What is the cost of providing open access information to faculty and students at UBC? Contrary to what some might believe, open access is not “free” and providing access to information, including scholarly publications, often comes at a large cost to universities. Faculty and students at UBC will have the opportunity to weigh in on open access publishing fees and realistic financial models as part of UBC Library’s participation in a US-based project with UC Davis, California Digital LibraryHarvard University and Ohio State.

UBC is one of three major research libraries partnering on the UC Davis-led project Pay It Forward: Investigating a Sustainable Model of Open Access Article Processing Charges for Large North American Research Institutions, which will study the economic implications of open access for scholarly journals and create a financial model to help university libraries develop new policies. UBC Library is the only Canadian Institution participating in this large-scale grant, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, creating a unique opportunity to work closely with other large research institutions.

This yearlong project brings together scholarly communication experts from major research institutions around the world that will collaborate with the Association of Professional and Learned Society Publishers. The research team will analyze authors’ attitudes towards open access publishing fees and create a detailed financial model of these fees relative to current library journal budgets and other funding sources.

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