Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some academic publishers accused of using tax avoidance strategies to boost profits while stifling competition

Date:
November 1, 2012
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
Some of the biggest academic publishers are accused in a new study by researchers in the UK of using tax avoidance strategies to boost profits while they engage in football transfer style practices to stifle competition.

Some of the biggest academic publishers are accused in a new study by researchers in the UK of using tax avoidance strategies to boost profits while they engage in football transfer style practices to stifle competition.

Related Articles


In a paper on the findings, the authors from the University of Leicester School of Management claim that publication of academic papers -- based largely on state-funded research -- can be so lucrative that publishing houses are able to enjoy net profit margins as high as 53 per cent. That compares with 6.9 per cent for electricity utilities, 5.2 per cent for food suppliers, and 2.5 per cent for newspapers.

The returns are further enhanced when publishers operating in the UK move their offices to tax havens overseas -- a practice that raises ethical questions in times of austerity, the paper argues. Its authors are calling for the publishers of academic journals to be included in the review of tax havens ordered by Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He has instructed civil servants to find a way to stop offshore companies receiving public subsidies or contracts.

The study follows the report by an independent working group led by Dame Janet Finch that found that giving industry free access to research could have considerable economic benefits. The review, commissioned by David Willetts, the Universities and Science Minister, urged the funders of research to encourage scientists to publish in free access journals instead of those that hide behind high subscription costs and Internet pay walls.

The Leicester School of Management paper, "What are we to do with feral publishers?," argues that if publishers refuse to lower their subscription prices, academics should boycott their journals and start up alternative and more affordable ones to increase access to scholarly work. The practice has been encouraged in the United States by Harvard University that recently told its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind pay walls. Harvard was responding to price hikes imposed by many academic publishers.

The Leicester paper, to be published in the journal Organization, urges publishers to make significant reductions in their annual subscription prices, or face the prospect of academics establishing more competitively priced journals.

One of the paper's authors, Leicester School of Management head Professor Simon Lilley, admits however that such a move would mean starting a new publication from scratch, as existing titles are governed by rules that make transferring ownership very difficult.

"Journals are like Premiership footballers in terms of transferability, negotiations can only begin if a current publisher clearly communicates a desire to sell," he said.

Nevertheless, strength of feeling against so-called "greedy publishers" is now so strong that "a mass boycott of journals is an increasingly realistic possibility," he added.

Professor Lilley wrote the paper with co-authors Dr David Harvie, a senior lecturer in finance and political economy, Dr Geoff Lightfoot a senior lecturer in entrepreneurship and accounting, and Kenneth Weir, an accountancy lecturer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Harvie, G. Lightfoot, S. Lilley, K. Weir. What are we to do with feral publishers? Organization, 2012; DOI: 10.1177/1350508412448859

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Some academic publishers accused of using tax avoidance strategies to boost profits while stifling competition." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031213958.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2012, November 1). Some academic publishers accused of using tax avoidance strategies to boost profits while stifling competition. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031213958.htm
University of Leicester. "Some academic publishers accused of using tax avoidance strategies to boost profits while stifling competition." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031213958.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins