|Abstract: ||This presentation will is a summary of results of two lines of research conducted on support mechanisms for open access journals, open access articles processing charges and resource requirements for small scholar-led journals, as part of the Sustaining the Knowledge Commons research program.
Open access article processing charges
A survey was conducted of the minority (26%) of open access journals charging OA article processing charges in DOAJ as of May 2015. This is designed as a baseline for forwards and backwards comparative studies to track and analyze changes in APCs over time. Highlights of findings include a skewed distribution in publisher size (journals tend to be published by publishers with very few or very many journals charging OA APCs with limited middle ground); the majority of journals using this approach are commercial in nature; prices are highly variable, illustrated by a mode of $0 APC; and a wide variety of variations in pricing were observed apparently based on such factors as presumed ability to pay, type of article, extra charges for extra services (such as english language editing), and variations based on contributions to the work (using the publisher’s template, serving as reviewer or editor, society membership).
Resource requirements for small scholar-led publishing
This approach focuses on the not-for-profit scholar-led journal publisher. Edgar and Willinsky (2012) conducted a survey of over 900 journals using Open Journal Systems (OJS). One of their findings was an average revenue of $188 per article, a small fraction of the current global academic library spend per article on a subscriptions basis of over $4,500 (Morrison, 2013). An intriguing conclusion of the study by Edgar and Willinsky is the suggestion that new publishing platforms like OJS may be responsible for a renaissance in scholar-led publishing. The purpose of the resource requirements for small scholar-led publishing project is to explore whether the current average revenue is sufficient to sustain this sector, or whether more is needed (as suggested, for example by the recent announcement by Open Medicine that new articles will not be accepted). A series of interviews with editors of small journals (1 – 3 per publisher) were conducted to determine the resource requirements for publishing, e.g. the nature and amount of work involved, level of staff required, technical support requirements, and a series of focus groups will be conducted in 2015. Data will be combined with further research on costs of library / university infrastructure to host and support these journals to develop a realistic framework for ongoing support for scholarly journal publishing led largely by independent scholars and/or small society publishers.|