Scholarly Communication at the Crossroad: From subscription to Open Access?

Author : Gayle R.Y.C. Chan

Recent developments in the scholarly communication ecosystem toward open access (OA) have become highly complex in how researchers discover and use information, create, and select publication venues to disseminate their research. Institution policy makers, grant funders, publishers, researchers and libraries are coming to grips with the flux in OA publishing.

What is expected is that OA will secure a growing market share, with major funders pushing OA mandates with timelines and publishers launching new OA versus traditional journals. Libraries have a critical role to play in resolving the complexities resulting from the impending ‘flip’ of journals from subscription to OA.

The University of Hong Kong (HKU), being the foremost research institution in Asia, has experienced YOY double digit growth in gold open access publications in recent years. From the collection development perspective, there is an urgent need to understand the trend in research output in order to reassess the resources budget allocation and expenditures to accommodate the needed funding support for OA publishing.

This paper presents the strategies adopted by HKU in preparing the budget transition toward OA publishing and to strengthen the library’s negotiating power in securing sustainable big deals that factor in support for researchers to go the OA route.

The value for money, challenge and risk of committing in multiyear big deals without accounting for publishing expenditures in OA contents will be discussed. Analytics on research output, journal subscription and article publishing expenditures will be used to inform the bigger picture of funding access to scholarly contents.

URL : Scholarly Communication at the Crossroad: From subscription to Open Access?

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Open access monitoring and business model in Latin America and Middle East: a comparative study based on DOAJ data and criteria

Authors : Ivonne Lujano, Mahmoud Khalifa

This research will focus on analyzing the state of open access journals in two regions of developing countries (Latin America and Middle East) according to two main aspects: a) business models and b) monitoring policies that journals implement to ensure the quality.

DOAJ alongside to other institutions has performed great efforts in order to enrich the movement of open access in developing countries. DOAJ is the largest database of peer reviewed open access journals. As March 2018 it has 11.250 journals, and more than 2.900.000 indexed articles from 123 countries.

Using the DOAJ database first, we identified the journals published in countries from the Latin America and Middle East. Then we extracted the data on APCs and submission charges to analyze the business models comparing this data with some other official documents.

We also analyzed some of the DOAJ’s data on monitoring policies, i.e. the review process for papers and the policy of screening for plagiarism. According to initial survey of business models implemented in open access journals in Latin America we found that only 5% of journals charge author fees (APCs and submission charges) being Brazil the country with the highest number of journals that adopt this policy.

Open access is the predominant business model in the majority of countries and it is mostly public funded. Regarding the Middle East region, we can list variant models depending on the economic conditions of each country. APCs and submission charges is growing trend in low economic countries, for example: Egypt, Sudan, North Africa States, however in high economic countries like Gulf States the authors get paid when publish a paper in a journal.

Most of the journals from Latin America (LATAM) implement double or simple blind peer review process and only four journals (published in Brazil and Argentina) carry out some kind of open peer review system. Concerning the policy of screening for plagiarism only 20% of journals state to use any type of software (open source, proprietary, free, etc.).

For journals in the Middle East (MENA), depending on DOAJ experience the types of peer-review are not quite clear for all journals’ editors. Some countries initiated to have policy for plagiarism.

Through the Higher Supreme of Universities in Egypt, screening for plagiarism checked for theses and faculty staff researches, however journals still not familiar with plagiarism detection software, and it requires high cost.

The research will find out deeper results about the two areas depending on DOAJ data analysis and other resources regarding the business model and journal monitoring.

URL : Open access monitoring and business model in Latin America and Middle East: a comparative study based on DOAJ data and criteria

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Full Disclosure: Open Business Data and the Publisher’s Cookbook

Authors : Sebastian Nordhoff, Felix Kopecky

This short paper presents the three main outcomes of the OpenAire project “Full disclosure: replicable strategies for book publications supplemented with empirical data”: a fully specified business model; accountacy data; and a “cookbook” containing recipes how to set up a resilient community-based book publisher.

The provision of these items available for free reuse will allow other publishing projects to understand, adapt, and modify the community-based model of Language Science Press.


Open access, data capitalism and academic publishing

Author : Michael Hagner

Open Access (OA) is widely considered a breakthrough in the history of academic publishing, rendering the knowledge produced by the worldwide scientific community accessible to all. In numerous countries, national governments, funding institutions and research organisations have undertaken enormous efforts to establish OA as the new publishing standard.

The benefits and new perspectives, however, cause various challenges. This essay addresses several issues, including that OA is deeply embedded in the logic and practices of data capitalism.

Given that OA has proven an attractive business model for commercial publishers, the key predictions of OA-advocates, namely that OA would liberate both scientists and tax payers from the chains of global publishing companies, have not become true. In its conclusion, the paper discusses the opportunities and pitfalls of non-commercial publishing.

URL : Open access, data capitalism and academic publishing


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.