Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Oxford reduces prices on 28 hybrid journals

For the second year in a row, Oxford University Press is reducing subscription prices of certain Oxford Open hybrid journals in order to reflect their rising levels of OA content (i.e. the rising levels author uptake of the OA option).  Kirsty Luff, OUP's Senior Communications & Marketing Manager, made the announcement on LibLicense:

[T]he 2008 online-only prices of Oxford Open journals have been adjusted to reflect any increase in the amount of open access versus non-open access content published in each journal in 2006 compared to the amount in 2005.

Generally, the more open access content published in a journal, the lower the future online-only price. However, the picture is sometimes complicated by other factors such as changes in page extent, issue frequency, and exchange rate adjustments. For instance, on average, our journals' page extents have increased 6% between 2006 and 2007.

For a list of journals in Oxford Open and their 2008 pricing adjustments please visit [this].

This year 28 Oxford Open journals will see price reductions.  The deepest reductions are at Bioinformatics (19%), Human Molecular Genetics (15%), Brain (10%), PEDS (9%), and Carcinogenesis (8%).

Last year OUP reduced the prices of three of its hybrid journals (Bioinformatics, Human Molecular Genetics, and Carcinogenesis.)

Comment.  Kudos to Oxford for promising to reduce prices in proportion to author uptake and for keeping its promise.  Libraries and authors should be very suspicious of publishers who don't even make this promise and hope to get away with a frank "double charge" business model for their hybrid journals (American Chemical Society, American Physiological Society, Royal Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley).

Update.  Two good blog comments:

  • Katie Newman:  "If an institution had a subscription for the 28 titles listed, they would have paid $17,223 for e-access in 2008; with the reductions, they will now pay $16,063, or a reduction of 6.3%."
  • Heather Morrison:  "This is an excellent role model illustrating the potential for a natural, evolutionary economic transition to open access. Gradually decreasing subscription funds will gradually increase the availability of library funds for open access projects. For example, if libraries use some of the savings from Oxford subscriptions to supplement the support from funding agencies for Open Choice options, this will increase the Oxford Open Choice revenue, making further subscription pricing possible, allowing for more support for Open Choice. Libraries can contribute in a substantive way to open access solutions, by funding Open Choice for authors who do not have funding grants to cover this cost.  This illustrates the potential positive spiral in the transition to open access."