Economic and Social Return on Investment in Open Archiving Federally Funded Research Outputs
The Scholarly Publishing and
Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) provided support for this
feasibility study, which outlines one possible approach to measuring the
impacts of the proposed US Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) on
returns to public investment in R&D. The aim is to define and scope the
data collection requirements and further model developments necessary for a
robust estimate of the likely impacts of the proposed FRPAA archiving
Preliminary modeling suggests that
over a transitional period of 30 years from implementation, the potential
incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be worth
around 4 times the estimated cost using the higher end lifecycle costing, 8
times the cost using the NIH costing and more than 20 times the cost using the
arXiv costing. Perhaps two-thirds of these benefits would accrue within the US,
with the remainder spilling over to other countries. Hence, the US national
benefits arising from the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be of the
order of 5 times the costs.
Exploring sensitivities in the model
we find that the benefits exceed the costs over a wide range of values. Indeed,
it is difficult to imagine any plausible values for the input data and model
parameters that would lead to a fundamentally different answer.
These estimates are based on the information available to us at the time of writing. They are
released in conjunction with an online model, which enables others to explore
their own preferred values for the various parameters.
Report and model available for download
- Release from SPARC (http://www.arl.org/sparc/).
- Report (Full
Houghton, J.W., Rasmussen, B. and
Sheehan, P.J. (2010) Economic
and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded
Research Outputs, Report to SPARC by Victoria University's Centre for
Strategic Economic Studies.
- Online model
online model which makes a subset of the cost-benefit modelling
available to those interested in further
exploring the results. It runs as an executable application
within MS Excel, by simply clicking on the file
after downloading. Copies
of the model can be saved locally to record
results. Simply enter your
preferred values into the Variables column of
the results will be
recalculated automatically. You can TAB between
the active cells.