Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Access barriers at ACS and Blackwell hybrid journals

In three detailed posts, Peter Murray-Rust documents the access barriers at the hybrid journals from the ACS (Author Choice) and Blackwell (Online Open).  These are barriers left in place even after authors or author-sponsors pay for the "open" or "free" access options.


  • Peter examined the access barriers at the Springer hybrid journals (Open Choice) on July 8.  
  • These are valuable studies, especially when supplemented by clarifying publisher responses (like Jan Velterop's response to Peter's post on Springer).  When a hybrid program doesn't claim to offer "open access", then I don't criticize it for falling short of the BBB definition of OA, even if I criticize it on other grounds.  But some of the hybrid programs do claim to offer OA; and even when they carefully pick new terms and avoid promising OA, their access barriers should be well-documented to help authors, funders, and universities decide whether their fees are worth paying.  Journals should clearly describe their access policies --OA or not-- and when they don't, we count on independent investigations like Peter's.