Pricing policy and revenues for individual access to electronic journals online

The request was partially successful.

Dear University of Oxford,

This request concerns Oxford University Press, a department of the University. I am enquiring about pricing, revenue and sales for individual online access to closed (i.e. behind a paywall) electronic articles published in journals of OUP. The request refers to individuals who do not have access to institutional subscriptions and whose only option is to rent an article for a small number of days. I shall refer to these as "online purchases" unless you suggest a different term.

Recently Retraction Watch highlighted the case of an article containing just 11 words (a retraction notice) for which the online purchase was 32 USD. See http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/201... [In fairness OUP has now removed the paywall on this article.] My questions are:

1. Who sets the pricing policy for online purchases? Has this ever been reviewed by advisory or governing bodies?

2. Is the policy uniform over all closed access articles, and if not what are the criteria?

3. Is any third party (e.g. a rights collection agency) involved? If so, who, and what proportion of the revenue do they take?

4. How many online purchases were made last year over all OUP journal articles? Please give both (a) purchase numbers and (b) total number of purchasable articles.

5. What is the revenue from online purchases as a fraction of subscription (e.g. academic library) income?

Yours faithfully,

Peter Murray-Rust

UAS Foi, University of Oxford

Dear Dr Murray-Rust,

I write to acknowledge your request, which I received today, 5 September.

I will reply as soon as practicable and in any event no later than 3 October.

Yours sincerely

Max Todd
Council Secretariat
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD
01865 (2)80299

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Peter Murray-Rust

Dear UAS Foi,
The WhatDoTheyKnow team has advised me that your response has been delayed beyond 20 working days.

"The response to your request has been delayed. You can say that, by law, the authority should normally have responded promptly and by 30 September 2011"

WDTK advise how calculations are made:

"Legally, authorities must respond <b>promptly</b> to FOI requests. If they fail to do that, it is best if they show the hard work they are doing by explaining what is taking the extra time to do.

That said, WhatDoTheyKnow does show the maximum legal deadline for response on each request. Here's how we calculate it.

If the day we deliver the request by email is a working day, we count that as "day zero", even if it was delivered late in the evening. Days end at midnight. We then count the next working day as "day one", and so on up to 20 working days.
If the day the request email was delivered was a non-working day, we count the next working day as "day one". Delivery is delivery, even if it happened on the weekend."

You have indicated that the due day was October 3rd. Please can you indicate how you justify this.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Murray-Rust

UAS Foi, University of Oxford

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Murray-Rust,

I attach a reply to your request.

Yours sincerely

Max Todd
Council Secretariat
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD
01865 (2)80299

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UAS Foi, University of Oxford

Dear Dr Murray-Rust,
 
You asked me to justify my statement that the deadline for reply was 3
October 2011.
 
You sent your request on Sunday 4 September. We cannot receive a request
on a non-working day, provided it is a non-working day for the generality
of the population. So the day of receipt was Monday 5 September. I sent
you an acknowledgement on that day, indicating that we would reply no
later than 3 October. The ICO's Awareness Guidance No.11 - Time for
Compliance - dated 11 September 2008, indicates that the clock for the
20-working day rule starts ticking the day following receipt. So, day one
for your request was Tuesday 6 September. This means, unless my arithmetic
is faulty, that 3 October is the 20th working day following receipt.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Max Todd
Council Secretariat
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford
OX1 2JD
01865 (2)80299
 
 
 

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Peter Murray-Rust

Dear UAS Foi,

Thank you for your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Murray-Rust

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