Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

No-fee paths to OA

Stevan Harnad, No Need To Keep Waiting For Gold OA, Open Access Archivangelism, November 14, 2007.  Excerpt:

On Tue, 13 Nov 2007, Michael Smith [MS] (Anthropology, ASU, wrote in the American Scientist Open Access Forum):

MS: "The practice of author payment for open access journals may work for the hard sciences, but it presents major difficulties for various categories of scholars..."

Paying to publish journal articles presents difficulties for any author who does not have the money to pay, regardless of field. But it is not an obstacle to providing Open Access (OA) itself:

Although only about 10% of journals are OA journals ("Gold OA Publishing"), over 62% of journals are "Green," meaning that they have already given their green light to all their authors to make their own peer-reviewed final drafts ("postprints") OA by depositing them in their own Institutional (or Central) Repositories (IRs) upon acceptance for publication -- and immediately making them OA ("Green OA Self-Archiving"). Another 29% of journals endorse immediate OA self-archiving of the pre-refereeing preprint, with embargoes of various lengths on making the postprint OA....

OA self-archiving (Green OA) costs nothing. But it should also be pointed out that the majority of Gold OA journals today do not charge for publication -- and those that do, waive the fee if the author cannot afford to pay....

Comment.  Stevan is right.  To summarize:  there are at least three ways for authors to avoid fees and still provide OA to their peer-reviewed postprints.  (1) At fee-based OA journals, many authors can get a fee subsidy from their funder or employer, and many others can get a fee waiver from the journal.  (2) Most OA journals charge no fees in the first place.  (3) Green OA or self-archiving charges no fees.