ATG Hot Topic of the Week: Open Access – Who Pays and Who Benefits?

by | Jun 15, 2012 | 0 comments

Jonathan H. Harwell, Rollins College

So we understand there’s no free lunch with open access publishing.  So who pays, how do they pay, and who benefits?  I’ve noticed a few examples this week.

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Jennifer Howard introduces us to PeerJ, an open access, peer-reviewed, biomedical journal that appeared on June 12.  The author pays, but the model is new—  the author pays for a lifetime membership, with 3 tiers ($99-$259) that allow maximum numbers of articles and private and/or public preprints.

The International Scholarly Research Network (ISRN) usually requires authors to pay $1000 per article, but now they’re inviting prominent researchers to publish review articles to earn $1000 by boosting the journal brands.  Jeffrey Beall has the story at Scholarly Open Access, which is an interesting blog that also highlights what he alleges to be “predatory open-access publishers,” listed here.  Beall also takes a look at journals where the author and the reader pay, and it’s not as rare as he thought.

Meanwhile in PLOS’ Speaking of Medicine blog, Paul Wicks of PatientsLikeMe makes the case that open-access medical publications are needed for patients who might have participated in studies or who can benefit from the findings.

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