Budapest Open Access Initiative      

Budapest Open Access Initiative: BOAI Forum Archive

[BOAI] [Forum Home] [index] [prev] [next] [options] [help]

boaiforum messages

[BOAI] Re: [GOAL] Comparing Revenues for OA and Subscription Publishing

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 4 May 2013 09:39:35 -0400


Threading: [BOAI] Comparing Revenues for OA and Subscription Publishing from david.prosser AT rluk.ac.uk
      • This Message

--047d7b603bf42aeb2b04dbe4992e
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Comparing the average price per article of Gold OA today with the average
subscription publisher revenue per article today is uninformative and
misleading.

1. These are averages across many different forms of Gold OA: (i) subsidy-
or subscription-based Gold OA (no author fee), (ii) hybrid
subscription/Gold OA, (iii) Gold-only OA, (iv) junk Gold OA (no or next to
no peer review).

2. They are averages across all journal qualities.

3. They are averages calculated at a time when subscriptions are still in
the vast majority, and cannot be canceled until/unless their articles are
accessible in some other way.

4. Hence not only do the (arbitrary) asking prices for Gold vary widely,
but they vary widely in the quality and service they deliver.

5. Subscription journals vary too, but it is not at all clear (and indeed
very unlikely) that the Gold subset today matches their quality
distribution.

6. While un-cancellable subscriptions still prevail, Gold OA is just a
supplement, not a substitute, it entails double-payment by institutions
(subscriptions + Gold) and even double-dipping by publishers (for hybrid
Gold).

7. The missing factor in all of this is the potential of mandatory Green OA
to first provide OA at no extra cost, and once it reaches 100% globally, to
make journals *cancellable*, so they are forced to cut costs by downsizing
to peer-review alone.

8. Post-Green Gold OA will then be provided at a fair, sustainable price,
paid (and not double-paid) out of a fraction of the institutional
subscription cancellation savings.

None of this can be calculated on the basis of averaging the price per
article of Gold today -- but we can be sure that the post-Green cost will
be substantially lower than the average publisher revenue per article for
subscriptions today, pre-Green.

Stevan Harnad

On Fri, May 3, 2013 at 10:18 AM, David Prosser <david.prosser AT 
rluk.ac.uk>wr=
ote:

> (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-acce=
ss
> 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)
>
> 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
>
> a) the direct costs of publishing in OA journals are current significantl=
y
> 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 th=
e 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.
>
> 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 interesti=
ng
> that, at least for the moment, the figure is so low.
>
> David
>
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> GOAL mailing list
> GOAL AT eprints.org
> http://mailman.ecs.soton.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/goal
>
>

--047d7b603bf42aeb2b04dbe4992e
Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Comparing the average price per article of Gold OA today with the average s=
ubscription publisher revenue per article today is uninformative and mislea=
ding.<div><br></div><div>1. These are averages across 
many different forms =
of Gold OA: (i) subsidy- or subscription-based Gold OA (no author fee), (ii=
) hybrid subscription/Gold OA, (iii) Gold-only OA, (iv) junk Gold OA (no or=
 next to no peer review).</div>
<div><br></div><div>2. They are averages across all 
journal qualities.=A0</=
div><div><br></div><div>3. They are averages 
calculated at a time when subs=
criptions are still in the vast majority, and cannot be canceled until/unle=
ss their articles are accessible in some other way.</div>
<div><br></div><div>4. Hence not only do the 
(arbitrary) asking prices for =
Gold vary widely, but they vary widely in the quality and service they deli=
ver.</div><div><br></div><div>5. Subscription 
journals vary too, but it is =
not at all clear (and indeed very unlikely) that the Gold subset today matc=
hes their quality distribution.</div>
<div><br></div><div>6. While un-cancellable 
subscriptions still prevail, Go=
ld OA is just a supplement, not a substitute, it entails double-payment by =
institutions (subscriptions + Gold) and even double-dipping by publishers (=
for hybrid Gold).</div>
<div><br></div><div>7. The missing factor in all of 
this is the potential o=
f mandatory Green OA to first provide OA at no extra cost, and once it reac=
hes 100% globally, to make journals <i>cancellable</i>, so they are 
forced =
to cut costs by downsizing to peer-review alone.</div>
<div><br></div><div>8. Post-Green Gold OA will then be 
provided at a fair, =
sustainable price, paid (and not double-paid) out of a fraction of the inst=
itutional subscription cancellation 
savings.</div><div><br></div><div>None =
of this can be calculated on the basis of averaging the price per article o=
f Gold today -- but we can be sure that the post-Green cost will be substan=
tially lower than the average publisher revenue per article for subscriptio=
ns today, pre-Green.</div>
<div><br></div><div>Stevan 
Harnad<br><br><div class=3D"gmail_quote">On Fri,=
 May 3, 2013 at 10:18 AM, David Prosser <span 
dir=3D"ltr">&lt;<a href=3D"ma=
ilto:david.prosser AT rluk.ac.uk" 
target=3D"_blank">david.prosser AT rluk.ac.uk</=
a>&gt;</span> wrote:<br>
<blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"margin:0 0 0 
.8ex;border-left:1p=
x #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div 
style=3D"word-wrap:break-word"><div>(Cr=
oss-posted)</div><div><br></div>The Economist has 
published another piece o=
n open access publishing:<br>
<br><a 
href=3D"http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/2157703=
5-open-access-scientific-publishing-gaining-ground-free-all" 
target=3D"_bla=
nk">http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21577035-open-acce=
ss-scientific-publishing-gaining-ground-free-all</a><br>
<br>I was struck by one paragraph in 
particular:<br><br><blockquote style=
=3D"margin:0 0 0 40px;border:none;padding:0px">Outsell, a 
Californian consu=
ltancy, estimates that open-access journals generated $172m in 2012. That w=
as just 2.8% of the total revenue journals brought their=A0publishers (some=
 $6 billion a year), but it was up by 34% from 2011 and is expected to reac=
h $336m in 2015. The number of open-access papers is forecast to=A0grow fro=
m 194,000 (out of a total of 1.7m publications) to 352,000 in the same peri=
od.</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)=A0</div>
<div><br></div><div>If the 194,000 papers published in 
OA had been publishe=
d in subscription journals the extra costs could have been around $500 mill=
ion ((3500-890)x194000). =A0If you believe that all of these papers would p=
robably have been published whatever the business model you could recast th=
is 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 $89=
0 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=A0</div>
<div><br></div><div>a) the direct costs of publishing 
in OA journals are cu=
rrent significantly lower than publishing in subscriptions 
journals</div><d=
iv><br></div><div>b) the average cost per paper in OA is 
significantly lowe=
r than the roughly =A31,450 per article that represented the break-even poi=
nt 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 pri=
ce being offered for &#39;hybrid&#39; 
OA.=A0</div><div><br></div><div>It wo=
uld 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>
<span class=3D"HOEnZb"><font 
color=3D"#888888"><div><br></div><div>David</d=
iv><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><div><br></div><br></d=
iv></font></span></div><br>_______________________________________________<=
br>

GOAL mailing list<br>
<a href=3D"mailto:GOAL AT eprints.org">GOAL AT 
eprints.org</a><br>
<a href=3D"http://mailman.ecs.soton.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/goal" 
target=3D"=
_blank">http://mailman.ecs.soton.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/goal</a><br>
<br></blockquote></div><br></div>

--047d7b603bf42aeb2b04dbe4992e--

        
--      
To unsubscribe from the BOAI Forum, use the form on this page:
http://www.soros.org/openaccess/forum.shtml?f


[BOAI] [Forum Home] [index] [prev] [next] [options] [help]

 E-mail:  openaccess@soros.org .