“Most publishers need to ensure that their income at least covers their costs, whether they are mission based or profit driven. Assuming constant prices, for open access publishing, income is driven primarily by the number of papers published. For subscription publishing, it’s driven primarily by the numbers of journals published. Costs scale based on numbers of papers for both. It would then be logical to assume that publishers focus increasingly on article volumes over numbers of journals as they publish more open access. But what do the data tell us?…
OA Only publishers publish more articles per journal….OA Only publishers’ journals contain 4 to 5 times as many papers as journals from Mixed Model publishers….
It appears that publisher type, rather than journal type, is a better predictor of journal size. Whatever the journal’s economics – and whether the organization is for profit or not – it seems that Mixed Model publishers continue to publish fully OA journals of similar sizes to their other journal types. OA Only publishers have historically published slightly larger journals, but the size of their journals has really taken off over the last decade.
It appears that Mixed Model publishers continue apply their tried and trusted subscription thinking to their fully OA journals. This means that they need to create more and more journals to keep up with demand, with all the overhead that implies. Meanwhile, the new kids on the block have no such qualms. Why publish more journals when you can simply publish more stuff?”