Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, March 05, 2007

More on costs to universities for gold OA

Bruno Bauer, Kommerzielle Open Access Publishing - Geschäftsmodelle auf dem Prüfstand : ökonomische Zwischenbilanz der "Gold Road to Open Access" an drei österreichischen Universitäten, GMS Medizin - Bibliothek - Information 6, 3 (2006).  Self-archived March 2, 2007.  In German but with this English-language abstract:

Librarians amongst many others point towards Open Access Publishing as being the loophole in the current library and journal crisis. However, Open Access Publishing could entail higher costs for the university as a whole even though spendings for journals will cease.

There is only a small number of published studies on BioMed Central's and PloS' business models. The same lack is valid for established commercial publishers with their hybrid models of Open Access Publishing. In common current business models of Open Access Publishing will not reduce stress on a libraries' journal budget.

Financial consequences of a paradigm shift to Open Access Publishing will be presented for three Austrian universities by way of example. Journal expenditure (print and online) and numbers of published papers by university members will be taken into account to point out the aftermaths of a total shift towards Open Access Publishing.

Comment.  My German isn't strong enough to read this article with the care it deserves, so I apologize in advance if this comment is off-target.  Bauer appears to conclude that some universities will pay more in author-side fees for OA journals than they pay now for subscriptions.  His abstract suggests it and he refers to two articles asserting that conclusion (Phil Davis et al. and William Walters).  However, he doesn't refer to my article exposing the false assumptions in these earlier calculations.  I can't tell whether Bauer himself relies on the same false assumptions --in particular, that all OA journals charge publication fees and that universities would pay all of them.