Sustainability of Open Access journals: a short review

Miguel E. Navas-Fernández


This short review starts with a description of types of Open Access journals according to their financial management.
Their funding sources could be internal -generated by the publisher or journal activity- or external –not generated by them.
Internal types of funding are APCs, community publishing, off-print sales, publicity, sponsorship, and others. The external
sources are membership fees, member schemes, public funding, collaborative purchasing models and discounts through
institutional subscriptions. APCs are present on 75% of the embargoed OA journals, while only 25% in full-OA titles; they
are paid in the 90% of the cases by authors sponsors, not by authors themselves. OA publishing model is cheaper than the
classical subscription-based model.
Some factors regarding the most important sources for revenue for OA journals are mentioned, according to previous
deep studies. A business model is composed by three dimensions –economic, operative and strategic-, and the success and
viability of the journal depends on the diversification of the revenue sources.
Finally, some conclusions are given.

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