This might be surprising given our general pro-open access bent here at The Taper, but this news from VCU is welcome: they are ending their support for Open Access fees. It’s welcome news because, as VCU notes in its announcement, libraries subsidizing APCs:

is not a sustainable or scalable model that will foster strategic changes in the traditional scholarly publication ecosystem. In fact, more than 50 percent of funded APCs were paid to the five large commercial publishers – Sage, Elsevier, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, and Springer – which continued at the same time to charge significant subscription fees in addition to enjoying APC revenue for open access journal articles.

As the story notes, we at UVA suspended our fund a few years ago, for the same reason. Making articles available openly is of course a good thing, but we need policy interventions like an Open Access Fund to move the overall publishing system in a positive direction. It’s clear that these funds are not having that effect.

Read the full announcement here:

VCU Libraries will close Open Access Fund for faculty authors July 1