Video recordings of the 2nd Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing

  1. Open Access Publishing: Retaining the core, stimulating progress
  2. Open, free, or hybrid? Open access at the BMJ Group
  3. Establishing an Institutional OA Publishing Fund: The UC Berkeley Experience
  4. BioMed Central’s Membership Schemes
  5. PLoS Institutional Membership Program

Changing research in Mozambique with a shared institutional repository

An institutional repository (IR) is a publicly accessible archive where the work published by authors affiliated with the university is available online. According to the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR), there are over 1,700 repositories around the world. While English predominates, 56 languages are represented including Portuguese. Soon to be counted is the first repository from Mozambique, which achieved its public launch in November 2009.

Models for open access — many flavors

By Karen Grigg, Associate Director of Collection Services at the Duke Medical Center Library:
Open Access comes in a variety of flavors.  The two main types of open access are that of open access journals and self-archiving methods
Open Access journals are those that are freely available to the end-user.  Since the reader does not pay for content, costs must be subsidized by the author or the institution. Along with publication fees, submission fees are sometimes charged.
BioMed Central, an online publisher of free peer-reviewed scientific articles, is sustained by revenue from institutions. However, the new “Shared Support Membership” allows institutions and authors to share article costs.
Public Library of Science, or PloS, charges a publication fee that can be paid by the author or the author’s employer. PLoS also relies on donations from foundations.
Self-archiving allows authors to submit their own material online so that it is accessible to the public.  There are two main varieties of self archiving; institutional repositories (IR), and Subject Based Repositories.  IR are hosted by an institution, such as a university, and bundles all the research output of the institution.  Often, the work is done by librarians or IT staff.  One such IR is eScholarship from the University of California.  A subject-based repository is hosted independently of an individual institution, and bundles the research output of a subject of discipline.  Authors voluntarily self-archive their work on a pre-print server.  An example of a subject repository  is Arxiv, a repository for- physicists and mathematicians.  Finally, authors often post articles on their own web sites, but the ability to do so requires negotiation with the publisher.
There are also some hybrid models of open access. Some publishers allow authors to decide whether or not an article can be openly accessed.  Authors who would like their article to be freely available can opt to pay the publishing fee.  These fees can be several thousand dollars per article.  The Delayed OA model gives public access to journal articles after an embargoed period, often 6 months to 1 year.  With a Partial OA journal, certain parts of the journal; often editorials or abstracts, are freely available, while the bulk of the content is for fee. Finally, Retrospective OA allows access to older journal articles that have been digitized.
For more background on Open Access Models, see:
Zhang, Sha Li. “OCLC Systems & Services | The Flavors of Open Access.” OCLC Systems & Services 23.3 (2007): 229-34. Emerald. Web. 15 Sept. 2010. <>.
“Peter Suber, Open Access Overview (definition, Introduction).” Earlham College — Richmond, Indiana. Web. 15 Sept. 2010. <>.

The economics of open access

When we talk about the economics of open access, the conversation usually begins with the high cost of traditional journal subscriptions.  For a nice summary of the argument that the economics of journal pricing is out of control, this portion of the ACRL toolkit on scholarly communications is an excellent resource.  But that is only the beginning of the discussion.  There is a lot more to say about open access economics.
One great source to grasp the nuance of the issues is a 2009 issue of the journal Economic Analysis and Policy, which itself made the transition from toll access to open availability under a Creative Commons Attribution license.  A special issue of the journal was dedicated to the economics of open access; the full contents are linked to this blog post, which make finding them much easier.
I can especially recommend the first two articles in this special issue of EAP.  John Willinsky does an excellent job in “The Stratified Economics of Open Access” of analyzing traditional publishing market segments and looking at how each is experimenting with open access.  Conley and Wooders, in “But what Have you Done for me lately,” ask the very basic questions about what publishing an academic article should cost and what the most economically efficient model for scholarly communications might look like.
As I said, the conversation usually begins with high journal prices.  Open access is not a solution, per se, to the problem of journal costs, but it is a solution to the access problem that is created by skyrocketing prices.  For most academic authors, the issue of how much publishing really costs and how much of a university’s budget is actually going into shareholder value at Elsevier or Informa is very much secondary.  Their concern is how to get their work into the hands of those who need it and might be able to use it.  High subscription costs prevent that access and thus reduce the impact of scholarly work.  That is the problem that new models of distributing scholarship, most of which are forms of open access, can solve.
As Conley and Wooders’ article makes clear, open access is not free in the sense of being without any costs, although consumers of open access articles do get the information they need without charge.  Open access models are really about ways to streamline and redistribute the costs of publication so as to solve the access problem that is becoming so severe in the traditional system.
When we talk about the economics of open access, there are two factors that we should not forget.  First, the are costs, known as lost opportunity costs, associated with traditional publishing that are recaptured by open access.  Every time a researcher or teacher cannot get to the information she needs to do her work, or must obtain it by labor-intensive means like interlibrary loan or direct contact with the author, time and knowledge, which are both worth money, are wasted; open access reduces that loss.  Second, open access provides the benefit of greater impact to the scholarly authors of articles made accessible through the various OA models.  This benefit for the authors, like the benefit to the reader of quick and toll-free access, increases the overall value of research.  When we examine the economics of open access, the increased value of the research itself must be part of the equation.
Taken from Duke web site

Librarians and Libraries and Open Access

“Roses red and violets blue
stays unread
till paid by you”

How can librarians prove that their libraries still provide education?
Their situation is nohow a warming one. However, the solution couldn’t be more simple.


Complex Situation

Libraries order journals and books. The cost of academic material is climbing rapidly (from 1989 to 2003 by 315% according to ARL). This is possible because the market is dominated by a small number of large publishers who can demand very high prices for their publications. The world production of scholarly outputs, by contrast, has been at least doubled.
Even the most well endowed library cannot afford to provide all of the research material necessary for its students/researchers, let alone the one in the developing world. In addition, library budgets have been severely slashed everywhere.


Two Crises and the Damage Done

SERIALS PRICING CRISIS (in its forth decade according to Peter Suber)
  • costs climbing, number of journals growing, library budgets are being slashed
  • researchers must do without access to some of the journals critical to their research.
PERMISSION CRISIS (in its first decade according to Peter Suber)
  • legal and technological barriers are raised limiting how libraries may use the journals
  • legal barrier: copyright law, licensing agreement
  • technological barrier: digital rights management which blocks access to unauthorized users
Both crises impede research
and when research is impeded
so are all the benefits of research.

Peter Suber


Simple Solution

This would present an insoluble problem in the print machine era, however with internet technology available, both crises may be answered with Open Access to research material. The middleman can now be left out of the picture and mutual responsibility in promoting the wide dissemination of knowledge is now solely on librarians and publishers.
A report commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, for example, concludes that “open access is not only a practical, efficient and sustainable model for disseminating high-quality peer-reviewed research, but that it is a system that could also bring savings of as much as 30%
SPARC is calling recently for stories being collected for the OA Week about Open Access causing major swerve in specific scientific study. Thus, even if it didn’t prove as a money saving solution, it will, undoubtedly prove as a “community-saving” solution.


Librarians Act Today and Envision the Year 2025

That librarians are strong advocates for Open Access is obvious when recognized that SPARC, one of the strongest OA organization on a global level, was founded by the research library community.
Other than that, librarians are:
  • educating faculty and administrators on campus about Open Access
  • building digital repositories for OA journals/books
  • supporting OA journals (which make more than 20% of peer-reviewed journals today)
There are weak spots to the movement with librarians not always being as engaged as
they should, but the idea is still in its growth process and the awareness is yet to be raised.
The latest report, Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025, sponsored by ACRL, provides nine likely, high-impact scenarios for the future of higher education and the supporting role of librarians, and it is abbreviated in bullet points by Philip Davis from Scholarly Kitchen:

Taken from InTech