Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

April issue of Learned Publishing

The April issue of Learned Publishing is now online.  Here are the OA-related articles.

  • Rick Anderson, Open access - clear benefits, hidden costs.  Full-text OA, no abstract.  Also see my comments.
  • Donald W. King, The cost of journal publishing: a literature review and commentary.  Full-text OA.  Abstract:  "This article begins by describing the concepts of fixed, variable, marginal, average, direct and indirect costs of journal publishing. Hypothetical examples are given, to avoid preconceived perceptions and controversies about levels of cost. The examples demonstrate the impact of the levels of fixed and variable cost on the average cost per subscription, which is often the basis for subscription prices. Examples are also given to illustrate the effect of indirect costs on average costs per subscription, and the effect of the number of articles published on average costs. Then the implications of the examples on libraries and on the author-side payment model are examined. These hypothetical examples are followed by evidence in the literature of fixed costs, variable costs due to print reproduction and distribution, and indirect costs. Finally, the term 'economies of scale' is defined, and examples are given as to how economies of scale are achieved." (PS: For a longer excerpt and comment, see William Walsh.)
  • Teruto Ohta, An innovation-oriented publication system.  Only this abstract is OA, at least so far:  " 'Innovation' has become a keyword in many countries; to support innovation, a better publication system for academic articles is needed. In this article, a proposed new system is discussed. The current title-based contract between publishers and libraries has caused a serious information gap, particularly in small institutes. In the new model, called the 'beneficiary-pays' model, sales are at the individual article level, and not that of the journal as a whole. In addition, the publication cost of poorly accessed articles is borne mainly by authors, whereas that of frequently used articles is paid mainly by readers. The feasibility of the new model is discussed. The two currently practised models, 'author-pays' and 'reader-pays', are compared with the 'beneficiary-pays' model. It is doubtful if journals operating under the 'author-pays' open access model can ever acquire the reputation based on quality that is needed to motivate authors to pay high enough fees to finance the entire publication cost. The new variant of the user-pays model, in which libraries pay not for a subscription, but in proportion to the number of times the journal is accessed, is a fairer business model; however, the beneficiary-pays model is more sensitive to high-impact works." 
  • Mary Anne Kennan, Academic authors, scholarly publishing, and open access in Australia.  Only this abstract is OA, at least so far:  "This paper briefly describes the rapidly changing research evaluation and funding landscape in Australian universities, specifically in relation to open access and institutional repositories. Recent announcements indicate that funding and evaluation bodies are becoming increasingly concerned that publicly funded research be made publicly available. The paper then reports a survey of all levels of academic staff plus research students at one Australian university, conducted in May 2006, prior to the introduction of an institutional repository. The survey, in line with previously reported surveys, found that while there was a high level of engagement with scholarly publishing, there was a low level of awareness of, or concern with, either open access ('green' or 'gold') or the roles repositories can play in increasing accessibility of research. Practically, this indicates that much work needs to be done within this university to increase knowledge of, and change behaviours with regard to, open access and repositories if the university and its academics are to make the most of new funding requirements and research evaluation processes."

Update. Mary Anne Kennan has self-archived an OA edition of her paper.