Sunday, March 6, 2016

Who Pays for Open Access?; Library Journal, 3/3/16

John Parsons, Library Journal; Who Pays for Open Access? :
"The theory of Open Access (OA) predates the Internet, but the web has made it a full-fledged phenomenon for scientific and medical journals. Driven in large part by mandates from government and institutional funding entities, OA theoretically lowers the subscription cost barrier for peer-reviewed content. Academic libraries and their constituents—especially researchers—are the prime beneficiaries, but so also are general public libraries and “citizen scientists” who simply have Internet access.
Like a politician’s promise, however, the benefits of OA have to be paid for—typically through an Article Processing Charge (APC) charged to the author or, more commonly, the author’s employer. These can average between $2,000 and $3,000 per article, according to Anneliese Taylor, Assistant Director, Scholarly Communications and Collections, at the University of California, San Francisco Library. “These are increasingly a line item in research grant funding proposals,” she said, pointing out that funding entities are themselves often proponents of Open Access.
It should be noted that in a recent Library Journal interview Peter Suber, Director of Harvard’s Open Access Project, estimated that only about 50% of all open access articles are fee-based, so the APC model is by no means universal.
Taylor noted that funding levels for Open Access are gradually increasing, although many journals are adopting a hybrid approach. This makes some content available only to paid subscribers and other content open, using the Gold model: distributing through an OA publisher or aggregator...
Journals do not typically disclose their publishing cost structure, although some supplement APC revenue with traditional alternatives, including association membership fees and paid advertising."

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