Dufour, Q. et al. (2023). Supporting diamond open access journals: Interest and feasibility of direct funding mechanisms

Dufour, Q., Pontille, D., & Torny, D. (2023). Supporting diamond open access journals: Interest and feasibility of direct funding mechanisms. Nordic Journal of Library and Information Studies, 4(2), 35–55. https://doi.org/10.7146/njlis.v4i2.140344

As Article Processing Charges (APC) has been a growing concern in academia and policy making, the need for a model where both authors and readers do not pay – the so-called Diamond, or non-APC model – is regularly called for. However, this call is often combined with questions about its sustainability, particularly in financial terms. To answer this concern, this article explores the practical conditions to implement a direct funding mechanism to Diamond open access journals, that is recurrent money provided by funders to support the publication process. Based on a questionnaire survey sent to more than 1,000 Diamond OA journals, it investigates their financial needs, as well as their capacity to interact with research funding organizations (RFOs). The results are structured around four issues regarding the implementation of a direct funding model. First, most Diamond OA journals already make use of money rather than exclusively relying on support and volunteering. Second, those needs would be fulfilled in the eventuality of a regular income from research funders. Third, under this hypothesis, a vast majority of Diamond OA journals can receive and spend money. Finally, most of these journals could develop funding acknowledgments for each article with the promise of regular income through a direct funding mechanism. The conclusion addresses the challenges that such a recurrent financial stream would spur.

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