[Journal-notes] Re: Open access to research worth £1.5bn a year

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Thu Sep 22 06:16:56 EST 2005

On Wed, 21 Sep 2005, Sally Morris (ALPSP) wrote:

Re: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/16/free_access_research/

> Am I alone in failing completely to understand the basis for Stevan's
> calculation of the 1.5 bn?  It seems to be (hypothetical (and as far as I
> can follow, unexplained) figure) x (hypothetical figure) x (hypothetical
> figure).  Am I missing something?
> Perhaps someone could explain it to me nice and slow...

Dear Sally, happy to oblige:

(1) The UK spends £3.5 billion pounds annually on funding UK research:

(2) The return on that investment is not the
number of UK articles published (130,000 per year)

(3) The return on that investment is the number of UK
articles used, built-upon, cited: 761,600 citations per year:

(4) 15% of articles are self-archived worldwide, 85% are not:

(5) Self-archived articles have 50%-250% more citations:

(6) Hence, for 85% of its research output (£2.98 billion pounds worth)

(7) the UK is losing 50-250% of the potential return on its investment:
£1.49 - £7.44 billion pounds worth

(8) To be conservative, I used only the lower end of this
estimate of the UK's annual loss in potential return
on it research investment: £1.5 billion pounds worth

In other words, the fiction is not in the figures I have
cited on the RCUK investment in research and the empirical
evidence for the loss of potential return on that investment

The fiction is all in Sally's own non-figures and non-evidence on
publishers' loss of potential revenues as a result of self-archiving:

Stevan Harnad

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