The Diamond Model of Open Access Publishing: Why Policy Makers, Scholars, Universities, Libraries, Labour Unions and the Publishing World Need to Take Non-Commercial, Non-Profit Open Access Serious

  • Christian Fuchs University of Westminster, Communication and Media Research Institute
  • Marisol Sandoval City University London: Centre for Cultural Policy and Management
Keywords: open access publishing, diamond model of open access, gold model of open access, green model of open access, academic knowledge, university, commons


This reflection introduces a new term to the debate on open access publishing: diamond open access (DOA) publishing. The debate on open access is a debate about the future of academia. We discuss the problems of for-profit academic publishing, such as monopoly prices and access inequalities and point at the limits of contemporary perspectives on open access as they are frequently advanced by the publishing industry, policy makers and labour unions.
The article introduces a public service and commons perspective that stresses the importance of fostering and publicly supporting what we term the model of diamond open access. It is a non-profit academic publishing model that makes academic knowledge a common good, reclaims the common character of the academic system and entails the possibility for fostering job security by creating public service publishing jobs. Existing concepts such as “gold open access” have serious conceptual limits that can be overcome by introducing the new term of diamond open access. The debate on open access lacks visions and requires social innovations.
This article is a policy intervention and reflection on current issues related to open access (OA) publishing. It reflects on the following questions:
* What should the role of open access be in the future of academic publishing and academia?
* How should the future of academic publishing and academia look like?
* Which reforms of academic policy making are needed in relation to open access publishing?
We want to trigger a new level of the open access debate. We invite further reflections on these questions by academics, policy makers, publishers, publishing workers, labour unions, open access publishing associations, editors and librarians.
Twitter: #DiamondOA

Author Biographies

Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster, Communication and Media Research Institute
Christian Fuchs is professor at the University of Westminster's Communication and Media Research Institute. He is editor of tripleC: Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society. He holds a venia docendi in the field of ICTs and society.
His research interests are: critical theory, social theory, Internet and society, social media and society, media and society, ICTs and society, information society theory/research, political economy. He is author of many publications in these fields.
Marisol Sandoval, City University London: Centre for Cultural Policy and Management
Marisol Sandoval is a lecturer at City University London’s Centre for Cultural Policy and Management. She is managing
editor of the open access journal tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique.
Debating Open Access (Comments, Non Peer-Reviewed)