Monday, 22 March 2010

Open access costs and benefits for universities: report available

Open Access can offer universities real cost saving benefits, claims Alma Swan in a report - 'Modelling Scholarly Communication Options: Costs and Benefits for Univeresities', published in February 2010 (download here:

Swan claims that the move to Open Access can 'disrupt systems and processes that have been in place for a very long time' (page i, Executive Summary) but the report makes it clear that it will be worth the effort, economically, in the longer term. 'Academic returns help in outweighing the price of change'.

The report includes analysis of the savings that could be made (or losses incurred) when adopting different OA routes, but in general argues the case for there being many advantageous cost savings to be made. One extremely important aspect for the researcher is the potential for OA to increase visibility, which 'translates into a high level of usage, measured by the number of downloads from repositories or from publishers' websites wherever articles are provided through these website in an openly accessible way' (p.58).

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