Limits...
The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era.

Larivière V, Haustein S, Mongeon P - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: NMS disciplines are in between, mainly because of the strength of their scientific societies, such as the ACS in chemistry or APS in physics.The paper also examines the migration of journals between small and big publishing houses and explores the effect of publisher change on citation impact.It concludes with a discussion on the economics of scholarly publishing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC. H3C 3J7, Canada; Observatoire des Sciences et des Technologies (OST), Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur la Science et la Technologie (CIRST), Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC. H3C 3P8, Canada.

ABSTRACT
The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers' high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines, has not yet been analyzed. This paper provides such analysis, based on 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period 1973-2013. It shows that in both natural and medical sciences (NMS) and social sciences and humanities (SSH), Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, and Taylor & Francis increased their share of the published output, especially since the advent of the digital era (mid-1990s). Combined, the top five most prolific publishers account for more than 50% of all papers published in 2013. Disciplines of the social sciences have the highest level of concentration (70% of papers from the top five publishers), while the humanities have remained relatively independent (20% from top five publishers). NMS disciplines are in between, mainly because of the strength of their scientific societies, such as the ACS in chemistry or APS in physics. The paper also examines the migration of journals between small and big publishing houses and explores the effect of publisher change on citation impact. It concludes with a discussion on the economics of scholarly publishing.

No MeSH data available.


Number of journals changing from small to big publishers, and big to small publishers per year of change in the Natural and Medical Sciences and Social Sciences & Humanities.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4465327&req=5

pone.0127502.g002: Number of journals changing from small to big publishers, and big to small publishers per year of change in the Natural and Medical Sciences and Social Sciences & Humanities.

Mentions: The increase in the top publishers’ share of scientific output has two main causes: 1) the creation of new journals and 2) existing journals being acquired by these publishers. Fig 2 presents, for both NMS and SSH, the number of journals over time that changed ownership from small to big publishers—that is, the four publishers with the largest share of published papers in both NMS and SSH—and, for NMS, the number of journals that moved from big to small publishing houses. Since we intend to emphasize developments of the publishing market by publisher type and not single actors, changes among small as well as among big publishers are not shown. It can be seen in both domains that, before 1997, publisher type changes were overall quite rare and the majority consisted of changes from big to small publishers in NMS. Importantly, not a single journal was found to have switched from a big to small publisher in SSH during the entire period of analysis. A first important large wave of journal acquisitions by the big publishers occurred in 1997–1998, when Taylor & Francis acquired several journals from Gordon & Breach Science Publishers, Harwood Academic Publishers, Scandinavian University Press, Carfax Publishing and Routledge. In the same period Reed-Elsevier acquired a few small publishers like Butterworth-Heinemann, Ablex Publications, JAI press, Gauthier-Villars and Expansion Scientifique Française. The next important peak occurred in 2001, and is mainly due to Reed-Elsevier continuing a series of acquisitions, including Academic Press, Churchill Livingstone, Mosby and WB Saunders. Finally, the peak of 2004 is mainly due to the acquisition of Kluwer Academic Publishers by Springer, who had not previously been involved in substantial journal acquisition activities. Wiley-Blackwell’s contribution to the four peaks in Fig 2 was steadier, with the company acquiring an average of 39 journals annually from various publishers during the 2001–2004 period.


The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era.

Larivière V, Haustein S, Mongeon P - PLoS ONE (2015)

Number of journals changing from small to big publishers, and big to small publishers per year of change in the Natural and Medical Sciences and Social Sciences & Humanities.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4465327&req=5

pone.0127502.g002: Number of journals changing from small to big publishers, and big to small publishers per year of change in the Natural and Medical Sciences and Social Sciences & Humanities.
Mentions: The increase in the top publishers’ share of scientific output has two main causes: 1) the creation of new journals and 2) existing journals being acquired by these publishers. Fig 2 presents, for both NMS and SSH, the number of journals over time that changed ownership from small to big publishers—that is, the four publishers with the largest share of published papers in both NMS and SSH—and, for NMS, the number of journals that moved from big to small publishing houses. Since we intend to emphasize developments of the publishing market by publisher type and not single actors, changes among small as well as among big publishers are not shown. It can be seen in both domains that, before 1997, publisher type changes were overall quite rare and the majority consisted of changes from big to small publishers in NMS. Importantly, not a single journal was found to have switched from a big to small publisher in SSH during the entire period of analysis. A first important large wave of journal acquisitions by the big publishers occurred in 1997–1998, when Taylor & Francis acquired several journals from Gordon & Breach Science Publishers, Harwood Academic Publishers, Scandinavian University Press, Carfax Publishing and Routledge. In the same period Reed-Elsevier acquired a few small publishers like Butterworth-Heinemann, Ablex Publications, JAI press, Gauthier-Villars and Expansion Scientifique Française. The next important peak occurred in 2001, and is mainly due to Reed-Elsevier continuing a series of acquisitions, including Academic Press, Churchill Livingstone, Mosby and WB Saunders. Finally, the peak of 2004 is mainly due to the acquisition of Kluwer Academic Publishers by Springer, who had not previously been involved in substantial journal acquisition activities. Wiley-Blackwell’s contribution to the four peaks in Fig 2 was steadier, with the company acquiring an average of 39 journals annually from various publishers during the 2001–2004 period.

Bottom Line: NMS disciplines are in between, mainly because of the strength of their scientific societies, such as the ACS in chemistry or APS in physics.The paper also examines the migration of journals between small and big publishing houses and explores the effect of publisher change on citation impact.It concludes with a discussion on the economics of scholarly publishing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC. H3C 3J7, Canada; Observatoire des Sciences et des Technologies (OST), Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur la Science et la Technologie (CIRST), Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC. H3C 3P8, Canada.

ABSTRACT
The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers' high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines, has not yet been analyzed. This paper provides such analysis, based on 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period 1973-2013. It shows that in both natural and medical sciences (NMS) and social sciences and humanities (SSH), Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, and Taylor & Francis increased their share of the published output, especially since the advent of the digital era (mid-1990s). Combined, the top five most prolific publishers account for more than 50% of all papers published in 2013. Disciplines of the social sciences have the highest level of concentration (70% of papers from the top five publishers), while the humanities have remained relatively independent (20% from top five publishers). NMS disciplines are in between, mainly because of the strength of their scientific societies, such as the ACS in chemistry or APS in physics. The paper also examines the migration of journals between small and big publishing houses and explores the effect of publisher change on citation impact. It concludes with a discussion on the economics of scholarly publishing.

No MeSH data available.