Publishers roll out alternative routes to open access | Science | AAAS

“Now, two nonprofit publishers of prominent journals have debuted new ways to support OA journals without shifting the burden entirely to authors. “Everybody that we work with is watching these two [new models] closely,” says Michael Clarke, managing partner of the consulting firm Clarke & Esposito, which advises publishers. “There is not currently a good solution.”

One approach, called Subscribe to Open and implemented today by Annual Reviews, would transform the nature of subscriptions. To make a journal freely available, institutions would be asked for a contribution equivalent to their previous subscription—minus a 5% discount that Annual Reviews is offering to retain a critical mass of paying institutions. To deter freeloading, Annual Reviews says it will reimpose paywalls and rescind the discount if not enough subscribers renew each year. It is planning to pilot the approach in up to five of its 51 titles, many of which are widely cited….

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) launched a different approach earlier this year. ACM is asking the institutions that publish the most papers in its 59 journals to pay more than they do now for subscriptions—in some cases about 10 times as much, or $100,000 per year. The higher fees will allow all researchers at participating universities to publish an unlimited number of papers in ACM journals without paying APCs. The average cost per paper will beat the average market rate for APCs, the society says. ACM is betting the approach will sustain its journal revenue while it transitions to making all the 21,000 peer-reviewed papers it publishes annually free to everyone.

So far, both approaches are getting a positive response….”