Difference between revisions of "OA journal business models"
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* Some revenue sources are supplementary and not sufficient. We aim to include all the revenue sources actually used by OA journals, even if they are small parts of larger business models.
* Some revenue sources are supplementary and not sufficient. We aim to include all the revenue sources actually used by OA journals, even if they are small parts of larger business models.
* For the time being, the major categories are in alphabetical order, which does not reflect their relative prevalence.
* For the time being, the major categories are in alphabetical order, which does not reflect their relative prevalence.
Revision as of 15:58, 23 February 2017
This list is part of the Open Access Directory.
- This is a list of business models and revenue sources for OA journals.
- Some revenue sources are supplementary and not sufficient. We aim to include all the revenue sources actually used by OA journals, even if they are small parts of larger business models.
- If an example is dated (the named journal no longer uses a given model), please just change the verbs to the past tense. Don't delete the example. The list should track what models are now in use and what models were once tried.
- For the time being, the major categories are in alphabetical order, which does not reflect their relative prevalence.
- Related lists in OAD:
- For real-time updates, some not yet reflected here, follow the oa.business_models tag of the Open Access Tracking Project.
- Suggested short URL for this page = bit.ly/oad-journal-models
- Description. The model is to use advertising on the journal's web site or article pages in order to generate income to help support the journal.
- Under this model, web based advertising revenue is generally based on either the number of website users that may view the advertisement or the number of website users that interact with the advertisement (CPM versus CPA).
- For more information and examples, see Open Access Tracking Project tag oa.ads.
- Variation. A journal or its publisher can sell advertising space to companies willing to advertise in the journal. This usually requires a marketing staff.
- Example. British Medical Journal (BMJ) uses advertising as part of its "unique mixed revenue model", which includes "subscriptions, online advertising, reprints and publishing fees paid by research article authors” as summarized in report Alternative Open Access Publishing Models: Exploring New Territories in Scholarly Communication.
- Variation. A journal can use advertising services like Google AdSense, which place ads on pages based on an algorithmic reading of their content. These services require no marketing staff. Because the journal doesn't know in advance what ads will be placed, this method can answer suspicions that advertising compromises editorial integrity. Similar services include programs such as Amazon Associates and Barnes & Noble Affiliates Program under which program affiliates may generate revenue from referral payments.
- Examples. Journals using Google AdSense include:
- Open Government Journal from the University of Alberta.
- Priory Medical Journals.
- Contemporary Management Research from the Academy of Taiwan Information Systems Research.
- Journal of Medical Internet Research
- Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology and Neuroscience sponsored by the American Academy of Clinical Neurophysiology.
- Examples. Journals using Google AdSense include:
- Description. The model is for publishers to bid on articles to publish. The bid is in academic dollars, not actual currency or legal tender. The academic dollars would be shared with the authors, editors, and publishers of the works cited by the article.
- Example. The model was first proposed by David Zetland a 2004 preprint (inactive link), and then in a 2007 discussion paper and subsequent 2010 Public Choice article with Jens Prüfer. It works as follows (quoting Prüfer and Zetland): "In the AMJA [Auction Model for Journal Articles], authors write papers, market them to editors, and post them for auction. Editors bid Academic Dollars (A$) for papers and assign "purchases" to referees. Referees put in effort to review and improve —not reject— papers. Readers read and cite articles (published papers) in their own work. When the papers of those readers (now authors) are later auctioned, A$ are redistributed to authors, editors and referees of cited articles as a reward for quality." While the Public Choice article does not mention this model's potential benefit for being a self-sustaining OA business model, a 2004 blog post by Alex Tabarrok suggests the way in which an auction model could sustainably support an OA journal.
- Description. The model is for potential projects to be pitched online; the broader community—the “crowd” —may then choose to fund the submitted work with financial donations, which cover production costs. With enough financial backing from the crowd, the project goes into production.
- Example. ChipIn. Users of ChipIn can raise money for any project by defining the fundraiser's purpose, the desired amount, by when the funds must be raised, and by what method. Details are available here. A 2010 story in the Guardian discusses blogger Deanna Zandt's efforts to raise money to support herself while she finished a book project that did not offer her an advance. While this is not a journal model, it is a successful example of a crowdfunded publishing effort.
- Example. Kickstarter. The Kickstarter model involves a pitched project, which receives "all-or-nothing funding...in return for rewards." Several publishing projects have been funded successfully.
- Variation. Street performer protocol. The model is one in which the author requests a specific sum be raised before creating a work; private donor funds are pooled to finance this work. Coined by John Kelsey and Bruce Schneier in their June 1999 First Monday article, their “street performer protocol” is a model in which an author promises the delivery of a work for a specific sum; once private donations have filled the author’s goal, then the author creates the promised work, which is OA.
- Example. Copycan (inactive link). Through Copycan, an artist uploads digital content with "the amount of money he would like to have for releasing his work to the commons under a free license"; donors contribute, and if the funding goal is met, then "the artist gets paid, the content gets released and is from then on freely available." This site is now inactive.
- Description. The model is for an OA journal to offer branded products for sale, either internally or through a vendor (e.g., Cafe Press).
- Description. The model is for an OA publication to build an endowment of third party contributions that may be used to “support a journal’s ongoing operations”. Endowments may be developed through fundraising campaigns in addition to other approaches.
- Example. In January 2008, Yale University increased its endowment payout in order to support (among other things) OA for its courseware and library digitization projects.
- Example. Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art (AHNCA), is funded via AHNCA membership dues and voluntary donations. Surplus donations are placed into an endowment.
- Example. Americana: An Institute for American Studies and Creative writing publishes Review Americana, Magazine Americana, and Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture through an endowment.
- Example. The Electrochemical Society announced a strategy in 2016 to produce OA publications with no author-side publication fees with the support of an endowment initiative.
- Description. The model is to solicit donations from individuals or institutions, periodically or continuously.
- Note. A 2014 survey of English language journals based in the USA included in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) found that 4.8% of surveyed journals solicited reader donation.
- Example. See the fund-raising page formerly used by the Public Library of Science.
- Example. The journal Esoterica from Michigan State University solicits donations through a journal web page rather than a proprietary payment platform like PayPal.
- Example. Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice solicits donations through the journal website, using a dedicated "Support PaLRaP" button on the journal homepage.
- Variation. A journal may solicit donations through an embedded PayPal or Google Checkout widget.
- Example. Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, 1900 to Present collects donations to an "endowment fund" through PayPal.
- Example. The Journal of Medical Internet Research formerly had a donation page using PayPal.
- Example. The Open Government Journal, published by the University of Alberta, solicits donations on their website through a Google Checkout. The Neurology, Neurophysiology and Neuroscience uses the same type of widget.
- Example. Other Voices, published by the University of Pennsylvania, uses PayPal to collect donations.
Hybrid OA journals
- Description. The model is for a journal to publish some OA articles and some non-OA articles, when the choice between the two is the author's rather than the editor's. Authors who choose the OA option must typically pay a publication fee or find a sponsor to pay a fee (see "Publication fees" below). In return the journal provides immediate OA to the article at its own web site. Authors who don't choose the OA option don't pay a fee, although they might still pay page and color charges. Nor do they get immediate OA, although they might get delayed OA if the journal provides OA to its backfile after a certain embargo period.
- This section is for journals that charge publication fees and provide OA to some articles and not others. For journals that charge publication fees and provide OA to all their articles, see the section on "publication fees" below. For more information on Hybrid OA, see Open Access Tracking Project tag oa.hybrid.
- BMJ Journals Unlocked from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Group changed to Open Access effective October 1, 2012.
- Free Access Publication from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography also permits retroactive Free Access.
- Funded Access, Wiley's initial OA program, has been updated with OnlineOpen.
- IOP Publishers now has a hybrid OA model for authors, as of June, 2011.
- Journal of Neuroscience charges a $125 submission fee; once an article is accepted, the author pays an "Open Choice" publication fee in addition to standard publication and color charges.
- Mineralogical Society of America offers a per-page fee for author's choice OA.
- Open Access from World Scientific.
- Open Science from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
- Sponsored-article journals from Elsevier.
- For more examples, see Publishers with hybrid OA journal programs on the OAD page of Lists maintained by others.
- Variation. The journal promises to reduce the subscription price in proportion to author uptake of the OA option. (Failure to do so is sometimes called double dipping.)
- Example. Cambridge Open from Cambridge University Press is an "experiment" and "uptake will be monitored and future subscription prices will be modified to take into account the level of interest and uptake in this model".
- Example. EXiS Open Choice from Royal Society Publishing, starting in 2012 has "implement[ed] a new and more transparent pricing policy in which the price of each journal is tied to the number of non-open access articles published in that journal and each journal will publish the relevant article counts annually"; rates are detailed here.
- Variation. The journal allows authors who select the OA option to retain copyright, or to retain more rights than authors who do not select the OA option.
- Variation. The journal uses CC licenses (or an equivalent) for the OA articles, even if it doesn't do so for its other articles.
- Example. Free to Read, the American Physical Society's first OA initiative, has been updated with a "sustainable model" that features CC licensing and higher article processing charges.
- Example. Nature Publishing Group uses CC licensing, rather than the standard "exclusive License to Publish," for the ten of its journals that support opt-in OA.
- Example. Open Choice from Springer, as of January 16, 2012, uses CC licensing.
- Example. Oxford Open from Oxford University Press uses Open Licence Agreement CC licensing.
- Variation. The journal makes the OA articles the same versions that it publishes in the paid journal. (The alternative is to make the OA articles a truncation or abridgment of the TA editions, e.g., without links to references.)
- Variation. The journal insists that the OA editions only appear on its own web site. (The alternative is to allow authors to deposit their OA articles in repositories independent of the publisher.)
- Variation. The journal waives the fee for the OA option in cases of economic hardship or for authors from certain designated developing countries.
- Variation. The journal offers the OA option without any fee at all, or at a discounted fee, for authors in certain categories, for example, authors who are members of a certain society, authors who are employees of a subscribing institution, authors who serve as an editor or referee for one of the publisher's journals, and so on.
- Examples: No-fee hybrid journals. Most hybrid journals charge publication fees. These three do not: (1) Pediatrics, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, charges no publication fee, but the OA articles do not appear in the print edition. (2) Plant Physiology, published by the American Society of Plant Biology, charges no publication fee for members of the ASPB. (3) The Emerald Asset hybrid program, now defunct, from Emerald charged no publication fee for authors willing to write "a summary of their research findings highlighting their practical application."
- Example. In June 2007, the hybrid Journal of Experimental Botany from Oxford University Press waived publication fees for authors from institutions paying for a subscription. In July 2008, Oxford made clear that all its hybrid Oxford Open journals discounted their publication fees for authors from subscribing institutions.
- Example. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) offer a fee discount to authors that choose OA who are affiliated with an institution that subscribes to PNAS.
- Example. The American Chemical Society (ACS) "offer[s] a discounted price on article processing charges for authors at subscribing institutions and a further discount for ACS members".
- For other examples of waiving or discounting publication fees for institutional subscribers, see the section on "publication fees" below.
- Variation. The journal charges one fee for OA articles that also appear in the non-OA edition available to subscribers, and a lower fee for OA articles that do not appear in the non-OA edition.
- Variation. The journal refuses to publish work by authors bound by OA mandates (from funders or universities) unless those authors select the OA option and pay the associated fee.
- Variation. The journal rescinds or limits its permission for self-archiving at the same time that it adopts a hybrid OA model, in order to steer authors who want OA away from (no-fee) self-archiving and toward the (fee-based) hybrid option.
- Variation. The journal has a standard embargo period for paid OA, after which time the article is free.
- Example. SPIE offers hybrid OA for most of it journals, that is, it charges a flat publication fee to authors and provides immediate OA their work; however, with the Journal of Biomedical Optics, SPIE charges a publication fee and provides OA after a one-year embargo. Also of note is that SPIE's publications charges for non-OA works are voluntary. Details are available here.
- Description. The model is for an institution to subsidize an OA journal, in whole or part, directly or indirectly. It may provide cash, facilities, equipment, or personnel on a one-time or continuing basis. The institution may be of any kind, for example, a university, laboratory, research center, library, learned society, museum, hospital, for-profit corporation, non-profit organization, foundation, or government agency.
- Note. For institutional subsidies which include non-monetary support, recommended practices for "in-kind contributions" suggest appraising the value of services provided.
- Variation: university subsidies. There are many forms of university subsidies for OA journals: in-house publication of OA journals; funds to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals; and provision of facilities, equipment, or personnel. (Note that many of these subsidies are also enjoyed by non-OA journals.)
- Example. Electronic Transactions on Numerical Analysis (ETNA) is published by "Kent State University Library in conjunction with the Institute of Computational Mathematics at Kent State University"; ETNA also receives cooperative support from the Johann Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (RICAM).
- Example. eScholarship from the University of California offers the infrastructure and support to ensure "departments, research units, publishing programs, and individual scholars...have direct control over the creation and dissemination of the full range of their scholarship." A current list of the journals published by sScholarship are available here.
- Example. Journal of Electronic Publishing (JEP) is published by MPublishing of the University of Michigan Library. JEP also "benefits greatly from the support of industry leaders in the field of electronic scholarly publishing."
- Example. Journal of Insect Science is "supported by the University of Wisconsin Libraries."
- Example. Journal of Physical Studies was "initiated by the West Ukrainian Physical Society and Ivan Franko National University of L'viv."
- Example. Philosophers' Imprint is edited by philosophy faculty and published by librarians at the University of Michigan. Because the university already pays the salaries of these employees, and allows them to give some of their working time to the journal, the journal needn't charge reader-side subscription fees or author-side publication fees.
- Example. Purdue University Press is the "publishing arm of Purdue University and a unit of Purdue Libraries"; it produces a dozen journals as of April 2012.
- Example. The Lethbridge Journal Incubator hosted by University of Lethbridge proposes a model described as a “Method of funding Open Access publication of humanities journal by aligning production with the research and teaching methods of the University.”.
- Examples. Many universities have created funds to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals. See our comprehensive list of OA journal funds.
- Variation: government subsidies. There are many forms of government subsidies for OA journals: direct grants to OA journals or publishers; grants to researchers which they may use for publication fees or page charges at OA journals; in-house publication of OA journals; tax deductions for non-profit publishers of OA journals; budgetary support for public universities which the institutions may use to publish OA journals, subsidize OA journals, or hire faculty who spend part of their work-time editing OA journals. (Note that many of these subsidies are also used by TA journals.)
- Example. The US Air Force publishes Air and Space Power Journal.
- Example. France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique provides support for a large number of OA journals.
- Example. Emerging Infectious Diseases is a peer-reviewed OA journal published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Example. The Canadian Province of Quebec offers a program, Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), which supports 25-30 journals, including the journals within Consortium Érudit. These journals are not OA, but provide OA to their backfiles after a two-year moving wall.
- Example. The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism publishes the OA Alcohol Research & Health.
- Example. The US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences publishes the peer-reviewed OA journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.
- Example. SciELO, which publishes OA journals, is funded by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico or CNPq, in the Brazilian federal government, and by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo or FAPESP, in the Brazilian State of São Paulo. The full SciELO network throughout Latin America and the Caribbean publishes 550 OA journals (as of 7/13/08). This example is outlined in report Alternative Open Access Publishing Models: Exploring New Territories in Scholarly Communication by Adam Smith.
- Example. Canada's publicly-funded Social Science and Humanities Research Council offers a program, Aid to Open-Access Research Journals, to support OA journals in the humanities and social sciences. In 2007, it gave grants to 11 OA journals.
- Variation: foundation subsidies. Under this model, journals are supported in whole or in part by one or more charitable foundations.
- Example. The Ecology of Games is an OA journal published by MIT Press and subsidized by the MacArthur Foundation.
- Example. Journal of Legal Analysis is underwritten by the Considine Family Foundation, and receives "the strong support of the Harvard Law School and the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business."
- Example. Krisis is a Dutch OA philosophy journal subsidized, in part, by the Dutch Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds (Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund).
- Example. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases is published by PLoS; its "start-up phase is supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."
- Example. Health Equity, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., was launched in 2016 with the support of a grant provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
- Example. In February 2015, The Research Council of Norway announced “The STIM-OA scheme will facilitate the transition to open access publication. Research institutions may be reimbursed for up to half of their outlay for publication in open access journals.”. In 2013, the Research Council of Norway began their support in this area by funding 40 open access journals.
- Variation: corporate subsidies. Under this model, corporate entities may support a journal with resources contributed on a one-time or continued basis.
- Example. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine is an OA journal published by Oxford University Press and subsidized by the Ishikawa Natural Medicinal Products Research Center.
- Example. Nature Supplements are special issues published by the Nature Publishing Group that focus on a particular topic or community. Some of these supplements are self-identified as being produced and/or supported by companies.
- Variation: consortial subsidies. This model overlaps with the categories above (university, government, foundation, and corporate subsidies). What's notable is that an OA resource can build a customized or ad hoc coalition of supporting organizations. Under this model, the cost to each supporting institution may decrease with the growth of the consortium.
- Example. D-Lib Magazine is supported by the D-Lib Alliance, a consortium of universities, libraries, and corporations. Also see more details on the D-Lib Alliance.
- Example. eLife is supported by a group of foundations including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust. Initially eLife will not charge publication fees, though it may do so later. David Solomon discusses this example “The impact of digital dissemination for research and scholarship”.
- Example. The Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries (JALC) is supported by a customized coalition of nine institutions. It is even profitable.
- Example. Palaeontologia Electronica is supported by "the Paleontological Society (Sponsor), the Palaeontological Association (Sponsor), the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (Sponsor), and the Western Interior Paleontological Society (Contributor)."
- Example. SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) is a global partnership of 44 countries and 3 intergovernmental organizations, representing 3000+ libraries, universities and research institutes. SCOAP3 has transitioned key journals in the field of High Energy Physics to Gold OA. In addition born Gold OA journals are also supported. It eliminates the financial constraints for authors, by centrally paying publishers for peer-review and publishing services. The consortium is predominantly financed by participating libraries redirecting funds previously used for subscribing to the SCOAP3 journals. All authors can publish OA at no cost in the participating journals. Alternative Open Access Publishing Models: Exploring New Territories in Scholarly Communication by Adam Smith discusses the progress of SCOAP3, adding, "In its first two years of operation, started in January 2014, the project has supported publication of about 9,000 articles in 10 participating journals." A summary of the model supported by SCOAP3 is included in "The impact of digital dissemination for research and scholarship" by David J Solomon.
- Example. The Open Access Network (OAN) follows a consortial model of “committed individuals, organizations, societies, publishers, libraries, and institutions”, supplemented by external “seed funding".
- Example. The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development proposes a “Community Supported Journal” model based on converting licenses held by institutions into “OA Sponsor Shares” with added benefits for shareholders, as supplemented by revenue streams including submission fees, publication fees, and donation.
- Example. Revistas Científicas del CSIS is a Spanish state supported consortium of “131 research institutes and centres and 160 associated units in universities and other research institutions” publishing OA journals and books at no cost to the author.
- Example. LingOA supports linguistics journals in conversion to an OA model, under which “LingOA pays for the APCs in the first 5 years, then payments are taken over by the Open Library of Humanities. Three journals have already joined LingOA with their complete editorial boards and editorial teams: Laboratory Phonology, The Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, and Glossa (formerly known as Lingua (Elsevier)).”. LingOA is supported by a network of universities based in the Netherlands.
- Example. SciELO is a network of Latin American OA journals operating under a single publishing program supported by a regional institutional consortium. As of December 2015, “The platform includes 15 national journal collections, around 1,100 active journals in total, and over half a million articles.”.
- Variation: Use-Triggered Fees. “A use-triggered fee model supports open-access publication by imposing usage fees on a voluntary basis.”, in which access to publications is centered around the payment of non-mandatory fees solicited from user institutions that have met a specified usage quota, omitting institutions based in developing countries. Approaches to implementing this model may include coordinating a "voluntary license" between institution and publisher.
- Variation: Sponsorship. Under this model, institutional sponsors may "subsidize some or all of a journal’s operating expenses in exchange for recognition". While sponsorship is primarily connected to institutions under this model, sponsorships may also be supported by individuals.
- Note. Proposed standards for practice under this model include adopting a sponsorship policy, guidelines for sponsor credit, and carefully assessing proposed sponsor relationships.
- Example. Paleontologica Electronica recognizes journal sponsors and contributors on the journal website home page, and link to sponsor websites in journal site navigation.
- Description. The model is for a membership organization, like a learned society, to use membership dues to support an OA journal, in whole or part. (See "institutional subsidies".)
- For potential examples, see the 425 learned societies publishing OA journals identified by Peter Suber and Caroline Sutton 2007, the 530 societies publishing OA journals they identified in 2011, or the 1,033 societies publishing 1,000 full (non-hybrid) OA journals identified by the Suber, Sutton, and Amanda Page in 2015. We say "potential" examples because this research doesn't (yet) say what fraction of a journal's expenses are covered by membership dues, as opposed to other revenue sources such as article processing charges.
- Description. The model is for a journal to provide OA to one edition and sell access to another edition. The OA edition should contain the full text and other information (charts, illustrations, links, etc.), but the priced edition may appear earlier in time or include extra features, such as print. Priced editions may include the availability of paid formats, for example, “High quality PDFs instead of low-quality or HTML”.
- Variation: Revenue from a priced print edition supports an OA edition, with or without a delay in the release of the OA edition.
- Example: Communications in Information Literacy: Revenue from the POD edition supports the OA edition. Details in this 2008 editorial.
- Example. Documenta Mathematica is a no-fee OA journal subsidized by the sale of POD editions of its annual volumes.
- Example: Fornvännen publishes both an OA edition and a priced print edition. Instead of ordinary "delayed OA" (in which the digital edition is initially behind a price wall and later made OA), the full-text digital edition is OA from the moment it appears online, but doesn't appear online until six months after the print edition.
- Example: Journal of Medical Internet Research: Offers an OA edition in HTML and paid memberships (institutional or individual) that include a PDF edition and conference discounts for individual memberships.
- Example: Nature Conservation publishes "identical print (high-resolution, full-color) and online (PDF) versions," with the print content available by subscription and the online content available OA. See details here.
- Example: Postgraduate Medicine: The HTML edition is OA and a print edition is available by subscription.
- Variation: The priced and OA editions contain the same texts and appear at the same time, but differ in production quality.
- Example: The Annals of Improbable Research has published four versions of each article since December 2007: priced print, priced hi-res PDF, free low-res PDF, and free HTML. (Don't be misled by the fact that AIR isn't a "serious" journal. It still needs a serious business model.)
- Example: Cléo (Centre pour l'édition électronique ouverte) has used the OpenEdition Fremium business model for books and journals since February 2011. Under this model, HTML editions are OA and PDF edition are TA.
- Variation: The priced edition contains short summaries and the OA edition contains full texts (as opposed to the other way around).
- Example: Since January 2010, BMJ has published one-page pico summaries of its OA research articles in the print, TA edition of BMJ. A BMJ survey showed that users were more likely to read the TA edition if it contained these summaries. (If intelligent abridgment catches on as a form of added value, then full-text OA becomes much easier to support. More comments.)
- For an overview of this business model and added commentary see Peter Suber’s “Abridgment as added value”, originally published as part of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter in September 2009.
- Variation: The publisher sells reprints or offprints to help support an OA journal.
- Example. Postgraduate Medicine freely provides HTML versions of its articles but also sells reprints to generate income.
- Example. BioMed Central offers reprints for both its TA and OA content through EzReprint. The revenue generated from reprint sales supports BioMed Central's waiver fund. See details here.
- Variation: The publisher subsidizes its OA publications with profits or revenue from a separate line of non-OA publications.
- Example. SPIE publishes SPIE Letters without charging its standard publication fee; this model is possible because the content of this OA journal is "peer-reviewed articles judged to be of significant originality and interest, and originally published in one of six SPIE journals." Details are available here.
- Variation: The publisher selects articles that appear in a priced journal (or collection of journals) to be featured in an full OA review journal.
- Description. The model is to charge a fee upon acceptance of an article for publication. The idea is for the fee to cover the costs of production, although in practice it might cover more or less. Because rejected articles pay no publication fees (but see "submission fees" below), the publication fee must cover the costs of publishing the accepted article plus the cost of reviewing the number of submissions rejected for each accepted submission. Because costs per accepted paper rise with the rejection rate, the fee must rise with the rejection rate. The bill may go to the author, but is often paid by the author's funder or employer rather than by the author out of pocket. Hence this model is sometimes, misleadingly, called the "author pays" or "author fee" model. The fee is sometimes called a "processing fee" or an "article processing charge" (APC).
- Note that a growing number of institutions have funds to pay these fees on behalf of their faculty.
- Note that businesses are emerging to help fee-based publishers process fees. For example, see Open Access Key (OAK), and more details here.
- This section is for journals which charge publication fees and provide OA to all their articles. For journals which charge publication fees and provide OA to some articles and not others, see the section on hybrid journals above.
- See Peter Suber's 2006 article reviewing early evidence that a minority of OA journals and a majority of non-OA journals charged publication fees. Raym Crow's 2009 study found that "almost half" of OA journals charged publication fees. Stuart Shieber's May 2009 survey of the DOAJ found that only 30% charged publication fees.
- Variation: Flat fees. The journal charges the same fee for every accepted article.
- The Scientific World Journal charges a flat-rate APC.
- SpringerOpen charges flat rates that vary by journal.
- JMIR Publications charges a flat rate article processing fee for publication in select journals, including JMIR Medical Informatics, Interactive Journal of Medical Research, JMIR Mental Health, and JMIR Cancer.
- Variation: Variable fees. Fee size depends on article length or type of publication.
- Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute charges a flat APC for all journals up to a 30-page maximum, after which an additional per-page charge is levied. Details are provided.
- Nature Conservation charges EURO 20.00 per page, with "[a] minimum fee of EURO 200 is fixed for papers smaller than 10 printed pages," with a reduced pricing structure for papers over 100 pages. See details on Access Fees here.
- Optics Express has a tiered structure for publication fees based on article length. See details here.
- JMIR Research Protocols charges a varied fee based on the type of publication; for example, a lower fee for grant proposals and a higher fee for articles and a lower fee for grant proposals.
- Variation: Variable fees based on embargo period. Fee prices are based on the period of embargo; lower fees for OA publications released following an embargo period, and a higher fees for OA publications released with no embargo period (immediate OA).
- Example. Rockefeller University Press once offered two publication fee options, including a $2,000 fee for OA publications released following a six month embargo period, and a higher $5,000 fee for OA publications released with no embargo period.
- Variation: Fee discounts or waivers for economic hardship. Some OA journals waive or reduce publication fees in cases of economic hardship. Some do it for all authors from certain, designated developing countries. Some do it on request, no questions asked. For another model that supports fee payment based on author ability, see the “Pay What You Want” variation below.
- Example. ecancermedicalscience operates under a model which supports fee waiver in connection to the journal's larger "pay what you can afford" model. This example is included in David J Solomon's "The impact of digital dissemination for research and scholarship".
- Example. JMIR Publications supports a waiver policy for authors without available funds, granted through an application based system.
- Variation: Fee discounts for author assistance. Author assistance may include activities including but not limited to peer review or copy-editing.
- Example. Hydrology and Earth Systems Science, reduce their publication fee for authors who submit their manuscripts in a certain file format or who choose to do their own copy-editing.
- Example. The Institute of Physics supports a "referee reward scheme" under which reviewers may receive a 10% discount on OA publication costs.
- Variation: Fee waivers or discounts, from hybrid OA journals, for authors affiliated with institutions that pay for subscriptions.
- Example. Royal Society of Chemistry's UK-pilot "Gold for Gold" program uses a voucher code system that "rewards all institutions that subscribe to RSC Gold with voucher codes to make papers available via OA, free of charge." See the program announcement here and details here. The first article to be published with Gold for Gold is noted here.
- We list other examples under hybrid OA journals above.
- Variation: Charging author-side fees while paying author royalties.
- Example. InTech, formerly Sciyo, offered author royalties for a short time in 2010. As noted in a 2009 Newswire Today article, "Author royalties [based on the number of downloads] will be accredited directly to the author's account...[the] aim of the model is to reward high quality academic work, deemed most useful by the research community." Additional information on InTech's model is available from a Richard Poynder interview with the company's marketing director, Nicola Rylett.
- Variation: One price for ordinary production, with extra charges for extra services.
- Example. Ideas in Ecology and Evolution charges a $200 publication fee if the author uses conventional peer review and a $100 fee if the author uses the "author-directed peer review" system, which "allows authors to make their own arrangements for peer-review of manuscripts". See details here.
- Example: Optics Express charges a general publication fee and charges extra for copy editing, if needed.
- Example: JMIR Serious Games offers an "optional fast-track fee of US$450 if the author requires a decision within 3 weeks", in addition to an existing article processing charge.
- Example: Medicine 2.0 published by JMIR Publications offers a paid copyediting option, while otherwise charging no article processing fee.
- Variation: Institutional memberships. Some OA journals and publishers offer institutional memberships. The chief benefit of membership is that the journal waives or reduces publication fees for authors affiliated with member-institutions. Some charge a flat fee for membership. Some charge an amount linked to the number of articles published in the journal by the institution's employees. The more journals offered by a publisher (or more precisely, the more journals where institutional employees are likely to publish), the more valuable the membership is for members. In that sense, institutional membership are another way in which large publishers can benefit from economies of scale.
- Example: BioMed Central. See the BMC page on its membership program.
- Example: Hindawi. See the Hindawi page on its membership program.
- Example: Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR). See the JMIR page on its membership program.
- Example: Public Library of Science. See the PLoS page on its membership program.
- Example: Wiley Open Access supports two institutional account tracks including the Wiley Open Access Partners Fee (a discount plan) and the Wiley Open Access Account (an APC payment plan).
- Example: The Royal Society Open Access Membership supports APC discount and prepayment options.
- Example: New Journal of Physics supports an program for Associate Members which receive a 5% discount on APC costs.
- Variation: Consortial Institutional Memberships: Some publishers form a membership-based consortium to support the publication of OA journals through the payment of membership dues.
- Example. The Open Library of the Humanities (OLH) follows a Library Partnership Subsidies (LPS) model, in which a consortium of libraries support the cost of publication, at no cost to the author. This model provides economies of scale in which the cost to individual members is a function of the number of members. This model is discussed by Adam Smith in Alternative Open Access Publishing Models: Exploring New Territories in Scholarly Communication, and by Martin Paul Eve in Co-operating for gold open access without APCs and All That Glisters: Investigating Collective Funding Mechanisms for Gold Open Access in Humanities Disciplines. For more on this example, see items tagged with oa.open_library_humanities as part of the Open Access Tracking Project.
- Variation: Author memberships. The author membership model supports the option to publish a set number of publications within the duration of the membership period, as supported by membership dues paid by or on behalf of the author.
- Example: PeerJ supports author-side tiered lifetime membership plans in addition to APC based pricing models. Within this structure, each membership tier supports a specified number of publications within the 12 month membership period with the expectation of community review contribution. This example is referenced as an example in David J Solomon’s “The impact of digital dissemination for research and scholarship”.
- Variation: Institutional arrangements without memberships. Some OA publishers strike individual deals with individual institutions.
- Example. In January 2008, the Max Planck Society agreed to pay the publication fees for MPS authors when they publish in any of the (then 17) OA journals from Copernicus Publications.
- Example. New Journal of Physics supports individual arrangements with institutions centered around payment or waiver based plans.
- Variation: Fee-based OA for some topics, no-fee OA for other topics.
- Variation: Alternate compensation for access.
- Example. Congoo is a "premium content search engine that is useful to both users and publishers". The model requires users to register; Congoo then "provides users with controlled and measurable access into premium content" from participating publishers, which would otherwise be toll access, while ensuring publishers "maintain full control over their valuable content." In exchange for providing a limited amount of their content OA through Congoo's search service, publishers receive users' registration information from Congoo. Details of the benefits to publishers are provided here, and related commentary may be found in a 2005 Open Access Newsletter update and Antone Gonsalves's InformationWeek article.
- Variation: “Pay What You Want”. The size of the publication fee is up to the author.
- Example. The Surgery Journal (TSJ) follows this model, outlining, “Following acceptance of a paper after peer review, authors will be given the opportunity to pay an APC fee that they feel is most suitable (Pay What You Want - PWYW).”.
- Example. Regenerative Medicine Research supports this model as part of EDP Sciences, under "EDP’s Liberty APC model for article processing charges, where authors can choose their own fair price to publish a paper in Open Access including an amount of 0€." as outlined in the journal's announced shift to this model.
- Example. Cogent OA is a publisher of OA journals supporting this model under a “Pay what you can” structure, writing, “Our 'Freedom Article Publishing Charges' allow you to select the article publishing charge contribution you can afford.”.
- Example. ecancermedicalscience supports this model, outlining "ecancermedicalscience publishes using a "pay what you can afford" model. If you have funding to publish your work in an open access journal, you will be asked to transfer it to ecancer (up to £1000). If you do not have access to this funding, you do not have to pay a fee.". Sustainability in open access publishing: The ecancer case study by Katie Foxall and Audrey Nailor provides a case study of this example.
- Variation: Offsetting. An institution's subscription price for a hybrid OA journal includes (or offsets) APCs for a certain number of OA articles by authors at that institution.
- Variation: Integrated costs. Some OA journals recover their costs by building them in to the costs of other activities such as conference registration.
- Description. The model is to charge a fee for evaluating a submitted paper, whether or not the paper is later accepted. A submission fee may be in addition to a publication fee (see "publication fees" above). Submission fees can reduce publication fees at journals with high rejection rates.
- Example. Hereditas charges a €100 submission fee. The author is charged a publication fee upon acceptance. Details of the publication costs are available here.
- Example. Journal of Clinical Investigation charges a $75 submission fee, in addition to publication fees. Details are available here.
- Example. Journal of Medical Internet Research. See JMIR's fee schedule.
- For more discussion, see the December 2010 report by Mark Ware (published by Knowledge Exchange). On p. 4, Ware lists 20 examples of OA journals charging submission fees, along with the fee amounts, the journal publishers, and the journal impact factors. Anna Sharman explores Ware's discussion of the prevalence of submission fees, which journals use them, and the "pros and cons of submission fee" in a 2012 blog post.
- Description. The model is for a publisher to offer free online access to a work for a restricted period, after which the work becomes toll access. The OA period may occur just once or periodically. Note: this is not "pure" OA, but represents a particular model that has been used by some publishers to experiment with OA.
- Example. Emerald has several limited-time gratis OA programs.
- "New launch" journals: three new journals are featured OA for two months, after which time they become TA and three new "free access" journals are swapped in.
- Research in the News: three articles/book chapters featuring content tied to current events are highlighted as "free access" for a month's time, launched in October 2011.
- Special events: Earth Day, Global Entrepreneurship Week, and International Women's Day are examples of very short-term temporary OA linking select Emerald content with international days of awareness or celebration.
- Example. Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) provided OA to their forthcoming articles; these preprints were the final versions of works in press, and as such were neither copy edited nor formatted. Once the article appeared in print, then the work was no longer OA. However, as of January 2012, ITAL "is adopting an open-access, e-only publishing model"; back issues of the journal and the preprints will become OA as time and funding allows.
- Example. Emerald has several limited-time gratis OA programs.
- Description. Under this model, “Open-access publishers that control significant bodies of content may be able to generate additional revenue by licensing content to third-party information aggregators and distributors.” Within this structure, OA publications may remain open while establishing independent licensing terms with an outside party.
- Description. This model offers added services and features on top of OA content, available for an opt-in subscription by the reader. A range of services is possible, for example, article alert services and site customization (from Raym Crow's 2009 "Income models for open access: An overview of current practice"); or print-on-demand services.
- Example. Open Edition, a humanities and social sciences portal, includes work from OpenEdition Books, Revues.org, Hypotheses, and Calenda. The work is available OA, but institutions may buy a subscription to Open Edition to receive six value-added services, including "unlimited, DRM-free download access to PDF, ePub files of the articles of the 90 journals which have adopted the OpenEdition Freemium model", technical support, customized alerts, COUNTER statistics on use, and participation in the user committee working group. See details of the model, and a 2011 article "Freemium as a Sustainable Economic Model for Open Access Electronic Publishing in Humanities and Social Sciences" on OpenEdition's freemium model by Pierre Mounier, OA through ELPUB. Report Alternative Open Access Publishing Models: Exploring New Territories in Scholarly Communication adds, "The platform hosts 137 journals and 50 book publishers, with more than 110 subscribing libraries.”.
- Example. OECD Publishing supports open access to published content in combination with additional paid features such as annotation tools and download functionality, available through paid subscription. This model is outlined in Richard Padley’s “Freemium and the forever business: payment models in scholarly publishing” and in presentation Freemium Open Access Publishing - better than Green or Gold? by Toby Green, Head of Publishing at OECD.
- Description. The model is to use unpaid volunteers for some of the work in producing the journal. All scholarly journals (OA and non-OA) use volunteers to some extent, as authors, referees, and/or some kinds of editors.
- Note. When a volunteer has a salary from another organization, and is allowed by that organization to spend some professional time on the journal, then the institution is directly or indirectly subsidizing the journal. (See "Institutional subsidies" above.) When the journal work is an overload, then the volunteer's employer is not subsidizing the journal. However, because it is often difficult to tell whether work is an overload (inside or outside a job description), it is often difficult to distinguish volunteer effort from institutional subsidy.
- Example. Bulletin EBIB, open access journal Bulletin EBIB from Poland published by EBIB Association. This journal has been published for Polish librarians and information specialists since 1999. All of the work is done by volunteers - 20 librarians from different institutions living in different parts of the country. All work processes are based on teleworking.