Category Archives: Commercial Publishers

Beyond BPCs – MIT Press: Direct To Open (D2O)

For anyone wishing to publish open access (OA) scholarly monograph, the book processing charges (BPCs) typically raised by publishers can be an obstacle. This blog series will provide an overview of alternative publishing funding models (Subscribe to Open) for open access monographs in which UVic Libraries participate. The range of innovative approaches to sustainable funding of OA books highlighted here all has in common that authors are relieved of paying costly publication fees.

Direct to Open logo

MIT Press is a renowned academic publisher with strong advocacy for publishing Open Access.  Beginning in 2022, all new monographs and edited volumes published by MIT Press will be made freely available through the Direct To Open program.

The D2O funding model focuses on libraries, not authors. Participating libraries collectively raise a certain amount to cover the cost of making the books available in open access. Bundled into themed packages, participating institutions can decide which content they would like to support.

By default, all D2O titles are published under a CC-BY-NC-ND license, but authors are free to choose another Creative Commons license. All books are listed on MIT Press’ own e-book platform, MIT Press Direct, in major discovery indexes, and in established OA inventories, like the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). Parallel print editions will be available in bookstores. By distributing each D2O title through multiple channels, they receive the widest possible visibility and dissemination. 

UVic Libraries is participating in the program, thanks to which over 30 titles have already been made openly accessible in 2022.

If you have any questions related to the program, please contact the Office of Scholarly Communication.

Free Public Screening of Film “Paywall: the Business of Scholarship” – Open Access Week 2018

Join us at the UVic Libraries Digital Scholarship Commons for a public screening of the documentary, “Paywall”. Everyone is welcome. There will be popcorn provided!

A public screening of the movie will be held on:

Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Time: 2-4:30pm.

Panel discussion to follow the movie until 4:30pm Panelists include:

  • Dr. Frank van Veggel, Chemistry
  • Dr. Chris Eagle, Math. & Stats.
  • Lisa Petrachenko, Associate University Librarian, Research & Collections
  • Maxwell Nicholson, Senior Economics Lab Instructor & Undergraduate student
  • Alyssa Arbuckle, Ph.D Candidate & Associate Director, ETCL

Where: UVic Libraries, Digital Scholarly Commons

Please register at

paywall movie poster

About the filmPaywall: The Business of Scholarship is a documentary which:

  • focuses on the need for open access to research and science
  • questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers
  • examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier, and
  • looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google.

Produced and directed by Jason Schmitt, Clarkson University, NY

The film is also available to stream for free here:



Science publishers try to combat unauthorized paper sharing

Quirin Schiermeier | Nature | 10 May 2017

Ross Mounce knows that when he shares his research papers online, he may be doing something illegal — if he uploads the final version of a paper that has appeared in a subscription-based journal. Publishers who own copyright on such papers frown on their unauthorized appearance online. Yet when Mounce has uploaded his paywalled articles to ResearchGate, a scholarly social network…

Some publishers say “Legal action and take-down notices are no sustainable manner to remove unauthorized content from social research networks.” STM developed a website called ‘How can I share it?’ – – detailing terms of archiving and sharing for subscription journals.

Read more on this story at:

Some perspectives on “predatory publishing”

Predatory open access publishing is a model where journals charge publication fees and provide minimal peer review or quality control for their authors. The term “predatory publishing” was popularized by Jeffrey Beall, librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver. Beall maintains a list of predatory publishers (last updated on July 27, 2015), who meet the criteria set out in this document.

The list focuses entirely on Open Access publishers and, in a 2013 article, Beall posits that while “the open-access (OA) movement purports to be about making scholarly content open-access, its true motives are much different. The OA movement is an anti-corporatist movement that wants to deny the freedom of the press to companies it disagrees with. The movement is also actively imposing onerous mandates on researchers, mandates that restrict individual freedom.”

The list has been a topic of much discussion in scholarly communications since its first publication in 2010. Below are some highlights from recent discussions.

In March, two librarians at City University of New York, Monica Berger and Jill Cirasella published “Beyond Bealle’s List”, which was reposted on the London School of Economics blog.

The authors point out that deceptive journal practices predate the OA movement, that there are mediocre subscription-based journals and many that charge author-side fees. They note that even well respected journals accept very problematic submissions (the authors draw attention to the Lancet’s article linking autism with childhood vaccines and Alan Sokal’s hoax article published in Social Text). They also point to recent work which suggests that Beall’s work often conflates poor quality and predatory. The authors note that the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has recently changed their inclusion criteria to weed out predatory publishers. Berger and Cirasella also point to a rubric devised by two Grand Valley State Librarians that allows scholars to evaluate journals.

Over at the scholarly kitchen blog, Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Collections and Scholarly Communication at the University of Utah, has questioned whether the term “predatory publishing” is still useful. He notes, along with others, that Beall “only examines one kind of predation… What about toll-access publishers that jump on the OA bandwagon “just for the fees”?… What about publishers who simply do an unconscionably poor job of fulfilling their obligations to authors, or who unethically leverage their monopoly power to maximize revenue at the expense of libraries-a practice some characterize as "predatory pricing"? And what about the authors who intentionally use the services of fraudulent publishers in order to deceive their colleagues or employers, or who engage in dishonest manipulation of the peer-review process? Aren't they "predators" as well?”

In place of the term “predatory”, Anderson suggests switching to the term “scholarly bad faith” which would encapsulate all this sort of behavior.

On the Digital Science blog, Phill Jones suggests that predatory publishing may be a “symptom of global information inequality.”

When publishing research, scholars should also be aware that credible journals can either be "hijacked" by third parties and that reputable journals can be sold to publishers who may not maintain editorial standards.

Dutch Institutions versus Elsevier

According to a recent article from the Times Higher Education, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) is planning to ask Dutch editors of Elsevier journals to step down from their positions in order to put pressure on the publisher while the universities negotiate renewals on their subscription package. Negotiations between Elsevier and the Dutch institutions have been stalled since last year.

VSNU’s goal is to make all of the country’s scientific output open access by 2024.

South African institutions sign petition against Elsevier

Academic institutions and governmental agencies in South Africa have signed the Confederation of Open Access Repositories’ (COAR) petition against scholarly publishing giant Elsevier and its new sharing policy. They join a host of institutions from around the world. The full petition and signatories can be found here.

Robert Moropa from the University of Pretoria expressed concerns about increased embargoes on research saying: “[These] policies will have an impact of up to 25% of the materials that we upload to [our institutional] repository, meaning that 25% of [the university's] research outputs, in post-print version, will be embargoed for at least 12 months but could go as high as 36 months… This will influence our visibility, citations, rankings and the moral obligation we have to make research accessible to the general public that supported this research… by paying their taxes.”

Read the full article on the Mail and Guardian here.

Springer Acquires ‘Living’ Open Access Journals

Springer, the scholarly publishing giant, has acquired three important open access journals: Living Reviews in Relativity, Living Reviews in Solar Physics and Living Reviews in Computational Astrophysics.

The earliest of these journals was launched in 1998 by Germany’s Max Planck Society. The journals are “alive” in the sense that the authors can continually update their articles, thereby ensuring they won’t become outdated as research evolves.

In a press release, Bruce Allen, one of the managing directors at the Institute, has stated that the journal will continue to remain open access.

Former Elsevier head talks about his new book

Former Elsevier president John J. Regazzi (now dean of the College of Information and Computer Science at Long Island University)  has recently authored a book entitled Scholarly Communications: A History from Content as King to Content as Kingmaker.

In an interview with Publishers’ Weekly, Regazzi discusses the growth of scholarly communications and his transition from the corporate publishing world to the world of academia. He maintains his stance as a “proponent for a market-driven information economy” and expresses his concerns about the “increasing levels of government and quasigovernment regulations in the industry.”

Unfortunately, the UVic library does not have a copy of Regazzi’s latest tome. However, the library does have a copy of Regazzi’s 2014 eBook Infonomics and the Business of Free, for your reading pleasure.

If you simply must read the latest book, please don’t hesitate to use the library’s Interlibrary Loan service.