Could the University of Iowa Libraries save over $2 million from their subscriptions budget with a flip to open access?
“Thanks to Wendy Robertson at the University of Iowa Libraries for posting some very useful information about their library's expenditures on journals. This post is an informal research collaboration designed to build on Robertson's work... By my calculations, the University of Iowa Libraries could save over $2 million dollars or 60% of the expenditures for journals listed on this web page with a full flip to open access, paid for entirely out of the library budget, assuming a mixed model composed of half of the articles published in the scholar-led publishing sector as illustrated by OJS (Edgar & Willinsky), with an average per-article cost of $188; and the other half published using an article processing fee with the PLoS ONE fee of $1,350 as an average. It is assumed that 1,960 articles were published by the University of Iowa Libraries in 2010, based on a Google Scholar Advanced Search... I argue that we need to look for savings in the process of transition to open access, because libraries have many new areas where funding is needed... One of the reasons why the scholar-led publishers that are the primary users of Open Journal Systems have such a low per-average article cost is that many are built on efficient, not-for-profit library publishing services. Perhaps the transition to full open access will open up opportunities for our librarian colleagues? ...”