Costs and benefits of transitions in scholarly communications

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Client Research Information Network
Dates 2012
Service(s)Policy & Economics, Strategy & Finance

A CEPA led team, including Mark Ware Consulting, was commissioned by a consortium including the Research Information Network, the Publishing Research Consortium, the Wellcome Trust, Research Libraries UK and JISC to undertake a study on the costs, benefits, opportunities and risks that may arise from improving UK access to research papers.

Researchers’ access to published papers is at historically high levels; however there are still gaps and the current ‘big deals’ which have enabled this access are also seen as being very costly to libraries. There is a perception that publishers are restricting access to publically funded research via their value-added activities. These factors have increased interest in open access (OA) solutions.

The project provided different constituencies within the scholarly communication field with evidence to better understand the dynamics of the transitions needed to improve access to research articles as well as the costs, benefits, opportunities and risks entailed. The project required the development of a number of plausible, five-year scenarios based around different routes to increase access. The scenarios were developed around five routes to access (Gold OA, Green OA, licence extension, delayed access, and transactional). Each of these routes provided the UK constituencies with different costs, benefits and associated risks. A key objective for each of the scenarios was to identify the policies and/ or practices that would need to be implemented/ changed in order for it to be achieved. The papers can be found here.