The Study of Open Access Publishing (SOAP) consortium represents key stakeholders such as publishers, funding agencies, libraries and a broad spectrum of research disciplines and aims to study the new open access business models which have emerged as a result of the shift from print to digital documents. Co-ordinated by CERN, the partners are:

  • European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

    Established in 1954, CERN is the world largest particle physics laboratory. It is operated by twenty European member states and receives visitors from universities and laboratories worldwide. More than 10′000 employees and visiting scientists and engineers perform research at the laboratory. CERN builds, operates and exploits particle accelerators running at the highest energies ever made by mankind. Its latest facility, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), will allow scientists to investigate questions about the origin of the universe by reproducing the conditions at the birth of the universe.
    As part of its mission in transferring knowledge, CERN has taken an active role in Open Access, by proposing the SCOAP3 Open Access Publishing initiative and working on disciplinary repositories such as INSPIRE and institutional repositories such as CDS.
  • Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG)

    The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is an independent, non-profit research organization that primarily promotes and supports research at its own institutes. There, basic research in the interest of the general public in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities is performed. The Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) is a scientific service unit of the Max Planck Society (MPS) that provides services to help the MPS researchers manage their scientific information workflow. Such services comprise the provision of actual content and of technical solutions, but also the support to users by acting as a centre of competence and community facilitator in the domain of scientific information management. A substantial task of the MPDL is to provide most effective access to scientific information and foster the Open Access policy of the Max Planck Society.
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) UK

    The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK, and one of the seven national research councils. STFC funds researchers in universities in a range of physical sciences, and provides access to world-class scientific facilities at its own establishments and elsewhere. The e-Science Centre of STFC, based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire and Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, is involved in the SOAP project.
  • BioMed Central Ltd (BMC)

    BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.
  • Sage Publications Ltd (SAGE) UK

    SAGE, a leading international publisher of books, journals, and electronic media, is a privately owned publishing company dedicated to the global dissemination of information. It is the world’s fifth largest journal publisher, with over 485 journals in the humanities, social sciences, science, technology, and medicine.
    Founded over 40 years ago SAGE acquires, develops, markets, and distributes knowledge. By disseminating scholarly and professional materials throughout the world, SAGE sets the standard for innovative, interdisciplinary, and international scholarship.
    In December 2007 SAGE entered into a partnership with the Hindawi Publishing Corporation to jointly launch and publish a suite of fully Open Access journals ( This is a bold strategic partnership that places SAGE as the largest academic publisher to develop a collection of Gold Open Access journals, marking the company’s continued investment in widening access to important scholarly research.
  • Springer Science+Business Media Deutschland GmbH (SSBM)

    Springer Science+Business Media is one of the worlds leading suppliers of scientific and specialist literature. It is the second-largest publisher of journals in the science, technology, and medicine (STM) sector, the largest publisher of STM books and the largest business-to-business publisher in the German-language area. Springer introduced Open ChoiceTM as an open access publishing option in 2004.