Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, April 03, 2009

JoVE retreats from OA

The Journal of Visualized Experiments, an OA video journal, has converted to subscriptions. The journal continues to offer a hybrid OA option. No official announcement has been posted, but the news has been confirmed in comments by JoVE editors Moshe Pritsker here and Nikita Bernstein here.

From Pritsker, CEO and Editor-in-Chief:

... The reason is simple: we have to survive. To cover costs of our operations, to break even, we have to charge $6,000 per video article. This is to cover costs of the video-production and technological infrastructure for video-publication, which are higher than in traditional text-only publishing. Academic labs cannot pay $6,000 per article, and therefore we have to find other sources to cover the costs. ...

From Bernstein, CTO and Web Developer:

... We've been trying to get universities to subscribe to us, but nobody seems to be taking us seriously and, given our situation, being free is just not sustainable. However, we are now discussing how to best provide a good blend of access and subscription. For example, authors definitely should have access to their own articles. ...

The new publication fees are $500 per article for closed access or $2,000 per article for OA. Additional fees apply for production assistance from JoVE. No information about waivers or discounts is available, or any information about reducing subscription prices based on uptake of the OA option.

See also comments by David Crotty and John Wilbanks.

See also our past posts on JoVE.

Update. See also coverage at The Scientist:

... "To continue the [open access] approach, we would have to ask academic labs to pay us $6000 per video to cover our operation costs, and that's simply not possible today," Moshe Pritsker, CEO and editor-in-chief of JoVE, told The Scientist. "We like open access, we just can't survive on it."

JoVE is now selling institutional subscriptions that range from $1,000 per year for small colleges to $2,400 per year for large research universities. Pritsker said that "up to 10" institutions had signed up in the past week, including Harvard University, Wellesley College, and the University of California, Davis. Individuals can also buy $19 daily and $99 monthly subscriptions, as well as obtain free one-day trial access.

Pritsker expects JoVE to have 300 to 400 institutional subscribers within three years, which would represent a "pull even situation," he said. The journal will continue to charge $1,500 in author fees, although researchers can pay an extra $1,500 to make their publications freely and openly available. ...

Update. See also this announcement from UK PubMed Central:

... As a consequence of moving to a subscription service, content from JoVE at PMC and UKPMC is now embargoed for two years.

Conscious that this change in policy means that no researcher funded by any of the UKPMC Funders can seek publication in this journal - the maximum permissible embargo set by these funders is 6 months - the Wellcome Trust has spoken with JoVE's Editor-in-Chief to determine whether any alternative publishing options are available.

Though the details have not yet been fully worked out, it seems likely that JoVE will offer a "Wellcome-compliant" author-pays, open access option. ...