Recent Findings Indicate Multiple Models for Flipping Scientific Journals into Various Open Access Forms Exist

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-11-08

Though converting scholarly journals into Open Access continues to involve financial uncertainty, a Harvard-funded report shows that thousands of journals have flipped into Open Access in recent years through a variety of approaches.


In their study first published on September 19, 2016, Mikael Laakso, David Solomon and Bo-Christer Björk have conducted a multi-method inquiry based on expert interviews, empirical data and secondary sources into various strategies for the conversion of scientific journals into Open Access. Their main conclusion is that toward making a transition to Open Access no single optimal path exists, as subscription-based journals need to decide which of multiple solutions will work for their situation as sustainable Open Access platforms. Laakso, Solomon and Björk’s research has been done with the support of the Harvard Library’s Office for Scholarly Communication that has sought to explore the economic and other implications of transitioning to Open Access models for universities.

Whereas in 2011 circa 2,400 scholarly journals have been flipped into Open Access after zero-cost digital journal distribution has become technically feasible, the funding models behind these transitions to Open Access have, however, remained under-researched. For this reason, Laakso et al.’s 2016 research report, the full version of which is hosted at Harvard’s publication repository, fills an important gap in scholarly literature, as it indicates that in recent decades those journals that have switched to Open Access and have decided not to charge subscription fees have enjoyed the support of national or regional Open Access portal, such as Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), while broadly utilizing open source software, such as Open Journal Systems(OJS).

By Pablo Markin

The full-length original blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Cite this blog post
Pablo Markin (2017, November 9). Recent Findings Indicate Multiple Models for Flipping Scientific Journals into Various Open Access Forms Exist. Open Economics Blog. Retrieved June 14, 2024, from

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