Date of this Version
CONVERTING SCHOLARLY JOURNALS TO OPEN ACCESS: A REVIEW OF APPROACHES AND EXPERIENCES: A REPORT TO THE HARVARD LIBRARY OFFICE FOR SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION, Submitted by: David J. Solomon, Mikael Laakso, Bo-Christer Björk, 2016. Published by the Harvard Library August 2016.
This report identifies ways through which subscription-based scholarly journals have converted their publishing models to open access (OA). The major goal was to identify specific scenarios that have been used or proposed for transitioning subscription journals to OA so that these scenarios can provide options for others seeking to “flip” their journals to OA. The report is based on the published literature as well as “gray” literature such as blog posts and press releases. In addition, interviews were conducted with eight experts in scholarly publishing. The report identifies a variety of goals for converting a journal to OA. While there are altruistic goals of making scholarship more accessible, the literature review and interviews suggest that there are also many practical reasons for transitioning to an OA model. In some instances, an OA business model is simply more economically viable. Also, it is not unusual for a society or editorial board to transition to an OA business model as a means of gaining independence from the current publisher. Increasing readership, the number and quality of submissions, and impact as measured in citations are important goals for most journals that are considering flipping. Goals and their importance often differ for various regions in the world and across different disciplines. Each journal’s situation is unique and it is important for those seeking to flip a journal to carefully consider exactly what they hope to achieve, what barriers they are likely to face, and how the changes that are being implemented will further the goals intended for their journal.