Open-access publishing: trials of the transition | Software Sustainability Institute
"I have mixed opinions about open-access publishing. Finding the money to cover open-access publishing is not easy, especially for early career researchers during this transitionary period as open access becomes the norm. Despite the costs, I really believe in open-access publishing. We want our science to be read, surely! Especially in this interdisciplinary era, it is important for non-academic stakeholders (such as patients, consultants, managers, developers, etc.) to have access to our outputs. And, of course, as academics, we are publicly funded, so outputs should be published for all to see. We do not receive much money to cover the costs of open-access publishing. In fact, my university receives only enough to fund around two open-access publications each year. Don’t worry, I hear you cry, in this open-access era the costs of the library subscriptions to journals will cover your publication costs. However, in this transition period of subscription fees becoming replaced by publishing fees, universities are still subscribing to journals and trying to publish open access, in effect paying twice. If you have a Wellcome Trust or Research Council grant, this will cover your publishing costs, but of course if you are just starting out like me, you might not have a large grant yet. I guess I am just left counting my pennies to try to cover the thousands of pounds it costs to publish my papers under open access - amid rumours that only open-access papers will count in future research assessment exercises. Open access goes hand-in-hand with open data and open source, which is integral to the ethos of the Software Sustainability Institute. With all these conflicting views buzzing around my head I attended the Open Access Discussion at the British Neuroscience Association Meeting in Edinburgh in April 2015. Representatives from e-life, PLOS Biology, Elsevier and Brain were on the discussion panel. They started the discussion by putting my mind at rest somewhat. While the gold standard is the classic pay-for-publication open-access article, this actually only accounts for around 20% of all open-access publications. Most universities are, rather, adopting a green route where you upload your articles in an online repository prior to publication ..."
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