Open access could save money in the Netherlands

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Open-access publication could save the Netherlands up to 133 million euros, according to new research from Australian economist John Houghton on behalf of SURFfoundation.

The study 'Costs and Benefits of Research Communication: The Dutch Situation' compares three publication models.

Taking all the electronic-only costs in account, Houghton and colleagues calculated that the average subscription publishing system costs would amount to around € 17,046 per article (excluding Value-Added Tax), average open-access publishing costs would amount to € 15,857 per article and average open-access self-archiving costs would be € 15,331 per article.

In addition, the researchers identified cost savings if different open-access models were adopted nationally and internationally. If the 'gold' (author-pays) open-access model was adopted worldwide, annual savings in the Netherlands would be € 133 million, for example. The country would still save € 37 million per year even if it was the only country to adopt this route. Similar savings are possible with other open-access options such as self-archiving in institutional or subject-based repositories, according to the study.

'The study makes clear that open access offers a realistic alternative to the traditional publisher’s model based on licences,' commented Wim Liebrand, director of SURFfoundation. 'SURFfoundation has been working for some years now with publishers, authors, scientists, and scholars to develop publication models that are more cost-effective. Prof. Houghton’s report is a big boost for that work.'

The study was commissioned by SURFfoundation and follows similar research in the UK and Australia. Similar studies are being carried out in Denmark and Germany.