18 March 2015
LERU universities embrace Open Access and endorse the European Commission’s advocacy of open, wide dissemination of research outputs in its Science 2.0 (Open Science) agenda.
Across Europe, universities are making progress in delivering on this objective. A number of challenges remain. One of these is the ‘Total Cost of Ownership’, which includes both subscription costs paid by institutions and APCs (Article Processing Charges) for publishing in hybrid journals with an Open Access option paid by their staff members and researchers. This dual method of charging may mean that universities end up paying twice for access to the same material. The challenge is particularly acute in countries such as the UK and the Netherlands, which have strong national policies on Gold Open Access. The impact of any double payment is felt particularly in research-intensive universities in LERU, since these universities produce significant numbers of research outputs.
Publishers are beginning to introduce a number of new approaches to deal with the challenges around Total Cost of Ownership. These include offsetting the cost of APCs against the level of the APC payment itself, or against the level of subscription that an institution pays. LERU calls on all stakeholders to address the challenge of finding sustainable solutions.
LERU believes that Open Access is not a threat, but an opportunity – an opportunity to develop a sophisticated model for the delivery of European research. Universities and publishers should work together to maximise the dissemination of research outputs and devise financial models which support the move to a sustainable Open Access future.
LERU is fully committed to advocating this vision to all stakeholders. In this respect, the current efforts of Dutch universities to identify just such a model with global publishers are to be applauded. LERU calls on all European countries to make similar efforts to innovate in this area.
or Dr. Paul Ayris, Director of UCL Library Service & Chair LERU Chief Information Officers-Community