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Learning to let go . . .
or
How Freemium
could be a fairer and
more sustainable
version of OA
Toby Green
Head of Publishing, OECD
November 2014
Many argue that making all scholarly research freely accessible to all will
benefit society at large. The only challenge is to find a way to cover the
costs of publishing without putting up paywalls.
In this presentation, I will argue that the two publishing models proposed
to solve this challenge, the so-called Green and Gold Open Access models,
will not meet this objective since neither model contains incentives for
anyone to invest in making scholarly research accessible to a really broad
audience (without which the benefits to society will be far smaller) – both
are essentially ‘post-and-hope’ publishing models.
I propose that a better model could be Freemium Open Access . . .
What’s in this presentation?
Scholarly publishers are un-popular
because they use paywalls
(and maybe keep this book by their bedsides?)
“Somewhere along the way, people felt
they had to be popular in order to be
successful, when in fact, the opposite is
true.”
“The brands playing in the space you
want to dominate have already
figured out the inherent power of
being unpopular.”
“Every successful brand in history is
inherently unpopular with a specific
demographic.”
(Published by Wiley)
AuthorsResearchersStudentsPractitioners, unaffiliated researchers,
educated layman . . . .
Is there a broad audience?
(because 40% of OECD populations are now university
educated – see next slide)
“The audience which finds your
content interesting and useful
is always larger than
you think.”
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Proportion of the 25-34 year-old population with tertiary education (left axis)
Proportion of the 55-64 year-old population with tertiary education (left axis)
aMore graduates = more demand for
scholarly publications
But they won’t all work in
subscribing institutions
Source: OECD (2014),Graph A1.3. Percentage of younger and older tertiary-educated adults (2012): 25-34 and 55-64 year-olds, and percentage-point difference between
these two groups, in Education at a Glance 2014, OECD Publishing. DOI: 10.1787/eag-2014-graph3-en
%
. . . so, no wonder they’re calling for
better access . . .
No! You have to
subscribe to
knowledge!
. . . and the policymakers and funders
are listening . . . and acting . . .
What do you mean, these reports
cost money? We paid for the
@*^%$ research!
. . . so publishers are reacting . . .
Don’t worry, Dad, I’m going to turn this
company around 360 degrees!
AuthorsResearchersStudentsPractitioners, unaffiliated researchers,
educated layman . . . .
. . . by turning their attention to authors
(and their funders)
. . .at the risk of ignoring the needs of . . .
READERS(and their institutions)
Open Access – find the missing words
(you’ll find them on the next slide)
movement
mandates
Open Access – find the missing words
(isn’t the point to of OA to have lots of readers?)
movement
mandates
readers books
data
Open Access Mandates – what’s the objective?
(again, the missing words are on the next slide)
Open Access Mandates
- why don’t mandates include words like ‘dissemination’ and ‘readers’?
dissemination
readers
Open Access business models
summarised
Green
• Please post a version in a
repository
• Sometime later will do
• I hope a lot of readers will
benefit (although I have now
given them a horrible user journey
and taken away their economic
‘voice’)
• I don’t want to think about
costs (or the impact it may have
on journal or book publishing on
which an author’s reputation and
career depends)
• But my conscience is clear
Gold
• I’ll foot the publishing bill
• I hope a lot of readers will
benefit (although I have now
taken away their economic ‘voice’)
• I don’t want to think about
future costs
• But my conscience is clear
*Source: Science Metrix (2014) http://www.science-metrix.com/en/publications/reports#/en/publications/reports/evolution-of-open-access-policies-and-availability-1996-2013
OECD Publishing’s mandate
MAXIMISE
DISSEMINATION
(i.e. everything has to be free)
FULL
COST RECOVERY
(i.e. everything needs to be priced)
So, how do we stay out of debtors’ jail?
By using a:
• Freemium Open Access
business model
Freemium ?
freemium
NOUN
A business model, especially on the Internet, whereby basic services are
provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for.
Origin
early 21st century: blend of free and premium.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/freemium
Freemium is all about audience building and
offering the option of moving up a value path
Anonymous
Free
Registered
Free Anonymous
Paid
Registered
Paid
To have enough
of these . . .
. . . you need
loads of these.
Therefore, audience-building is at
the heart of Freemium Open Access
Freemium – it’s about the value
proposition
“A business model, especially on the Internet, whereby basic services are
provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for.”
Free
Anonymous
Free
Registered
Paid
Anonymous
Paid
Registered
Discover and
Read all content    
Share, embed
content    
Personal services
(e.g. alerts)  
Download,
cut/paste content
(PDF, ePub etc)
 
Librarian services 
Freemium must innovate and evolve
Needs
Time
PREMIUM
Read on PC
Save offline,
copy-paste
Enhanced
discovery
Download associated
data (StatLinks)
Citation tools,
Text mining
Basic
discovery
Read on
tablets
Save in
information management
systems
Share, Embed
InnovationSupport for
libraries
FREE
Simple
Complex
FREEMIUM
Personal
services
AuthorsResearchersStudentsPractitioners, unaffiliated researchers,
educated layman . . . .
But my audience is too small!
No it’s not!
Audience building – how?
Source: Edible Geography http://www.ediblegeography.com/the-spatial-distribution-of-
americans-in-relationship-to-starbucks/
Audience building – how?
Source: Edible Geography http://www.ediblegeography.com/the-spatial-distribution-of-
americans-in-relationship-to-starbucks/
So, how can publishers do the same as
Starbucks and take the content to the
audience?
By doing all the usual discovery stuff . . .
Specialist bibliographic
database
10%
Library systems
10%
Specialist portal (e.g.
Repec)
6%
Content aggregator (e.g.
Proquest)
9%
Community service (e.g.
Mendeley)
6%
Website managed by key
authors in field
6%
Author's website
5%
Publisher's website
14%
Email alerts
14%
General web search (e.g.
Google)
10%
Special web search (e.g.
Scirus)
10%
Source: Gardner and Inger (2012): How readers
discover content in scholarly journals
. . . and using many delivery channels
For professionals . . .
. . . and the public
But OECD Publishing has also learned to let go
we now encourage anyone to
read and then
share and embed
our publications in
their websites
and blogs for free
All the content is free to Read
Subscribers get access to the
premium versions
(PDF, ePub, Excel)
Non-subscribers can purchase the
premium versions too
Read versions are optimised for all
devices . . .
. . . and then we let go . . .
Clicking
‘Link/Embed’ . . .
. . . brings this
pop-up box . . .
. . . which allows anyone to
share, embed . . . for free.
(so we’ve ‘let go’ our content)
No permission or license required . . .
Because it’s embedded, we
know it’s there . . .
. . . and we know the traffic too.
These buttons lead to the premium
versions on our website.
Do we fulfil our mandate
On dissemination?
Dissemination(‘000)
-
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
10,000
12,000
14,000
16,000
18,000
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Each colour is a different dissemination
service or channel
Do we fulfil our mandates
On cost recovery?
Dissemination(‘000)
-
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
10,000
12,000
14,000
16,000
18,000
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
We recovered our
(growing) publishing
costs in every year too.
Each colour is a different dissemination
service or channel
In conclusion –
Is Freemium a better form of OA?
• Freemium means actively building an audience
(You can be Free and not have many readers)
• Freemium keeps the audience in the driving seat
(You can be Free and ignore reader needs)
• Freemium means innovation
(You can be Free and stop innovating)
• Freemium delivers value for money
(You can be Free and build services that no-one uses)
• Freemium gives taxpayers/funders a choice
(To be Free taxpayers/funders must pay publishing costs)
• Freemium is compatible with Gold – Funders can
choose to make premium features free for everyone
Thank-you for looking
at this presentation.
If you have questions,
drop me a line.
toby.green@oecd.org
@tobyabgreen
And thanks to Banksy for
the ‘letting go’ girl

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Freemium open access publishing learning to let go

  • 1. Learning to let go . . . or How Freemium could be a fairer and more sustainable version of OA Toby Green Head of Publishing, OECD November 2014
  • 2. Many argue that making all scholarly research freely accessible to all will benefit society at large. The only challenge is to find a way to cover the costs of publishing without putting up paywalls. In this presentation, I will argue that the two publishing models proposed to solve this challenge, the so-called Green and Gold Open Access models, will not meet this objective since neither model contains incentives for anyone to invest in making scholarly research accessible to a really broad audience (without which the benefits to society will be far smaller) – both are essentially ‘post-and-hope’ publishing models. I propose that a better model could be Freemium Open Access . . . What’s in this presentation?
  • 3. Scholarly publishers are un-popular because they use paywalls (and maybe keep this book by their bedsides?) “Somewhere along the way, people felt they had to be popular in order to be successful, when in fact, the opposite is true.” “The brands playing in the space you want to dominate have already figured out the inherent power of being unpopular.” “Every successful brand in history is inherently unpopular with a specific demographic.” (Published by Wiley)
  • 4. AuthorsResearchersStudentsPractitioners, unaffiliated researchers, educated layman . . . . Is there a broad audience? (because 40% of OECD populations are now university educated – see next slide) “The audience which finds your content interesting and useful is always larger than you think.”
  • 5. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Proportion of the 25-34 year-old population with tertiary education (left axis) Proportion of the 55-64 year-old population with tertiary education (left axis) aMore graduates = more demand for scholarly publications But they won’t all work in subscribing institutions Source: OECD (2014),Graph A1.3. Percentage of younger and older tertiary-educated adults (2012): 25-34 and 55-64 year-olds, and percentage-point difference between these two groups, in Education at a Glance 2014, OECD Publishing. DOI: 10.1787/eag-2014-graph3-en %
  • 6. . . . so, no wonder they’re calling for better access . . . No! You have to subscribe to knowledge!
  • 7. . . . and the policymakers and funders are listening . . . and acting . . . What do you mean, these reports cost money? We paid for the @*^%$ research!
  • 8. . . . so publishers are reacting . . . Don’t worry, Dad, I’m going to turn this company around 360 degrees!
  • 9. AuthorsResearchersStudentsPractitioners, unaffiliated researchers, educated layman . . . . . . . by turning their attention to authors (and their funders) . . .at the risk of ignoring the needs of . . . READERS(and their institutions)
  • 10. Open Access – find the missing words (you’ll find them on the next slide) movement mandates
  • 11. Open Access – find the missing words (isn’t the point to of OA to have lots of readers?) movement mandates readers books data
  • 12. Open Access Mandates – what’s the objective? (again, the missing words are on the next slide)
  • 13. Open Access Mandates - why don’t mandates include words like ‘dissemination’ and ‘readers’? dissemination readers
  • 14. Open Access business models summarised Green • Please post a version in a repository • Sometime later will do • I hope a lot of readers will benefit (although I have now given them a horrible user journey and taken away their economic ‘voice’) • I don’t want to think about costs (or the impact it may have on journal or book publishing on which an author’s reputation and career depends) • But my conscience is clear Gold • I’ll foot the publishing bill • I hope a lot of readers will benefit (although I have now taken away their economic ‘voice’) • I don’t want to think about future costs • But my conscience is clear *Source: Science Metrix (2014) http://www.science-metrix.com/en/publications/reports#/en/publications/reports/evolution-of-open-access-policies-and-availability-1996-2013
  • 15. OECD Publishing’s mandate MAXIMISE DISSEMINATION (i.e. everything has to be free) FULL COST RECOVERY (i.e. everything needs to be priced)
  • 16. So, how do we stay out of debtors’ jail? By using a: • Freemium Open Access business model
  • 17. Freemium ? freemium NOUN A business model, especially on the Internet, whereby basic services are provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for. Origin early 21st century: blend of free and premium. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/freemium
  • 18. Freemium is all about audience building and offering the option of moving up a value path Anonymous Free Registered Free Anonymous Paid Registered Paid To have enough of these . . . . . . you need loads of these. Therefore, audience-building is at the heart of Freemium Open Access
  • 19. Freemium – it’s about the value proposition “A business model, especially on the Internet, whereby basic services are provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for.” Free Anonymous Free Registered Paid Anonymous Paid Registered Discover and Read all content     Share, embed content     Personal services (e.g. alerts)   Download, cut/paste content (PDF, ePub etc)   Librarian services 
  • 20. Freemium must innovate and evolve Needs Time PREMIUM Read on PC Save offline, copy-paste Enhanced discovery Download associated data (StatLinks) Citation tools, Text mining Basic discovery Read on tablets Save in information management systems Share, Embed InnovationSupport for libraries FREE Simple Complex FREEMIUM Personal services
  • 21. AuthorsResearchersStudentsPractitioners, unaffiliated researchers, educated layman . . . . But my audience is too small! No it’s not!
  • 22. Audience building – how? Source: Edible Geography http://www.ediblegeography.com/the-spatial-distribution-of- americans-in-relationship-to-starbucks/
  • 23. Audience building – how? Source: Edible Geography http://www.ediblegeography.com/the-spatial-distribution-of- americans-in-relationship-to-starbucks/ So, how can publishers do the same as Starbucks and take the content to the audience?
  • 24. By doing all the usual discovery stuff . . . Specialist bibliographic database 10% Library systems 10% Specialist portal (e.g. Repec) 6% Content aggregator (e.g. Proquest) 9% Community service (e.g. Mendeley) 6% Website managed by key authors in field 6% Author's website 5% Publisher's website 14% Email alerts 14% General web search (e.g. Google) 10% Special web search (e.g. Scirus) 10% Source: Gardner and Inger (2012): How readers discover content in scholarly journals
  • 25. . . . and using many delivery channels For professionals . . . . . . and the public
  • 26. But OECD Publishing has also learned to let go we now encourage anyone to read and then share and embed our publications in their websites and blogs for free
  • 27. All the content is free to Read Subscribers get access to the premium versions (PDF, ePub, Excel) Non-subscribers can purchase the premium versions too
  • 28. Read versions are optimised for all devices . . .
  • 29. . . . and then we let go . . . Clicking ‘Link/Embed’ . . . . . . brings this pop-up box . . . . . . which allows anyone to share, embed . . . for free. (so we’ve ‘let go’ our content)
  • 30. No permission or license required . . . Because it’s embedded, we know it’s there . . . . . . and we know the traffic too. These buttons lead to the premium versions on our website.
  • 31. Do we fulfil our mandate On dissemination? Dissemination(‘000) - 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 14,000 16,000 18,000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Each colour is a different dissemination service or channel
  • 32. Do we fulfil our mandates On cost recovery? Dissemination(‘000) - 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 14,000 16,000 18,000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 We recovered our (growing) publishing costs in every year too. Each colour is a different dissemination service or channel
  • 33. In conclusion – Is Freemium a better form of OA? • Freemium means actively building an audience (You can be Free and not have many readers) • Freemium keeps the audience in the driving seat (You can be Free and ignore reader needs) • Freemium means innovation (You can be Free and stop innovating) • Freemium delivers value for money (You can be Free and build services that no-one uses) • Freemium gives taxpayers/funders a choice (To be Free taxpayers/funders must pay publishing costs) • Freemium is compatible with Gold – Funders can choose to make premium features free for everyone
  • 34. Thank-you for looking at this presentation. If you have questions, drop me a line. toby.green@oecd.org @tobyabgreen And thanks to Banksy for the ‘letting go’ girl

Editor's Notes

  1. To remind audience that the mandate is Part I statistical data only. No mandate or commitment on publications We will continue to sell, including statistical data services Publishing Policy is unchanged save for the commitment that 100% of Part I data be freely available in basic form
  2. Key message: Delta continues the existing practice of stepping up the value chain to find revenues and using these revenues to build improved free services to non-subscribers. This is why Freemium model can work: As new needs emerge, new, innovative, premium services are provided generating the revenues to enable mature services to become free.
  3. Did you know that 80% of the US popularion live within 15 miles of a Starbucks and no-one lives more than 140 miles from a Venti Latte? Just as Starbucks (and WallMart and IKEA and McDonalds . . even Apple) actively take their message to market and build distribution channels and outlets close to their target audiences, so must OECD. Can we get 80% of our audience within three clicks of our publications?
  4. Did you know that 80% of the US popularion live within 15 miles of a Starbucks and no-one lives more than 140 miles from a Venti Latte? Just as Starbucks (and WallMart and IKEA and McDonalds . . even Apple) actively take their message to market and build distribution channels and outlets close to their target audiences, so must OECD. Can we get 80% of our audience within three clicks of our publications?
  5. Gardner and Inger research reader behaviour among academic and high-level student audiences. They found that academics start their research for scholarly information in eleven places. A post-it and hope strategy would miss 85% of the starting points and signposts used by this audience – PAC covers almost all of these by actively posting metadata and/or full text content into these channels. The result is 122,000 referrals to OECD’s publications a month, 24% of all traffic to our publications.
  6. Other audiences are no different, they each have different online ‘forests’ where they go to find information – this is especially true among professional audiences – law, finance/banking, tax – and more recently policymakers with the launch of Bloomberg Government aimed squarely at those within the Washington Beltway last year. For non-professional audiences (citizens and civil society activists) we use consumer channels like Google Books, Amazon and Scribd. And all the while, PAC is actively using social media to promote and enable audiences to engage, to participate. Just as Starbucks opens close to their customers and uses social media to build audience share, so OECD does the same. And the results are good – around 360,000 readings a month via these non-OECD channels.