A Pricey Royal Pricing Edict

cOAlition S wastes $100K to get a pre-ordained result from its Executive Director

Let’s begin with the obvious — $100,000 could fund a few dozen APCs. Add to that the various associated overheads — salaries, office space, travel, and so forth — and the recent request from cOAlition S for a study to determine a globally fair pricing model for OA publishing hits on the oligarch/royalty rail pretty hard, and pretty blithely.

Johan Rooryck, the Executive Director of cOAlition S, wrote in September 2022 (along with Faranah Osman from South Africa’s National Research Foundation) that price divergence based on selectivity and other attributes of a differentiated journals marketplace wasn’t acceptable because of “inequities.”  

Now, he has put out a tender for a consultant to develop a model for a globally fair pricing approach that is fair, equitable, and transparent — in other words, larded with subjective buzzwords that only he and his handpicked, ideologically aligned team will be allowed to interpret.