Income models for Open Access: Partnerships

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While not an income model per se, partnerships can play a significant role in the business model for an open-access journal. It makes sense to discuss partnerships separately as they often represent subcomponents of other types of income models. Publishers of open-access journals may find it productive, even essential, to partner with other organizations with related missions and complementary strengths. Partnerships can provide access to resources that might otherwise require a significant outlay of cash.

Partnerships with scholarly or scientific societies and/or academic libraries can be especially effective because of a shared commitment to supporting scholarly communication. The society represents the interests of its discipline, and may also command expertise in journal editorship and publishing. A university library may bring to the partnership such complementary resources as digital content formatting and mark-up, Web dissemination infrastructure, and online hosting. Such partnerships can couple the relevant strengths of each organization.

Partners can also include organizations that provide open-access publishing services. Such service providers offer free or low-cost open-access publishing services either as part of their mission (in the case of nonprofit initiatives) or in exchange for the opportunity to develop a modest revenue stream (in the base of commercial enterprises) from article processing fees and/or the site traffic the open-access content generates. These services, some of which are described in Appendix A, allow journal editors to focus on editorial and content issues, without investing in a technical or business infrastructure.

2.9.1 Partnership Examples

For examples of journals that represent joint projects of multiple societies, see Peter Suber and Caroline Sutton, “Society Publishers with Open Access Journals”

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