Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, September 14, 2007

New OA journal of engineering education

Advances in Engineering Education is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the American Society for Engineering Education.  It encourages multimedia and charges a publication fee of only $75.  The inaugural issue is now online.  (Thanks to Jean-Claude Guédon.) 

Comment.  I commend the ASEE for this launch.  Society publishers have much to gain from OA, and I'm always glad to see another one announce a launch or experiment.  However, I'm concerned that the journal is so reticent about its access policies.  For example, it doesn't describe itself as OA.  It doesn't even use phrases like "free online access".  The statements in the inaugural issue from the journal editor and society director don't discuss price or access.  I call it OA only because all the articles in the inaugural issue are free online and nothing at the site mentions subscriptions.  (Nor does the site say, e.g. that the first issue is only free as a trial and that future issues will be priced.)  I don't know its copyright policy:  the author's guide doesn't mention copyright, the articles (sample) don't use CC licenses or equivalents, and they don't even include copyright statements.  I like the idea that OA will one day be the default, and that it will be more important for TA journals to say they are TA than for OA journals to say they are OA.  But we're not there yet, and new OA journals could help OA and help themselves by making clear that they are OA.  They could also help users by using explicit open licenses, so that users know what is permitted beyond fair use and needn't err on the side of asking permission.