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    Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access : A Max Planck Digital Library Open Access Policy White Paper

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        Abstract

        This paper makes the strong, fact-based case for a large-scale transformation of the current corpus of scientific subscription journals to an open access business model. The existing journals, with their well-tested functionalities, should be retained and developed to meet the demands of 21st-century research, while the underlying payment streams undergo a major restructuring. There is sufficient momentum for this decisive push toward open access publishing. The diverse existing initiatives must be coordinated so as to converge on this clear goal. The international nature of research implies that this transformation will be achieved on a truly global scale only through a consensus of the world’s most eminent research organizations. All the indications are that the money already invested in the research publishing system is sufficient to enable a transformation that will be sustainable for the future. There needs to be a shared understanding that the money currently locked in the journal subscription system must be withdrawn and re-purposed for open access publishing services. The current library acquisition budgets are the ultimate reservoir for enabling the transformation without financial or other risks. The goal is to preserve the established service levels provided by publishers that are still requested by researchers, while redefining and reorganizing the necessary payment streams. By disrupting the underlying business model, the viability of journal publishing can be preserved and put on a solid footing for the scholarly developments of the future.

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        Author and article information

        Affiliations
        [1 ]Max Planck Digital Library, Amalienstraße, 33, 80799 München, Germany
        Author notes
        [* ]Corresponding author’s e-mail address: geschuhn@ 123456mpdl.mpg.de
        Contributors
        (View ORCID Profile)
        Journal
        SOR-EDU
        ScienceOpen Research
        ScienceOpen
        2199-1006
        10 June 2015
        : 0 (ID: 05762b81-434d-407e-b33c-1b6cccf2f128 )
        : 0
        : 1-7
        2776:XE
        10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-EDU.AJRG23.v1
        © 2015 Schimmer et al.

        This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

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        Figures: 1, Tables: 2, References: 0, Pages: 7
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        Comments

        In a recent study the cost of scholarly publishing has been determined. Depending on market pricing derived from concrete offers by service vendors, the authors of that study calculated total costs per academic journal article of average length (8 – 12 typeset pages) of between US$68 and US$317. This is much below the present pricing per article for subscription based journals (5-5.5k US$) and average APC for Open Access (see eg Brembs).

        2016-01-18 18:22 UTC
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        2 people recommend this

        A peer review of that article has been published by Robin Osborne in which the reviewer commented that the work is "a simple but flawed case for the financial viability of open access".

        2016-01-10 09:04 UTC
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        2 people recommend this

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