New PhD chapter draft

Today I’ve uploaded the latest draft of the first chapter of my thesis, ‘Access to Knowledge: Academic Publishing.’ It is still incomplete and may change significantly before the final text is due to be completed in Autumn 2018, but it gives a good indication of the kind of historical background that I think is important […]

Upgrading from MPhil to PhD

For my PhD at Birkbeck, all research students are initially enrolled as MPhil students and then apply to upgrade to PhD status when they are around half way through. The main requirement is that we submit 20,000 words of publishable-quality work. I’ve applied for my upgrade this week so I thought I’d share here the […]

A new Elsevier journal agreement

When two organisations conclude a business deal, they invariably release a banal press release hailing the success of the deal and how great it is for both parties. The new Elsevier journal agreement, negotiated by Jisc Collections on behalf of the UK’s higher education sector, is no exception. Yesterday’s press release is short on detail […]

Report on offset agreements

As part of the requirements for my PhD funding, which is partly funded by Jisc, I am producing three annual reports evaluating the offset agreements negotiated by Jisc Collections. Offset agreements with academic journal publishers are designed to reduce the overall cost to academic libraries of supporting scholarly publishing by ‘offsetting’ the costs of journal […]

Project proposal: Non-disclosure agreements in journal contracts

Contracts that academic libraries sign with publishers sometimes have non-disclosure agreements forbidding the library from publicly stating the price or terms of the contract. Along with my PhD supervisor Martin Eve, I recently submitted a short project proposal to a funding body to investigate the international usage of non-disclosure agreements in journal contracts. The funding […]