Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Demography's Funding Model

Frequently asked questions:


Demography left a commercial publisher and is now published by a university press. Why is that a good thing?

Previously, Demography was part of a large collection published by a for-profit commercial publisher. In moving the journal to a university press, the Population Association of America ensured that the scholarship and research produced at universities do not profit shareholders but instead stay within the scholarly communications ecosystem. University presses provide high-quality publishing services ethically and mindfully, keeping the needs of university libraries front of mind as they strive for a sustainable model for scholarship.

How much funding is needed and what does it pay for?

Demography publishes the highest-quality original research of scholars in a broad range of disciplines that include anthropology, biology, economics, geography, history, psychology, public health, sociology, and statistics. In order to flip a flagship journal in its field to open access, we seek funding to:

  • make the journal’s work openly available to the worldwide community of population researchers now and into the future
  • cover the journal’s publishing costs
  • provide ongoing financial support to the journal’s sponsoring society, the Population Association of America, and its editorial office
  • offset funds previously provided to the journal through
    • article open-access fees
    • direct subscriptions
    • licensing revenue from aggregators
    • royalties that the journal earned as part of a “big deal” package from a commercial publisher

Our goal, along with our sponsoring partners, is to cover the journal’s publishing costs and our financial obligation to the Population Association of America during the first five years of publication.

Why are the open-access funding amounts higher than previous subscription prices?

Demography will be a platinum open-access journal starting in 2021, which means that content will be openly available without subscription fees and without article open-access fees paid to the publisher. But we need support to make this model work and to ensure that the global community of population researchers can access its content for free.

The funding levels are higher than the previous annual institutional subscription cost for several reasons. We do not anticipate every former subscriber to the journal will decide to financially contribute to its open-access status. The higher levels of financial support are intended to make up for that loss of revenue and ensure that the journal can continue to exist and that its content can be openly available. We hope that institutions who are able to give more will help subsidize those who cannot give anything. When deciding what amount to give, institutions might also consider the amount they previously paid in article open-access charges to Demography’s previous publisher; now that the journal is platinum open access, authors’ institutions will no longer need to pay these costs.

The funding levels also apply to governmental, corporate, and for-profit bodies, who we hope will choose to make larger funding contributions. Here is the model we envision:

What type of funding is needed (one-time vs. ongoing)?

We will need ongoing annual support in order for this model to be sustainable.

What support level should I select?

If you have questions about which level might be most appropriate for your institution, please contact FundDemographyNow@dukeupress.edu. We welcome support at any level.

Do different support levels come with different benefits?

As for what funders receive in recognition of their financial support, that does not currently vary by level. We plan to list funders on our website and promote their status on social media. We hope that funders know their support is appreciated regardless of level.

How can I contribute?

Please contact FundDemographyNow@dukeupress.edu or lsp@lyrasis.org if your institution would like to contribute. LYRASIS is facilitating library contributions to support Demography in open access.

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