Open Access Beyond Article Processing Charges

peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-11-17


"We very much agree with Wood et al. (2021) that “the shift from a ‘reader pays’ to an ‘author pays’ model of scientific publishing presents a financial threat to eNGOs” as well as the global scientific community at large. The authors ask for ”a more equitable publishing system” and argue that platinum and diamond open access (OA), financed by third parties such as scientific societies, avoid APCs for authors and paywalls for readers, and as such can offer the lowest-cost option. According to the Directory of Open Access Journals (, in 2020 around 69% of fully OA journals do not levy APCs; although, perhaps counter-intuitively, 65% of articles published OA are published in journals with APCs (Crawford, 2021). This apparent contradiction is due to two factors, both tied to the currency of career advancement: publication and citations . (i) The need for authors to publish in high impact journals for career advancement. Although most high-impact journals remain paywalled, they have added an open access option whereby authors pay APCs to make their work open access. In this way, authors can ensure the accessibility of their work to all interested parties AND satisfy career constraints. But they can only do so at a very high cost. APCs at traditionally paywalled journals can range from 1500-10,000 Euros. These are substantial sums, especially when taking into account the costs of doing the actual research, in this case, environmental work, much of which is funded by public donations. (ii) Visibility is another key factor. The argument is that gold open access is well and good, but ultimately useless if no one knows that your work exists. For all their faults, high impact paywalled journals have a great deal of visibility, thus facilitating knowledge of the work by potential consumers, and hence, citation. Their vision is, however, only partial. Like many authors, they describe a misconception that OA restricts author choice via APCs."


From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks

Tags: oa.fees oa.misunderstandings oa.objections oa.debates oa.repositories oa.journals

Date tagged:

11/17/2021, 10:11

Date published:

11/17/2021, 05:11