As the Open Access movement gains traction in the world of scholarly publishing, scholars in many disciplines have concerns about implications for the future of journals that are owned by scholarly societies but published by commercial publishers. Because subscription money from journal sales helps keeps the societies viable, how can they respond to requests to open the journal for all to read? Will their current publisher agree to an open access transition?
|Reasons to flip||
Journals flip from a paid subscription model to open access for a variety of reasons, but these themes are constants:
|Knowledge is power||
As a first step in considering whether to transition a journal to open access, it is crucial to understand the logistics, formal agreements and finances of the current publication arrangement. Issues to explore include:
Knowing the existing landscape will help the society decide whether to transition an existing journal to open access, to start a new open access journal, or to move an existing journal to a new publisher.
In addition, it is important to understand the discipline’s support for and understanding of open access and the prevalence and reputation of other open access journals in the field. Members of the society will need to assess whether the advantages of open access publication might outweigh the loss of some revenue. They can only do a full assessment when they understand the present publishing situation.
|Where to get assistance||
Consultants can help members of a society discuss open access publishing options with their present publisher and discuss alternatives with the society’s membership.
For a more detailed reading on transitioning a journal to open access, see: