EUA asks EC to investigate lack of competition in academic publishing
The European University Association (EUA) has published a statement expressing its concern about the lack of transparency and competition in the scholarly publishing business sector in Europe. The statement asks the European Commission (EC) for an investigation to clarify if competition rules guarantee fair competition market conditions in this sector. The statement was sent as an informal complaint to the Directorate-General for Competition.
EUA complains of increasing concentration of the sector in a few large companies; strict confidentiality clauses in the contracts leading to a lack of transparency in pricing; and what it regards as a clear asymmetry in negotiating power between research organisations and publishers. According to EUA, digitalisation and technological change have not led to more competition but have, instead, exacerbated the situation.
EUA finds that the current lack of transparency and competition is harmful to knowledge dissemination and the progress towards a European science system based on Open Science, and fears that it may also inhibit the implementation of “Plan S” signed by research funding organisations and the EC to make publicly-funded scholarly publications openly available as of 2020.
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