Re: Author Publication Charge Debate

From: Suhail A. R. <>
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2004 18:46:27 +0000

> > and paying for these is certainly cheaper than paying author costs to
> > "OA" journals.
> Cheaper for whom? The user of N articles is one person, the author publishing
> in an OA journal is another. (And A.R. Suhail has completely overlooked my
> main point about the option of self-archiving for the author who either does not
> have a suitable OA journal to publish in, or cannot afford to.)

Cheaper for both. The user of N articles pays less if he does not publish
his subsequent work in an OA journal. That is what makes research, not just
possible but also affordable to him.

> > At the present time, embargoed access seems really better
> > than author charged open access at 500-1500 dollars - how many embargoed
> > articles can I buy?
> You are comparing apples and oranges (users/institutions accessing the articles
> of others versus authors/institutions paying to publish their own articles)
> and omitting the author's other (free) option: self-archiving.

It boils down to the same issue. I will not pay to access articles if I know
that I will not be able to publish subsequently due to prohibitive costs. A
major motivation to research is letting others know about it. No one does
research simply for personal satisfaction, except those not interested in
career development.

> The question is not how many emargoed articles can I *buy* but how many
> embargoed articles can I *use* (if access is toll-free). The answer is:
> far, far more than you can even imagine. And this is what the open-access
> movement is all about.

While authors like us have to pay for open access, we do not have the luxury
of contemplating how many we can *use*. It all boils down to money either
way, and I have learnt from bitter experience that how many you can buy
determines how many you can *use*. We must all remember that while an idea
(eg OA) may be good for a section of the community where research is
institutionalized, it may not necessarily be practical or beneficial to
others out of those systems. If we all made the mistake of supporting the
current author charged OA system and all free submissions were to close
down, I estimate that two-thirds of the researchers (not two-thirds of
research output) would immediately find it impossible to publish.

Finally, why should an OA journal decide who or who not to give waivers to?.
I think one way around OA is to make waiver rules that are not in the
individual journals control. In other words, if an OA journal is to start,
then it has to follow an international waiver standard by law. These waivers
would then automatically apply to non funded research regardless of where it
originates from. The journal then makes its living from funded research
work. Will this work....I dont really know.

Received on Sat Feb 07 2004 - 18:46:27 GMT

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