“Let’s first take a brief look at the OA landscape. There are many varieties of OA journal. There is no question that Gold OA has taken root as the primary model, but is less than a perfect model, and sits alongside Green OA emerging as a flawed alternative to Gold. And then there is Diamond OA. What is Diamond OA? Essentially, Diamond OA is a form of Gold OA that does not include a requirement for authors to pay article processing charges (APCs).
In Diamond OA I am not including freely available alternative hosting arrangements, such as preprint overlay journals from Episciences, or Discrete Analysis. These are low cost operations for new journals that in my view are not definable as Diamond OA journals. The question for many societies, especially those whose profile is resolutely independent, is how to publish their journals effectively, given market pressures, and given that there is a complex and intriguing blend of business and mission that propels a society’s future. Societies are mission driven. For example my society, the American Mathematical Society’s mission is:
To further the interests of mathematical research, scholarship and education, serving the national and international community through publications, meetings, advocacy and other programs.
Society journals in many cases are important journals for the field, perhaps subject specific, or generalist journals, offering a wide range of sub-fields in the discipline. In face of the big deal, independent societies with this profile are experiencing significant subscription attrition. Societies are looking to innovate their business models, and yet do not necessarily want to burden their communities with APCs. One way to reimagine journal publishing at a society is to accept that journal publishing is in fact a program of the society, provided to the community as part of its mission. Moving journals to a Diamond OA model removes these journals from the journal subscription market, and fulfills the mission. The journals remain strong as established, branded, quality journals.”