Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, January 15, 2005

More on the three new PLoS journals

John Blossom, in a blog posting yesterday in Shore Communications' Commentary: 'This adds some more comprehensive breadth to the PLoS offerings, but it it enough to tip the balance in favor of this particular flavor of Open Access? As much as there's an enormous amount of noise and open movement towards open access this year, there's still a lot of work to do on business models. The recently announced JISC financial support from the UK scientific community will certainly help to underwrite these efforts, and governmental underwriting may help to further seed author-fee publications - if publishing lobbyists don't choke off this vein of support. But there may come a day fairly soon when the cachet of ".org" begins to wear thin and organizations such as PLoS start to look for more substantial commercial models. This will probably mean less than full capitulation to the full-fee subscription models offered by existing journal publishers, but hopefully far more than the author-fee model, which neglects the inherent value of this content. There's lots of wiggle room to exploit the value of the content and its audience and still have the high sense of independent integrity that PLoS founders are seeking.'

(PS: I've read this several times and don't understand it. Why does Blossom think PLoS depends on the "cachet" of .org or that its current business model isn't "substantial"? Why wish to rely more on subscription models than upfront-funding models? How do OA journals "neglect the inherent value" of any content except, like other journals, by publishing some articles and not others? What's the "wiggle room" he mentions in the final sentence?)