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Re: Paying for open access

Open access may be a better model than subscription based publishing. I
would regard the case as "non proven" . It seems to me that if you put two
models side by side the open access model is likely to be cheaper but is
it "better".

What I cannot accept is the weasel words of BMC. There is restricted
access - for authors.  Under Open Access authors pay. Wealthy institutions
may pay for them. BMC may waive charges. But in the end the author is
faced with the problem - can I afford to publish in that journal?  We are
talking about restricted access to publishing for the academic community.

The fact that there are so few serious open access journals at the moment
disguises the problem. The bigger libraries can pay for their faculty as
can organisations like JISC in the UK for the whole academic community. If
there were more journals there could surely be funding problems.

I have already seen PLOS Biology attacked as charging too much because
they are trying to achieve a sustainable model which includes the sort of
refereeing and copyediting that authors get from traditional journals. All
learned society publishers I have spoken too (without the funding support
that PLOS has) suggest that $1,500 per accepted paper is too low. Open
Access is not going to come cheap. Traditional publishing bars no author
from submitting and charges nothing for the process which leads to

---- Original Message -----
From: "Jan Velterop" <jan@biomedcentral.com>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 12:42 AM
Subject: Paying for open access

> For the avoidance of misunderstandings, what I did not imply is that
> libraries may not be willing to pay for open access. What some libraries
> may not be keen to pay for is the 6 months' or so 'immediacy' if the
> material becomes freely available after that. Much better to use that
> money to procure immediate open access straight away.
> Paying for open access may superficially look like subscriptions, but
> there is an essential difference. Payment takes place on behalf of
> researchers in their roles of *authors* rather than on behalf of them as
> *readers*. This reversal of the publishing business model enables open
> access. It is paying for optimal dissemination instead of paying for
> restricted access.
> Jan Velterop