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Digital Technologies Mitigate Barriers to Open Access Adoption for Journals and Publishers

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Mathieu Trachman, Thierry Schaffauser, Judy Minx, Ovidie, Florian Vörös & Marie-Hélène Bourcier (01) - Paris Porn Film Fest #2 - 14,17-20 June, 2010, Paris, France, June 14, 2010 | © Philippe Leroyer.

Given that digitization reduces journal production and distribution costs, resultant efficiency gains can enable a wider adoption of Open Access by scholarly journals.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.


In recent years, open access gains momentum as a general approach not only to publishing, but also to scientific activity writ large. Thus, in 2016 OpenEdition, an Open Access publishing house, has launched the Open Access Publication in the European Research Area for Social Sciences and Humanities (OPERAS) network that seeks to further develop digital platforms for scientific collaboration, especially in Humanities and Social Sciences. The aim of this initiative is to harness European Union funding for the creation of digitally and economically innovative models for the distribution of scientific knowledge, as part of digital infrastructure development that tends to be more advanced in relation to exact and life sciences.

In addition to this, OpenEdition seeks to promote the digital interoperability of publication formats used for research monograph, the integration of value-added services into open access publishing platforms and the development of alternative publication impact measures, such as via the High Integration of Research Monographs in European Open Science (HIRMEOS) project. In this respect, open access publishing houses in social sciences and humanities continue to develop digital infrastructures, governance structures and partnership frameworks that could make Open Access into an increasingly attractive option for scientific organizations and scholarly journals.

Nevertheless, as the recent transition of the academic journal Sociologie du Travail  from a paywall-based model to an Open Access one, as it joined the Revues.org platform, indicates, scholarly journals may increasingly find Open Access-based operation models, such as Freemium, preferable to restricted access that association with traditional journal publishers, e.g., Elsevier, involves. Moreover, as in the case of this journal, a transition from print publishing to digital-only formats can lower the bar for the adoption of Open Access, since digital distribution lowers costs, allows for innovative business models and enables journal publishers to act as online platforms in their own right.

As university libraries and academic institutions seek to limit their journal acquisitions expenses, open and hybrid access models can respond to the sustainability needs of both journal publication and subscription.

By Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: Mathieu Trachman, Thierry Schaffauser, Judy Minx, Ovidie, Florian Vörös & Marie-Hélène Bourcier (01) – Paris Porn Film Fest #2 – 14,17-20 June, 2010, Paris, France, June 14, 2010 | © Philippe Leroyer.

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