Open access in action. Part 5: The bottom line

Open access in action Part 5: The bottom line

PloS ONE is an open access journal. The only way to get an article in -in addition to sufficient quality- is by paying for the transformation of a ‘text’ into an ‘article’. 

Some publishers have opted for open access as their only business model. Others have adopted a hybrid model, where it is Ieft to the authors to decide whether their article is made available to all or not. Others again, stick to the subscription model, but do allow the deposition of manuscripts in repositories.


Numerous strategies are presently being discussed to develop new business models for publishing. It is clear to everyone that maintaining journals subscriptions at the present level and paying APC’s to have research published in open access, is not a sustainable option for university libraries. Financial details of the open access deal – for hybrid(!) journals - between VSNU and Springer are definitely not available in open access, so whether this truly is a model for deals with other publishers cannot be easily determined. 

In the coming years the library will register all open access transactions in which EUR and Erasmus MC researchers are involved. By then we will be able to start the discussion on how to finance scientific publishing in the future. We will do so in close collaboration with the other universities and research institutes in the Netherlands. But negotiations on licensing models cannot be restricted to national levels. It is an international issue, since scholarly and scientific work in most cases is performed on a global scale.

It is quite clear that this complicated situation will persist for some time. Whatever happens after the expiration in 2018 of the EUR’s present strategic plan - Impact & Relevance – is difficult to predict. One thing, however, is strikingly clear: by systematically gathering the manuscript versions of scholarly articles and consistently depositing them in RePub, an open access percentage far above the present scores is definitely attainable. It simply requires the dedication of a few and a little effort of many to get it done.

Click here to read the complete article Open Access in action (PDF format - five parts together)