Open Access concerns all of us! Part 2 – What is the situation for publishers?

'Open Access means death to the publisher, above all in human sciences!'

Wrong!  Whilst it is true that the Open Access movement began as a reaction to the exponential rise of the prices charged by the groups of publishers which monopolize the world of academic and scientific publishing and one of the indirect goals of OA was to push them to adjust their prices to fairer proportions, it in no terms whatsoever means the death of publishers. And for certain of them it could even mean quite the opposite..


Experience shows that journals which have chosen to move to Open Access have seen their visibility and their own citation indicators multiply rapidly. Articles deposited on open access on institutional or thematic repositories generate significant traffic towards the journals which have published them and can, because of this, enable their subscription rates to rise. This impact is in particular striking for human sciences journals which in the beginning had less marked visibility and dissemination than their STM counterparts. For certain publishers OA thus constitutes a great opportunity to be grasped. We have in addition an example at the ULg with at least one of the journals published by the Institution.

OA also has the goal to give new journals a chance, as well as supporting small or average scale publishers. It thus serves to stimulate diversity and innovation in the current publishing landscape, be it via depositing on a repository or direct publication on OA.

The size and significance of the movement promoting free access has moreover led a considerable number of publishers to revise their policies and loosen up their rights. Currently, according to the SHERPA-RoMEO site, which catalogues the policies of the major publishers in terms of self-archiving, around 67% of major publishers now have a policy which allows authors to self-archive and to make freely available on OA servers articles published in their journals in one form or another (publisher postprint, author postprint, etc.).

See also

To follow tomorrow… Diffuse your publications in Open Access