Thursday, July 28, 2016

Open Access "Pay It Forward" Report Released

Open Access continues to be a hot topic in the scholarly publishing world. The big question is how to pay for it. In open access, once an article has been accepted through the peer review process, the author (or the author’s institution) pays an upfront fee to be published. Then the publisher offers that article online at no charge to readers. Currently, access to articles in journals usually requires users to buy a subscription or pay to purchase single articles as needed. Some of this is transparent when people are making use of library subscriptions, but these often comprise the largest segment of a library’s budget.

The report of the University of California Pay It Forward Project has just been released. This distinguished group has been studying the future budgetary implications of the OA trend on major research institutions. If a publisher changes a journal from the paid subscription model to a fully open access funded model, institutions need to plan ahead. Library budgets, grants and author allotments are all possible funding sources, but none are straightforward. The study reported a current average article processing cost (APC), or publication fee, of $1500-2000, but this can run $2100-2400, depending on the subject and journal (p.126).

8-16-2016 update: the recently released OA2020 Initiative FAQs include useful tips.

Websites Referenced