/ Scholarly Management Publication and Open Access Funding Mandates: a Review of Publisher Policies

Keywords: publisher policies, OA, funding, management journals


The open access movement has been growing steadily over the past 20 years. Recently, many national funding agencies in North America have required recipients of grant funding to make their articles open access. On the surface this produces a potential conflict for management researchers; management faculty members are expected to publish in prestigious journals, but the discipline views open access journals as being of lower quality (Hahn & Wyatt, 2014, p.98). As such, the question arises: is it possible for management researchers to comply with open access policies while still publishing in highly-ranked journals?

This article will compare publishing policies from top management journals to funding agencies’ open access requirements in order to determine which journals meet these conditions. Journals will be drawn from several established journal lists such as the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) 24, the Financial Times Research Rankings, and Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science Journal Citation Reports. Results show that 80% of journals in the sample set are compatible with open access funding mandates. Of the journals which are compatible, 48% require an article processing charge (APC) and 52% permit self-archiving in an acceptable time-frame.

In addition to discussing open access publishing opportunities in management, this article will highlight opportunities for management librarians to develop their services and act as resources for faculty navigating this framework.


The open access movement has been growing steadily over the past 20 years. Open access (OA) is broadly defined as making research “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions” (Suber, 2012, p. 4)[1]. The Open Access movement continues to grow, with new OA journals being launched each year, subscription journals moving to OA, and more researchers electing to make their work openly available. OA can generally be divided into two categories: green and gold. In green OA the author makes a copy of the work available for free for the public, typically via an institutional repository or a disciplinary repository (such as PubMed Central, arXiv, etc.). However, the copy of the article on the journal’s website remains closed and only available to paying subscribers. Gold OA is generally achieved at a journal-level; that is, the entire contents of a journal are available for free for the public to read. There are many examples of gold OA journals including the PLOS journals, PeerJ, the BMC journals, etc. In many, but not all cases, the author pays a fee for the article to be made OA. This fee is known as an article processing charge (APC). The hybrid model, an article-level variation of gold OA is a relatively recent development. In the hybrid model the author may pay an APC to make their article available for free on the publisher’s website; the remaining contents of the journal are generally not free however unless the other authors have also paid an APC. There are many hybrid journals currently operating, for example in management there is the Journal of Management Studies, Administrative Science Quarterly, and Journal of Operations Management among others. None of the above models are necessarily mutually exclusive. For example, an author may publish in a gold OA journal but also elect to deposit their work into a repository. Additionally, an author may elect not to pay an APC to a hybrid journal but, publisher policy permitting, may be able to deposit a copy in a repository.

National government funding sources and OA policies

With the growth of open access, many governments have endorsed the movement by requiring researchers who are recipients of government funding to make their research open access within a particular timeframe. The latter half of the 2000s marked a significant shift in governmental funding agencies’ OA mandates. In 2008 the United States and Canada implemented the first national OA mandates with the Consolidated Appropriations Acts instituted by the National Health Institute in the U.S. and the Canadian Institute of Health Research’s (CIHR) mandate (Xia et al., 2012, p.88). Another major milestone in Canada occurred in 2015 when the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) harmonized their policies on OA and mandated that any peer-reviewed articles arising from funding from one of these agencies be made open access within 12 months of publication (Government of Canada, 2015). In the United States, the Obama administration pushed forward on funder mandates releasing the OSTP memo in 2013 requesting that the “direct results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community. Such results include peer-reviewed publications and digital data” (Executive Office of the President, 2013). The Appropriations Act of 2014 also requires selected federal agencies to provide access to the publicly-funded research. To date a number of American federal agencies have released their OA policies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) among others. In general, these policies have required that the research be made publicly available within 12 months of publication (see Appendix B for full list of agencies included in this analysis). The policies also typically require that the version which is made available be either the accepted manuscript[2] or the publisher’s version. [3] Other major funding programs outside governmental agencies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also have OA mandates. Given the current trends in open access, it is likely that more and more funding agencies will have OA requirements in the future.

With the increasing prevalence of OA mandates, scholars in management producing government-sponsored work may ask themselves to what extent prestigious management journals are compatible with these trends. The field of management has generally had a low uptake of the OA movement. According to Hahn and Wyatt (2012), almost 50% of business faculty were unaware of any OA journals in their discipline and 89% had not published in an OA journal. Of those who had not published in an OA journal, 39% said they would not consider publishing in an OA journal and 43% were unsure. Lyons and Booth (2011) also noted that “few [OA journals in management] have managed to become widely acknowledged as reputable publishing outlets by scholars” (p. 118). Promotion and tenure guidelines can often play a role as untenured faculty are often confused or uncertain if open access publications would be viewed favourably by tenure committees (Gaines, 2015, p. 17).

More encouragingly though, Hahn and Wyatt (2012) wrote that more than half of the respondents in their survey felt literature should be made available as OA. Additionally, Lyons and Booth (2011) found a general willingness to share amongst business faculty with over 43% of the articles in their study archived in the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) repository. This suggests a potential greater support in the field for green OA or self-archiving rather than gold OA.

This article will examine the compatibility of top management journals with major governmental funder policies in North America. By analyzing the publisher policies of a sample set of management journals, this article hopes to provide management researchers with an overview of the open access options available to them. The author also hopes to prepare management librarians for discussions with researchers on this topic and illuminate opportunities for enhanced library services in this area.

Literature Review

Publisher policies and self-archiving (green OA)

To date little research has been published comparing publisher policies and funding policies in the field of management. However, there have been several studies of publisher policies generally. For example, Hansen (2012) determined that 88% of articles could archive their accepted manuscript, with 29% also being able to archive the publisher’s version. These numbers were not markedly different than those discovered by Laakso (2014) who found that 80% of either the accepted manuscripts or publisher versions of articles could be deposited in an institutional or subject-based repository within 12 months of publication (p.491). These numbers are significantly higher than those reported by Gadd, Oppenheim, and Probets (2003), who discovered in their analysis of the publisher policies of eighty journals that only 43% allowed self-archiving to some degree.[4] Laakso’s (2014) research found that permission to share accepted manuscripts was generally on par across disciplines (life sciences, health sciences, social sciences, and physical sciences) (p.487). However, embargo periods[5] differed greatly. For example, only 45% of social science accepted manuscripts could be shared immediately versus 77% in the physical sciences, 60% in the life sciences, and 51% in the health sciences (Laasko, 2014, p.489). Embargo periods are important when discussing funder OA policies as most policies require that the work be made available within 12 months of publication.

Gold OA by discipline

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) currently lists more than 10,000 gold OA journals. Discipline breakdown analysis conducted by McCabe and Snyder (2016) estimated that 43% of these journals were in the areas of biology and medicine, 26% within the social sciences, 15% in the humanities, and other sciences and engineering accounted for the remaining. Among the DOAJ management disciplines (Commerce, Finance, Industries. Land Use. Labor), 246 OA journals accounted for 2.5% of all DOAJ journals.

What these journals represent in terms of the larger publishing industry is hard to determine. Bjork et al. (2010) estimated that approximately 8.5% of all scholarly journals in 2008 were available through gold OA. A study of articles pulled from Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science found that only 0.6% of articles published in 2010 in professional fields (which include management) were gold OA (Gargouri, 2012). Furthermore, in their sample of business faculty publications, Lyons and Booth (2011) found gold OA journals made up 2% of OA articles and that only one gold OA journal was included in their sample. Previous research clearly demonstrates that gold OA journals represent a minority of academic literature. Gold OA journals in management are no exception and they represent a smaller component of the larger publishing landscape in the discipline.


This article investigates the compatibility of top management journals with North American, governmental OA funder policies. To determine a sample set of journals, I consulted three commonly-used management journal lists: University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Business School Rankings, Financial Times Research Rankings, and the top 50 management journals as ranked by impact factor in Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science Journal Citation Reports. In order to be included in the sample set, a journal must have appeared on at least two of these three lists. This criterion was applied to minimize any bias from one particular list and represents an attempt to meet a threshold of consensus within the management discipline for the most prestigious journals[6].

The UTD Business School Ranking and the Financial Times Research Ranking lists are static and are available from the websites of the respective organizations (Naveen Jindal School of Management, n.d.; Financial Times, 2012). To develop the list from ISI Journal Citation Reports, I selected three categories (Business; Business, Finance; Management) for the year 2015 and then sorted on impact factor in descending order, isolating the first 50 journals (Thomson Reuters, 2015). The three lists were then compared to determine which journals appeared on at least two of the lists, leading to a sample set of 29 journals. Interestingly, 17 journals appeared on all three lists (representing 58% of the journals selected). Of the 12 that were only on two lists, five were on both the Financial Times ranking and UTD 24 while the remaining seven were both on the Financial Times and the Web of Science Journal Citation Report (see Appendix A for full list of journals included in the analysis).

To determine publisher policies I consulted journal and/or publisher websites, as well as the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher policies. Information is accurate as of July 26, 2016.

To be included in the list of governmental funder OA policies, a policy had to meet three criteria: (1) the policy was mandatory; (2) the governmental agency was national; (3) the governmental agency was based in either the United States or Canada. For a full list of policies included in this analysis, see Appendix B.


Funding agency requirements

National funding agencies in Canada and United States have similar OA mandates. All the agencies included in this analysis require that peer-reviewed publications be made OA within 12 months of publication. The permissible version is the accepted manuscript or the publisher’s version. Some agencies additionally require that the article be deposited in a specific repository—for example, PubMed Central, in the case of many healthcare agencies.

Compatibility with funding agencies

Of the 29 journals whose policies were investigated, there were no gold OA journals in the list; that is, not one of the sample journals makes the entire contents of their journal available as open access. Six journals were not compatible with the typical OA funding requirement (i.e. accepted manuscript available in a repository within 12 months of publication and/or the article is published in an OA journal) (see Table 1). These journals neither permitted self-archiving within the permissible time frame nor offered the authors an option to pay to make their work open access. These journals represent approximately 20% of the sample set.

The remaining 23 journals were split between journals which permitted the author to self-archive a copy in a repository within 12 months and hybrid journals that required payment of an APC. This represented 12 and 11 journals respectively. The APC ranged from $1,800 USD in the case of Elsevier-published journals to $3,000 in the case of Wiley-published journals[7] (Elsevier, n.d.; Wiley Online Library, n.d.). One journal (MIS Quarterly) did not specify the APC amount on its website.

Table 1:: Number of journals by method for complying with funding agency OA policies
Table 1:
Number of journals by method for complying with funding agency OA policies

For journals which permitted self-archiving, publishers typically had additional requirements such as including a link or DOI to the original article or requesting permission from the publisher before posting to a repository.

Subdisciplinary trends

Though the analysis of this article looks at management as a whole it is important to discuss subdisciplinary trends. Within the set of 29 journals, most subdisciplines (e.g. finance, accounting, marketing, operations research etc.) will in fact have only a few journals that are relevant to their areas. Finance and accounting are notably affected by publisher policies because the Journal of Finance, Accounting Review, and the Journal of Accounting Research’s available policies do not permit researchers to make their work open access. Therefore, an accounting researcher looking at journals in this sample would potentially be limited to either the interdisciplinary journals Administrative Science Quarterly or Management Science or the more specific Journal of Accounting and Economics (recalling that the other interdisciplinary journals published by the Academy of Management are not compatible with OA policies either).

Finance is in a similar situation as, beyond the interdisciplinary journals only the Journal of Finance and Economics is included in the sample. In both cases, these subdisciplinary journals do not have a free option. As such, to publish specifically in the subdiscipline of accounting or finance in journals from this list, researchers must pay an APC in order to comply with OA policies. Marketing and organizational behaviour researchers have the most cost-effective options available to them. All the marketing journals listed here permit depositing an accepted manuscript in a repository within 12 months. This is the same for organizational behaviour researchers, with the exception of Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes which charges an APC to make articles OA.

Publisher breakdown

Societies and associations published almost 45% of the journals in the sample (see Table 2). This included organizations such as the American Marketing Association, the American Psychological Association, INFORMS, the Academy of Management, and the American Accounting Association. It should be noted that several societies and associations publish via large commercial publishers (e.g. the Journal of Finance from the American Finance Association is published by Wiley). For the purposes of this paper, such society journals were included in the counts of the commercial publishers. Of the commercial publishers, Elsevier and Wiley had the largest number of journals included in the sample (five and six respectively) with publishers like Sage, Oxford, and Palgrave representing the remaining journals.

Table 2:: Breakdown of journals by publishers
Table 2:
Breakdown of journals by publishers


Ramifications for researchers in management

Since there are no gold OA journals in any of the top management journal lists and they are generally rare in this field, management faculty will need to adopt one of two approaches in order to comply with current funding mandates: publish in hybrid journals and pay an APC (typically between $1,800-3,000 USD) or self-archive a copy of their article in an institutional or disciplinary repository. Although the preference of many researchers is to deposit in a disciplinary repository such as the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), some publisher policies do not permit posting to these sites. As such, in these instances researchers will have to seek out assistance from their institutional repositories. This will be a significant change in practice for management faculty members, since, according to Hahn and Wyatt’s (2014) survey of business faculty, 69% did not know if their institution had a repository, with many respondents unsure of what an institutional repository was (p. 96). This was echoed in Lyons and Booth’s (2011) analysis of OA practices of management faculty. Only 15% of the OA articles in their survey were found in institutional repositories (p.116). Furthermore, Hahn and Wyatt (2014) noted that 62% of respondents did not know if the journals they published in permitted them to deposit their work in a repository (p.97). Additionally, U.S. funding agencies often require depositing directly with the agency or submitting to a specific repository like PubMed Central. There is variation within the U.S. funding agencies regarding where to deposit and how the deposit should formatted, requiring additional attention on the part of the researcher.

Opportunities for librarians

The results present opportunities for librarians to engage with their faculty on the issues of open access, funding mandates, repositories, and author rights. According to Morris (2009) most researchers assume they have greater rights for the publisher’s version than they actually have. As such, many researchers may falsely assume that they can make the publisher’s version available via an institutional or disciplinary repository. Further discussion will be needed for researchers to understand the different types of article versions. Journals that permit self-archiving in the appropriate timeframe are attractive since they present a free method for researchers to make their work OA. That said, researchers will need to retain a copy of their accepted manuscript as this is typically the version publishers will permit authors to deposit in a repository. Keeping track of the accepted manuscript will present an additional administrative burden for researchers and could potentially cause a friction point for researchers wishing to comply with their funding agencies’ open access policies.

Furthermore, some subdisciplines (such as accounting or finance) have fewer self-archiving opportunities and thus may have no choice but to pay an APC to make their work OA. This expense could come as a shock to some researchers, especially those who have had nominal experience with OA previously (which as indicated by Hahn and Wyatt’s survey, would be the majority of management faculty). Although many grant funders permit APCs as an eligible grant expense, it is preferable for researchers to know this before entering into a publishing agreement rather than finding out after the fact. Here again, librarians could act as intermediaries, locating and interpreting publisher policies and helping researchers anticipate any APC costs as the result of OA mandates.

For the six journals not currently compatible with funder policies, librarians may be able to assist by helping researchers’ draft amendments to copyright transfer agreements and negotiating the appropriate rights.

The library has strengths in promoting open access, and understanding copyright and publisher policies (Calarco et al., 2016). The gap in researchers’ knowledge of these topics combined with OA funder policies present an excellent opportunity for librarians to connect with their researchers, promote library services, and provide value-added service to researchers who are unsure or confused in this new landscape.


The journals included in the sample represent a small component of management journals. This article is intended act as a snapshot of the field using several metrics to arrive at a sample of the most prestigious journals in management. Additionally, as large, commercial publishers made up 55% of the sample, any uniform policies for their journals will heavily influence the results—an issue with the broader publishing industry in general. According to Larivière, Haustein, and Mongeon (2015), five major publishers in the social sciences represent 70% of the articles published.

Future Research

As publishing policies change frequently, it would be worthwhile to revisit this journal list in five years to see if publisher policies have changed to meet shifting funding policies and OA mandates. Of particular interest would be the six journals whose policies do not comply with the current policies at all. Further research could involve performing a broader analysis of the field of management and compare it to other subdisciplines within the social sciences, particularly other professional fields such as law, social work, education etc. For example, are management journals more restrictive in their policies, or are they representative generally of publishing trends in the social sciences? Likewise, exploring the compatibility of journals with OA policies would be a useful exercise for all areas to complete. Additional research may also be undertaken on promotion and tenure (P&T) guidelines in management faculties/schools/departments and P&T committees’ perceptions of open access. Finally, although it is outside the scope of this article, a review and discussion of open data policies and funder mandates will have important ramifications for all social science researchers. Several journals included in the sample have already begun either requiring or recommending that researchers include their data in their submissions (e.g. Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, and Management Science). This presents again an opportunity for librarians to take an active role in promoting their services and assisting researchers in developing data management plans and promoting best practices for data curation and archiving.


It is clear that the open access movement is now firmly a part of today’s scholarly communication ecosystem and it is likely that more funding agencies will introduce OA policies for grant recipients in the future. At first glance, researchers in management who receive national grant funding could perceive a conflict of interest. On one hand, there is pressure to publish in a select set of top-tier journals; and on the other hand, researchers who receive grant funding are required to make their work OA. This exploratory study shows that these two forces are generally compatible, but the path to reconciling these requirements is not straightforward nor immediately apparent for many researchers. In most cases, researchers can either pay an APC or deposit an accepted manuscript in a repository. That stated, there are several journals which are not compatible with OA funder policies, and grant-funded researchers must either choose alternative publishing outlets or engage in discussions with these publishers in order to comply with these mandates. Librarians have a role to play in navigating these challenges. Not only are libraries typically the guardians of institutional repositories; they are also often the on-campus experts on copyright, publisher policies, and open access.

OA policies provide an outreach opportunity for librarians to develop services and programs to assist researchers with these new developments. As such, this study encourages discussion and provides talking points for management librarians and researchers. Researchers with limited funds will be enticed by green OA options and librarians can guide researchers to publication outlets that permit such self-archiving options. Researchers choosing a hybrid journal option will likely need additional assistance in understanding the copyright implications of doing so. In most cases, authors who pay an APC retain the copyright for their article and may choose a Creative Commons license for their work. Librarians again can assist in advising researchers on these options.

The growth of open access funding mandates need not prove a barrier to management researchers wishing to publish in top-tier journals. This article has demonstrated that there are many opportunities available to researchers to publish their work and still comply with these mandates. As more funding agencies introduce open access policies, librarians are poised to bring their unique skillset and knowledge to aid in the understanding and compliance with these policies.


Appendix A

Full list of journals and publisher policies included in analysis. Accurate as of July 26, 2016.

  • JCR= Journal Citation Reports (Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science)
  • UTD= University of Texas at Dallas
  • FT= Financial Times
JournalJCRUTDFTPublisherCan self-archive[8] in an institutional repository?EmbargoOA fee (USD)Compatible w/ funding agency mandates
Academy of Management JournalxxxAcademy of ManagementNon/an/aNo
Academy of Management PerspectivesxxAcademy of ManagementNon/an/aNo
Academy of Management ReviewxxxAcademy of ManagementNon/an/aNo
Accounting ReviewxxAmerican Accounting AssociationUnclearn/an/aNo
Journal of Accounting ResearchxxWileyYes24 monthsn/aNo
Journal of FinancexxxWileyYes24 monthsn/aNo
Administrative Science QuarterlyxxxSageYesAfter publication$3,000Yes
Information Systems ResearchxxxINFORMSYes12 months$3,000Yes
Journal of Applied PsychologyxxAmerican Psychological AssociationYesAfter publicationn/aYes
Journal of Consumer ResearchxxxOxfordYes*After publication$2,800Yes
Journal of International Business StudiesxxxPalgraveYes12 months$2,600Yes
Journal of MarketingxxxAmerican Marketing AssociationYes12 monthsYes
Journal of Marketing ResearchxxxAmerican Marketing AssociationYes12 monthsn/aYes
Management SciencexxxINFORMSYes12 months$3,000Yes
Marketing SciencexxINFORMSYes12 months$3,000Yes
Operations ResearchxxINFORMSYes12 months$3,000Yes
Organization SciencexxxINFORMSYes12 months$3,000Yes
Organization StudiesxxSageYesAfter publication$3,000Yes
Entrepreneurship Theory and PracticexxWileyYes24 months$3,000Yes
Journal of Accounting and EconomicsxxxElsevierYes36 months$1,800Yes
Journal of Business VenturingxxElsevierYes36 months$1,800Yes
Journal of Financial EconomicsxxxElsevierYes48 months$1,800Yes
Journal of Management StudiesxxWileyYes24 months$3,000Yes
Journal of Operations ManagementxxxElsevierYes36 months$1,800Yes
MIS QuarterlyxxxManagement Information Systems Research CentreYes*5 yearsFee not statedYes
Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision ProcessesxxElsevierYes36 months$1,800Yes
Production and Operations managementxxWileyYes24 months$3,000Yes
Review of Financial StudiesxxxOxfordYes24 months$2,800Yes
Strategic Management JournalxxxWileyYes24 months$3,000Yes

Appendix B

List of funder policies included in the analysis:

  • Social Science & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) - Canada
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) - United States
  • Center for Disease Control (CDC) - United States
  • Department of Defense (DOD) - United States
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) - United States
  • Department of Energy (DOE) - United States
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Institute of Education Sciences (IES) - United States
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) - United States
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) - United States
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - United States
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - United States
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) - United States
  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) - United States
  • Smithsonian Institution (SI) - United States
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)


    1. This definition refers to libre open access (i.e. making the work free from pricing and licensing restrictions). This is as opposed to gratis open access which refers to making the work free from pricing restrictions only (Suber, 2008).return to text

    2. Accepted manuscript is defined as the final copy of the paper, after peer-review but prior to any publisher enhancements (e.g. layout). Other common terms are post-print or author’s accepted manuscript (AAM). For the sake of consistency this paper uses the term accepted manuscript when referring to this manuscript version. return to text

    3. Publisher versions are the final, published copies of the article. The article has gone through layout and proofreading and bears the hallmarks of the publisher’s imprint. Other common terms are the version of record (VoR) or publisher’s PDF. This paper uses the term publisher version when referring to this version. return to text

    4. This discrepancy could be due to the nature of the methodologies used. For instance, Laakso (2014) uses Scopus data to establish the sample set while Gadd, Oppenheim, and Probets (2003) sampled from ISI Web of Knowledge and several other journal lists. It is also possible that publisher policies on self-archiving have significantly changed over ten years, perhaps due in part to pressure from the open access movement and funder mandates.return to text

    5. Embargo periods are defined as a period in which the researcher is not permitted to make their work open access in a repository. return to text

    6. It should be noted that the use of these lists as markers of quality is not without its critics (for further reading on the topic see Adler and Harzing, 2009).return to text

    7. It is possible that the Wiley journals included in the sample may have options outside of paying the $1,800 USD fee depending on the source of the researcher’s funding. Wiley has agreements with several funders (including some in the United States such as the National Health Institute, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy etc.) that permit researchers funded by those agencies to comply with open access policies.return to text

    8. Unless indicated by a *, the version which may be archived is the post-print version. Items marked with a * may archive the publisher version. return to text

    Jessica Lange is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at McGill University, jessica.lange@mcgill.ca.