New Springer OA Journals

Interesting to see the launch by Springer of a new range of 12 OA journals. It seems they are leveraging their purchase of BioMed Central a couple of years ago to underpin their new journals with an experienced OA management and production system. This announcement shows that publishers do see a developing need for OA journals which they want to supply. Encouraging news and another step towards more OA, albeit that repositories offer a faster and cheaper route.

It is interesting to see the growth of true OA journals, rather than the rather mixed development of hybrids:  see the recent quote from Jan Velterop on the AmSci list with a startling justification for not reducing subscription prices in line with hybrid OA  income. If I am reading this right, here it is not enough for a like-for-like reduction of subscription in response to a growth of OA option income for a journal. Before the subscription price comes down, the OA cost also has to cover cancellations of subscriptions as well!

This argument sees the additional OA fees primarily as a fill-up for a falling circulation, rather than a sustainable model for the journal’s future and underscores why publishers have to have clear related reductions  in subscription prices alongside hybrid charges, or the model of hybrid publication has to be seen by funders as a time-limited transition model, as it will simply be used as a true “double-charge” for articles and a prop for cancellations in the time of cut-backs in university financing.


About Bill Hubbard
Bill Hubbard is the Director of the Centre for Research Communications (CRC), incorporating the work of SHERPA. Bill has a background in Higher Education and IT; in particular in work aiming to embed IT into university functions and working practices. Previous work has looked at the use of Expert Systems in supporting decision making, designing information systems for managing research funding and a number of years working with the introduction of multimedia into university teaching. Bill's commercial experience includes three years as a project manager in virtual reality applications for communications, installations and broadcast, specialising in virtual heritage environments. Before this he worked as a senior lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester, leading a BA degree course in Multimedia Design and has been an honorary lecturer in the School of Computing Sciences at the University of East Anglia. Bill speaks widely on open access and related issues - repository network development, institutional integration, cultural change, IPR and Open Access policy development. He is also involved in archaeological and heritage applications of new media and sits on the Channel 4 Award jury for new media archaeology.

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