Dear University of Bath,

For the years 2017, 2018, and 2019, please publish the total amount paid to each of the following publishers for academic journals:

Wiley
Springer*
Elsevier
Taylor & Francis
Sage
Oxford University Press
Cambridge University Press
Nature Publishing Group*
Royal Society of Chemistry
Institute of Physics Publishing

I understand that your expenditure records may be held in academic financial years rather than calendar years. If so, I am happy for the response to be provided in the same format, with figures for 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19. (Although 2019 has not ended yet, my understanding is that payments for access to journals for 2019 are likely to have all been made by now.)

The figures should include payments made directly to the publishers as well as any payments made to subscription agents or intermediaries for the purchase of, and/or access to, the publishers' academic journals. They should also include payment for journal packages such as Jisc Collections agreements, as well as for individual journals. Please include VAT where possible, and indicate whether or not figures include VAT.

* Although Springer Nature is the parent company for these two publishers, my understanding is that Springer journals and Nature journals are still paid for separately, so I think it makes sense to regard these as two different publishers with different expenditure amounts.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Lawson

Freedom of Information, University of Bath

Dear Mr Lawson

Your email has been received and we will respond within the statutory timeframe under the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours sincerely

D Bean

Freedom of Information Officer 
University of Bath
4 West 3.10, Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom |
 Telephone: +44 (0)1225 383225                           
Email:  [University of Bath request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information, University of Bath

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lawson

 

 

The University’s response is attached.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

D Bean

 

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  [1]cid:image011.jpg@01D21E18.E760E0E0   Freedom of Information Officer 
    [2]University of Bath
    4 West 3.10, Bath BA2 7AY, United
Kingdom |

 Telephone: +44 (0)1225
383225                           

Email: 
[University of Bath request email]

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References

Visible links
2. http://www.bath.ac.uk/

Dear University of Bath,

Thank you for providing some of the information, this is very helpful. However, with regards to the figures for Elsevier, I disagree with your reasoning and believe that you can (and should) release the information. I have sent the same request to all higher education institutions in the UK, and the majority have now responded to the request by releasing the data – including for Elsevier.

Although the contract for the Elsevier ScienceDirect Journals Agreement includes a clause regarding the release of expenditure figures, it explicitly allows the release of data if you are subject to a Freedom of Information request. This is why most institutions have already released the information.

As a reminder, you have already released expenditure figures for Elsevier in previous years: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a.... The full dataset for all institutions in previous years is available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1186... and https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.4542....

Since negotiations with Elsevier for journal agreements occur on a sector-wide level through a single central negotiator – Jisc Collections – it is not in your institution’s interest for figures to remain secret. Indeed, full transparency of these figures can show your institution how much comparable institutions are paying, allowing you to understand whether you are receiving appropriate value from your payments. The current situation is almost complete transparency with regards to the amounts paid by UK institutions to most of the major journal publishers, including Elsevier. This means that any secrecy is solely to the advantage of Elsevier against their competitors, because their competitors' data is already available. It sees to me that to release figures for other publishers but not Elsevier is not in the interest of fair competition.

Finally, I believe there is a high public interest in releasing the data, as evidenced by the high level of engagement with earlier data releases (https://figshare.altmetric.com/details/2...) and news articles about it (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/new...). It has directly informed UK government policy documents (https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...). The publishing sector is moving towards greater transparency, such as through the forthcoming Plan S requirements (https://www.coalition-s.org/principles-a...). To be accountable for the expenditure of public funds, and to align your practices with best practice across the sector, I urge you again to release the information.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Lawson

Freedom of Information, University of Bath

Dear Mr Lawson

Your email has been received and we will respond within the statutory timeframe under the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours sincerely

D Bean

Freedom of Information Officer 

University of Bath

4 West 3.10, Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom |
 Telephone: +44 (0)1225 383225                           
Email:  [University of Bath request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information, University of Bath

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lawson

 

 

The University’s response is attached.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

D Bean

 

 

 

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  [1]cid:image011.jpg@01D21E18.E760E0E0   Freedom of Information Officer 
    [2]University of Bath
    4 West 3.10, Bath BA2 7AY, United
Kingdom |

 Telephone: +44 (0)1225
383225                           

Email: 
[University of Bath request email]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

References

Visible links
2. http://www.bath.ac.uk/