Start Center - Strategic Analysis, Research & Training Center

The Economics of Academic Publishing

The Economics of Academic Publishing

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) engaged the Strategic Analysis, Research, and Training (START) Center to better understand the true cost of publishing academic research, and to purpose potential transformative models for ways to effectively execute a sustainable open access model of publishing. Funders will often say that they will cover “reasonable” open access publishing fees. However, funders struggle to define reasonable. The cost of open access continues to increase year over year without any change in service or added value.

The START team explored the landscape of Open Access (OA) Article-Processing Charges (APCs), and the role that the BMGF plays in funding researchers and APCs to enable open access.

Phase I — Landscape Analysis/Placemats: ​​

  • Trends in research publication​​
  • Main models of open access​​
  • Open access policies​​
  • Trends in BMGF-supported publication and spending

Phase II — Policy Opportunities: ​​

  • Align BMGF values/priorities with potential policy additions/changes​
  • Recommend potential strategies to incorporate into BMGF policy

The START team did a literature review of 52 journal articles and 50+ gray literature resources. They also interviewed 14 key informants, including: 5 University Librarians​, 3 Economists​, 2 Open Access Publishers​, 2 Journal Editors​, 1 Multi-disciplinary Scholar​, and 1 Research Funder.




3 / 9 / 2023


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Final Presentation

EAP_Final Presentation
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Final Report

START_EAP_Policy Opportunities
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Final Tools

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