Simba Information releases Open Access Journal Publishing 2014-2017

A global campaign by scientists, librarians, research funders and universities to increase open access (OA) to scientific research has created a fast growing revenue stream for scientific, technical and medical (STM) journal publishers — this according to Open Access Journal Publishing 2014-2017, the most recent report from media and publishing intelligence firm Simba Information.

The report can be found at:

Open access is the online digital delivery of scholarly research free of charge and without most copyright and licensing restrictions. The term was only coined a dozen years ago and continues to undergo theological debate about how free is free (costs) and how open is open (copyrights).

Open Access Journal Publishing 2014-2017 found that the major revenue source for open access journals are the author-paid, article processing charges (APC) publishers collect to cover the costs of peer review, editing, layout and electronic publication. Simba estimates the revenue generated by these fees grew 32.8% in 2013. This includes gold open access journals that publish entirely on an open access basis and survive solely on the payment of APCs, but also from hybrid journals that are sold primarily on a subscription basis, but will make individual articles available OA with payment of a APC.

Some of this OA revenue growth is being generated by pure open access publishers that have formed in the wake of calls for change in the STM publishing ecosystem. However, a great deal of that revenue is being generated by commercial publishers that thrive under traditional subscription models, and at times have been vilified by the OA movement’s leaders as profiteers.

Despite this rapid growth, OA revenue still only represents 2.3% of global 2013 STM journal sales, according to Simba Information’s research. But this revenue stream is a bright spot against a flat market. While STM journal revenue is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of between 1% and 2% between 2011 and 2017, OA revenue is expected to more than triple in that period.

Open access is already having a bigger impact in terms of publishing output. By some estimates, OA already represents 10% to 20% of all research articles published.

Open Access Journal Publishing 2014-2017 provides detailed market information for this segment of scholarly journal publishing. It analyzes trends impacting the industry and forecasts market growth to 2017. The report includes an in-depth review of 10 leading OA publishers