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RE: Looking an open access gift horse in the mouth
- To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: RE: Looking an open access gift horse in the mouth
- From: Jan Velterop <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 15:35:39 EST
- Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
In explaining the level of article processing charges in PLoS Biology, and comparing them to lower charges in other Open Access journals, Rebecca Kennison writes: "Other journals may choose to have less stringent quality control or functionality, decisions that may mean less cost to them." As some BioMed Central journals do charge substantially less than PLoS Biology, it is important to respond to this statement from the point of view of BioMed Central. The difference here is not the "stringency" of peer review, but rather the level of selection. There is a clear and sensible argument that journals setting themselves a very high level of selectivity may have to charge more, as there is clearly a cost involved in refereeing a large number of papers that will not be published. However, there is also a need to have Open Access journals available for all scientifically sound papers irrespective of "impact", "prestige", or "importance". As BioMed Central publishes many journals with different selection criteria, we have to charge more for publishing papers in some journals and less in others. The article processing charges for our Journals of Biology (when they come into effect this summer) will in fact be at the same level as those for PLoS Biology now. This, however, does not suggest that the refereeing in some of our other journals is less "stringent", but rather reflects the fact that some journals, such as the Journal of Biology, have to referee many more articles for each one they publish, and some need to referee proportionally fewer articles. Maintaining a stringent quality of peer review is essential to all journals (currently well over 100) we publish at BioMed Central (as it is for PLoS Biology and the future journals from PLoS). The higher charges for our Journal of Biology (and PLoS Biology) are the result of very high selection criteria. Finally, it is not clear what "functionality" decisions Rebecca has in mind, and how they relate to the charges. Currently there are no significant differences in functionality between BioMed Central and PLoS. Jan Velterop BioMed Central Middlesex House 34-42 Cleveland Street London W1T 4LB UK T. +44 (0)20 7323 0323 www.biomedcentral.com > -----Original Message----- > From: Rebecca Kennison [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] > Sent: 16 January 2004 21:53 > To: email@example.com > Subject: RE: Looking an open access gift horse in the mouth > > [snip] > > How does PLoS determine its publication charges? > > We set our publication charge of $1500 based on the best estimate we > could make from existing publishing data. Most studies show that > first-copy costs run between $1500-$3000, including the costs of peer > review, editing, production, ongoing online hosting, robust online > interactivity (such as a variety of download formats, multimedia and > supporting information files, reference linking), etc. Other journals > may choose to have less stringent quality control or functionality, > decisions that may mean less cost to them.
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