29 September 2006

The Benefits of Open Access - for Publishers

Here's an interesting take on open access.

The benefits of this kind of openness for scientists and the public have been rehearsed many times; but this paper by Paul Peters, the Senior Publishing Developer of Hindawi Publishing Corporation, one of the leading open access outfits, presents some pretty compelling reasons why opening up is good for publishers - well, the smaller ones, at least:

While advocates of open access publishing have tended to focus on the benefits that it can offer authors and readers, there are equally important benefits that an open access publishing model can provide for small and mid-sized publishers. Within the existing subscription-based publishing industry there are a number of market forces that work against smaller publishers, and this is making it increasingly difficult for these smaller publishers to stay competitive. However, by adopting a business model based on publication charges, smaller publishers can overcome many of the difficulties that they currently face in the subscription market.

There are three main advantages that open access can provide for smaller publishers. One important advantage is that it makes the growth of both new and existing journals much easier. In addition, a shift to open access will promote more competition between publishers, which will enable many smaller publishers to gain a competitive edge over the largest and most well-established publishing houses. Finally, an open access publishing model will make a journal far more attractive to potential authors, since they can avoid many of the unnecessary limitations imposed by subscription-based models.

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