Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Oxford encouraged by OA experiment, will continue

Oxford University Press is encouraged by the results of its experimental use of an OA business model for Nucleic Acids Research, a journal rated by ISI as one of the top 10 "hottest" of the decade in biology and biochemistry. The first stage of the experiment was to make the annual Database issue OA. The issue appeared last month with "a record number of peer-reviewed papers - 142 in total - with 90% of authors agreeing to pay the £300 author charge." OUP will continue the experiment with the annual Web Server issue, planned for July. Quoting Martin Richardson, Managing Director of the OUP Journals Division: "We are delighted with the results of our experiment so far. and whilst open access remains a young and economically unproven model for publishing research, as a University Press we are keen to take a leading role in responding to the changing needs of the research community. We entered this experiment in a spirit of careful exploration, eager to collect and analyse as much data as possible before deciding how to progress with OA. We are gaining valuable feedback from the author and subscriber communities, as well as tracking usage and citation data. Our first-hand experience is allowing us to better understand the challenges a publisher might face when transforming a journal from one business model to another....It's still early days, but as long as our experiments continue to receive the support of authors then NAR can continue to move towards an OA business model. The real test will come as we begin to increase the author charges to reflect the true publishing costs; by taking a staged approach we hope to work with authors, their institutions and funding bodies to explore how a transitional period would work."