Gold Open Access: Counting the Costs

The Digital Library team at the University of Edinburgh have written a new paper analysing the cost of Gold OA over the past few years. The data arises from managing the Wellcome Trust’s Open Access grant awarded to the university.

Some of the article’s main take home messages are:

  1. Hybrid journals seem to be more popular venues for Open Access  publication, and
  2. Hybrid journals generally charge more than full OA journals independent of journal impact factor, and
  3. There is a positive correlation between APC cost and impact factor for both hybrid and full OA journals.

Some more reflective points arising from the work:

  1. It appears that Open Access policies require rigorous compliance monitoring to be successful, and seem to be more effective when punitive sanctions are imposed.
  2. Research-intensive institutions are likely to be hit by a cost ‘double whammy’; they not only publish more articles, but they also publish them more frequently in high-impact-factor journals.
  3. Institutions need to be more open about costs, and publish the data in a format that allows reuse.

The full article is available here:

The data set upon which the article is based is available here:


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