A rapid transition to open access publishing is essential

The proliferation of open access publishing models in academic publication provides researchers and the academic community with opportunities to share and access academic information faster and more flexibly than before.

Finnish institutions of higher education and research institutes are currently negotiating with academic publishers to enable the efficient use of open publication methods.

The Ministry of Education and Culture has stated as its goal that Finland will become one of the leading countries in the openness of science and research by 2017.

Overlapping expenses must be minimised

Currently, institutions of higher education and research institutes pay for academic publications through subscription fees. In an open access model, the author or the author’s organisation pays for the publication of an article. The overall expenses of publication must be examined, as particularly large publishers currently favour hybrid publication, in which a researcher whose article has been accepted for publication in a subscription-based journal can pay a separate publication fee to make his or her article open access. It is important for researchers to publish in journals which are esteemed by the academic community, even if making the article open access requires a separate fee. This model of article fees, however, generates overlapping expenses, unless the publisher correspondingly lowers the subscription fees for the journals in question.

The National Library’s FinELib consortium, which represents institutions of higher education and research institutes in the negotiations, has insisted that the hybrid model, which involves both subscriptions and article fees, be considered an interim solution on the way to full open access publishing. During this transition period it is essential that overlapping expenses from the new open access model and the old subscription model are minimised.

The subscription fees for academic journals represent an annual expense of about €23 million for institutions of higher education and research institutes. The exact costs of open access publishing are unknown as they are not monitored in Finland on a national level. However, according to estimates from the project Tieteen avoin julkaiseminen (Open Publication of Science in Finland), in 2014 Finnish universities paid at least €1 million to publish open access articles, and these expenses are on the rise.

Jyväskylä University Library supports open access in many ways

More information: http://openaccess.jyu.fi/en

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