[open-science] Data expedition idea - scholarly publishing income

Jenny Molloy jenny.molloy at okfn.org
Thu Nov 21 15:46:14 UTC 2013

Hi All

I wondered about a potential collaboration between School of Data and the
Open Science/Open Access working groups on a Data
scholarly publishers and their income.

The bottom line is some make a lot of profit, much of it from public
funding of higher education and research and possibly pay very little tax,
but there's not been much exploration of this beyond some figures on
profits which appear in blogs and a few articles and mostly in text and

It would be great to try and draw a more comprehensive dataset together,
visualise it and tell some stories.

Some figures:
THE Summary: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/421672.article
Full article: https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/9689
>From Mike Taylor

"Here they are again: profits as a percentage of revenue for commercial STM
publishers in 2010 or early 2011:

   - Elsevier: £724m on revenue of £2b — 36%
   - Springer‘s Science+Business Media: £294m on revenue of £866m — 33.9%
   - John Wiley & Sons: $106m on revenue of $253m — 42%
   - Academic division of Informa plc: £47m on revenue of £145m — 32.4%"

Similar figures are also in Heather Morrison's thesis:

A few questions:

   1. Do you think this is a suitable topic for exploration?
   2. What are the thoughts of those who have run data expeditions or
   spending stories type projects before?
   3. Does anyone feel strongly about this and would like to coordinate the
   4. Would anyone like to help out? (could you host a workshop, are you
   organising an event or conference where this could run as a session, are
   you a data wrangler, visualisation expert, journalist, coder, accountant,
   researcher or anybody just interested in digging in?)

Reply to the list and sign up on the pad if so!

Thanks very much :)

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