UC Libraries vs. the Nature Publishing Group

Earlier this month, a letter was circulated to the UC Faculty regarding the Nature Publishing Group (NPG)’s proposal to increase the licensing fees for online access by 400%, which is pretty dramatic given a) the high cost of the subscription in the first place and b) the fact that library budgets are going down. There was a suggestion of a boycott.

NPG felt like they had been misrepresented, and issued a press statement saying “you guys are a bunch of whiners, our stuff is the best, and 7% price hikes per year is totally reasonable.” Furthermore, they said “you guys have been getting a crazy good deal for way too long anyhow and its time you paid your fair share.” I suppose behaving like complete jerks is an ok way to react when you are trying to sell somebody something, especially something that is made up of stuff written by your potential buyers. I wonder what their profit margins are like.

The University of California responded, pointing out that 7% increases, compounded, starts getting out of hand pretty fast. “Plainly put, UC Faculty do not
think that their libraries should have to pay exorbitant and unreasonable fees to get access to their own work.”

Looks like PLoS better start rolling out some new titles!

More info can be found at the OSC website, which oddly doesn’t say what OSC stands for.

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One thought on “UC Libraries vs. the Nature Publishing Group

  1. I am totally in favor of PLoS open access journals. You charge the author for publication fees, proportional to costs in each country. Free riding in PLoS (where american labs pay, but others don’t) will also fail to work well in the long run…

    I think some of these publishing houses must be under huge pressure as well, given the state of the economy. Beyond universities, some of their subscribers are usually research institutions, and companies that need the type of information they provide. These later two have been cutting budges deeply…

    It amazes me that although we submit almost finalized versions of our papers, the cost for publishing is still so high. Maybe a new model is needed…

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