An Open Question
"We were one of the first to begin experimenting with OA in response to the concerns of those we care about most—our customers," he says. "We have been, and are always, open to working with researchers, institutions, societies and foundations to further develop this model."
By listening to those groups of constituents and working to meet their needs, Springer is continuing to expand their offering of open access content, providing more opportunities to publish and access Springer–published research, Merkel-Sobotta says.
"Most recently, at the Beijing International Book Fair, we announced that Springer is now offering a way to publish fully OA books," he says. "This is in addition to our established SpringerOpen and BioMed Central journal portfolio, and our hybrid Springer Open Choice model. Our business is constantly evolving and OA is certainly a growing piece of our work—without a doubt. From our acquisition of BioMed Central in 2008, to the launch of SpringerOpen and SpringerPlus—an interdisciplinary OA journal—and our recent SpringerOpen Books announcement, we are constantly discovering new ways to deliver more and better open access content."
So, where does Springer want to be a year from now and beyond?
"The simple answer is that we want to be where we are right now," Merkel-Sobotta says. "Springer has always been out in front on open access, and I am certain that this is where we will remain. We will continue to add value to our products and services while maintaining the same high quality that the scientific community has come to expect, whether it be in our traditional subscription-based content, or its open access counterpart."
The Bad Guys
Jeffrey Beall is a man on a mission. This faculty librarian, from Auraria Library, University of Colorado Denver, routinely calls out publishers around the world who he says are finding new ways to exploit the concept of open access for their own profit.