Policies of OA journal funds about hybrid OA

The Open Access Directory page about OA journal funds provides a list of university funds to support OA journals. Policies about the use of these funds vary across universities. For example, some university funds will pay publication fees of hybrid journals, while others will not.

Funds that currently state clearly that they will not pay publication fees of hybrid journals include those of Cornell, ETH Zurich, Harvard, Lund U and U of Oregon.

Funds that currently will pay publication fees of hybrid journals, but have a cap on the maximum to be paid, include those of U of California at Berkeley (capped at $1500 per article, 4 awards per fiscal year per author), U of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (capped at $1000 per article) and the U of Wisconsin-Madison (30% of fee, to a maximum of $1500 per article, one award per fiscal year per author).

The fund of the U of Calgary currently will pay publication fees only of hybrid journals “that reduce subscription fees in response to the take-up of their Open Access programs“.

The fund of the U of Ottawa currently will pay publication fees of hybrid journals only if the journals “make articles available immediately or allow open access self-archiving immediately upon publication (no embargo period imposed)“.

The current policy about the fund of the U of Nottingham simply states that the OA fees charged by hybrid journals “can be covered by the use of the University Open Access Publishing Fund“, and provides an email address to which enquiries to access the Fund should be directed.

Comment: A major concern is that some publishers of hybrid journals indulge in “double dipping” – taking money to make articles OA without reducing their subscription fees. See, for example, Open access: are publishers ‘double dipping’? by Daniel Cressey, The Great Beyond (a Nature blog), October 20, 2009.

This is the main reason why several OA journal funds will not pay publication fees of hybrid journals, and why the fund of the U of Calgary tries to avoid support for double-dipping. However, how to be sure that double-dipping isn’t happening?

Some of the complexities involved in hybrid journal pricing have been considered in two posts (post I and post II) by Bernd-Christoph Kämper to the Lis-e-resources mailing list on October 20, 2009. His warning (also applicable to attempts to ensure that double-dipping isn’t happening): “Don’t cheer too soon” .

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1 Comment »

  1. Jim Till said

    See also: Why not underwrite hybrid fees? by Stuart Shieber, The Occasional Pamphlet, December 20, 2009. Excerpt: “In the case of the current Harvard policy, I’ll explain why for the time being at least we are not underwriting hybrid fees“.

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