Open Access, of the Closed Kind 2012-07-16


“Last night a story began circulating that the government, through RCUK, was intending to move quickly on the matter of open access to research outputs. This morning there’s a press statement from RCUK, the text of which is here... Although this seems like a victory for open access, it isn’t really. If it’s a victory for anyone it’s a victory for the  cartel of  ruthlessly exploitative profiteers that is the Academic Publishing Industry. For what the RCUK proposal involves is shifting the ‘cost’ of scientific publishing from journal subscriptions to ‘Article Processing Charges’, which means authors will have to pay upfront to have their work  considered for publication. And when I say ‘pay’, I mean pay. It’s anticipated that the average APC for a paper will be around £2000. That’s why they call it ‘Gold’ Open Access, I suppose. An APC of this size  is indefensible. Scientific papers are nowadays typeset by the author and refereed by other academics. The cost to the publisher is tiny. That they need such an extortionate amount to maintain their profit levels just demonstrates the extent to which they’ve  been ripping us of all these years. Worse, having to pay up front  excludes scientists who don’t have access to the funds needed to pay these charges. This isn’t open access, it’s just a slightly different form of the old racket. Moreover, I understand that no new money is coming to pay these charges. RCUK is finding the funds quoted above from its existing budget. That means that research somewhere will be cut to pay the additional cost of running the new system alongside the old. Better in my view to cut out the publishers altogether, and let universities and researchers do everything themselves. In astrophysics, we’re most of the way there already, in fact. I for one have no intention of ever paying an Article Processing Charge. If the journals I publish in insist on levying one, I’ll just forget about the journals altogether and put my papers on the arXiv. I urge my colleagues to do the same.”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.mandates oa.physics oa.arxiv oa.costs oa.funders oa.fees oa.rcuk oa.policies oa.journals



Date tagged:

07/16/2012, 21:19

Date published:

07/16/2012, 22:01