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Case studies: university presses

Case study (journals): Oxford University Press

An example of a large university press that has successfully moved in this direction is Oxford University Press, which printed its first book in 1478. OUP was an early adopter of new publishing models that enabled Open Access for journal articles. Its scheme, Oxford Open, is considered exemplary since as well as offering open Access via an article-processing charge (APC) system, OUP pledges to align its journal subscription prices with take-up of the Open Access option by authors: that is, as more authors opt to pay an APC to have their own articles made Open Access (in otherwise ‘hybrid’ journals) the subscription price of the journal falls for all subscribers. Oxford Open also offers a small number of journals that are fully Open Access; that is, all their articles are published in Open Access with an APC for each article. There are differing APC levels for authors in institutions that already subscribe to the journal and those in non-subscribing institutions.  There are also lower APC charges for authors from developing countries. The full details of the Oxford Open scheme can be found here.

Case study (monographs): The Australian National University Press

Established in 2003, this press began life as a digital publisher based on:

  • a recognition of the urgent need to find an effective mechanism for disseminating high quality ANU scholarship that lacks a ready commercial market
  • a determination to eliminate barriers inherent in existing models of scholarly communication
  • an acceptance that the operational overheads of the conventional academic press are no longer affordable
  • a realisation that emergent electronic press technologies offer a feasible alternative to the conventional academic press in terms of cost and available infrastructure

All of ANU’s monographs are available in print via print-on-demand (POD). They ar e also available in digital form in PDF and HTML formats for onscreen viewing and in HTML for mobile devices. The digital versions of monographs can be downloaded free from the Press website. Dissemination appears to be very successful: the figures for PDF and HTML full-text downloads of ANU monographs are:

  • 2005: 381,740 downloads
  • 2006: 745,288 downloads
  • 2007: 1,252,735 downloads

 

More details about the ANU Press and how it operates can be found here.

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