Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A proposal for redirecting subscription funds to support OA journals

Heather Morrison, A potential positive cycle: more access, more funds, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, June 11, 2007.

Abstract:   Hypothesis: a process of transitioning to open access can unleash funds, creating a positive cycle of increasing access and freed funds to create more open access; the very opposite of the negative serials pricing spiral of recent decades, which featured increasing prices and decreasing access.

As support for this hypothesis, this post looks at the potential for open access if libraries were to focus on high-priced journals (US $1,000 or more for an institutional subscription), and succeed in working with their faculty to convert just 10% to a volunteer / in-kind support model.

It is estimated with such a scenario, that individual libraries could save up to $450,000 US from their budgets after spending on open access journal support is factored in. The cumulative savings for libraries are potentially huge; for example, if the ARL libraries subscribed to just a quarter of these journals each, the annual savings for ARL would be in the order of $13.8 million annually. This would only be a fraction of the savings for libraries, as ARL is only a subset of libraries, albeit large ones. The true collective savings for libraries would have to factor in libraries around the globe, including libraries in Europe and the somewhat smaller libraries in North America. If these savings were invested in further open access initiatives, libraries would save even more, freeing up more funds to create more access....