Heading Down the Gold Road

More and more publishers are now offering a hybrid Open Access option for many of their journals, yet still it is reported that the actual uptake and use of these options is quite low (1-2% industry-wide). Of course publishers themselves must see this as a viable route to follow (see a previous post here) or else they wouldn’t even be going there. Many academics also see gold OA as the only route forward (perhaps because of a lack of knowledge of alternatives?), yet we also have those fighting for the green route (see Stevan Harnad’s blog). From personal conversation I do know that (some) academics are concerned about the costs that are arising from trying to publish OA. Perhaps the cost will help them explore other options… nonetheless, the conversation about hybrid OA and paying to publish continues.

Four speakers, invited by the ALCTS Scholarly Communications Interest Group, recently presented on the topic of hybrid journals at the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. Slides can be viewed here. Looks like some good talks, and I am sure they led to an interesting discussion – with contributions from a scientist /faculty member, University Librarian (and Dean of Library Services), and two publishers. Of particular interest to us, were the slides presented by Philip Bourne, which demonstrate clearly what he, as one scholar wants to see in the future of scholarly communication.

Some of the results from the recently presented SOAP research project also focus on the cost of publishing (including both full OA and hybrid journals).

They asked academics:

  • how much they paid to publish their last OA article. (slide 10)
  • how the fee was covered (slide 14)
  • how easy or difficult it was to receive funds for OA publishing (slide 17)
  • how much they would pay to publish OA (slide 22)

Interesting results to take a look at.

How much are you willing to pay? We know publishers are thinking about the sustainability of this “new” option (slide 8), but are you?

Image credit: Nick Leonard

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