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

From: David Prosser <david.prosser AT rluk.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 5 May 2013 10:32:41 +0100


Threading: [BOAI] Comparing Revenues for OA and Subscription Publishing from david.prosser AT rluk.ac.uk
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Stevan has been consistent over the years in his message that we should =
not discuss Gold OA at all until we have 100% Green OA.  And yet some of =
us still insist on doing so!

My point was to highlight a particular data point for 2012.  Are there =
quibbles? Of course.  Does it give us the whole picture?  Of course not. =
 But for those interested in the transition mechanism it is, as I say, a =
data point.

But Steven makes a central assumption that is misleading - his point 6.  =
It is certainly true that in a mixed economy institutions will pay both =
subscriptions and publication fees (where such fees exist).  But Steven =
implies that this is for the same content.  With the exception of some =
hybrid OA papers (which are in the minority) this is not the case.  One =
paper published in an OA journal is, literally, one less paper in a =
subscription journal.   All the librarians on the list know that one of =
the justifications for subscription and big deal price rises is =
increasing volume of content - either within current journals or through =
the launch of new journals. =20

Naturally, there is not a simple one-to-one relationship between volume =
increase and price increase, but there is a strong relationship.  OA is =
taking thousands of papers out of the subscription model and therefore =
reducing price pressures on subscriptions.  Put simply, if these OA =
papers had been published in subscription journals then subscription =
prices would have been higher.  This is substitution, not addition.  =
(This is obvious if you think what would have happened if those 190k OA =
papers had been in subscription journals - do we think that the =
publishers would have just absorbed the costs and accepted reduced =
profits/surpluses?)

So, even in a transition period it is clear that there are cost savings =
in OA Gold publishing.

David




On 4 May 2013, at 14:39, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> Comparing the average price per article of Gold OA today with the =
average subscription publisher revenue per article today is =
uninformative and misleading.
>=20
> 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).
>=20
> 2. They are averages across all journal qualities.=20
>=20
> 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.
>=20
> 4. Hence not only do the (arbitrary) asking prices for Gold vary =
widely, but they vary widely in the quality and service they deliver.
>=20
> 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.
>=20
> 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).
>=20
> 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.
>=20
> 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.
>=20
> 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.
>=20
> Stevan Harnad
>=20
> On Fri, May 3, 2013 at 10:18 AM, David Prosser =
<david.prosser AT rluk.ac.uk> wrote:
> (Cross-posted)
>=20
> The Economist has published another piece on open access publishing:
>=20
> =
http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21577035-open-access-=
scientific-publishing-gaining-ground-free-all
>=20
> I was struck by one paragraph in particular:
>=20
> 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.
>=20
>=20
> By my reckoning this means that in 2012 the revenue breakdown was :
>=20
> For Open Access =3D $890 per paper ($172m / 194k papers)
> For Sub Access =3D $3,500 per paper ($6 billion / 1.7m papers)=20
>=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.
>=20
> 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.
>=20
> There are lots of assumptions here (not least that my maths are =
correct), but it is clear that=20
>=20
> a) the direct costs of publishing in OA journals are current =
significantly lower than publishing in subscriptions journals
>=20
> 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
>=20
> c) the average is much, much lower than the typical price being =
offered for 'hybrid' OA.=20
>=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.
>=20
> David
>=20
>=20
>=20
>=20
>=20
>=20
> _______________________________________________
> GOAL mailing list
> GOAL AT eprints.org
> http://mailman.ecs.soton.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/goal
>=20
>=20
> <ATT00001..txt>


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

<html><head></head><body style=3D"word-wrap: 
break-word; =
-webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; =
">Stevan has been consistent over the years in his message that we =
should not discuss Gold OA at all until we have 100% Green OA. &nbsp;And =
yet some of us still insist on doing 
so!<div><br></div><div>My point was =
to highlight a particular data point for 2012. &nbsp;Are there quibbles? =
Of course. &nbsp;Does it give us the whole picture? &nbsp;Of course 
not. =
&nbsp;But for those interested in the transition mechanism it is, as I =
say, a data point.</div><div><br></div><div>But 
Steven makes a central =
assumption that is misleading - his point 6. &nbsp;It is certainly true =
that in a mixed economy institutions will pay both subscriptions and =
publication fees (where such fees exist). &nbsp;But Steven implies that =
this is for the same content. &nbsp;With the exception of some hybrid OA =
papers (which are in the minority) this is not the case. &nbsp;One paper =
published in an OA journal is, literally, one less paper in a =
subscription journal. &nbsp; All the librarians on the list know that =
one of the justifications for subscription and big deal price rises is =
increasing volume of content - either within current journals or through =
the launch of new journals. 
&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Naturally, =
there is not a simple one-to-one relationship between volume increase =
and price increase, but there is a strong relationship. &nbsp;OA is =
taking thousands of papers out of the subscription model and therefore =
reducing price pressures on subscriptions. &nbsp;Put simply, if these OA =
papers had been published in subscription journals then subscription =
prices would have been higher. &nbsp;This is substitution, not addition. =
&nbsp;(This is obvious if you think what would have happened if those =
190k OA papers had been in subscription journals - do we think that the =
publishers would have just absorbed the costs and accepted reduced =
profits/surpluses?)</div><div><br></div><div>So, 
even in a transition =
period it is clear that there are cost savings in OA Gold =
publishing.</div><div><br></div><div>David</div><div><br><div>
<span class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"border-collapse: 
separate; =
color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Helvetica; font-style: normal; =
font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; =
line-height: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: -webkit-auto; text-indent: =
0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: =
0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: =
auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; font-size: medium; "><span =
class=3D"Apple-style-span" style=3D"border-collapse: separate; 
color: =
rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Helvetica; font-style: normal; font-variant: =
normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: =
normal; orphans: 2; text-align: -webkit-auto; text-indent: 0px; =
text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: =
0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: =
auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; font-size: medium; "><div =
style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><span 
class=3D"Apple-style-span" =
style=3D"border-collapse: separate; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: =
Helvetica; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: =
normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; =
text-align: -webkit-auto; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; =
white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: =
0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: =
auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; font-size: medium; "><div =
style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><span 
class=3D"Apple-style-span" =
style=3D"border-collapse: separate; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: =
Helvetica; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: =
normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; =
text-align: -webkit-auto; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; =
white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: =
0px; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: =
auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; font-size: medium; "><div =
style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><span 
class=3D"Apple-style-span" =
style=3D"border-collapse: separate; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: =
Helvetica; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: =
normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; =
text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; =
word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: =
auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; font-size: medium; "><div =
style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><span 
class=3D"Apple-style-span" =
style=3D"border-collapse: separate; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: =
Helvetica; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: =
normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; =
text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; =
word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: =
auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; font-size: medium; "><div =
style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><span 
class=3D"Apple-style-span" =
style=3D"border-collapse: separate; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: =
Helvetica; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: =
normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; =
text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; =
word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: =
auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; font-size: medium; "><div =
style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><span 
class=3D"Apple-style-span" =
style=3D"border-collapse: separate; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: =
Helvetica; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: =
normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; =
text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; =
word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: =
auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; font-size: medium; "><div =
style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><span 
class=3D"Apple-style-span" =
style=3D"border-collapse: separate; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: =
Helvetica; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: =
normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; =
text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; =
word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px; =
-webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust: =
auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; font-size: medium; "><div =
style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><br></div><div 
=
style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; =
-webkit-line-break: after-white-space; =
"><br></div></span></div></span></div></span></div></span></div></span></d=
iv></span></div></span></div></span></span>
</div>
<br><div><div>On 4 May 2013, at 14:39, Stevan Harnad 
wrote:</div><br =
class=3D"Apple-interchange-newline"><blockquote 
type=3D"cite">Comparing =
the average price per article of Gold OA today with the average =
subscription publisher revenue per article today is uninformative and =
misleading.<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.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>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.</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 deliver.</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 matches their quality distribution.</div>
<div><br></div><div>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).</div>
<div><br></div><div>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 
<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 institutional subscription cancellation =
savings.</div><div><br></div><div>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.</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"mailto: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:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div =
style=3D"word-wrap:break-word"><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" =
target=3D"_blank">http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/215=
77035-open-access-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 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>
<span class=3D"HOEnZb"><font =
color=3D"#888888"><div><br></div><div>David</div><div><br></div><div><br><=
/div><div><br></div><div><div><br></div><br></div></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>
=
<span>&lt;ATT00001..txt&gt;</span></blockquote></div><br></div></body></ht=
ml>=

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