The Two-Way Street of Open Access Journal Publishing: Flip It and Reverse It

Lisa Matthias, Najko Jahn, Mikael Laakso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

As Open access (OA) is often perceived as the end goal of scholarly publishing, much research has focused on flipping subscription journals to an OA model. Focusing on what can happen after the presumed finish line, this study identifies journals that have converted from OA to a subscription model, and places these “reverse flips” within the greater context of scholarly publishing. In particular, we examine specific journal descriptors, such as access mode, publisher, subject area, society affiliation, article volume, and citation metrics, to deepen our understanding of reverse flips. Our results show that at least 152 actively publishing journals have reverse-flipped since 2005, suggesting that this phenomenon does not constitute merely a few marginal outliers, but instead a common pattern within scholarly publishing. Notably, we found that 62% of reverse flips (N = 95) had not been born-OA journals, but had been founded as subscription journals, and hence have experienced a three-stage transformation from closed to open to closed. We argue that reverse flips present a unique perspective on OA, and that further research would greatly benefit from enhanced data and tools for identifying such cases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Peer-reviewed scientific journalPublications
Volume7
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
ISSN2304-6775
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 03.04.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 113 Computer and information sciences
  • scholarly publishing
  • scholarly journals
  • open access
  • bibliometrics

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