In the past we have highlighted the fact that taxonomies exist everywhere – in the book store and even in the grocery store. Is open access following the same trends? The Scholarly Kitchen brought this interesting topic to our attention in their article, “Guest Post: From Supermarkets to Marketplaces — The Evolution of the Open Access Ecosystem.

Open access is undergoing another metamorphosis in academic publishing. The space has been dominated by author-pays models, but that may be changing. Other transactional models are on the table.

There is, as yet, no credible and effective approach to open access, thus holding up the proliferation of the model, particularly for smaller and medium-sized publishers. In a situation where the market really requires more intermediaries to increase transparency and in turn help with the transition from one transaction model to another, this key component of the traditional scholarly value chain is failing.

Because publishers are structured like supermarkets and as long as libraries or other agents are not prepared to supersede this role with a better structure, the underlying problem will remain. To make open access really work, libraries have to cooperate and co-spend in order to shift the market-shaping from publishers to themselves.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.