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[BOAI] Comparing Revenues for OA and Subscription Publishing

From: David Prosser <david.prosser AT rluk.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 3 May 2013 15:18:03 +0100


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             [BOAI] Re: [GOAL] Comparing Revenues for OA and Subscription Publishing from amsciforum AT gmail.com
             [BOAI] Re: [GOAL] Comparing Revenues for OA and Subscription Publishing from david.prosser AT rluk.ac.uk
             [BOAI] Re: [GOAL] Re: Comparing Revenues for OA and Subscription Publishing from amsciforum AT gmail.com
             [BOAI] Re: [GOAL] Re: Comparing Revenues for OA and Subscription Publishing from amsciforum AT gmail.com


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(Cross-posted)

The Economist has published another piece on open access publishing:

=
http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21577035-open-access-=
scientific-publishing-gaining-ground-free-all

I was struck by one paragraph in particular:

Outsell, a Californian consultancy, estimates that open-access journals =
generated $172m in 2012. That was just 2.8% of the total revenue =
journals brought their publishers (some $6 billion a year), but it was =
up by 34% from 2011 and is expected to reach $336m in 2015. The number =
of open-access papers is forecast to grow from 194,000 (out of a total =
of 1.7m publications) to 352,000 in the same period.


By my reckoning this means that in 2012 the revenue breakdown was :

For Open Access =3D $890 per paper ($172m / 194k papers)
For Sub Access =3D $3,500 per paper ($6 billion / 1.7m papers)=20

If the 194,000 papers published in OA had been published in subscription =
journals the extra costs could have been around $500 million =
((3500-890)x194000).  If you believe that all of these papers would =
probably have been published whatever the business model you could =
recast this as the worldwide community having made a saving of $500 =
million.

If all 1.7m papers published in 2012 had been OA at $890 per paper the =
$6 billion a year business would shrink to a $1.5 billion a year =
business.

There are lots of assumptions here (not least that my maths are =
correct), but it is clear that=20

a) the direct costs of publishing in OA journals are current =
significantly lower than publishing in subscriptions journals

b) the average cost per paper in OA is significantly lower than the =
roughly =A31,450 per article that represented the break-even point for =
the UK under which the UK would save money if we moved totally to OA

c) the average is much, much lower than the typical price being offered =
for 'hybrid' OA.=20

It would be very easy to construct an argument that the $890 per paper =
figure is not scaleable to all of journal publishing, but it is =
interesting that, at least for the moment, the figure is so low.

David






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<html><body style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: 
space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; =
"><div>(Cross-posted)</div><div><br></div>The Economist has published =
another piece on open access publishing:<br><br><a =
href=3D"http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21577035-open=
-access-scientific-publishing-gaining-ground-free-all">http://www.economis=
t.com/news/science-and-technology/21577035-open-access-scientific-publishi=
ng-gaining-ground-free-all</a><br><br>I was struck by one 
paragraph in =
particular:<br><br><blockquote 
class=3D"webkit-indent-blockquote" =
style=3D"margin: 0 0 0 40px; border: none; padding: 0px;">Outsell, 
a =
Californian consultancy, estimates that open-access journals generated =
$172m in 2012. That was just 2.8% of the total revenue journals brought =
their&nbsp;publishers (some $6 billion a year), but it was up by 34% =
from 2011 and is expected to reach $336m in 2015. The number of =
open-access papers is forecast to&nbsp;grow from 194,000 (out of a total =
of 1.7m publications) to 352,000 in the same =
period.</blockquote><br><br><div>By my reckoning this 
means that in 2012 =
the revenue breakdown was 
:</div><div><br></div><div>For Open Access =3D =
$890 per paper ($172m / 194k papers)</div><div>For Sub Access =3D 
$3,500 =
per paper ($6 billion / 1.7m 
papers)&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>If =
the 194,000 papers published in OA had been published in subscription =
journals the extra costs could have been around $500 million =
((3500-890)x194000). &nbsp;If you believe that all of these papers would =
probably have been published whatever the business model you could =
recast this as the worldwide community having made a saving of $500 =
million.</div><div><br></div><div>If all 1.7m 
papers published in 2012 =
had been OA at $890 per paper the $6 billion a year business would =
shrink to a $1.5 billion a year 
business.</div><div><br></div><div>There =
are lots of assumptions here (not least that my maths are correct), but =
it is clear 
that&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>a) the 
direct costs of =
publishing in OA journals are current significantly lower than =
publishing in subscriptions 
journals</div><div><br></div><div>b) the =
average cost per paper in OA is significantly lower than the roughly =
=A31,450 per article that represented the break-even point for the UK =
under which the UK would save money if we moved totally to =
OA</div><div><br></div><div>c) the average is 
much, much lower than the =
typical price being offered for 'hybrid' =
OA.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>It would 
be very easy to construct an =
argument that the $890 per paper figure is not scaleable to all of =
journal publishing, but it is interesting that, at least for the moment, =
the figure is so =
low.</div><div><br></div><div>David</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><di=
v><br></div><div><div><br></div><br></div></body></html>=

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