Knowledge Exchange comparative report on Costs and Benefits of Open Access


In June 2009 a study was completed that had been commissioned by Knowledge Exchange and written by Professor John Houghton, Victoria University, Australia. This report on the study was titled: "Open Access – What are the economic benefits?


A comparison of the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Denmark." This report was based on the findings of studies in which John Houghton had modelled the costs and benefits of Open Access in three countries. These studies had been undertaken in the UK by JISC, in the Netherlands by SURF and in Denmark by DEFF.


In the three national studies the costs and benefits of scholarly communication were compared based on three different publication models. The modelling revealed that the greatest advantage would be offered by the Open Access model, which means that the research institution or the party financing the research pays for publication and the article is then freely accessible.

Adopting this model could lead to annual savings of around EUR 70 million in Denmark,

EUR 133 million in The Netherlands and EUR 480 in the UK. The report concludes that the advantages would not just be in the long term; in the transitional phase too, more open access to research results would have positive effects. In this case the benefits would also outweigh the costs.


The full report is available here:
Open Access – What are the economic benefits? 

A comparison of the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Denmark


The reports of the three countries can be downloaded below:

Seminar with members of European Commission
On the 22 June 2009 this combined report was discussed in a seminar with various members of the European commission and other European bodies present. At this seminar not only the report was presented, but responses from various stakeholders and implications for funders were also discussed. Two speakers from the European commission gave a presentation on the activities they are undertaking in the field of Open Access. These presentations can be found below.


John Houghton, University of Victoria

Find more pictures from the seminar in the Photo Gallery.


Presentations from the seminar


Johannes Fournier (DFG):



Peteris Zilgalvis (DG Research, Head of unit L3):

Konstantinos Glinos (DG Information Society and Media, Head of Unit F3):



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