The SCOAP3 Open Access publishing model

Salvatore Mele


The High-Energy Physics community has spearheaded Open Access with over half a century of dissemination of pre-prints culminating in the arXiv system and is now pushing forward with an Open Access model which goes beyond the present, often controversial, proposals with a novel practical approach: SCOAP3

In the SCOAP3 model, libraries federate to explicitly cover the costs of peer-review rather than implicitly supporting it via journal subscriptions. Rather than selling subscriptions, journals will charge for the peer-review service and make the electronic versions of their journals free to read. Unlike many “author-pays” Open Access models, authors are not directly charged to publish their articles in the Open Access paradigm.

This unique experiment of “flipping” from Toll Access to Open Access all journals covering the literature in a given subject is rapidly gaining momentum, with over two thirds of the required funding envelope, estimated at about 10 Million Euros, having already been pledeged by partners in Europe, North America and Australasia.

This talk will describe the history of innovations in Open Access in High-Energy Physics, the advantages they have generated as a context for the SCOAP3 model, as well as the status of this initiative, in the wider context of a user-driven evolution of scholarly communication in the field.