# C. Sean Burns: Notebook

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 teaching:markets-and-economics [2019/02/18 13:19]seanburns — (current) Both sides previous revision Previous revision 2020/09/23 09:04 seanburns removed2019/02/18 13:19 seanburns 2019/02/18 13:16 seanburns 2019/02/18 13:15 seanburns created Next revision Previous revision 2020/09/23 09:04 seanburns removed2019/02/18 13:19 seanburns 2019/02/18 13:16 seanburns 2019/02/18 13:15 seanburns created Line 1: Line 1: - - # Market and Economics - **Date: Thu 03 Mar 2019** - ## Copyright and Budgets - - This week we're reading a piece on the ebook market, by Joseph Sanchez - (2015), and one on the academic journal market, by Bosch, Albee, and - Henderson (2018), and how each impacts library budgets. - - In order to understand Sanchez's article, we need to address some copyright - topics, and so in the next part of this lecture, I'll talk about copyright and - the first sale doctrine and how digital works have disrupted some basic ways - that libraries function. The article by Bosch, Albee, and Henderson discusses - a similar case among academic libraries, but with academic or scholarly - journals as the focal point, and here I'll also address some of the citation - metrics they discuss. - - ### Sanchez (2015) - - Copyright law grants a monopoly to the person or corporate owner of an - intellectual property. That is, the copyright owner has exclusive rights - over the material that they own, where *they* could be a person or an - organizational entity. Section 106 of the law grants copyright owners - the following rights: - - > (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords; - > - > (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work; - > - > (3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to - > the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, - > lease, or lending; - > - > (4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic - > works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to - > perform the copyrighted work publicly; - > - > (5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic - > works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, - > including the individual images of a motion picture or other - > audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and - > - > (6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work - > publicly by means of a digital audio transmission. - - Source: [https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#106][1] - - [1]: https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#106 - - These exclusive rights are all encompassing, and intentionally designed - to allow copyright owners a monopoly of their property. In principle and - under some constraints, this is a good thing. However, there are some - implications that we should consider. - - In short, if those exclusive rights were followed without any limitations, then - it would mean that the exchange of money for a work between a copyright holder - and a buyer for a physical book, a physical DVD disk, etc. would not entail - a transfer of ownership of that physical copy; that is, it would not allow the - buyer of the physical item any distribution rights of the item once the first - exchange has been made. Under such a scenario, libraries would be able to buy - physical books but would not be able lend them. Sounds ludicrous? - - The [First Sale Doctrine][2] helps avoid the issue granted by the full blown - list of exclusive rights granted by copyright ownership. Because of the first - sale doctrine, made a precedent in the early 20th century and then [codified - into law in 1976][3], you, I, or a library may buy a physical copy of a work, - such as a book, a DVD, a painting, and literally own that specific copy. First - sale doctrine does not grant us reproduction rights, as they are listed in - Section 106 of the copyright law, but it does allow us to distribute the - singular, physical representation or embodiment of the work that we have - purchased. Thus, this first sale doctrine is why libraries were able to thrive - throughout the 20th century, lend material, and preserve it. More mundanely, - it's also why I can buy a book at a bookstore and later give it away or sell it - to someone after I've finished it, such as at a used bookstore. - - [2]:https://www.copyright.gov/docs/resaleroyalty/ - [3]:http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#109 - - The digital medium makes things messier, though. There are two big reasons for - this. One, digital works are not subject to the same distributions constraints - that physical works are subject to, and the first sale doctrine is all about - distribution rights, not reproduction rights. If I have a physical copy of some - book and give you my copy of that book, then I no longer have that copy. - However, if I have a copy of a digital file, then as we all know, it's - relatively trivial for me to share that file with you without losing access to - my own copy. Since digital works can be copied and distributed without anyone - losing access to their copies or even to the original, the First Sale Doctrine - does not apply. In the digital space, there are far fewer limitations on - supply, including on lending. - - Second, many digital works are like software, or at the very least, they are - fully intertwined with the software needed to display them. This is true for - all kinds of documents, such as HTML pages in the browser or audio files played - through a media player. But let's consider ebooks as an example. Ebooks come in - all shapes and sizes. Project Gutenberg distributes ebooks that are in the - public domain and in various file formats, such as plain text documents that - have no presentation markup like bold, italics, etc., HTML documents with - markup, XML documents like EPUB, and then also PDFs and others. Why so many - file formats? Text is text, right, and in the print space, a book is simply - printed on a page, even if it's sometimes printed on different size pages or - using different type settings. But these various markups exist because they - each offer technological or presentational advantages and are often tied to - specific pieces of software. - - This is especially true for proprietary file formats, like the ones that Amazon - created for use only on Kindles, or the popular MP3 file format for audio - recordings that only recently became patent free. While file formats like these - may not be necessarily counted as software, depending on how we define - software, but more like data structures, it is certainly true that file formats - and the specific software applications that display can be completely - intertwined. If you are old enough, you may remember the headaches caused with - files created as **.doc** in some early version of Microsoft Word that later - failed to display properly in a future Microsoft Word version or in some other - word document software. - - In short, these complexities introduce obstacles to the first sale doctrine and - raise other copyright issues because of the connection to software, which is - also often copyrighted. The result is that copyright holders and publishers - have little financial interest in selling actual digital copies of works, since - they cannot prevent future sales without impacting, i.e., limiting supply, and - instead are more motivated to license material and sometimes explicitly tie - that material to specific pieces of software and hardware, such as the Kindle, - which would have to be bought. - - What does this mean for libraries in the digital age? It means that libraries - buy less and rent or license more, and renting means that they continually pay - for something for as long as they want access to it. As Sanchez (2015) puts it, - "At its simplest, this takes the form of paying x dollars per year per title - during the length of the contract." When the total supply of works increases, - e.g., the total number of published books increases, as they do each year, then - it means renting more and more without ever completely acquiring. When budgets - are cut or are stagnant, this ultimately means a decline in the collection - a library has to offer, or if not a decline in the collection, then cuts in - some other areas of a library, such as the number of librarians or other staff. - This is the unique conundrum that Sanchez raises in his article. - - If that alone were the issue, maybe librarians could figure out other - sustainable ways to proceed, but Sanchez raises additional issues and - questions: what if publishers raise the prices for digital content at an annual - rate faster than what they already raise for print content (reasonable - assumption)? If so, does that mean that librarians will be able to afford fewer - titles, digital or print, unless they raise their budgets, and, as they weed, - how would that impact the physical space of the library? See figure 2.3, - specifically, from Sanchez's article. The plot shows just how much could be - lost and how little gained if the forecasts Sanchez discusses pan out. - - Keep all of this in mind as you process Sanchez's article. You can even connect - it to some discussions you've already had about accessing digital content. - Specifically, there are many ways to put constraints on the supply of an item - in the digital landscape, as opposed to limiting supply in the physical space, - which include fewer methods. That is, it's relatively easy for publishers and - others to restrict the supply of physical works. They simply have to limit how - many of those physical works are manufactured (e.g., the number of print runs). - But given the nature of digital content, restricting supply is driven by the - technologies available to do so, and since there are so many publishers and - distribution points, then each one of these points will often create their own - unique type of constraint on the supply. The result is that there will be - a number of confusing methods implemented to limit constraint, even if these - limitations are marketed as selling points. In practice, this may mean that - only a limited number of people may "check" out a work from a library at one - time, or access a database at one time, and so forth. Thus the budget issue has - an impact on access and usability. - - Read more about copyright: - - [https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html][4] - - [4]:https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html - - ### Bosch, Albee, & Henderson (2018) - - Although ebooks likely represent the biggest impact on public library budgets, - academic libraries are largely concerned with scholarly journals. Like Sanchez - (2015), Bosch, Albee, & Henderson (2018) show that the major issue here is that - academic library budgets are declining or holding flat, even though prices - continue to increase for journal titles and though the number of published - articles increase. This raises an interesting phenomenon -- that although - researchers are among the most hurt by the lack of access to research, - researchers are also part of the cause of the increase simply because they - continue to publish more and more. Ironically, the result of that rate of - increase is less access for all or most. - - The authors also note that part of the drive to publish includes a drive to - publish in so-called *prestigious* journal titles, where *prestigious* is - determined by how well cited the title is. The authors refer to a few - citation-based metrics that the research community uses to determine prestige. - These include the long-established *Impact Factor*, which can be examined in - the *Journal Citation Reports* (JCR) provided by Clarivate Analytics, as well - as newer ones, such as the *Eigenfactor* and the *Article Influence Score*, - which can also be examined in JCR (the eigenfactor.org site is not well - updated, at the time of this writing). - - One motivation for using some sort of citation metric as the basis of - evaluating journal titles is because citation metrics indicate, at some level, - the use of the title. That is, a citation to an article in a journal title - means, ideally, that the authors citing that article have read the article. - Historically, when Eugene Garfield invented the *Impact Factor*, it was partly - so as a tool for librarians to use in collection management because he - recognized this use-based theory of citations. - - However, citation metrics should never be the sole or even primary tool for - such purposes, though. While they may provide good information, there are many - caveats. First, there are different fields of research, and some fields cite at - different rates and at different volumes than other fields, and also for - different reasons. This is why, in Table 5 of the Bosch, Albee, and Henderson - (2018) article, the cost per cite for journals in the Philosophy & Religion - category are so much higher that the cost per cite of titles in other - categories. Authors in P&R simply have different citation and publishing - behaviors than authors in other categories. Second, citations do not capture - all uses of a journal. For example, there are many journal titles that I might - use in my courses but may not use in my research, and this is true for many - other faculty, yet citation metrics won't reflect that kind of use. The authors - refer to *altmetrics*, which was invented to help capture additional non-citing - uses of scholarly products, but altmetrics is still in its infancy and is - largely dependent on data sources and scholarly behavior that are problematic - themselves. Third, there are various issues with the metrics themselves. The - *Impact Factor* is based on a calculation that is outdated and not a very - appropriate statistical measure. The other calculations were created to address - that but may have other problems. And four, the use of the metrics, regardless - of which one, tends to drive publishing behavior -- such that journal titles - with higher metrics tend to attract more submissions and more attention, thus - driving more citations to them. Thus, citation based metrics are comparable to - a kind of capitalist economic system where, as the sociologist of science - Robert Merton noted, the richer get richer and the poor get poorer. The issue - then is that prestige, defined in this way, does not necessarily indicate - quality -- just use. - - The authors also discuss some of the issues with *Gold Open Access* and the - idea that Gold OA may compound the cost problem. This is where authors pay - a publication fee, or an article processing charge (APC), once a manuscript has - been submitted and accepted by a journal (there are other types of Gold OA cost - models). We can do a quick off the cuff and rough calculation to see why this - might compound the problem. As an example, *PLOS ONE* is one of the largest - gold OA journals and charges an [APC of $1,595 USD][5]. In 2018, 32 papers were - published in PLOS ONE that included at least one author from the University of - Kentucky, totaling$51,040 in APCs for the 50 total institutions that were - associated with these papers. Thus, this amounts to about $1020 per - institution, payed for by the authors and not libraries. For UK authors, this - also amounts to over$32,640 spent on APCs (32 * $1020). This is about$27K - more than the average price of the most expensive category, Chemistry, as - reported in Table 1 of the reading. I'll leave it at that. - - In a follow up video, I'll demonstrate some of the tools used to look at the - discussed metrics. - - [5]:https://www.plos.org/publication-fees - - ## References - - Bosch, S., Albee, B., & Henderson, K. (2018). Death by 1,000 Cuts. - Library Journal, 143(7), 28–33. - - Sanchez, J. (2015). Chapter 2. Forecasting Public Library E-content - Costs. Library Technology Reports, 51(8), 9–15. Retrieved from - https://journals.ala.org/index.php/ltr/article/view/5833 -