Economic analysis of business models for open access monographs – January 2015

Practice area: Business analytics | Education and Labour Markets | Public Policy
Client: Higher Education Funding Council for England, HEFCE
Published: 22 January, 2015
Keywords: qualitative analysis stakeholder surveys and consultations

The report looks at existing and emerging business models for open-access publishing of scholarly monographs (including scholarly editions, edited volumes and catalogues). A typology of business models is developed based on institutional setup, incentives for the participating parties and revenue sources. The analysis is informed by theoretical considerations and interviews with publishers and academics in the UK, Australia, France, the Netherlands and the US. The six core business models we see currently operating in the OA monograph market are: traditional publisher, new university press, mission-oriented OA, freemium OA, aggregator/distributor and author payment model.

The report discusses the performance of the different business models in terms of quality of scholarly output, sustainability and incentives for dissemination, including to audiences outside traditional academic institutions; and their impact on innovation and the diversity and integrity of the scholarly publishing landscape.