ATG Article of the Week: Open access: why academic publishers still add value

by | Nov 27, 2012 | 0 comments

 Open access: why academic publishers still add value

Flying in the face of open access advocates, Alexander Brown (Springer) defends publishers as he points to their continuing costs, discusses the services they provide and explains their role in helping move science forward.  Although he admits the cost of printing and distributing journals has dropped, he claims that it has been replaced by the expense of “developing systems and platforms that can cost well into the tens of millions of dollars/pounds/euros etc.  He also argues that distribution still has its costs with publishers like Springer spending “time and money into developing new ways for students, researchers and librarians to find and use content via metadata, XML generation, tagging and a host of other tools.”

But it appears that Springer is also adjusting to market realities.  The article notes that Springer is now offering open access journals and books in addition to their subscription based options.  In addition, Brown notes that  Springer helps enable the spread of scientific knowledge by depositing “a researcher’s work into the institutional repositories these scientists are often required to use, helping to provide further access to scholarly works.” He also points to the value of publisher archival projects like the Springer Book Archives, which hopes to “digitize more than 150 years of previously unavailable titles.”

(To get the view from the other side checkout another Guardian blog post entitled Open Access: ‘we no longer need expensive publishing networks’)


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