Information warfare is both tactical and strategic, with much of its success stemming from the weakened economics of the current information economy. Scholarly publishers have experienced this in many ways, from Google Scholar to predatory publishers to pre-print archives — all answers to the calls for “free information” and all revealing tactical and strategic vulnerabilities as accuracy and facts become luxury items in the information war.
The long-desired hope that digital publishing will be cheaper gets more cold water, as infrastructure and personnel costs continue to rise, with no real end in sight.
We know that women are under-represented at the most senior levels of scholarly publishing, but is there also a male/female pay gap at the top? This analysis of publicly available data from 46 US non-profit organizations provides some answers, as well as showing the need for more work on this important topic.
Annual reports from publishing organizations always have a marketing slant, even when they are required filings with governmental bodies. But some are more marketing-oriented than others, and should not be mistaken for transparency, but rather tend toward rationalization. eLife’s recent report, challenging others to be as transparent, is itself opaque and purposeful.
The “crisis in scholarly communication” story is not entirely supported by Association of Research Libraries (ARL) data. Why do we cling to the victim-hero narrative when alternatives exist?
Revisiting Kent Anderson’s 2013 post discussing a study on library spending that suggests that the costs of journals have not increased as much as is commonly claimed, and that the increases seen are due to the increased volume being published.
Publishers have to distinguish between features, products, and businesses. Not all features can become full-fledged businesses. Sometimes the best business case for a feature is to link it to an established business, where it adds value to assets that are already in place.
A look back at some of Rick Anderson’s insightful pieces on the economic realities of journal prices and library budgets.
Over the past three decades, the research library has been receiving a smaller proportion of the university budget. Does this trend reflect the failure of library administrators and the declining relevance of libraries? Or does it tell the story of self-control and growing efficiency against a backdrop of spiraling higher education costs?
Shorter deadlines, email reminders, and cash incentives can speed up the peer review process and minimize unintended effects, a recent study suggests. Can it work for other disciplines?
The author of “How Economics Shapes Science” responds to some questions stimulated by her fine work.
The CPI is an excellent tool for calculating the cost of living but a very bad tool for measuring the purchasing power of libraries.