Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Bundled APCs Considered Harmful

In More From Mackie-Mason on Gold Open Access I wrote
The publishers ... are pushing bundled APCs to librarians as a way to retain the ability to extract monopoly rents. As the Library Loon perceptively points out:
The key aspect of Elsevier’s business model that it will do its level best to retain in any acquisitions or service launches is the disconnect between service users and service purchasers.
I just realized that there is another pernicious aspect of bundled APC (Author Processing Charges) deals such as the recent deal between the Gates Foundation and AAAS. It isn't just that the deal involves Gates paying over the odds. It is that AAAS gets the money without necessarily publishing any articles. This gives them a financial incentive to reject Gates-funded articles, which would take up space in the journal for which AAAS could otherwise charge an APC.

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