Publishers push back against Houghton report

Peter Williams, Publishers denounce JISC open access report, Information World Review, March 9, 2009.  Excerpt:

Professor John Houghton of Victoria University in Melbourne and Professor Charles Oppenheim of Loughborough University led the research.

Three models were examined: subscription or toll access (reader charges and use restrictions), OA publishing (where publication is author-funded), and OA self-archiving (where academic authors post their work in free online repositories).

The study estimated that core scholarly publishing in total cost the UK higher education sector just under £5bn in 2007, and that the three models could save the sector hundreds of millions of pounds.

Houghton said greater accessibility to research could result in £172m worth of benefits a year to UK plc from government and higher education sector research alone.

In a joint statement, publishing associations PA, ALPSP and STM said: “OA publishing in all its variants is the subject of a series of experiments already running with our membership. Claims that if adopted universally an exclusively OA business model would generate large savings in the system costs for scholarly communication in the UK in our view remain unproven.�

JISC said it wanted to stimulate debate and would meet publishers shortly.

PS:  Also see my post on the Houghton report, which includes longer excerpts from its findings.