Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, January 05, 2007

Emerald launches a no-fee hybrid program

Emerald has launched Emerald Asset (Accessible Scholarship Shared in an Electronic Environment), an unusual no-fee hybrid program for its engineering journals.  From the site:

As a publisher of a range of high profile engineering journals, Emerald is piloting a new Open Access (OA) publishing model, for a trial period, via the Emerald Engineering web portal.

Unlike other OA models which require authors to pay a fee to have their article openly published, the Emerald Asset trial offers authors the opportunity to contribute, not in cash but in kind: In exchange for open publication authors will be asked to submit a summary of their research findings highlighting their practical application.

Summaries will be considered for publication on the Emerald Engineering website. Each summary will include a link to enable readers to gain free access to the full text of the published article.

Additionally, outlines of the summaries will feature in our bi-monthly Emerald Engineering e-newsletter which will be distributed free of charge to all website registrants and further serve to increase awareness of each featured author's work....

How to take part:  Authors can simply contact the Editors of journals they have published in, while readers should look out for the Asset logo. Any queries can be directed to Nancy Rolph.

[Quoting Roderick (Roddy) MacLeod, Senior Subject Librarian, Heriot-Watt University:]  "The new Emerald Asset trial is a significant step forward in increasing the accessibility of peer reviewed journal articles in the engineering sector. It will be welcomed by authors who wish to actively contribute to the wider promotion of their own work without incurring traditional OA author fees...."


  1. I like the way Emerald has traded fees for something else of value:  a second submission emphasizing the practical applications of the first.  The result is a lower hurdle for authors and more useful content for readers.  The announcement doesn't say whether participating authors can retain key rights, use CC licenses, or deposit copies in repositories independent of the publisher.  Nor does it say whether the free online articles will be accessible to readers who aren't clicking from one of the summary pages.
  2. By my count, this is the third no-fee hybrid program.  In July 2004, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced a hybrid program for its journal, Pediatrics.  The OA option is free of charge but the OA articles do not appear in the print edition.  Then in September 2006, the American Society of Plant Biology (ASPB) announced a hybrid policy for its journal Plant Physiology.  The OA option is free of charge for ASPB members.