Funding Gold OA

31 Aug 2012

Cross-posted on digitalcultureweek.

I've been thinking a lot about Open Access (OA) lately, specifically how the OA movement can find sustainable models for moving forward. Gold OA has been receiving a lot of attention as research funders answer calls make publicly funded research freely available to end users. However, transitioning to Gold OA creates a barrier for researchers without public or any funding.

Some universities, such as the COPE signatories, have created funds to help authors pay fees associated with publishing in OA journals. However, many of these are funded through special initiatives and wouldn't be cost efficient if Gold OA does in fact see a significant uptake. Since one assumption of the Gold OA model is that library subscription costs will decrease proportionally as uptake of Gold increases, one option for institutional funding is to gradually transfer funds from library subscription budgets to some sort of institutional publication fund.

I'm surprised that I have not yet come across any articles or reports that take up the idea. Although risky because it would paradoxically result in a temporary period of reduced access as some resources are cut, it seems like an (almost painfully) efficient way to transition from a reader pays (i.e. library) to author pays model. Because the transition to OA has moved at a slow pace, it would make sense to incrementally shift funds as necessary to prevent unneeded disruptions in access.

Do you know of any resources that discuss shifting library subscription budgets to fund OA publishing costs? Is this idea completely crazy or just crazy enough to work?

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