Open access publishing offers economic benefits, says UK research – 29 Jan 2009
The UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has commissioned a new research project to study the economic and social implications of new models for scholarly publishing. According to the findings of the research, sharing research information via a more open access (OA) publishing model would bring millions of pounds worth of savings to the higher education sector apart from benefiting corporate UK. Prof. John Houghton from the Centre of Strategic Economic Studies at Melbourne’s Victoria University and Prof. Charles Oppenheim at Loughborough University were asked to lead the research.
The research centred on three models – subscription or toll access publishing which involves reader charges and use restrictions; OA publishing where access is free and publication is funded from the authors’ side; and OA self-archiving where academic authors post their work in online repositories, making it freely available to all Internet users.
The research and findings reveal that core scholarly publishing system activities cost the UK higher education sector around £5 billion in 2007. Using the different models, the report shows what the estimated cost would have been. When considering costs per journal article, the researchers believe that the UK higher education sector could have saved around £80 million a year by shifting from toll access to OA publishing. They also claim that £115 million could be saved by moving from toll access to OA self-archiving.
In addition to that, the financial return to the UK industry from greater accessibility to research might result in an additional £172 million per annum worth of benefits from government and higher education sector research alone.
Source: Knowledgespeak Newsletter, Jan. 29, 2009