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1 Institutional Repositories and Open Access – a threat to society publishers or an opportunity? Nick Evans Chief Operating Officer, ALPSP

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Presentation on theme: "1 Institutional Repositories and Open Access – a threat to society publishers or an opportunity? Nick Evans Chief Operating Officer, ALPSP"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Institutional Repositories and Open Access – a threat to society publishers or an opportunity? Nick Evans Chief Operating Officer, ALPSP

2 2 What I shall talk about Are Institutional Repositories a fact of life? What is the likely effect on journals? Does it matter? What should societies do about it?

3 3 Are IR’s a fact of life? Not much evidence that academics actually want them But if self-archiving becomes mandatory, most say they will comply Growing number of research funders and institutions leaning towards voluntary or mandatory self-archiving policies Increasing inter-operability will heighten appeal

4 4 What is the likely effect on journals? Two surveys showing very clearly that when a sufficient percentage of the final version of author articles is freely (and easily) available, cancellations will follow Mark Ware: Factors in Journal Cancellation (ALPSP, 2006) Chris Beckett & Simon Inger: Self-archiving and Journal Subscriptions – co-existence or competition? (PRC, 2006)

5 5 Ware 340 responses 81% said availability in an OA repository would be a ‘very important’ or ‘important’ factor in cancellation decisions (but behind pricing (95%), usage (95%), user needs (93%)) Preprint/postprint versions not seen as adequate substitute (but PDF is) 32% think publishers should not be worried 11% think they should 54% think it’s too early to tell Beckett & Inger 424 responses ‘a significant number of librarians are likely to substitute OA materials for subscribed resources, given certain levels of reliability, peer review and currency’ Author’s unrefereed, uncorrected original MS is least adequate substitute Post-peer review version (irrespective of publishers’ editing) is adequate 38% think publishers should not be worried 38% think they should

6 6 What is the likely effect on journals? Publishers’ experience to date: subscriptions –British Medical Journal: when all content was free on BMJ site, print subs (and ads) fell dramatically. Now that only research articles are free, revenue has almost recovered –Molecular Biology of the Cell: in the 3 years following introduction of 2 month embargo, average annual subscription growth fell from 84% to 8% –Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: 1 month embargo in 2000  11% fall in subscriptions in 2001; 6 months embargo reduced this to 9% in 2002 What rational librarian, faced with the need to cancel some journals, would not choose those whose content is freely available elsewhere?

7 7 Does it matter? If many subscription journals disappear, will this matter? We all need to be aware of the likely of the likely consequences of our actions

8 8 Revenues from subscriptions support other activities Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, 2005 (analysis by Raym Crow)

9 9 Non profit publishers put any surplus back into their other activities In particular, Learned Society publishers use surplus to support: –Conferences (33% of respondents applied median 7% of their publishing surpluses to this) –Membership fees (32% of respondents, 15% of surpluses) –Public education (26% of respondents, 7.5% of surpluses) –Bursaries (26% of respondents, 7.5% of surpluses) –Research (21% of respondents, 25% of surpluses) –Christine Baldwin, What do Learned Societies do with their Publishing Surpluses? (ALPSP/Blackwell, 2004)  Knock-on effects for the scholarly community if publishing surpluses are reduced or eliminated

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11 11 Which journals are most vulnerable? Single- (or few-) journal publishers –‘Over 97% of society publishers publish three or fewer journals, with almost 90% publishing just one title’. –Raym Crow, Publishing Cooperatives: an alternative for society publishers (SPARC, 2006) –Society publishers limited to specific discipline Niche journals –Low circulation  higher price Low-profit journals –Less room for manoeuvre

12 12 What should publishers do about it? Awareness –Publishers need to make sure that the communities with which they engage understand the likely consequences of widespread mandatory self-archiving –Funders and others need to understand that ‘one size does not fit all’ subjects differ journals differ –The information must be based on factual evidence – research should continue into the actual effects as self-archiving mandates begin to bite

13 13 Publishers must Make content as available as possible (without going bust!) –Decide if they can switch to Open Access publishing or not (one-fifth are experimenting) Hybrid/author-choice model a possible first step (as advocated by David Prosser) –If not, decide whether they need an embargo period to protect subscriptions, and if so how long Will authors abide by this? –At the same time, be creative about adding value to scholarly communication in new ways

14 14 Adding value...

15 15 What should we do about it? Understand what journals are for –Journals serve authors and readers (directly) and funders and institutions (indirectly) –Both publishers and those whom journals serve need to analyse the functions currently carried out by journals, and –establish which of these must be preserved –and work out ways of doing so

16 16 Librarian Author Publisher Peer review tusks RAE Canopy OA Advocate Institutional Repository Handmaidens Research seeking tool Grant locators Web 2.0 tools Bank Manager Google The elephant in the room?

17 17 Thank you Nick Evans Chief Operating Officer, ALPSP +44 0(20)


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