Academic publishing giant, Elsevier, has acquired bepress. Bepress helps organizations showcase their academic research. It makes it possible to collect, organize, and display the work of researchers. This makes it easier for universities to attract students and grant funding. It also presents universities’ academic repositories to the public to highlight their success. With this acquisition, Elsevier will help bepress improve its analytics services.
This was part of Elsevier’s plan to get involved in data management. Bepress will be able to use Elsevier’s products to improve the quality of its service. Bepress has a Digital Commons platform. It can be used to collect different types of research output. More than 500 universities and institutions use Digital Commons. It has about 50% of the US market share.
The bepress CEO, Jean-Gabriel Bankier, said that Elsevier understood their vision. Oliver Dumon, Managing Director for Research Products, Elsevier said that Elsevier this acquisition would fulfill its need for an institutional promotional platform.
The financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
Feelings of Betrayal
The new partnership will allow Elsevier to add an excellent platform to its list of products. It will also help bepress to provide better service to its clients. These clients will have access to Elsevier’s databases. This means that it can now tell its clients how often their paper was cited. However, some of those clients feel betrayed.
Elsevier has earlier faced issues with librarians due to high subscription rates. Some libraries have refused to renew their contract with Elsevier because of this. Elsevier also has not been very enthusiastic about open access. However, information shared on Digital Commons is meant for free distribution. Some of the customers worry that Elsevier might change this.
Libraries created institutional repositories to make the research data by their researchers available to the public. Some librarians are upset that a publisher that restricts free access to data now owns their repositories. Many librarians are of the view that they would not be opting out of the contract with bepress and would wait to see if any changes are announced in the bepress’ services.
Elsevier, thus, now controls their academic repositories. It also means that bepress can offer better analytics services. Institutional repositories managed by bepress should benefit from Elsevier’s resources. This acquisition means that Elsevier now offers services for the complete academic research workflow. They are involved in research, citation management, academic publishing, and repository management. Does this acquisition indicate increasing power of a commercial publisher?
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