Pay (less) to publish: ambitious journal aims to disrupt scholarly publishing | Ars Technica 2012-06-14


“The push to open access to scientific publications has seen some remarkable successes this year... Publishers that offer open access options need to recoup their costs without subscription fees, however, and had researchers pay for their publications with charges that are generally over $1,000. Now, a new open access journal is being launched that aims to turn the finances on their head... Ars talked to the publisher, Peter Binfeld, to find out how the new peer-reviewed, biology-focused PeerJ will work... PeerJ is a ‘great opportunity to experiment with a different business model, a different payment model.’ Binfeld was formerly at the open access publisher Public Library of Science managing its PLoS Onejournal, which charges its authors $1,350 to publish—and it's one of the cheaper PLoS journals (fees go up to $2,900 at other PLoS journals)... All of which makes PeerJ's pricing model nothing short of jaw-dropping. For a one-time $99 fee, anyone can publish a single paper a year for life (although the first dozen authors on the paper all have to sign up). $259 buys any author a lifetime membership, with the ability to publish as many papers as they choose. Bottom line: for only a fraction of the cost of a regular publication, researchers can publish as often as they want. ‘It flips the model from payment-for-publication to a membership model,’ Binfeld said, ‘where someone gets a membership for life and gets free publications thereafter.’ How can this possibly work? Binfeld's answer suggests that he has run the numbers carefully. Part of the solution relies on the dynamics of authorship... PeerJ has also figured out how to cut costs. The journal will use customized software to manage the article submission and peer review process, and journal content will be stored on Amazon's S3 service and presented to users via software running on EC2. For long-term archiving, the publication will be placed at... PubMed Central archive... Other aspects that add to the costs of traditional journals, like news and commentary, will not make an appearance in PeerJ. The journal will follow PLoS one's model: research will be judged on the scientific validity of the experiments, and the journal won't focus on the probable impact or significance of the work. The plan is to ensure that review is completed within a month of the article's submission. PeerJ's involvement can, at the authors' choice, also start well before a paper is submitted for review. The journal will run a preprint server where researchers can place drafts and works-in-progress—common practice in the physics community, but not yet popular among biologists. Binfeld says PeerJ hopes to make the practice more appealing by giving users fine-grained control over sharing, letting them limit who has access to papers prior to publication. Authors also get the chance to share the title and/or abstract, which Binfeld suggested can help authors claim precedence for being the first to report some results. PeerJ's plan is really to build up a sense of community within the researchers who publish there. ‘By doing this,’ Binfeld said, ‘we will have a community of members, of peers, rather than a collection of one-off customers who publish a paper with us, and we charge them money, they leave, and we don't care about them, we don't see them again...’ PeerJ also plans to do peer review a bit differently... ‘We're trying to encourage open peer review, and that really has two aspects,’ Binfeld said. ‘You can openly provide your identity as a reviewer. The other end of open peer review is to provide the entire peer review history on the published paper, and we're going to encourage but not require both of them...’ PeerJ is trying many new things at once, and it's not clear all of them will succeed. Still, the most radical change—the low price—is sure to attract some people who are willing to give it a try...”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.npg oa.pubmed oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.mandates oa.usa oa.frpaa oa.legislation oa.rwa oa.nih oa.advocacy oa.signatures oa.petitions oa.boycotts oa.copyright oa.plos oa.peer_review oa.preservation oa.prices oa.fees oa.peerj oa.access2research oa.memberships oa.policies oa.journals



Date tagged:

06/14/2012, 07:49

Date published:

06/14/2012, 11:19