Transition to green OA significantly less expensive than transition to gold OA

Alma Swan and John Houghton, Going for Gold? The costs and benefits of Gold Open Access for UK research institutions: further economic modelling. Report to the UK Open Access Implementation Group, June 2012. From the executive summary:

"Based on this analysis, the main findings are: [1] so long as research funders commit to paying publication costs for the research they fund, and [2] publication charges fall to the reprint author’s home institution, [3] all universities would see savings from (worldwide) Gold OA when article-processing charges are at the current averages, [4] research-intensive universities would see the greatest savings, and [5] in a transition period, providing Open Access through the Green route offers the greatest economic benefits to individual universities, unless additional funds are made available to cover Gold OA costs....[F]or all the sample universities during a transition period when subscriptions are maintained, the cost of adopting Green OA is much lower than the cost of Gold OA - with Green OA self-archiving costing institutions around one-fifth the amount that Gold OA might cost, and as little as one-tenth as much for the most research intensive university sampled. In a transition period, providing OA through the Green route would have substantial economic benefits for universities, unless additional funds were released for Gold OA, beyond those already available through the Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust...."

PS: Green OA is delivered by repositories, and gold OA is delivered by journals. Both may be peer-reviewed. For more on OA terminology, see my Open Access Overview <bit.ly/oa-overview> or new book <bit.ly/oa-book>.

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