.

Jane Michaelson, a librarian from one of the institutions noted above, said “Well thank God, it is about time they came to their senses.  During this hard economic time, this is very welcome news, indeed.  Now, I will look forward to meeting with their reps at the next library conference.”

To explain this complete reversal, the Chairman explained that he recently finished reading two books, the Starfish and the Spider: the Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations and Here Comes Everybody: the Power of Organizing Without Organizations.  He realized that the company was just too big and centralized. He then compared the journal publishing industry to the music industry that currently has just five big companies.  As we all know, the music industry is in disarray, and he did not want Reed-Elsevier to go through the same shakeup and turmoil.

As of August 1, 2009, many of their websites will be changed to .org’s. In fact, some of these may currently work — reed-elsevier.org, elsevier.org, sciencedirect.org.  He also stated, “I Can’t believe how self-centered we had become; we now want to promote scholarship and scientific research instead of focusing on profits, stock prices, mergers, share holders, etc.  F*ck the share holders.”