Martin Eve, on a professional association’s struggle to go OA:
A Learned Society spoke to me last week about what they could do to move to an open-access model. They currently receive about 100,000 EUR per year from their subscription/hybrid-OA publisher but were willing to jettison this (!) if they could go OA with no author fees.
The problem was that implementing a new business model was a total pain. They did not have the resources on the ground to change from their current model to a new way of doing things, although they had thought about it extensively.
I then pointed out that the 100,000 EUR that they receive from their publisher – and that they were going to lose – was enough to cover APCs for everything published in a single year of the journal. They could simply use this to cover the APCs and they would have a gold OA journal with no author-facing charges.
This is, basically, subscribe-to-open through the back door.