WG2 business models

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For more than a decade, work has been going on to make science freely available to the world through publication in journals that do not charge readers for access to contents. A growing number of such Open Access (OA) journals have been established, or traditional toll-access (TA) journals have transitioned to an Open Access publishing model. Currently, more than 3200 (DOAJ 2008) such Open Access journals are being published, and the number is steadily growing.

Uncertainty as to how to ensure economic viability of such journals may be one factor that has slowed down the process of establishing new OA journals or transitioning from TA to OA publishing for existing journals.

This wiki aims at exploring the economics of the OA journal and discussing various business models for such journals.

WG 2 Business Models

Many journal owners elect a more traditional publishing method or business model than the ones supported by the software in WG1, but with a major component of open access. Financial constraints and careful steps lead to hybrid solutions with a degree of print or online embargo in place. These solutions can be regarded as intermediary or final solutions. The self-managed solutions of the software systems in WG1 may also be too thin for some larger journals and the involvement of professional publishers is preferred.

Work group 2 plans to investigate the possible solutions and set up an online website devoted to the issue. WP2 also includes a number of practical tests. A few of the identified models will be tested by selected journals during the project. The journals are listed in Tab. 2 and plan to apply for addition funding from NOPHS. A test will also be done to see how retro-digitization shapes the use of the journal website.

The work will focus on Open Access publishing in a Nordic context, but should be of interest outside this area. The Nordic context means e.g. that we to a large extent are speaking of non-English language journals, relatively small publishers and many journals being published by groups or institutions. Few journals are money-makers, the majority are reliant upon institutional support for their activities.

Project members

The following institutions participate in WG2:
University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway - leader
Museum Tusculanum Press, Copenhagen, Denmark - active
Copenhagen Business School Library, Copenhagen, Denmark - active
Lund University, Lund, Sweden - active
Linköping University, together with Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm), Sweden - active

Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, Helsinki, Finland - passive
University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway - passive

Tab. 2 Journals-example targeted in WG2 and 3

Danish Yearbook of Philosophy
Classica et Mediaevalia
Forum for Renæssancestudier
Ethnologia Europaea
Care and conservation of manuscripts
Angles on the English-speaking World