If it were not for the desire of many particle physicists that their articles and journals should be open access, SCOAP3 wouldn’t have been launched.
High Energy Physics (HEP) as a discipline has long supported widest accessibility for its articles & journals — initially through the SLAC preprint service, which migrated to free e-access in physicist Paul Ginsparg’s 1991 LANL preprint archive service, later re-named ArXiv.
Repositories may not contain the final peer reviewed versions of articles as published in journals of record, and to date there is consensus in the community that high quality published journals provide a service and are needed. SCOAP3 is a vote of confidence in such journals. (SCOAP3 Lifts Off: An Interview with Ann Okerson)
SCOAP3, the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access in Particle Physics Publishing, is a one-of-its-kind partnership of thousands of libraries, funding agencies and research centers in more than 40 countries. Working with leading publishers, SCOAP3 has converted key journals in the field of High-Energy Physics to Open Access at no cost for authors. SCOAP3 is centrally paying publishers for the costs involved in providing Open Access, publishers in turn reduce subscription fees to all their customers, who can contribute to SCOAP3. Each country participates in a way commensurate to its scientific output in this field. In addition, existing Open Access journals are also centrally supported, removing any existing financial barrier for authors.
As a result, articles are Open Access, the copyright stays with the authors and permissive CC-BY license allow text- and data-mining applications. This automatically addresses funding-agencies or universities Open Access mandates, at no cost for authors.