Wednesday, December 12, 2007

SCOAP3 Promotes a New Model for Open Access Journals

The field of High Energy Physics (HEP), already a leader in wide and open distribution and discussion of scholarly content through its use of the eprint server, is proposing a new model in open access publishing. SCOAP3, the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics, is a consortium made up of High-Energy Physics funding agencies, High-Energy Physics laboratories, and leading national and international libraries and library consortia. This group has designed a system whereby the major stakes-holder institutions support the widespread and open availability of the major HEP journals. Here are the basics of the idea:

  • Funding bodies and libraries pay money to the Consortium. The Consortium, in turn, pays the scholarly publishers to provide peer review and publish high-quality content, to be made available to everyone. The publishers are provided with the revenue stream required for their efforts, and users, regardless of affiliation, are provided with the content they need. Authors are no longer required to pay as the prevailing open access model now requires.
  • SCOAP3 partners will finance their contributions by canceling journal subscriptions. Each partner will be expected to pay in accordance with its country’s share of HEP publishing.
  • The initial scope of the project involves just 5 core journals and one discipline-wide title:
    • Physical Review D
    • Journal of High Energy Physics
    • Physics Letters B
    • Nuclear Physics B
    • European Physical Journal C
    • Physical Review Letters
  • At this time, HEP funding agencies, laboratories and libraries are signing Expressions of Interest for the financial backing of the consortium. As this process gains momentum and long-term commitments, affected publishers will be asked to tender proposals and enter negotiations. Conversion of these titles is estimated at a cost of 10 Million Euros per year, considerably less than the collective payments made by libraries for access for their institutional users.

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