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Open Access Business Models

In AGORA’s Private-Public Partnership Open Access business models experiment Åbo Akademi University, the Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen and the commercial partner ONTOS Publishing (Frankfurt, Germany) experimented with different open access business models for journal and monograph publishing in philosophy.

The publisher made a substantial amount of different kinds of ‘closed’ access content available open access and the economic consequences and benefits of innovative hybrid and delayed open access models were monitored.

A second aspect of the experiment was linking of the publisher’s platform and data sets underlying its research results, which are available on the open access platforms run by publicly funded research archives such as the University of Bergen’s Wittgenstein archive.

There was an enthusiastic response to the new open access content. Effects on sales were carefully monitored. During 2013, an author survey designed in collaboration with OAPEN-UK is carried out along with a survey to Ontos’ authors, the Ontos Author Survey. The survey showed clearly that within philosophy, the  researchers are not ready for an Open Access business model based on author fees (APC’s, Article Processing Charges), but also, that although the respondents were aware of or familiar with OA, they did not make sure to publish their own work OA. See the overview of the survey responses here.

Our book experiment showed that 90% of the sales of printed books take place during the first 12 months after print publication. Also, it showed that delayed Open Access for our 27 books had neutral or positive consequences for sales, and provided a considerable dissemination advantage. (This is in line with the OAPEN-NL results with 50 books which were published without delay, October 2013.)

The final report “Open Access: Different Shades of Gold: Delayed Open Access business models in philosophy publishing” (2014) by Yrsa Neuman, Martin Gustafsson and Hugo Strandberg can be downloaded here:  “D7.5 Report D7.5 Open Access Business Models for Publishers FINAL” 2014.