If the Cost of Publishing a Scientific Journal Article is $10,000, Who Pays for Open-Access?

Where will the funding for widespread open-access publishing come from?

Should academic journals be in the business of selling content or should they be re-invented as not-for-profit knowledge portals and user communities, funded and regarded in similar ways as public media?  It's a question I addressed earlier today, as I discussed several strategies for catalyzing the movement towards open-access scholarship.


This spring, a panel of experts gathered by Columbia University's Scholarly Communication Program considered the same questions.  As Mike Rossner of Rockefeller University Press describes, at their scientific journals, the cost of publishing a single online scientific journal article is estimated at $10,000, raising the question, where will the funding for widespread open-access publishing come from?

Below is a brief description followed by video of the event.

Is publishing an open-access journal good business? And for whom? Many in the academic community agree that the goal of open access—increasing the availability and usability of the results of research and scholarship—is laudable. Yet there is great uncertainty about the financial viability of open-access journals. Will authors have to pay publication fees out of their own pockets? Can universities afford to support open-access journals? Can respected journals convert to open access and survive?

The panelists consider which models hold the most promise for sustainable open-access publishing.

Panelists: Mike Rossner, Executive Director of the Rockefeller University Press; Ivy Anderson, Director of Collection Development and Management at the California Digital Library; and Bettina Goerner, Manager, Open Access for Springer.Date: March 9, 2010 Sponsor: Columbia University Scholarly Communication Program

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