Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Karger adopts a hybrid OA model for eight journals

Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers has adopted a hybrid OA model for eight of its journals.  From today's press release:

Karger Publishers is pleased to announce Author's Choice, a new service which will enable authors to choose whether their articles are to be distributed under the traditional publishing model, or whether they will be freely available for all to access online in exchange for payment of a publication fee....

Karger Publishers is currently conducting a trial with 8 journals:

...[A]uthors choosing to publish their articles under Author's Choice will be required to pay a publication fee of USD 2'500.- and also sign a licencing agreement [see this sample], giving them the right to re-use their content for educational and research purposes, but not for commercial purposes, on condition that the author and journal are properly acknowledged. Karger Publishers will continue to act as a central point for commercial requests and will seek to protect the author's work from misuse. Since all articles will continue to be available in print, any additional standard publication charges will still apply, such as for color images or supplementary pages. The publication fee does not replace these costs.

Author's Choice will in no way affect any editorial decisions. All articles will receive the same consideration and service. They will be peer-reviewed, copy-edited and professionally produced, and will be available both online and in print. To this effect, the choice will be offered to authors only after their work has been accepted for publication.

Comment. The Karger program is better than many others under my criteria for hybrid OA journals.  The license is closely modeled on the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license and allows authors to retain key rights and deposit their copies in repositories independent of the publisher.  The OA edition is apparently the full published edition.  SHERPA doesn't say whether Karger has been green up to now, but nothing in today's announcement retreats from green (e.g. imposing embargoes or fees on self-archiving).  On the downside, Karger does not promise to reduce subscription prices in proportion to author uptake, and doesn't say whether authors under an OA obligation from a prior funding contract must pay Karger's fee in order to comply.