The potential effect of making journals free after a 6 mont embargo: A report for the Association of Learned, Professional, and Society Publishers [ALPSP] and the Publishers Association 2012-05-31


Use the link to access the full text report described as follows by the Publishing Research Consortium <>: “ALPSP and the PA have just completed a study, which took the form of a very simple survey of librarians round the world, gaining over 200 responses. It asked one main question: 'If the (majority of) content of research journals was freely available within 6 months of publication, would you continue to subscribe?'  - and asked them, if appropriate, to give separate answers for STM (Scientific, Technical and Medical) journals and for HASS (Humanities, Arts and Social Science) journals.”  THe Executive Summary for the report reads as follows: “1. This report documents the results of a survey carried out to obtain a significant body of  information on how the acquisitions policies of libraries might be affected by an across-the board mandate to make journals articles free of charge six months after publication.  2. A short question was e-mailed to approximately 950 libraries throughout the world. The aim was to obtain a set of representative responses from librarians at the different types of library served by academic publishers, while at the same time focusing particularly on obtaining replies from librarians at the world’s most prestigious academic libraries. Allowing for bouncebacks, etc., it is estimated that the question reached approximately 800 librarians. 3. The question was: If the (majority of) content of research journals was freely available within 6 months of publication, would you continue to subscribe? Please give a separate answer for a) Scientific, Technical and Medical journals and b) Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Journals if your library has holdings in both of these categories. 4. 210 replies were received, giving an approximate 26% response rate. 159 of the respondents were from HEI libraries worldwide; 15 were from corporate libraries; and the remaining 36 were from government, medical, specialist, college and school libraries. 44 of the HEI respondents’ institutions appear in the THE Top 100 list and 99 of them appear in either the THE or the ARWU Top 500 list. 5. Analysis of the results was carried out for the sample as a whole, and further broken down by type of library / region. They are summarised in the table below, which also appears in Section VI of this report... 10. The following conclusions have been drawn: that an across-the-board mandate would havea material effect on libraries’ subscriptions; and that the impact on all publishers’ revenues would be considerable. HEI libraries would be impacted by the collapse or scaling down ofacademic publishing houses. The world’s most distinguished research institutions  would be impacted most, since published outputs are essential for the work carried out by their researchers. The results indicate that STM publishers would fare better than AHSS publishers. Overall, STM publishers could expect to retain full subscriptions from 56% of libraries; AHSS publishers could expect to retain full subscriptions from 35% of libraries. STM publishers could expect 10% of libraries to cancel subscriptions altogether, and AHSS publishers could expect 23% of libraries to cancel subscriptions altogether. STM publishers could expect reduced (or no) revenues from the remaining 34% of libraries; AHSS publishers could expect reduced (or no) revenues from the remaining 42% of libraries. Most publishers would be obliged to review their portfolios; and a substantial body of journals, especially in AHSS subjects, would cease or be financially imperiled. 11. It is strongly recommended that no mandate is issued on making all or most journal articles available free of charge after a six month embargo until both libraries and publishers have had time to understand the issues better and have together taken steps to explore alternatives to a fully open access publishing model which could be mutually attractive.”


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Tags: oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.ssh oa.mandates oa.universities oa.societies oa.libraries oa.surveys oa.peer_review oa.usage oa.preservation oa.sustainability oa.librarians oa.prices oa.embargoes oa.budgets oa.publishers_association oa.colleges oa.cancellations oa.alpsp np.rhul oa.stem oa.reports oa.repositories oa.hei oa.policies oa.journals oa.economics_of

Date tagged:

05/31/2012, 12:20

Date published:

05/31/2012, 07:48