May 21, 2022

New Research From UK: “Gold Open Access in Practice: How Will Universities Respond to the Rising Total Cost Of Publication?”

From the London School of Economic Impact Blog:

Are universities able to shoulder the costs of the open access transition? Stephen Pinfield presents findings on the current state of institutional costs. The total cost of publication is defined as existing subscription costs, article processing charges (APCs) and the costs of administering them. So is the total cost of publication rising for universities overall? In the short term at least, the answer is certainly ‘yes’. It is becoming increasingly clear that negotiations need to take into account the total cost of publication to enable the academic community to get best value from its research outputs.


Working with Jisc and Information Power Ltd, we gathered data from 23 UK higher education institutions (HEIs) comprising their APC payments, costs of administering APCs and subscriptions. From these data we were able to learn a great deal about the current state of the APC market and also carry out some modelling on the total cost of publication for those HEIs. We wanted to do this work to help build an evidence base to inform ongoing policy development and future negotiations between HEIs and publishers. We wanted in particular to find out what institutions were actually paying, not just look at list prices.

We found that APC payments in the UK have really taken off since 2012 (the year the RCUK policy kicked in), with payments by the 23 HEIs rising from less than £1 million in 2012 to more than £4 million in 2013

Read the Complete Post (Approx. 1900 Words) and Review Three Data Tables

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.