November 21, 2017

Oxford to Move Journal to Full Open Access

By LJ Staff

After positive initial results from Oxford University Press’s open access “experiment” with Nucleic Acids Research (NAR), the press announced it will move to a full open access publishing model from January 2005. It has been published under a subscription model for 32 years and includes around 1000 original research papers per year; OUP said NAR was “the first journal of such stature to make a complete switch from a subscription to OA model.” Said Martin Richardson, managing director of Oxford Journals, “To fulfill our role as a university press we felt a responsibility to the scholarly communities we represent to explore it as a viable publishing model.” Rachel Goode, communications manager, noted that there is a huge correlation between institutions that subscribe to NAR and authors who contribute to it, making the journal a particularly good candidate for open access. “I don’t think the market is ready beyond certain subject areas,” she said.

The open access model includes a mixture of author charges, institutional memberships and print subscriptions. Richard Gedye, sales director, cited talks with academic librarians as helping develop “a model where buying institutional memberships would keep the cost of author charges low enough to maximize the chances of NAR‘s long term success as an open access journal.” Authors from member institutions will pay $500 per article; those from nonmember institutions will pay $1,500 per article. Membership for 2005 is $2,459, the same price as an online subscription to NAR in 2004, so Oxford expects libraries to be the significant source of those funds. Thus, if a member institution has three papers published, the savings ($1,000 per article, or $3,000) would make up for the membership charge. Authors from more than 60 developing countries will pay no fee; those from some 70 other middle-income countries will pay $500 per article if their institutions are not members, and will pay nothing if their institutions are members. As authors around the globe become better funded, the proportion of publishing costs that can be covered by author charges should rise, Oxford officials said.