Monitoring the Transition to Open Access in the UK and beyond
Researching Consulting was part of a consortium of organisations that has undertaken a major study of the transition to open access (OA) in the UK and globally, including its implications for authors, universities and learned societies. The study, which was funded by Universities UK, was published in September this year, and sought to provide reliable indicators on five key features of the transition to OA both in the UK and globally:
- the numbers of fully-OA and hybrid journals available to authors, along with issues such as the level of article processing charges (APCs), the availability of CC-BY licences, and the length of embargo periods;
- the number of articles accessible on OA terms via different routes;
- the level of usage of OA articles as compared to those that are not accessible on OA terms;
- the amounts paid by UK universities in subscriptions and in APCs; and
- the overall income and expenditure – as well as the volumes of journal-related income and expenditure – of UK learned societies.
Among other things, the findings indicate that most journals offer an OA option, largely following the hybrid model, and that immediate OA publication is growing faster than other options, with a steep increase in APC expenditures by UK universities. In considering the implications of OA for UK learned societies, the study has allowed the importance of publishing as a revenue stream for societies to be quantified for the first time, and finds no evidence that (up to the end of 2013) OA has had any adverse impact on their overall financial health. The study fills a number of gaps in current understanding of the transition to OA and it has important implications for the scholarly and publishing communities both in the UK and internationally.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).