Open Access Continues Apace

O/A at UofA has announced that the Canadian Journal of Sociology has become Open Access. The editor describes the factors that drove the decision here. Interestingly, on the financial question (which now seems to be the focus of most discussions), he has this to say:

The financial implications of this move remain somewhat opaque, and I have agonized over this issue. The situation of independent scholarly publishing in Canadian has always been precarious. This is particularly true with the CJS/CCS which does not receive any association funds. Retiring the hard copy version of the journal eliminates subscription revenue, which is one of our major sources of funding. That said, mimicking wider publishing trends, the journal’s subscriptions have been substantially declining at the same time that our electronic readership (through Project MUSE and other venues) has increased dramatically. Moreover, it was always the case that most of our subscription revenues went to cover the costs associated with producing a hard copy volume, such as printing, subscription management and postage.

Ultimately, this move means that we are now more centrally dependent on SSHRC funding, but in practice that has been the case for some time. There is, however, reason for optimism about the funding situation. SSHRC has emerged as a major proponent of open access publishing and is now supporting open access journals. Given the prominence and reputation of the CJS/CCS I expect that we will continue to receive such funds.

Open Access to the law will eventually mean big changes for the legal publishing industry.

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