The global market for gold OA journals is to grow at 20% per annum for the next four to five years, according to strategy consultants OC&C.
The firm, which has worked with academic publishing for between 10 and 15 years, estimates that the value of gold OA research publication - worth €200m in 2013 – will double in value by 2018.
OC&C puts gold OA currently at around 6% of the current global Academic & Scientific Journal Content Market, which it puts at around €3.3bn worldwide. Within 10 years, gold OA output will reach between 35-50% of total research output, it predicts, despite the lack of an explicit mandates for it outside the UK. However according to the consultancy's predictions, the growth curve for gold OA will plateau thereafter.
Partner Fergus Jarvis said OA could be a "complementary source of revenue growth" rather than displacing income, with gold OA "established well beyond the UK; indeed our research indicated penetration levels of gold OA of around 8-10% in both North America and Asia."
Jarvis advised publishers to take measures including reviewing pricing strategy "to deliver recurring revenues from traditional subscription models while ensuring added value is captured from the right prices on article processing charges.”
OC&C's report into the "end-state" of Open Access combines findings from qualitative and quantitative librarian surveys, as well as expert interviews and existing academic research.