UPDATE March 10, 2020 Jisc Announces Support For “Pioneering Open Access Model ‘Subscribe To Open'” (via Jisc)
In the push for “open access” (OA)—making scientific papers immediately free to everyone—it’s easy to forget that publishing costs haven’t vanished. They have simply shifted from subscriptions paid mostly by university librarians to fees charged to authors.
Now, two nonprofit publishers of prominent journals have debuted new ways to support OA journals without shifting the burden entirely to authors. “Everybody that we work with is watching these two [new models] closely,” says Michael Clarke, managing partner of the consulting firm Clarke & Esposito, which advises publishers. “There is not currently a good solution.”
One approach, called Subscribe to Open and implemented today by Annual Reviews, would transform the nature of subscriptions. To make a journal freely available, institutions would be asked for a contribution equivalent to their previous subscription—minus a 5% discount that Annual Reviews is offering to retain a critical mass of paying institutions.
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) launched a different approach earlier this year. ACM is asking the institutions that publish the most papers in its 59 journals to pay more than they do now for subscriptions—in some cases about 10 times as much, or $100,000 per year.