Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New STM report on the publishing market

International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers, Growth for STM publishers in 2008, press release, October 13, 2009.

The International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (STM) has published, ‘The STM Report: An overview of scientific and scholarly journal publishing’, a follow-up to the 2006 report, ‘Scientific publishing in transition: an overview of current developments’.

Funded by STM, and prepared by Mark Ware Consulting and STM, ‘The STM Report’ collects the available evidence, and provides a comprehensive picture of the trends and currents in scholarly communication. It shows that scholarly communications are undergoing profound changes driven by technology and economic factors, while authors’ core motivations to publish remain stable. ...

Continued growth in output, particularly from China and East Asia, will put further pressure on the system, especially when combined with funders’ desire for greater return on research investments and the pressures on researchers to accelerate the research cycle. ...

The ‘STM Report’ also shows that the debate over business models and access to information paradoxically occurs at a time when access to literature has never been wider nor cost per download lower. Within this maturing debate, there remains an increased interest on an evidence-based approach to these various business models. ...

Comment. It's only paradoxical if one ignores the context. The debates about access are provoked by new technologies (the opening lines of the Budapest Open Access Initiative make that clear). Independent of the debate, publishers have adopted some of those technologies in ways that improve access. Publishers have also responded to the debate, in part, by improving access. Those actions, in turn, prompt further debate. For instance, the existence of HINARI doesn't merely silence debate about access to health research in developing countries; it also prompts the question, "Is HINARI enough?"

See also our past post on the earlier report.