Open Access, Books, and the Tricky Transition
SAS. 22nd February 2017.
Professor Martin Paul Eve, Birkbeck, University of London
How much does it cost to publish a (digital) book?
- Mellon Ithaka study (2016): $15,140 - $129,909
- Palgrave: $95 x 200 copies = $19,000
- Palgrave: Book Processing Charge: $17,000
- CUP: Book Processing Charge: $10,000
- Ubiquity Press: Book Processing Charge: £6,020
Where do these costs go?
Assume fixed costs:
- 3x staff + on and estates costs
- CLOCKSS, Crossref, COPE, COUNTER memberships
- Crossref membership
- Around £190k per year
Assume production costs:
- Typesetting: £500
- Copyediting: £500
How many books with 3x staff?
Open Access (OA)
Background image © PLOS. Used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.
- Peer-reviewed research
- Free to read online
- Permission to re-use
- Gold: at publisher/source
- Green: institutional/subject repository
- Gratis: free to read
- Libre: free to re-use
The Forthcoming REF Mandate for OA Books
We therefore intend to move towards an open-access requirement for monographs in the exercise that follows the next REF (expected in the mid-2020s). Given the length of time required to produce and publish monographs, we are signalling this now, to give due notice to the sector.
Consultation on the Second Research Excellence Framework, Annex C
- Not all monographs will be OA
- Version that is OA should be "academically equivalent"
- Free to read and openly licensed ("CC BY-NC-ND" as acceptable)
- Immediately OA
- No single business model
- Doesn't replace print
Monographs and OA Business Models
- Monographs acknowledged as different
- Higher barriers to entry for new publishers
- Open source platform development in infancy
- Production toolchain likewise
- Different discoverability and value-conferral sites
BPCs for monographs scale badly + concentrate costs
- 5,023 monographs in UK in 2013 by largest 4 publishers (source: Crossick)
- At a £5,050 BPC (UP price): £25,366,150
- At a £6,500 BPC (CUP price): £32,649,500
- At an £11,000 BPC (Palgrave price): £55,253,000
- UK spend on all books 2010/2011: ~£60,000,000 (source: SCONUL)
BPCs for monographs scale badly
- Knowledge Unlatched
- Print Subsidy
- Gradiated transition/library purchasing rules
Presentation licensed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license. All institutional images excluded from CC license.
Available to view online at http://meve.io/SAS2017.