Cost-Effective Open Scholarship

July 19th, 2023,

How can academic institutions help to fuel cutting-edge research while supporting open-access scholarship—all for a fraction of traditional publishing costs?

This challenge now has a new collaborative solution. The Center for Open Science (COS) has partnered with a coalition of seven prominent preprint servers to develop a sustainable model for pre-publication scholarship. Leveraging the widely-adopted Open Science Framework (OSF), this partnership represents a novel funding framework that offers scholars increased discoverability of and engagement with their research while substantially mitigating costs to their institutions.

What are preprints?

Preprints, sometimes referred to as “working papers,” are scholarly manuscripts made publicly available prior to publication. Preprint servers are free, open source, community-led collaborations that allow researchers from across academic disciplines to post and search through working papers, unpublished work, conference materials, and articles under review.

Preprints offer the following advantages in the dissemination of scholarly research:

  • Greater visibility and faster impact of scholarship
  • Broader and faster feedback to authors from subject-matter experts
  • Permanent DOI, making scholarship more discoverable and more durable
  • Makes work truly open-access

Importantly, preprint servers can also help to meet funder and government open access policy requirements.

Who is represented in this coalition?

The coalition comprises AfricArXiv, BodoArXiv, EdArXiv, MediArXiv, MetaArXiv, PsyArXiv, and SocArXiv. These preprint servers account for 130,525 preprints with more than 8.7 million page views since 2016.

Image with logos from the preprint coalition: AfricArXiv, EdArXiv, MediArXiv, PsyArXiv, MetaArXiv, BodoArXiv, SocArXiv

Are preprints really more affordable?

Preprints offer a viable and affordable open-access option for researchers and their institutions. Preprint costs are only a fraction of more expensive subscription-based academic journal collections. 

Publisher APC costs (per paper)
Elsevier up to $9,900
Wiley up to $6,100
Springer | Nature up to $11,690
OSF Preprints $10* (no charge to authors)

These significant cost savings demonstrate that investment in OSF Preprints may be a more affordable alternative to the status-quo APC model.

What’s unique about OSF Preprints?

The Open Science Framework is a powerful open research management and sharing platform maintained and developed by the nonprofit Center for Open Science. As with other research tools in the OSF suite, OSF Preprints is built on open-source software infrastructure to enable self publication, open paper sharing, and pre-publication workflows.

Since 2013, OSF Preprints has hosted preprint communities representing a wide array of disciplines and research domains, including social and behavioral sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, education, medicine, law, architecture, business, engineering, and arts and humanities. OSF Preprints has hosted an average of more than 25,000 preprint submissions per year since 2019.

A valuable collaboration

The Center for Open Science is proud to partner with this coalition of preprint servers. We asked two coalition members for their perspectives on this partnership:

Image of a quote from Matt Makel of EdArXiv: “As a preprint community, EdArXiv tries to make access to education research as easy as possible for ultimate consumers: parents and practitioners. This collaborative fundraising effort will help us maximize our productivity while minimizing competition with other preprint communities. We all share the same values and goals. This collaboration helps us share our efforts too.”

Image of a quote from Grace Han of MetaArXiv: “Participating in this collaborative fundraising effort will help MetaArXiv expand its network and reach, both increasing awareness about the service itself and facilitating the process of fundraising for the long-term sustainability of the service.”

What is the value to your preprint community of partnering with the Center for Open Science through the Open Science Framework on this collaboration?

Matt: “Through OSF Preprints, the Center for Open Science provides three essential ingredients to the partnership: stability, technical expertise, and cross-community connection. Without any one of these ingredients, the cake would not bake.”

Grace: “The Center for Open Science is a prominent leader in the open science community and is at the forefront of sustaining open research practices and promoting inclusion of all researchers in the effort to increase research transparency, reproducibility, and rigor. The partnership between BITSS [Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences] and COS strengthens the work of MetaArXiv and amplifies our ability to spread awareness and marshal support for our organization’s mission.”

I’m interested in exploring this opportunity for my institution. Where can I find more information?

Contact Nici Pfeiffer ( for more details on your institution’s role in this exciting new effort.

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