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[BOAI] De Gruyter's Sven Fund on the state of Open Access: Where are we, what still needs to be done?

From: "Richard Poynder" <richard.poynder AT>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2013 06:21:58 +0100

A new Q&A in a series exploring the current state of Open Access has been
published. This one is with Sven Fund, CEO of Berlin-based scholarly
publisher De Gruyter. Fund is the first representative of a traditional
commercial publisher to take part in this series.


*Some excerpts from Sven Fund's answers*:


"I think it is obvious that publishers - much like anybody who has to 
costs associated with a certain activity from revenues of that activity and
not from general funds - have to focus on Gold OA. In my opinion, there is
nothing bad about Green OA in general, it is just not something that we can
'offer'. If institutions want to go ahead here and fund this activity, it is
not up to publishers to complain how others spend their money. 


"Regarding public policies, I do not see much of a difference. If
policymakers believe they have the right tools to publish, i.e. in Green OA,
that's their right. It is certainly not something that publishers like, but
I think that is obvious."




"I do understand the concern about double-dipping. According to a brief
study I did for a German Research Foundation workshop earlier this year
among four publishers, the actual occurrence of double-dipping in that
sample was negligible. For our own portfolio, it is not an issue at all,
even though we have offered Hybrid OA for all of our journals for years.
Since we consider ourselves a service institution for both researchers and
librarians, I personally would like to see more Hybrid OA."




"I feel that academic institutions have to decide who will administer 
OA funds. Is it the library? Is it an office of communication or another
office? Our preference is clear: It should be the library, since it is in
many cases the only institution on campus that can shift budgets from
subscriptions or purchases to OA funds. More importantly, it is the only one
that can do so without disrupting information supply to its research


"Are publishers' profits excessively high? Well, some are. But as we do 
judge any academic by the fraudulent behaviour some show, we should not
judge all publishers by the profits a few make. I feel that De Gruyter's
moderate profit secures it sustainability; it is not excessive, and it is
information which is completely transparent and available to everyone."




"I agree that it does not make a lot of sense to duplicate every
subscription-based journal with an OA one, and if Joe Esposito has this in
mind, I agree. That is the reason I would advocate Hybrid OA, keeping in
mind that we need to solve the myth of double-dipping. The math seems easy:
accept a low level of double-dipping versus funding parallel systems."



The full Q&A can be read here:



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