Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New TA journal with free online access for news media

Taylor & Francis have launched a new journal, The Sixties.  It's not OA, though it does participate in iOpenAccess, the T&F hybrid OA program.  I'm blogging it because of an unusual wrinkle in its access policy.  You won't find it described on the journal web site (not even under "Full Pricing Details").  But here's a description from yesterday's story in News Blaze:

...Free online access to The Sixties is available to members of the press....


  • Many subscription journals offer free online access to researchers from developing countries.  But I've never seen a subscription journal offer free online access to the press.
  • Obviously it falls short of OA.  But I don't want to dwell on that, and I don't want to tell non-OA journals what's in their interest.  But I must say that I like this idea, that is, for journals that must fall short of OA in the first place.  The policy shouldn't reduce subscriptions from research institutions, and it should help publicize the journal's articles and brand.  Some journals publish very few articles that news media would like to cover, but The Sixties may publish many of them.  How many newsworthy journal articles go unreported because journalists themselves don't have access?  This T&F policy will certainly make it easier for journalists to learn what The Sixties is publishing.  But why stop there?  Why not give journalists a chance to see what every journal is publishing?  I don't see any downside, even for a non-OA journal.
  • That's an honest opinion, but I also think the policy would (slightly and indirectly) benefit OA.  Increasing the supply of free publicity for non-OA literature can only increase the demand for OA literature.
  • Journalists may have free online access to articles in The Sixties, but their readers won't.  Hence if they publish links to those articles, very few readers will be able to click through to full-text.  That huge advantage is still reserved to OA articles and OA journals.