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[8 Sep 2017 | Comments Off on Pushing costs upstream and risks downstream: Making a journal publisher profitable | ]

I’m not quite sure exactly what was the reason but there was a recent flare-up of the good old “how much does it cost to publish a scholarly article” discussion recently. Partly driven by the Guardian article from last month on the history of 20th century scholarly publishing. But really this conversation just rumbles along with a regular flare up when someone does a new calculation that comes to a new number, or some assertion is made about “value” by some stakeholder.
Probably the most sensible thing said in the most …

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[6 Jul 2017 | Comments Off on Thinking Collectively…or How to Get Something Out of Neoliberal Critique Without (Immediately) Overthrowing the Capitalist System | ]

One of the things I find frustrating about discussions of economics in scholarly publishing is the way that discussions that are built around critique of capital models or neoliberalism are dismissed as impractical. Most recently Stuart Lawson’s interesting provocation, Against Capital, got a range of dismissive comments as being irrelevant because it required the overthrow of the capitalist system.
I find this, alongside another kind of response, most commonly from people in the business of scholarly publishing that such criticisms represent a failure to understand the financial realities of publishing, frustrating …

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[16 Jun 2017 | 8 Comments | ]

The following will come across as a rant. Which it is. But it’s a well intentioned rant. Please bear in mind that I care about good practice in data sharing, documentation, and preservation. I know there are many people working to support it, generally under-funded, often having to justify their existence to higher-ups who care more about the next Glam Mag article than whether there’s any evidence to support the findings. But, and its an important but, those political fights won’t become easier until researchers know those people exist, value …

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[5 Jun 2017 | 2 Comments | ]

This is my submitted paper to ElPub, a conference running in Cyprus over the next few days. I’m posting it here as a kind-of-preprint. Comments and thoughts are welcome. The version in the proceedings is available online as part of Chan and Loizides (eds) Expanding Perspectives on Open Science: Communities, Cultures and Diversity in Concepts and Practices.

The debate over the meaning, and value, of open movements has intensified. The fear of co-option of various efforts from Open Access to Open Data is driving a reassessment and re-definition of what is …

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[7 Oct 2016 | 3 Comments | ]

This a set of notes for my talk at Duke University this week. It draws on the Political Economy of Publishing series as well as other work I’ve been involved with by Jason Potts at RMIT amongst others. The title of the talk is “Sustainable Futures for Research Communication” and you can find the abstract at the Duke event page.
The video is now available along with the slides. The lecture capture didn’t get such a clear view of the slides so you may want to bring both up and play along.
Sustainability …

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[2 Aug 2016 | Comments Off on Submission to the European Commission Expert Group on Altmetrics | ]

As part of the broader Open Science agenda of the European Commission an expert group on “altmetrics” has been formed. This group has a remit to consider how indicators of research performance can be used effectively to enhance the strategic goals of the commission and the risks and opportunities that new forms of data pose to the research enterprise. This is my personal submission. 
Next Generation Altmetrics
Submission by Cameron Neylon, Professor of Research Communications, Curtin University
1. Introduction
The European Commission has an ambitious program for Open Science as part of three aspirations, …

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[7 Jun 2016 | 2 Comments | ]
Canaries in the Elsevier Mine: What to watch for at SSRN

Just to declare various conflicts of interest: I regard Gregg Gordon, CEO of SSRN as a friend and have always been impressed at what he has achieved at SSRN. From the perspective of what is best for the services SSRN can offer to researchers, selling to Elsevier was a smart opportunity and probably the best of the options available given the need for investment. My concerns are at the ecosystem level. What does this mean for the system as a whole? 
The first two paragraphs of this post have been edited following …

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[10 May 2016 | Comments Off on PolEcon of OA Publishing VI: Economies of Scale | ]
PolEcon of OA Publishing VI: Economies of Scale

I think I committed to one of these every two weeks didn’t I? So already behind? Some of what I intended in this section already got covered in What are the assets of a journal? and the other piece Critiquing the Standard Analytics Paper so this is headed in a slightly different direction from originally planned.
There are two things you frequently hear in criticism of scholarly publishers. One is “why can’t they do X? It’s trivial. Service Y does this for free and much better!”. I covered some of the reasons that this is …

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[5 May 2016 | One Comment | ]

This morning I received an email from a senior policy person. They’d read my blog post on Marginal Costs of Article Publishing but they couldn’t seem to get to the original article from Standard Analytics that I was commenting on. I took a look myself and found the following.

If you remember the claim of the original article was that platform and cloud provision costs meant that really the marginal cost of publishing was below $1. My comment was that there were lots of costs that were missing, and that marginal …

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[15 Mar 2016 | 35 Comments | ]
European Commission Open Science Policy Platform

The following is my application to join the European Commission Open Science Policy Platform. The OSPP will provide expert advice to the European Commission on implementing the broader Open Science Agenda. As you will see some of us have a concern that the focus of the call is on organisations, rather than communities. This is a departure from much of the focus that the Commission itself has adopted on the potential benefits and opportunities of Open Science. A few of us are therefore applying as representatives of the community of interested …