Two Scenarios for How Scholarly Publishers Could Change Their Business Model to Open Access

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Journal of Electronic Publishing, 2009, Vol. 12, Iss. 1

Title: Two Scenarios for How Scholarly Publishers Could Change Their Business Model to Open Access
Author: Björk, Bo-Christer; Hedlund, Turid
Publisher: University of Michigan
Date: 2009
Language: eng
Abstract: The Internet has made possible the cost-effective dissemination of scientific journals in the form of electronic versions, usually in parallel with the printed versions. At the same time the electronic medium also makes possible totally new open access (OA) distribution models, funded by author charges, sponsorship, advertising, voluntary work, etc., where the end product is free in full text to the readers. Although more than 2,000 new OA journals have been founded in the last 15 years, the uptake of open access has been rather slow, with currently around 5% of all peer-reviewed articles published in OA journals. The slow growth can to a large extent be explained by the fact that open access has predominantly emerged via newly founded journals and startup publishers. Established journals and publishers have not had strong enough incentives to change their business models, and the commercial risks in doing so have been high. In this paper we outline and discuss two different scenarios for how scholarly publishers could change their operating model to open access. The first is based on an instantaneous change and the second on a gradual change. We propose a way to manage the gradual change by bundling traditional “big deal” licenses and author charges for opening access to individual articles.
Subject: open access
scientific publishing

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