Transferring Publisher: Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker e.V. (GDCh) - Society (if applicable): Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker e.V. - Journal Title: Nachrichten aus der Chemie - ISSN: 1439-9598 (Print) 1868-0054 (Online) - Receiving Publisher: De Gruyter - Receiving Publisher contact name: Ariane Rueckebeil - Receiving Publisher contact email: [email_address] - Effective Transfer Date: January 1st, 2011 - Archival access policies: - Notes on any special circumstances:
Larger publishers buy smaller ones, lists, or individual journals.
Learned societies ask publishers to tender for publication of their journals.
Portfolio growth through a mixture of new launches, society journal takeovers, co-publishing agreements, and company/program acquisitions. For example:
Springer announced the transfer of 54 titles for 2009
Wiley Blackwell added 32 titles in their fiscal year 2009
Elsevier announced 11 new acquisitions for 2009
The movement of journals between publishers has been an established feature of the scholarly publishing landscape for many years Online publishing is not the reason for this phenomenon… …but the complexities are far more pronounced with online journals than they were in the print-only world
It is important to distinguish between proprietary titles changing hands and society-owned journals transferring from one publisher to another
‘ Change of ownership’: a valuable asset is changing hands due diligence contract between two parties
Formal contract (official legal document):
Exact scope of the transaction described
Clear assignment of responsibilities
Addressing the additional implications of journal transfers with an electronic component, especially when electronic backfiles are involved.
It is important to distinguish between proprietary titles changing hands and society-owned journals transferring from one publisher to another Advantage: Both parties are obliged to address all issues and to reach an equitable agreement before the transaction can be closed
‘ Change of publisher’: no full due diligence (at least) three parties involved a range of contractual situations possible
It is important to distinguish between proprietary titles changing hands and society-owned journals transferring from one publisher to another Risk: lack of clarity regarding responsibilities and rights of - the former publisher (with regard to its existing subscribers and licensees) - responsibilities to the owner of the journal (the society) - the new publisher of the journal
Society still bound by a contractual arrangement with its current Publisher. Situation commercially sensitive, so very detailed (yet crucially relevant!) information is often not disclosed.
Potential publishing partners are required to put offers and proposed services on the table without being able to conduct thorough due diligence.
Challenges at contract stage:
Contract is negotiated and signed between the Society and the new Publisher. The former Publisher is no longer involved.
Possible inconsistencies in rights and obligations between the Transferring and the Receiving Publisher, due to:
Licensing terms with customers
Platform policies (cost!)
Society-owned journals --- Issues for the ‘Receiving Publisher’
Smooth *) society-journal transfers are feasible if key conditions are met
Society’s contract with Transferring Publisher and contract with Receiving Publisher are consistent in relevant areas.
“ Publishers of society journals ensure that their customer licenses do not exceed the scope of the license granted to them by the owner societies.” (STM Position Paper: http://www.stmassoc.org/2006_07_28_STM_Journal_Transfers.doc )
‘ Smooth’ meaning no loss of online access cancelled subscriptions disappearing archives
Smooth society-journal transfers are feasible if Publishers adopt the TRANSFER Code of Practtice
Responsibilities of Transferring Publisher and Receiving Publishers:
TRANSFER Code of Practice is a set of voluntary industry best practices that is intended to make the journals marketplace better and more efficient *)
The Code encourages Publishers who sign up to:
Enter into Code-compliant contracts with societies.
Become, and to advertise themselves as, ‘TRANSFER Compliant’
Follow the Code in transactions where the transferring publisher is not TRANSFER Compliant.
*) A legal review was a crucial step in the TRANSFER Code of Practice development process, to ensure that it was consistent with US and European antitrust and competition law. The legal review found that the Code was unlikely to have anticompetitive effects, that there were valid business reasons for establishing the voluntary Code, and that there were strong pro-competitive effects of communicating information to the marketplace by the use of ‘Code-compliant’ advertising.