The Potential of a Cost-Per-Use Analysis to Assess the Value of Library Open-Access Funds | Evidence Based Library and Information Practice
mdelhaye's bookmarks 2018-12-27
Objective – To determine the feasibility and potential effects of a cost-per-use analysis of library funds dedicated to open access.
Design – Cost-per-use analysis, case study.
Setting – PLOS and BioMed Central.
Subjects – 591 articles published in PLOS ONE, 165 articles published in PLOS Biology, and 17 articles published in BioMed Central.
Methods – Three specific examples are provided of how academic libraries can employ a cost-per-use analysis in order to determine the impact of library-based open access (OA) funds. This method is modeled after the traditional cost-per-use method of analyzing a library collection, and facilitates comparison to other non-OA items. The first example consisted of using a formula dividing the total library-funded article processing charges (APCs) by the total global use of the specific PLOS journal articles that were funded. The second and third examples demonstrated what a library-funded OA membership to BioMed Central would cost alone, and then with APCs that cost could be divided by the total usage of the funded articles to determine cost-per-use. Main Results – The authors found both of the examples described in the article to be potential ways of determining cost-per-use of OA articles, with some limitations. For instance, counting article usage through the publisher’s website may not capture the true usage of an article, as it does not take altmetrics into consideration. In addition, article-level data is not always readily available. In addition, the cost-per-use of OA articles was found to be very low, ranging from $0.01 to $1.51 after the first three years of publication based on the cost of library-funded APCs. The second and third methods revealed a cost-per-use of $0.10 using membership-only payments, while using the cost of membership plus APCs resulted in a cost-per-use of $0.41.