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Study of Open Access Publishing (SOAP)
Start date: 01 Mar 2009, End date: 28 Feb 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The shift from print-based to digital documents demands innovation from scientific publishers. Several radical new Open Access Publishing (OAP) business models have already emerged. The SOAP consortium represents key stakeholders such as publishers, funding agencies and a broad spectrum of research disciplines. It was formed to fuel the debate about the future of scientific publishing elaborated in COMMUNICATION (2007) 56, on scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation. We believe that a variety of forms of OAP will ultimately co-exist, balancing attributes such as the cultural identities of the various stakeholders, career development paths, the perceived value of refereed publications and wider societal demand for access to information. The interests of researchers in the European Research Area (ERA) and worldwide will only be addressed by genuinely sustainable forms of publishing and commitment to change will only come about as a result of rational business decisions based on concrete evidence which does not exist today. The wider open access debate often relies on extrapolations and assumptions. We plan to begin to deliver evidence by: (1) Defining attributes that differentiate various business models for open access and identifying the drivers that motivate researchers in their desire for publication. OAP is unsustainable unless it makes sense for both publisher and researcher. (2) Providing the European Commission, publishers and funding agencies with the results of a comprehensive survey of the attitudes of researchers in the ERA. These will give real insight into the demand and importance of OAP for its ultimate users. (3) Applying the survey results to a range of specific publishing scenarios. We will describe and analyse new OAP solutions so that these may be emulated by other publishers, institutions and communities in an orderly transition to OAP wherever possible."
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