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Market Consolidation and the Demise of the Independently Publishing Research Society

2021 has seen an acceleration of this trend

2021 has been a year of market consolidation. While the big mergers and acquisitions have garnered much attention (most recently Clarivate completing its deal for Proquest and Wiley’s ongoing spending spree), I wanted to bring to light a different area of rapid market consolidation, namely the demise of the independently publishing research society. 2021 has seen an acceleration of this trend, which began in 2018 with the announcement of Plan S.

At the beginning of 2019, I declared that we had entered “The Great Acceleration“, meaning that we were embarking on a period of significant, rapid change, and in that blog post I said the following about Plan S:

Plan S is a great example of acceleration — the research world has been moving slowly toward open access, with different fields moving at different paces via different routes. This evolution has taken place at (not surprisingly) an evolutionary pace, and a small group of significant research funders have declared their impatience with this level of progress. Plan S is a deliberate attempt to accelerate change, throwing a comet into a complex ecosystem in hope that it will produce mammals, rather than mass extinction.

The comet has struck, and we’re now in a period of what one school of evolutionary biology calls a “punctuated equilibrium”, which is the idea that rather than evolution happening gradually and continually, it instead shows long periods of stability and stasis, and then sudden bursts of rapid change.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Scholarly Kitchen.

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