Is there enough revenue in the current scholarly publishing system to fund an open access system? This post explores what would happen if Reed Elsevier's revenue were redeployed to support for open access, and the answer is a resounding yes! For example, Reed Elsevier's 2005 revenue was sufficient to pay for over 6 million BioMedCentral articles. To illustrate how this compares with Reed Elsevier's current production, 6 million articles divided by Elsevier's approximately 2,000 titles results in an incredibly prolific over 3,000 articles per journal. Even a small fraction of Reed Elsevier's revenue could fund an absolutely amazing amount of open access. For example, 10% of Elsevier's revenue would pay for 460,000 articles in Public Library of Science; divided into Elsevier's current 2,000 titles, the result is a far above average 230 articles per journal (picture a quarterly journal with 58 articles per issue). 1% of Elsevier's revenue would be sufficient to provide hosting and support services for 141,538 journals at SFU Library, or about 70 times Elsevier's current journal production.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.