May 18, 2022

New Article: “A Scalable and Sustainable Approach to Open Access”

The following article was published today on the EDUCAUSE Review web site.


A Scalable and Sustainable Approach to Open Access


Alexis Seeley
Associate, K|N Consultants
Associate Dean of Teaching, Research, and Technology, Barnard College

Lisa Norberg
Principal, K|N Consultants
Barnard Library and Academic Information Services, Barnard College

Rebecca Kennison
Principal, K|N Consultants
Director, Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, Columbia University


EDUCAUSE Review Online
September/October 2014

From the Article

In our white paper, “A Scalable and Sustainable Approach to Open Access Publishing and Archiving for Humanities and Social Sciences,”  we offer a new model that tackles head-on the predominant OA business model’s major drawback: it is based on individual payments from researchers — typically called article-processing charges (APCs) — and offers access only to certain types of publications.

Our model, in contrast, asks tertiary institutions to contribute to systemic support of the research process itself, including its entire scholarly output — whether article, monograph, data set, conference presentation, multimodal website, or formats not yet envisioned. Our model looks to societies to play a central role within the scholarly communication ecosystem, and for academic libraries to become true partners with them.

A bold rethinking of the economics of OA, our plan is nevertheless designed to assuage the fears and embrace the investments of all stakeholders in the scholarly communication system. Our plan

  • is intentionally incremental, acknowledging the inherent conservatism of traditional academia;
  • enables societies, along with their publishing partners, to gradually develop strategies to provide their members with services that continue to be useful and meaningful;
  • suggests preservation and curation as a library’s primary role, which is a natural space for libraries to occupy and has always been part of their mission;
  • allows all partners in the scholarly communication ecosystem to begin to work together to agree on best practices; and
  • provides a clear but ever-evolving and expanding roadmap to address concerns about “free riders.”

The financial model we propose is based on an annual or multi-year payment made by every institution of higher education, no matter its size or classification, and by any institution that benefits from the research generated by those within the academy

Read the Complete Article (1086 Words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.