Friday, October 20, 2006

Profit from Open Access Publishing for Research and Scholarship

The report "Research communication costs in Australia: Emerging opportunities and benefits" puts dollar figures on the benefits of open access electronic publishing. This is well worth reading for anyone interested in e-publishing for scholarly purposes and also has some insights for commercial publishers.
Estimating the benefits of a one-off increase in accessibility and efficiency we find that:
  • With public sector R&D expenditure at AUD 5,912 million in 2002-03 and a 25% rate of social return to R&D, a 5% increase in accessibility and efficiency would be worth AUD 150 million a year;
  • With higher education R&D expenditure at AUD 3,430 million and a 25% rate of social return to R&D, a 5% increase in accessibility and efficiency would be worth AUD 88 million a year; and
  • With ARC administered competitive grants funding at AUD 480 million and a 25% rate of social return to R&D, a 5% increase in accessibility and efficiency would be worth AUD 12 million a year.
They also look at the costs:
Scholarly research communication costs are significant. Summing the estimated costs associated with core scholarly communication activities in Australian higher education (including higher education related ARC and NHMRC research grant application and review, reading for those higher education staff producing HERDC compliant publications, writing HERDC publications, related peer review and editorial activities, and related publishing costs) gives an approximate estimate of overall system costs of between AUD 2.6 billion and AUD 4.6 billion (mean AUD 3.6 billion) per year.

This 132 page report was prepared for the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and released in September 2006. It was prepared by John Houghton, Colin Steele & Peter Sheehan and details costs and benefits from open, scholarly communication:
  • The underlying economics of scholarly publication, distribution and access;
  • Understanding the various emerging alternative models for publication and access; and
  • Exploring the costs, benefits and implications for Australia at both the national and institutional levels.
The report is available in PDF (1.7 MB) and RTF (4.4 MB). This report is one of a number of recent Australian Government funded reports on electronic repositories, publishing and archives.

Ironically, while detailing the benefits of Open Access in publishing, the report itself has a restrictive copyright notice, preventing wider distribution. The report also suffers from poor electronic formatting. It is unfortunate there isn't a good XHTML version of the report which could be used in education.

Also I would have liked to see alternative business models for e-publishing addressed. The authors seem to assume that the only way to pay for a journal is by subscription. They have not noticed that Science and Nature magazines are jam packed with paid advertising. They don't address the option of web based advertising for e-journals. I have proposed this for the Australian Computer Society's publishing.

In addition the report only looks at publishing from the point of view of the scholar; there is no discussion of creating a viable commercial research publishing industry for Australia. With a good reputation in academia, copyright laws and good Internet infrastructure, it would be quite possible for small Australian startups to compete world wide. DEST is pouring millions of dollars of public money into developing tools for e-publishing. It would good to see some of that money resulting in jobs and income for Australians, rather than the software produced being used to make products and services in other countries, which Australian researchers then have to pay to use (with ultimately DEST paying to use the products it funded to develop).

This is a brave attempt to put figures on a very difficult subject. Unlike many scholarly works on open access, this is not a collection of woolly wishful thinking. There are facts and figures, diagrams explainign the publishing process and lots of statistics on economic value. But some of the figures are a bit rubbery. Cost estimates are quoted from Roger Clarke's "The cost-profiles of alternative approaches to journal publishing", but he got some of those figures from me, so I wouldn't believe it. ;-)

The report also has a good list of references. Here are some of the better ones:
  1. Allen, J. (2005) Interdiciplinary differences in attitudes towards deposit in institutional repositories, Department of Information and Communications, Manchester Metropolitan University.
  2. Anderson, C. (2004) 'The Long Tail,' Wired Magazine 12(10), October 2004.
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  4. AVCC (1996) University Research: Some Issues, AVCC Canberra.
  5. Bailey, C.W. (2005) Open Access and Libraries, Preprint 1/11/06.
  6. Banks, J. and Pracht, C. (2005) 'Movers and Shakers in the Library Publishing World Highlight their Roles: Interviews with Print and Electronic Journal Editors - A Comparison', Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 6(3), Winter 2005.
  7. Bot, M., Burgemeester, J. and Roes, H. (1998) 'The Cost of Publishing an Electronic Journal: A general model and a case study,' D-Lib Magazine November 1998.
  8. Bowan, W.G. (1995) 'JSTOR and the economics of scholarly communication,' The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  9. Brody, T. and Harnad, S. (2004) 'Comparing the Impact of Open Access (OA) vs. Non-OA Articles in the Same Journals,' D-Lib Magazine 10(6).
  10. Brody, T., Harnad, S. and Carr, L. (2005) 'Earlier Web Usage Statistics as Predictors of Later Citation Impact,' Journal of the American Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).
  11. Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2005) Keystroke Economy: A Study of the Time and Effort Involved in Self-Archiving.
  12. Chan, L., Kirsop, B. and Arunachalam, S. (2005) 'Open Access Archiving: the fast track to building research capacity in developing countries,' SciDevNet, November 2005.
  13. Clarke, R. (2005) ' The cost-profiles of alternative approaches to journal publishing,' Presentation at The Impact of Open Access on Publishers, Librarians and Academics, Fiesole Collection Retreat, No. 7, Melbourne, 29 April 2005.
  14. Coleman, R. (2006) Sydney University Press - publication, business and digital library, presentation at VALA 2006, Melbourne, Australia.
  15. David, P.A. and Uhlir, P.F. (2005) Creating the Global Information Commons for Science, CODATA.
  16. Davis, P., T. Ehling, O. Habicht, S. How, J.M. Saylor and K. Walker (2004) 'Report of the CUL Task Force on Open Access Publishing Presented to the Cornell University Library Management Team August 9, 2004'.
  17. Davis, P.M. and Fromerth, M.J. (2006) Does arXiv lead to higher citations and reduced publisher downloads for mathematics articles?, 14 March 2006.
  18. Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (2006) Publishing Strategies in Transformation? Wiley-VCH, Weinheim.
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  21. Esposito, J.J. (2004) 'The devil you don't know: the unexpected future of Open Access Publishing,' First Monday 9(8), August 2004.
  22. Frazier, K. (2001) 'The librarians' dilemma: Contemplating the costs of the Big Deal', D-Lib Magazine, 7(3), March 2001.
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  24. Gatten, J.N. and Sanville, T. (2004) 'An orderly retreat from the Big Deal', D-Lib Magazine, 10(10), October 2004.
  25. Getz, M. (2005) Open Scholarship and Research Universities, Vanderbilt University.
  26. Hahn, K. (2006) The State of the Large Publisher Bundle: Findings from an ARL Member Survey, ARL Bimonthly Report 245, Washington DC.
  27. Hajjem, C., Harnad, S. and Gingras, Y. (2005) 'Ten-Year Cross-Disciplinary Comparison of the Growth of Open Access and How it Increases Research Citation Impact,' IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin 28(4) pp39-47.
  28. Harboe-Ree, C. (2005) Managing Australian Research Output for Increased Return on Investment: The Role of Open Access Institutional Repositories, Monash University, Melbourne.
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  30. Harnad, S. (2005) Maximising the Return on UK's Public Investment in Research.≈llicense/ListArchives/0509/msg00079.html
  31. Harnad, S. (2005) OA Impact Advantage = EA + (AA) + (QB) + QA + (CA) + UA.
  32. Harnad, S. and Brody, T. (2004) 'Comparing the impact of open access (OA) vs. non-OA articles in thesame journals', D-Lib Magazine 10(6), June 2004.
  33. Harnad, S., Brody, T., Vallieres, F., Carr, L., Hitchcock, S., Yves, G., Charles, O., Stamerjohanns, H. and Hilf, E. (2004) 'The Access/Impact Problem and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access,' Serials Review 30(4).
  34. Hatfield, M., Sonnenschein, H. and Rosenberg, L. (2000) Exceptional Returns: The Economic Value of America's Investment in Medical Research, Funding First, New York.
  35. Hawley, J.B. (2004) 'JCI and Open Access,' Presented at Open Access Publishing, Society for Scholarly Publishing, Washington D.C. November 2004.
  36. HCSTC (House of Commons Science and Technology Committee) (2004a) Scientific Publications: Free for all? Tenth Report of Session 2003-04, The Stationery Office, London.
  37. HCSTC (House of Commons Science and Technology Committee) (2004b) Responses to the Committee's Tenth Report, Session 2003-04, Scientific Publications: Free for all? The Stationery Office, London.
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  39. Houghton, J.W. (2001) 'Crisis and transition: The economics of scholarly communication', Learned Publishing, 14(3), July 2001, pp167-176.
  40. Houghton, J.W. (2005b) Digital Delivery of Content: Scientific Publishing, Working Party on the Information Economy, OECD, Paris.
  41. Houghton, J.W. with Steele, C. & Henty, M. (2003) Changing Research Practices in the Digital Information and Communication Environment, Department on Education, Science and Training, Canberra (October 2003).
  42. Jeffery, K.G. (2006) 'Open Access: An Introduction,' ERCIM News 64, January 2006.
  43. Key Perspectives (2004) Journal Authors Survey Report, JISC/OSI.
  44. King, D.W. (2004) 'Should Commercial Publishers Be Included in The Model for Open Access through Author Payment?' D-Lib Magazine 10(6), June 2004.
  45. Kling, R., Spector, L. and McKim, G. (2002) 'Locally controlled scholarly publishing via the internet: the Guild model,' Journal of Electronic Publishing 8(1).
  46. Kurtz, M.J. (2004) 'Restrictive access policies cut readership of electronic research journals articles by a factor of two', Available
  47. Lewis, D.W. (2004) 'A demand-side view of the future of library collections,' CNI Fall 2004 Task Force Meeting.
  48. LISU (2004) 2004 Library and Information Statistics Tables, LISU, Loughborough. Avaiable
  49. Lynch, C.A. (2003) 'Institutional repositories: Essential infrastructure for scholarship in the digital age', ARL, 226 (February 2003), pp1-7.
  50. McCabe, M.J. and C.M. Snyder (2004b) 'The economics of Open-Access journals', Preliminary Draft.
  51. McVeigh, M.E. (2004) Open Access Journals and the ISI Citation Database: Analysis of Impact Factors and Citation Patterns, Thomson Scientific Whitepaper.
  52. Nadasdy, Z. (1997) 'Electronic Journal of Cognitive and Brain Sciences: A Truly All-Electronic Journal: Let Democracy Replace Peer Review,' Journal of Electronic Publishing 3(1).
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  54. Odlyzko, A. (2002) 'The rapid evolution of scholarly communication', Learned Publishing 15(1), 7-19.
  55. OSI (2004) A Guide to Institutional Repository Software, Open Society Institute, August 2004.
  56. Peek, R. (2003) 'Could Peer Review Be Wrong?' Information Today 20(4), April 2003.
  57. Pinfield, S. (2005) 'A mandate to self archive? The role of open access institutional repositories,' Serials 18(1), pp30-34.
  58. PLoS (2003) Open-Access Publication of Medical and Scientific Research, Public Library of Science.
  59. PLoS (2004) Publishing Open-Access Journals, Public Library of Science.
  60. Prosser, D.C. (2005) The Next Information Revolution - How Open Access Repositories and Journals will Transform Scholarly Communications, Sparc Europe.
  61. Reed Elsevier (2004) Memorandum from Reed Elsevier.
  62. Rowlands, I. and Nicholas, D. (2005) New Journal Publishing Models: An international survey of senior researchers, CIBER report for the Publishers Association and the International Association of STM Publishers.
  63. Sale, A. (2006) Generic Risk Analysis: Open Access for your institution, Technical Report, School of Computing, University of Tasmania.
  64. Schroeder, R., Caldas, A., Mesch, G. and Dutton, W. (2005) 'The World Wide Web of Science: Reconfiguring Access to Information.' Oxford Internet Institute.
  65. Simba (2004) Global STM Market Analysis & Forecast 2003, Simba Information, Stamford CT.
  66. Simboli, B. (2005) 'Subscription subsidized open access and the crisis in scholarly communication,' Lehigh University.
  67. Singer, P. (2000) 'When shall we be free?' Journal of Electronic Publishing 6(2)
  68. Smith, A.P. (2000) 'The journal as an overlay on preprint databases,' Learned Publishing 13(1), 43-48.
  69. Smith, J.W.T. (2005) Open Access Publishing Models: Reinventing Journal Publishing, Research Information, May-June 2005.
  70. SQW (2003) Economic Analysis of Scientific Research Publishing, A report commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, London, January 2003.
  71. SQW (2004) Costs and business models in scientific research publishing, A report commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, London, April 2004.
  72. Suber, P. (2004) 'What is open access?: An overview,' Presented at Open Access Publishing, Society for Scholarly Publishing, Washington D.C. November 2004.
  73. Tenopir, C. and King, D.W. (2002) 'Reading behavior and electronic journals,' Learned Publishing 15(4), pp259-265.
  74. Van de Sompel, H. et al. (2004) 'Rethinking Scholarly Communication: Building the system that scholars deserve,' D-Lib Magazine 10(9) September 2004.
  75. Van Westrienen, G. and Lynch, C.A. (2005) 'Academic Institutional Repositories: Deployment Status in 13 Nations as of Mid 2005', D-Lib Magazine, 11(9), September 2005.
  76. Varian, H.R. (1998) The future of electronic journals, Journal of Electronic Publishing 4(1).
  77. Velterop, J. (2003) 'Institution pays', presentation at ALPSP forum “Who Pays for the Free Lunch?" ALPSP, April 2003.
  78. Waltham, M. (2005) JISC: Learned Society Open Access Business Models, JISC June 2005.
  79. Willinsky, J. (2003) 'Scholarly Associations and the Economic Viability of Open Access Publishing,' Journal of Digital Information, 4(2).
  80. Woodward, H. and Conyers, A. (2005) 'Analysis of UK academic library journal usage,' Presentation to the Charleston Conference, 2-5 November 2005.
  81. Zandonella, C. (2003) 'Economics of Open Access: Supporters of new publishing model still face skepticism about journals' viability', The Scientist, 22 August.
  82. Also from the Nature Access to the Literature Debate:


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