This thesis reports on a study towards a sustainable open access scholarly publishing model in South Africa. The researcher defined the traditional scholarly publishing model as a foundation for scholarly publishing workflows and processes and the continuation of the publishing workflow as a sustainable business model. This model is simplified in this study to allow for further discussion in the investigation of the various business models of scholarly publishing. The researcher conducted a literature study to identify and define business models used in open access scholarly publishing in the international context and also developed a set of factors contributing to sustainability in this environment. These factors were then used to evaluate and investigate typical examples of open access role players in the South African context, using a desk study and interviews documented as case studies of the various initiatives.
The researcher combined all these findings to make suggestions towards a sustainable open access scholarly publishing by identifying and exploring the various factors associated with open access models in South Africa, considering the roles of all the role players towards output of high quality research articles.
The study found that South African scholarly publishers find the shift from a traditional subscription model to an open access model difficult, because they are not addressing their new client segment and also not acknowledging their own expertise within the publishing cycle.The research also indicates that the approach of either subscription or open access hinders a sustainable open access publishing model, but that the publishing community should instead encourage an approach a publishing environment that allows for both of these models to exist and function. Open access should not replace the traditional model but instead, enhance it.