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Fw: News Release: How to build a business case for an Open Access policy


Neil JACOBS <[log in to unmask]>


Neil JACOBS <[log in to unmask]>


Thu, 25 Feb 2010 10:23:08 +0000





text/plain (1 lines)

Apologies for cross-posting


M: 44 (0)7841951302.   Skype: neil.jacobs1

----- Original Message -----

From: A JISC announce list. <[log in to unmask]>

To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>

Sent: Thu Feb 25 09:56:30 2010
Subject: News Release: How to build a business case for an Open Access policy

25 February 2010

News Release

How to build a business case for an Open Access policy

A new report launched today (25 February 2010) shows how universities can

work out how much they could save on their profit and loss accounts as well

as increasing their contribution to UK plc when they share their research

papers through Open Access.

The ‘modelling scholarly communication options: costs and benefits for

universities’ report, written by Alma Swan, is based on different types of

university. It shows how universities might reduce costs, how they can

calculate these saving and their greater contribution to society by

following an Open Access route.

Neil Jacobs, programme manager at JISC says, “This is the first time that

universities will have a method and practical examples from which to build a

business case for Open Access and to calculate the cost to them of the

scholarly communications process. For example working out  the value of

researchers carrying out peer-reviewing duties or the comparative costs of

the library handling of journals subscribed to in print, electronically, or

in both formats.  

“As universities such as Edinburgh, Salford and UCL lead the world to

mandate self-archiving and adopt Open Access policies, this report gives

evidence to help universities make informed decisions about how their

research is disseminated. There are still issues to overcome and the

benefits of adopting an Open Access route can be seen through economies of

scale, the more researchers disseminate their work through this route the

greater the benefits.” 

The key findings from the report show:

•	The annual savings in research and library costs of a  university

repository model combined with subscription publishing could range from

£100,000 to £1,320,000

•	Moving from Open Access journals and subscription-funding to per-article

Open Access journal funding has the potential to achieve savings for

universities between £620,000 per year and £1,700,000 per year if the

article-processing charge is set at £500 or less 

•	Savings from a change away from subscription-funding to per-article Open

Access journal funding were estimated to be between £170,000 and £1,365,000

per year for three out  of the four universities studied when the

article-processing charge is £1000 per article or less

•	For the remaining university in the study a move from subscription-funding

to the per-article Open Access journal funding saw the university having to

pay £1.86m more in this scenario

Jacobs adds: “While some research intensive universities may pay more for

the subscription-funding to per-article Open Access journal scenario, it

should be noted that many research funders, including the Research Councils

and Wellcome Trust, may contribute article-processing charges as a part of

normal research grants, so that all universities have a potential source of

income to cover the majority of such costs. 

“JISC is working with partners in the sector to overcome the barriers which

exist to adopting Open Access.”

The report focussed on three approaches to Open Access:

Open access journals - content freely available online using a business

model that does not rely on subscriptions

Open access repositories – the current subscription-based system is

supplemented by the provision of Open Access articles in repositories

Open access repositories with overlay services – content is collected in

repositories and service providers carry out the publishing services

necessary, for example the peer-review process

Martin Hall, Vice Chancellor at the University of Salford says: “We have

recently implemented an Open Access mandate to self-archive. The reason we

decided to adopt this approach is that evidence shows that research

published online has higher citations and can also be used as a way to

promote our competitiveness internationally.” 

If you’re looking to implement an Open Access policy here are four aspects

to consider:

• Consult across the whole the university on the barriers and benefits of

implementing an Open Access policy

• Invest in a university repository; the small investment in setting one up

will yield benefits in managing and sharing a university’s research outputs

• Set up financial processes to manage income and expenditure for Open

Access publication charges; this will help researchers publish in Open

Access journals

• Promote the Open Access policy and procedures to all staff to provide

researchers with clear guidance on the opportunities open to them.

Supporting materials:

• How to build a case for university policies and practices in support of

Open Access:


• Publishing research papers: which policy will deliver best value for your



• The report was commissioned by JISC and written by Alma Swan from Key

Perspectives Limited. Visit http://ie-repository.jisc.ac.uk/442 to download

a full version of the report. 

• Listen to a podcast interview with Alma Swan and Neil Jacobs,


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