Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version


Document Type



White paper, issued January 13, 2017


Copyright (c) 2017 Maurits van der Graaf and Leo Waaijers


Ralf Schimmer’s blog “Making the moves for large scale transition toward Open Access” makes the case to achieve such a transition by means of offsetting deals. The urgency for such a transition is emphasized by the recently announced ambition of the EU to have “Open Access to scientific publications as the best option by default by 2020”i. This should be done “in a cost-effective way, without embargoes, or with as short as possible embargoes”. In this blog, we explore and analyse the scenario whereby this transition will be brought about by successful offsetting deals, meaning that ultimately all articles in the hybrid journals will become Open Access by changing the business models of these journals into APC-based Open Access journals. Success means also that the offsetting deals will be transformed in pay-as-you-publish pre-finance-agreements. What effect would such a success have on the scholarly journal system. How would it look like in terms of numbers and type of journals? Which preconditions and drivers would be needed to achieve such a success? And finally, we speculate about possible next steps and their cost-effectiveness.