The “total cost of publication” in a hybrid open-access environment: Institutional approaches to funding journal article-processing charges in combination with subscriptions

« As open-access (OA) publishing funded by article-processing charges (APCs) becomes more widely accepted, academic institutions need to be aware of the “total cost of publication” (TCP), comprising subscription costs plus APCs and additional administration costs. This study analyzes data from 23 UK institutions covering the period 2007–2014 modeling the TCP. It shows a clear rise in centrally managed APC payments from 2012 onward, with payments projected to increase further. As well as evidencing the growing availability and acceptance of OA publishing, these trends reflect particular UK policy developments and funding arrangements intended to accelerate the move toward OA publishing (“Gold” OA). Although the mean value of APCs has been relatively stable, there was considerable variation in APC prices paid by institutions since 2007. In particular, “hybrid” subscription/OA journals were consistently more expensive than fully OA journals. Most APCs were paid to large “traditional” commercial publishers who also received considerable subscription income. New administrative costs reported by institutions varied considerably. The total cost of publication modeling shows that APCs are now a significant part of the TCP for academic institutions, in 2013 already constituting an average of 10% of the TCP (excluding administrative costs). »

URL : The “total cost of publication” in a hybrid open-access environment

DOI: 10.1002/asi.23446