Is Open Access Affordable? More to the point, is scholarly publishing affordable?
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-01-29
"Progress to open access (OA) has stalled, with perhaps 20% of new papers ‘born‐free’. After two decades trying to flip to open access, one has to ask the question: why is it taking so long?
In this paper, I review what happened in 2017-2018: librarians showing muscle in negotiations, publishers’ Read and Publish deals, and funders determined to force change with initiatives like Plan S. I conclude that these efforts will not work. I argue that the focus on OA makes us miss the bigger problem: today’s scholarly communications is too expensive for today’s budgets. So, OA is not the problem, the publishing process is the problem. To solve it, I propose using the principles of digital transformation to reinvent publishing as a two‐step process where articles are published first as preprints, and then journal editors invite authors to submit only those papers that ‘succeed’ to peer review. This would reduce costs significantly, opening a sustainable pathway for scholarly publishing and OA. The catalyst for this change is for the reputation economy to accept preprints as it does articles in minor journals today...."