Skip to main content

Flipping journals to Open Access: an extensive Harvard University literature review

Harvard University last week released an extensive 224 page literature review on subscription journals flipping to Open Access. The review's principal aim is to "disentangle different options", in order to "help publishers deliberate intelligently about their options". In total the authors find 15 options available to journals wanting to flip to OA, and interestingly 5 of these do not involve levying charges (most commonly referred to as Article Processing Charges).

The inclusion of so many non-APC reliant flipping pathways is very illuminating and certainly will be news to some people.
"Truncating or oversimplifying the range of options causes harm. For example, as noted, many stakeholders believe that there’s only one business model for OA journals, namely, charging APCs. This assumption has never been true and has never even been close. Every measurement for more than a decade has shown that roughly three-quarters of OA journals charge no author-side fees at all, and in fact, that roughly three-quarters of subscription journals charge author-side fees on top of their reader-side fees. The false assumption that all OA journals charge APCs stultifies the debate by limiting discussion to the one best-known option. It also stultifies the deliberations of publishers who believe, perhaps correctly, that the best-known option won’t work for them, and therefore conclude, prematurely, that no model will work for them." (Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences. p. 4)
In the introduction Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and editor of the review, mentions the value of the review in offering a resource for libraries struggling with rising subscription prices. He suggests that the rising cost of subscriptions could be a catalyst to stimulate talks about flipping to OA, given that another possible outcome is losing subscriptions entirely which benefits neither side.
"Academic Librarians are in a good position to make the case that converting to OA is better than cancellation, for everyone, and that new evidence shows that converting to OA can preserve or enhance readership, submissions, quality, and financial sustainability." (Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences. p. 5)
Solomon, David, J. Mikael Laakso, and Bo-Christer Björk (authors). Peter Suber (editor). 2016. Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:27803834. CC-BY

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Your Open Access - statistics and usage

It's Open Access Week again, and this year the theme is 'Open in order to...' This year's theme is designed to shift discussion away from wider issues of 'openness', and instead direct attention to the tangible benefits of open access. This week we will be publishing a series of posts aimed at  highlighting some of these benefits. In this post we will look at some of the statistics we gather about the open access content in our Repository, and specifically the statistics that we've chosen to highlight in our new Infographic.
Given the theme of this year's Open Access Week, the subject of this post could be appropriately described as 'Open in order to boost downloads' For years we have been collecting usage statistics about the content held in our repository. Up until now this data has been collected and, for the most part, discussed internally; but not any more. Now we want to show the academic community here in St Andrews, whose work populates …

14,000 items in the St Andrews Research Repository

It has been a hectic summer for the St Andrews Research Repository. At the beginning of May we added our 12,000th item to the repository (Pagano , P , Mackay , D H & Yeates , A R 2018 , ' A new technique for observationally derived boundary conditions for space weather’.) Since then, in addition to the regular addition of research publications and current theses, a project to add digitised copies of older theses has been well under away – and to such an extent that the repository passed 13,000 items before anyone noticed! So just a little over two months after we celebrated our last landmark an additional two thousand items have been added to reach 14,000 items in the St Andrews Research Repository.

The goal of the aforementioned project has been to digitise all of the Library’s postgraduate theses from before 2007, (the year the University made a mandatory requirement for an electronic copy for certain postgraduate research degrees.) The first phase of the digitisation is…

Open Access books: Tony Crook's new book is published OA

This week is Open Access week, and the theme is set to look at the foundational work that is needed to underpin a transition to a world where research results are free and open by default. Recent moves by the open access publisher Knowledge Unlatched have shone a spot light on the need for better cooperation in achieving an open access default for books. Where KU has gone in the direction of commercial proprietary infrastructure, others such as Open Book Publishers have called for more open and transparent cooperation that isn't tied to proprietary commercially driven software. Open Book Publisher's reaction to Knowledge Unlatched is here.

"Academics need to know that there are benefits too, and that the expense of publishing OA is worth it in the long run"
While the debate about the nature of the infrastructure rumbles on, presently we must keep our minds focussed on the individual examples of open access books. Indeed the appetite for open access books is unlikely…