» Institutional memberships for open-access publishers considered harmful The Occasional Pamphlet

“Some open-access publishers offer institutional memberships, whereby a fixed annual fee, often based on the size of faculty or expected number of submitted articles, covers all or a percentage of article-processing fees for the institution for the year.

The issue of OA publisher memberships is interesting and fraught. Harvard University is not currently a member of any of the major OA publishers—BioMed Central, Hindawi, or Public Library of Science. (Actually, Harvard Medical School is a PLoS member.) I’m not involved in Harvard’s decisions about institutional memberships, although I am not a fan of memberships in general, as you will see. I’ll explain my own view of the difficulty with memberships in terms of the market design for publisher services, and then talk about what alternatives there are….”