Bjork (2012)

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1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

Bjork (2012)
Title: The Hybrid Model for Open Access Publication of Scholarly Articles – a Failed Experiment?
Author(s): Bo-Christer Björk
Year: 2012
Citation: Björk, B.C., The Hybrid Model for Open Access Publication of Scholarly Articles–a Failed Experiment?.
Link(s): Definitive , Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: The study uses data from 15 publishers of hybrid journals. It covers two periods: the first in 2009 when a previous study found 2017 journals and 8095 articles available as hybrid publications, and a second period in 2011-12 which found 4381 journals and 12089 articles.
Data Type: Primary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: No
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • 2009 to 2012
Funder(s):

Abstract

Mainstream scholarly publishers have since 2004 started to offer authors in subscription journals the possibility to free their individual articles from access barriers against a payment (hybrid OA). This has been marketed as a possible gradual transition path between subscription and open access to the scholarly journal literature, and the publishers have pledged to decrease their subscription prices in proportion to the uptake of the hybrid option. The number of hybrid journals has doubled in the past couple of years and is now over 4,300, and the number of such articles was around 12,000 in 2011. On average only 1-2 % of eligible authors utilize the OA option, due mainly to the generally high price level of typically 3,000 USD. There are, however, a few publishers and individual journals with a much higher uptake. This article takes a closer look at the development of hybrid OA and discusses, from an author-centric viewpoint, the possible reasons for the lack of success of this business model.

Main Results of the Study

In just over two years the number of journals from major publishers offering hybrid Open Access has more than doubled, from approximately 2,000 to over 4,400. Since the overall numbers of journals from these publishers has remained on the same level, the hybrid share has risen from 25 % to around 50% of all eligible journals. In the same period the number of articles has increased from around 8,000 to 12,000. Roughly half of these articles have been deposited in PubMedCentral by the publishers and the share of articles in biomedicine is even higher. Among the lessons learnt is that at the 3,000 USD price level the overwhelming majority of authors do not pay the charges. It is difficult to know to what extent this is due to lack of awareness of the option and of the benefits of OA, unwillingness to pay at the prevailing price level or difficulties in funding the hybrid charge. The overall conclusion of this study must be that the hybrid experiment, at least in the case of the major publishers and with the current price level, has failed as a way of significantly adding to the volumes of OA articles, and that hybrid OA will remain a very marginal phenomenon in the scholarly publishing landscape.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

The hybrid offering seems to have reached a state where the prospects for growth are low in the near future. The big publishers have already included around half their titles, probably most of the ones deemed to have better chances of uptake, and many university presses and society publishers already have a clear majority of their titles in their hybrid offering. Thus there is relative little scope for growth via the addition of new titles. The best chances of rapidly increasing the uptake would be to drastically reduce the price level. But that could in turn put the subscription income at risk. Since the marginal cost of keeping the hybrid offering running is almost zero publishers are likely to continue with this route in its current form in the near future. But in parallel the trend seems now to be for many established publishers to start wholly new full Open Access journals, and in particular journals with very broad disciplinary coverage and reasonable article processing charges.

Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Green-tick.png
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Green-tick.png
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Green-tick.png
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Green-tick.png
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Green-tick.png
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Datasets

Sample size: 15
Level of aggregation: Publishers
Period of material under study: 2009 to 2012


Sample size: 2017
Level of aggregation: Journals
Period of material under study: 2009


Sample size: 4381
Level of aggregation: Journals
Period of material under study: 2012


Sample size: 8095
Level of aggregation: Articles
Period of material under study: 2009


Sample size: 12089
Level of aggregation: Articles
Period of material under study: 2012