Go back

University group recommends avoiding ‘hybrid’ journals

Suggestion comes in update to European University Association open-access guide

Universities and other research institutes should avoid paying fees for ‘hybrid’ model journals—offering both paywalled and open-access options—and should support smaller organisations when publishing their research, new guidance from the European University Association suggests.

In an updated checklist for reaching open-access targets, published on 25 October, the EUA suggested that institutions “should avoid paying article processing charges to ‘hybrid’ journals, as they run the risk of paying twice: once via the subscription and then again via the APC”—a process known as “double dipping”.

Hybrid journals have become common in recent years, as researchers face increasing pressure to make their work openly accessible to readers in line with initiatives including the funder-led Plan S. However, they have proven to be a source of contention, with many funders arguing that they delay the transition to full open access. Plan S does not support hybrid journals.

The latest EUA guidance appears to mirror those concerns, advising institutions to “monitor APC costs” and work to “centralise and streamline APC reporting”.

The checklist also includes a recommendation for libraries to enter into publishing deals with fully open-access publishers and support smaller and society publishers over large commercial bodies. “Large publishers already have a quasi-oligopoly… However, smaller publishers are important for a diverse market that serves the needs of different disciplines,” the checklist states.