open access

Report on "Sustainability of Open Access Services"

The Knowledge Exchange partners issue a report that identifies the actions needed in order to help achieve a robust Open Access service foundation.

Although some services that support Open Access have developed a sustainable business model, many started as projects and continue to run on recurrent project funding or goodwill. If these are critical components of the evolving scholarly communication system the foundation of Open Access is vulnerable. Knowledge Exchange has commissioned this study as part of a larger programme of work to look at the issue of sustaining key services into the long term.
This report focuses on phases one and two of the programme. Phase one was a scoping exercise, carried out mainly through a literature review and an extensive stakeholder interview exercise, to describe the services that are currently available or would be valuable in the future. It also investigated what roles stakeholders could play in this future scenario.
Phase two was a stakeholder consultation and engagement exercise. The aim was to engage stakeholders with the work programme so that they could contribute their views, get involved with the work and have a voice in the thinking about future scenarios.
The key services are presented for three future scenarios: ‘Gold’ Open Access, fully ‘Green’ Open Access and Green’ Open Access supplementing subscription access as ‘Gold’ OA grows.
Three strategic areas are identified as having particular potential for future work. These are embedding business development expertise into service development; consideration of how to move money around the system to enable Open Access to be achieved optimally; and governance and coordination of the infrastructural foundation of Open Access. The report concludes with seven recommendations, both high-level and practical, for further work around these strategic areas.