Business models for sustainable research data repositories

Author : OECD

There is a large variety of repositories that are responsible for providing long term access to data that is used for research. As data volumes and the demands for more open access to this data increase, these repositories are coming under increasing financial pressures that can undermine their long-term sustainability.

This report explores the income streams, costs, value propositions, and business models for 48 research data repositories. It includes a set of recommendations designed to provide a framework for developing sustainable business models and to assist policy makers and funders in supporting repositories with a balance of policy regulation and incentives.


A landscape study on open access and monographs : Policies, funding and publishing in eight European countries

Authors : Eelco Ferwerda, Frances Pinter, Niels Stern

The report builds on i.a. 73 in-depth conversations, conducted across eight different countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Norway and Austria) to understand current developments among three stakeholder groups: Publishers, funders and libraries. The importance of author attitudes, scholarly reward and incentive systems is also raised throughout the study by numerous interviewees.

The study shows that although the main OA policies do not include monographs, conversations about OA and monographs are surfacing and are expected to be accelerating over the next few years. The general explanation for monographs not being included in policies is the global focus on journal publishing and the perception that monographs are more complex to deal with than journals. Some also point to a lack of demand yet from authors.

In general, OA book publishers will comply with gold OA policies from funders and institutions. This is not the case for green OA. It appears that the current self archiving policies from publishers for books are largely restricted to book chapters.

The report also points towards the fact that funding schemes for books are lagging behind schemes for articles and their availability to fund the publishing process is somewhat ad hoc across the countries we’ve surveyed. Nevertheless the authors are ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the prospects for OA and monographs.

The report creates an overview of both the OA monographs policies, funding streams and publishing models for all eight countries for the first time.

URL : A landscape study on open access and monographs : Policies, funding and publishing in eight European countries

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From paper-based towards post-digital scholarly publishing: an analysis of an ideological dilemma and its consequences

Authors : Jarmo Saarti, Kimmo Tuominen


Even though the current publishing model is based on digital dissemination, it still utilizes some of the basic principles of printed culture. Recently a policy emphasis towards open access has been set for publicly funded research.

This paper reports on a study of the practices, business models and values linked with scholarly publishing.


Conceptual analysis was conducted, drawing on literature on scholarly publishing policies, practices, values and economies, with an emphasis on the structures and conflicts between license-based and open publishing models.


Scholarly interests of sharing collide with commercial interests of generating profits. In the digital era, the scientific community might have a third economically viable alternative. This third way is based on what the authors call post-digital scholarly publishing.


Science should aim at as complete openness as possible. Scholarly activities advance best when the whole scientific community has access to both publications and research data.

What seems to stand in the way of scientific sharing is the global publishing industry in its present form. In the future, post-digital scholarly publishing might provide a means for finding an economically viable way between sharing economy and commercial interests.



“Facebook for Academics”: The Convergence of Self-Branding and Social Media Logic on

Authors : Brooke Erin Duffy, Jefferson Pooley

Given widespread labor market precarity, contemporary workers—especially those in the media and creative industries—are increasingly called upon to brand themselves. Academics, we contend, are experiencing a parallel pressure to engage in self-promotional practices, particularly as universities become progressively more market-driven., a paper-sharing social network that has been informally dubbed “Facebook for academics,” has grown rapidly by adopting many of the conventions of popular social media sites.

This article argues that the astonishing uptake of both reflects and amplifies the self-branding imperatives that many academics experience. Drawing on’s corporate history, design decisions, and marketing communications, we analyze two overlapping facets of (1) the site’s business model and (2) its social affordances.

We contend that the company, like mainstream social networks, harnesses the content and immaterial labor of users under the guise of “sharing.” In addition, the site’s fixation on analytics reinforces a culture of incessant self-monitoring—one already encouraged by university policies to measure quantifiable impact.

We conclude by identifying the stakes for academic life, when entrepreneurial and self-promotional demands brush up against the university’s knowledge-making ideals.

URL : “Facebook for Academics”: The Convergence of Self-Branding and Social Media Logic on


Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences

Authors : David Solomon, Mikael Laakso, Bo-Christer Björk

This report identifies ways through which subscription-based scholarly journals have converted their publishing models to open access (OA).

The major goal was to identify specific scenarios that have been used or proposed for transitioning subscription journals to OA so that these scenarios can provide options for others seeking to “flip” their journals to OA.

The report is based on the published literature as well as “gray” literature such as blog posts and press releases. In addition, interviews were conducted with eight experts in scholarly publishing.

The report identifies a variety of goals for converting a journal to OA. While there are altruistic goals of making scholarship more accessible, the literature review and interviews suggest that there are also many practical reasons for transitioning to an OA model.

In some instances, an OA business model is simply more economically viable. Also, it is not unusual for a society or editorial board to transition to an OA business model as a means of gaining independence from the current publisher.

Increasing readership, the number and quality of submissions, and impact as measured in citations are important goals for most journals that are considering flipping. Goals and their importance often differ for various regions in the world and across different disciplines.

Each journal’s situation is unique and it is important for those seeking to flip a journal to carefully consider exactly what they hope to achieve, what barriers they are likely to face, and how the changes that are being implemented will further the goals intended for their journal.

We found that there are many issues that must be addressed in the process of changing a journal’s business model to OA.

The transition process is complex and in most cases requires at least a year. For example, it is necessary to address manuscripts in process and how to manage back issues. Obligations to subscribers must be negotiated, particularly when the journal’s subscription is bundled with other journals in multi-journal contracts, called “big deal” agreements.

A great deal of effort should go into marketing so that authors and readers are adequately informed of the change. Implementing the transition at the beginning of a volume also helps to avoid confusion.

Society-owned journals have specific challenges, such as losing the membership perk of free or discounted subscriptions for members. The wishes of the society’s membership and its willingness to accept sacrifices, such as increased dues or reduced services, must be considered if the society must give up income to flip.

Commercial publishers have a somewhat different set of goals from nonprofit or small societies. The goals and funding options for flipping journals to OA vary across disciplines and in different parts of the world. While there are many similarities across journals, each has its own unique challenges when converting from subscription to OA.

There are a variety of factors that facilitate conversion to OA. These forces are both top down and bottom up. Governments, funding agencies, and library cooperatives through large-scale initiatives such as mandates and special funding programs can facilitate conversion and directly and indirectly influence journals converting to OA.

Also, individuals and small groups, such as editors, the editorial board, or society members, have converted journals through their own efforts. There is no process that works for all journals and there are important variations in circumstances for each journal.

There are also barriers and risks to consider. Whether or not article processing charges (APCs) are used, ensuring adequate resources to publish the journal over the long term is critical.

Unintended consequences are also a concern. APCs, or even just the change to OA, may discourage submissions or decrease their quality. Loss of free or discounted subscriptions may decrease membership for societies.

Obtaining a good understanding of the potential risks and benefits of flipping through surveys, focus groups, and pilot programs, such as flipping only a section of a journal, are strategies for understanding and substantially reducing the risks associating with changing the business model.

The scenarios are organized into those based on APC funding and those based on obtaining resources or funding through other sources. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis was performed on a number of journal scenario examples to assess the risks and benefits of each scenario.

URL : Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences

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La ruée vers l’or des publications ou comment passer des revues avec abonnements aux articles en accès libre

En matière de publication scientifique, la dernière décennie a été celle du passage des abonnements à des revues sur papier (avec éventuellement un accès électronique en supplément) aux abonnements électroniques (avec éventuellement un supplément pour le papier).

La décennie en cours est celle d’un bouleversement sans doute encore plus profond, remettant en cause la chaîne de financement de l’édition scientifique et donc, au-delà, l’équilibre des pouvoirs et des droits entre les éditeurs commerciaux, les bibliothèques, les laboratoires et in fine les chercheurs.

En effet, conformément aux objectifs « Horizon 2020 » fixés par la communauté européenne, les publications scientifiques devront bientôt être en accès libre et gratuit. Mais la question est de savoir comment y parvenir.


A Journal is a Club: A New Economic Model for Scholarly Publishing

A new economic model for analysis of scholarly publishing—journal publishing in particular—is proposed that draws on club theory. The standard approach builds on market failure in the private production (by research scholars) of a public good (new scholarly knowledge).

In that model publishing is communication, as the dissemination of information. But a club model views publishing differently: namely as group formation, where members form groups in order to confer externalities on each other, subject to congestion.

A journal is a self-constituted group, endeavouring to create new knowledge. In this sense ‘a journal is a club’. The knowledge club model of a journal seeks to balance the positive externalities due to a shared resource (readers, citations, referees) against negative externalities due to crowding (decreased prospect of publishing in that journal).

A new economic model of a journal as a ‘knowledge club’ is elaborated. We suggest some consequences for the management of journals and financial models that might be developed to support them.