Economic and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded Research Outputs

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) provided support for a feasibility study, to outline one possible approach to measuring the impacts of the proposed US Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) on returns to public investment in R&D. The aim is to define and scope the data collection requirements and further model developments necessary for a more robust estimate of the likely impacts of the proposed FRPAA open archiving mandate.

Preliminary modeling suggests that over a transitional period of 30 years from implementation, the potential incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be worth between 4 and 24 times the costs. Perhaps two-thirds of these benefits would accrue within the US, with the remainder spilling over to other countries. Hence, the US national benefits arising from the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be of the order of 16 times the costs.

Exploring sensitivities in the model we find that the benefits exceed the costs over a wide range of  values. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any plausible values for the input data and model parameters that would lead to a fundamentally different answer.

These preliminary estimates are based on the information available to us at the time of writing. They are released in conjunction with an online model, which enables others to explore their own preferred values for the various parameters.


MELIBEA : “MELIBEA (http://www.accesoab…

“MELIBEA ( is a directory and a validator of institutional open-access (OA) policies regarding scientific and academic work. As a directory, it describes the existing policies. As a validator, it subjects them to qualitative and quantitative analysis based on fulfilment of a set of indicators ( that reflect the bases of an institutional policy. ”