Sunday, August 05, 2007

Cheaper Journals?

Cheaper journals? I had to read the article again as I must be dreaming. It was like listening to Gordon Brown giving us all a tax cut – there has to be a catch, after all we had nothing like this before and to the contrary only heard about journal price increases for many years.

Oxford University Press is reported to be lowering prices on its range of 28 journals in its "hybrid" Open Access (OA) scheme by an average of 5%.

Major journal publishers have all launched hybrid open access schemes which enables authors to pay for their articles published in traditionally non-OA journals to be made freely available. The successes of the schemes are dependant on authors signing up and adopting the new model. Once sufficient sign up is achieved then the costs reduce and the price can come down – simple commerce.

However, it is reported that Elsevier and CUP have only got 1% of authors to agree to make articles Open Access in their hybrid journals and it appears still early days. One swallow doesn’t make a summer but we may be witnessing a change in the commercial model and relationships in this highly lucrative and important marketplace.