New report on the sustainability of Diamond OA in Europe

3rd April 2024News, Open Access, Open Science

A new report from the DIAMAS work package that SPARC Europe leads looks at understanding how institutional publishing is sustained today. Institutional publishers and service providers are diverse due to their missions, size and service provision. In addition, there is no definitive set of tasks that all institutional publishers share. These characteristics influence the sustainability options available to them and the choices they make. 

Institutional Diamond OA publishers have a clear view of their challenges: a lack of financial resources and stability and permanence in personnel, and a dependence on parent organisations. They also share a vision of a Diamond OA funding landscape that rejects author-pays solutions, reinforces the need for continued financial support from public bodies and institutions, and research funding organisations that have largely been absent to date. 

Diamond OA publishing needs more stable and long-term funding. IPSPs utilise diverse funding models, and 40% depend on time-limited grants to support their operations and many are burdened by the administration that these grants demand. They rely primarily on parent organisations for basic support, especially in-kind support, such as personnel, and services. Personnel are more central to IPSPs’ financial sustainability than revenue streams, but they are often employed outside the boundary of the IPSP itself, which means that IPSPs have to negotiate for resources. 

It is crucial to recognise those stakeholders that have helped to sustain scholar-led publishing over the years. We recommend that the universities, academic libraries, researc​​h institutions and public institutions that have been pivotal in sustaining institutional publishing continue to commit to providing fixed and permanent funding for local publishing initiatives. 

It is vital to support infrastructures that serve many small to mid-sized IPSPs and efforts that connect and build capacity. This will make this ecosystem more technically and financially sustainable in the mid to long term. 

Read the full report here.