From 2014 to 2019, the Library was able to offer direct support to UA-affiliated authors in the form of subsidies to cover the article processing charges for open access publications. While this funding model helped support open access publication of almost 300 articles, it was not a sustainable or scalable model for changing the landscape of scholarly publication.
The current ecosystem of scholarly publication, largely dominated by commercial publishers and dependent upon rapidly rising costs for accessing content, is not sustainable. Transitioning expenditures from “pay to read” (traditional licensing agreements) to “pay to publish” (payment of article processing charges) does little to transform the current ecosystem or stem the flow of increasing amounts of money into the system. Disrupting the traditional scholarly publication system will take more than merely subsidizing a small, finite number of scholarly publications in academic journals. True and lasting change requires investment in new infrastructure models and a commitment to new community-based models of scholarly publishing.
The Library’s Open Access Investment Fund has a twofold purpose:
Support of UA-affiliated author publication costs: The Library will continue to support UA-affiliated authors who publish in open access journals, though in a more indirect way. Through the Library’s institutional memberships with specific publishers, UA authors benefit from pre-arranged discounts on article processing charges.
Support of initiatives and projects that advance open access: The Library will commit funding in memberships and initiatives that have wide potential global impact, such as projects that develop open publication infrastructure or that convert portfolios of subscription-based peer-reviewed journals to open access.
Transitioning the UA Library’s Open Publishing Fund away from its previous internal focus toward a more global focus has the potential for much greater impact in changing the landscape of scholarly publication. The University of Arizona Library remains committed to supporting open access to both scholarship globally and to the published work of the UA campus community….”