November 29, 2020

UC Davis and CDL Awarded $800,000 Grant From Mellon Foundation to Lead Project to Build Open Access Financial Model

From UC Davis and California Digital Library:

The University of California, Davis and the California Digital Library (CDL) will lead a major new project, with an $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to help define the future of Open Access to scholarship. Pay It Forward: Investigating a Sustainable Model of Open Access Article Processing Charges for Large North American Research Institutions is a year-long effort to study the implications of new funding models for scholarly communications, particularly the use of article processing charges, and determine their sustainability for research universities in the U.S. and Canada.

The project partnership includes three major research libraries (Harvard University, Ohio State University and the University of British Columbia) as well as the ten University of California campuses. The project will create a detailed, flexible, and publicly available financial model to help university administrators and librarians develop Open Access policies and strategies.

“Research libraries are excited by the prospect of free Open Access to scholarly journals but worry that financing it via article processing charges (APCs) may become even more expensive than the current journal subscription model, particularly for large research universities like the University of California and our partners,” said MacKenzie Smith, UC Davis’ University Librarian and lead investigator. “Our mission as libraries is to insure access to research, and Open Access is a promising means to that end. But we must be proactive in working with the publishing community to achieve that goal in a sustainable manner. Providing access to published research is increasingly unaffordable, even for the wealthiest institutions, and the information that this project will develop is critical to help the research community continue to provide access to research results in an Open Access future.”

The project brings together a group of scholarly communications experts, including Greg Tananbaum (ScholarNext), Dr. David Solomon (Michigan State University), Dr. Bo-Christer Björk (Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland), Dr. Mark McCabe (University of Michigan and Boston University), and Dr. Carol Tenopir (University of Tennessee, Knoxville). The team will create both an in-depth qualitative analysis of authors’ attitudes towards Open Access publishing fees and a detailed financial model of these fees relative to current library journal budgets and additional funding sources. The project will also collaborate with information providers Elsevier (Scopus) and Thomson Reuters (Web of Science) as well as the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, whose membership includes several hundred scholarly and professional publishers. The team will build a series of models depicting the social and financial impact of a largely APC-funded publishing landscape on the institutions participating in the study under a variety of assumptions and across different academic disciplines.

Read the Complete Announcement

Full Text of Project Proposal

“Pay It Forward: Investigating a Sustainable Model of Open Access Article Processing Charges for Large North American Research Institutions” (via UC Davis)
Dated June, 2014.

See Also: Some Additional Mellon Grants Announced Re: Scholarly Publishing Announced in 2015

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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