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WorldSciNet has launched WorldSciNet Open Access, a hybrid OA journal program that applies to all 133 journals published by WorldScientific and all eight journals published by Imperial College Press. From today's announcement:
More from the WorldSciNet Open Access page:
From the OA License to Publish:
At the same time, WorldSciNet announced its first full OA journal:
Comment. I commend WorldScientific for its full OA journal and (as usual) support the hybrid program only to the extent that it actually encourages author uptake and provides OA. Unfortunately, WorldSciNet Open Access does not score well on my nine criteria for a hybrid journal program. On the plus side, the OA edition is the same as the published edition, and WorldSciNet is not retreating from its green policy (say) by requiring self-archivers to pay for gold OA. It lets authors retain copyright "except as...provided" by the OA license to publish, and says the license is based on the CC-BY license. This looks like a plus until we read the details. In fact the license gives the publisher exclusive rights --either to all print and electronic distribution or to all commercial print and electronic distribution. Either way, it's more restrictive than a CC-BY license. The ambiguity of the license on this point makes it unclear whether authors may deposit their articles in repositories independent of the publisher. The publisher does not apparently waive publication fees in case of economic hardship and does not promise to reduce its subscription prices in proportion to author uptake. It is silent on whether authors must pay for the OA option in order to live up to a prior, independent agreement with their funding agency.