The Difference between Open Access and Paywall-Based Publishing Models Sharpens, as Preprints Gain in Legitimacy
Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2018-01-15
Even though costs associated with Open Access publishing have been found to grow, as preprints gain in increasing recognition in funding, grant and fellowship applications, Open Access publishers, such as Hindawi, may be poised to benefit from the associated disruptive change in the publishing industry.
As illegal file sharing begins to affect the subscription-based journal publishing market, it can both hasten a wide-ranging adoption of Open Access by both publishers and researchers and give impetus to renewed efforts to shore up the paywall-based models against challengers. More specifically, as the interview with Daniel Himmelstein indicates, given that up to 97% of back-list catalogues of some journal publishers can be accessible other than through subscription-based channels, Open Access primarily based on the author-pays model can be one of the remaining avenues to economic sustainability for publishing houses.
On the one hand, the systemic change in the publishing market that this involves may be saluted by Open Access publishers, such as Hindawi that terminated its membership in the International Association of STM Publishers. On the other hand, large publishers may seek to stem this transition to Open Access by seeking to conclude journal subscription agreements that minimize the scope for Open Access for libraries and scholars that they include, as for instance Elsevier has sought to do in its negotiations with German universities. In other words, in the short term the growing adoption of Open Access, however, is also likely to entail rapidly growing costs, largely covered by non-profit foundations, for publishing in this model, such as steep increase from 1.6 million GBP in 2014/2016 to 7.3 million GBP in 2015/2016 in the United Kingdom, as the compliance with Open Access criteria of articles published with the support of Charity Open Access Fund has been found to reach 91% in the latter period.
By Pablo Markin