Publish and profit set to perish?
" ... The Global Research Council has just met in Beijing and I’m guessing the big commercial journal publishers did not like what occurred one bit. The people at the meeting allocate something like 70 per cent of the world’s public sector research funding and they discussed open access to the work they underwrite. A Beijing observer says that while the Dutch and British are still solid for the gold model (open access in pay-to-publish journals) there was a sense in the meeting that publishers are double dipping – charging institutions to publish articles, which the journals pay nothing to acquire. The meeting communiqué called for a common approach on access. Inevitably, global green open access will inflict collateral damage – some publishers add value to research they publish, by paying their own editors to work on papers, for example. And scholarly societies support their work from the profits of their own prestigious journals. But it seems the consensus among research funding agencies is that the big commercial publishers cannot keep privatising profits from publicly funded research. 'Open access will be a defining feature of scientific communication in the coming years and can improve the free exchange of research data and results considerably and therefore also the quality of research,' the GRC concluded. So how will the publishers respond? 'They will make as much as they can for as long as they can from the existing model,' the observer says, 'and then they will stick with the gold model and drop their prices to undercut the scholarly society publishers.' The question is will the GRC let them get away with it unchallenged ..."