Arizona State University

Arizona State University is the largest public university in the USA with an enrollment greater than 72,000. It is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of Arizona, US.
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For ASU the PeerJ lifetime publishing plans make it easier to manage the library budgets.

In mid-2013, Arizona State became one of the first universities to enter into an Institutional Arrangement with PeerJ in which they pre-paid for PeerJ Memberships for their faculty members who choose to publish with PeerJ. In this Case Study, they talk about why this arrangement was important to them.

What are your issues with the current system of publication?

One of the most problematic issues is the traditional transfer of copyright to the publisher. Publishing contracts vary widely from publisher to publisher, making it a difficult landscape for authors to navigate. We believe that it is critically important for scholars to have the ability to retain their rights. We think it is ridiculous for authors to face uncertainty about what they are allowed to do with articles they have written, or have to ask for permission to use their own work. Publishing models that made sense 50 or 100 years ago just do not work in the 21st century, when making a copy is as simple as downloading a file or clicking on a link.

Why is Open Access important to your institution?

We are committed to increasing access to the work produced at ASU in order to benefit the public good. Open Access is the best method for connecting the results of research and discovery to those who need it most, where it can have the most impact and provide the most benefit.

What is it about the PeerJ model that interests you?

The move away from the article processing charge is really intriguing. It is important, in this emerging world of Open Access publishing, to experiment with different business models to see which ones can be successful and sustainable, for authors, publishers, and libraries. The ASU Libraries want to encourage innovative models of Open Access publishing, so we were happy to be one of the first institutional members.

What kind of arrangement have you entered into with PeerJ?

We have prepaid for a number of basic lifetime memberships for ASU authors that activate when they have a paper accepted to PeerJ.

What problem does the PeerJ Arrangement solve for you?

One thing that is attractive about this model is that it is easily manageable for library budgets. The lifetime membership is a one-time purchase, there are no annual renewal costs or maintenance fees, or trying to manage differing numbers of published articles each year. When we run out of the memberships we have already purchased, we can choose to add more, but at some point most, or all, of our faculty will already have a membership with PeerJ and we won’t need to purchase them in bulk.