Guardian Article on the Scholarly Publishing Market

A recent article in the Guardian has generated much discussion online (see the numerous comments on the article itself!). George Monbiot does not mince words when describing the current economics of the scholarly publishing market.
A sample:
” Murdoch pays his journalists and editors, and his companies generate much of the content they use. But the academic publishers get their articles, their peer reviewing (vetting by other researchers) and even much of their editing for free. The material they publish was commissioned and funded not by them but by us, through government research grants and academic stipends. But to see it, we must pay again, and through the nose. ”
And…
” What we see here is pure rentier capitalism: monopolising a public resource then charging exorbitant fees to use it. Another term for it is economic parasitism. To obtain the knowledge for which we have already paid, we must surrender our feu to the lairds of learning. ”
Citation:
George Monbiot, Academic Publishers Make Murdoch Look Like a Socialist, The Guardian, August 29, 2011

Open Access Books?

The open access movement has mostly focused on counteracting the high-cost of serial publications. But now there is the beginnings of an open access movement for books too!
OAPEN is an initiative in Open Access publishing for humanities and social sciences monographs. The consortium of University-based academic publishers who make up OAPEN believe that the time is ripe to bring the successes of scientific Open Access publishing to the humanities and social sciences.”
Browse the titles available so far: http://oapen.org/search?browse-all=yes

Call for Papers – Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

The first official call for papers of the new Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication (JLSC) has just gone out!
The inaugural issue of JLSC will focus on the theme of “Defining Scholarly Communication” and is due out in Spring 2012.
From the About JLSC page:

“The Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication is a quarterly, peer-reviewed open-access publication for original articles, reviews and case studies that analyze or describe the strategies, partnerships and impact of library-led digital projects, online publishing and scholarly communication initiatives.
JLSC provides a focused forum for library practitioners to share ideas, strategies, research and pragmatic explorations of library-led initiatives related to such areas as institutional repository and digital collection management, library publishing/hosting services and authors’ rights advocacy efforts. As technology, scholarly communication, the economics of publishing, and the roles of libraries all continue to evolve, the work shared in JLSC informs practices that strengthen librarianship.
The Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication is a shared intellectual space for scholarly communication librarians, institutional repository managers, digital archivists, digital data managers and related professionals.”