Landscape study of small journal publishers transitioning to open access (OA) now available

15 December 2022

The scholarly publishing landscape tends to be dominated by large corporate publishers that publish the majority of academic research. However, smaller publishers play a key role in scholarly communication. They offer vital channels of communication for specific disciplines. Additionally, they provide academics who have a particular regional, cultural, linguistic or thematic interest with important information.

Knowledge Exchange (KE) and the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) have published an initial Landscape study of small journal publishers. This study includes a practical examination of small publishers which helps the research community to identify the challenges they may face in successfully transitioning to open access.

Based on the methodology presented at the beginning of the report, the data collected allows us to draw a panorama of small academic publishing houses within the six KE countries. The study investigates how many small publishers in these countries can be identified in large bibliographic databases and looks at several characteristics of these publishers. It also seeks to understand their attributes such as the business model (open access, closed or a combination thereof), language, discipline, lifespan, changes in publisher, periodicity and age among others. The data is shared with the report.

Next steps

After this quantitative study the Task and Finish group will conduct a qualitative study with the aim to develop recommendations for the different stakeholders such as researchers, small publishers, libraries and others.

Saskia Woutersen-Windhouwer, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Leiden University Libraries, Centre for Digital Scholarship said "We are pleased to have joined forces with DZHW to produce this important study. It aims to identify what constitutes a small publisher and the hurdles most of them face to be part of the scholarly infrastructure. It also shows the opportunities available to them if done successfully. We hope that in reading this report, smaller publishers will understand that they are not alone."

To access the report click here.