Re: Author Publication Charge Debate

From: Subbiah Arunachalam <subbiah_a_at_YAHOO.COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 04:00:18 +0000


"I have worked with a lot of authors in Kuwait (who
work outside Kuwait University) who are unable to pay
author tolls. Imagine what the scenario will be like
in a poor third world country?" says Suhail.

There is no problem here as there are many journals
which do not charge author tolls such as CURRENT
SCIENCE, Proceedings of the Indian Academy of
Sciences, and so on. Many physicists around the world
(including physicists in India and many other
developing countries) send their papers to arXiv and
the papers are instantaneously available for anyone
with web access to read and comment upon. It is only
much later that these physicists send their papers for
publication in a journal. While arXiv is a centralised
archive, the current trend is to set up interoperable
institutional archives. Once a paper is placed on such
open archives, the author is assured of some
visibility for his/her findings. Usually, papers
placed in arXiv get comments from physicists from
different parts of the world, thus helping the author
to revise and improve his paper before he formally
submits it to a journal - which may be toll access or
open access.

Could Suhail kindly provide a few actual examples of
poor country scientists' papers, the journals that
refused them because of inability to pay author fees,
and the journals where the papers eventually appeared?

Often, journal editors waive author fees for
developing country authors. Jan Valterop may please
let us know if BMC waives author fees for developing
country scientists.

I live and work in India. I have NEVER worked outside
India. I have worked both as a laboratory scientist
and as an information scientist, and I have been an
editor of (several) scientific journals published by
CSIR and the Indian Academy of Sciences. I have also
served on many international refereed journals - both
print and online. I have devoted much time thinking
about improving access to information in developing
countries and to help increase the visibility of
science performed by scientists in the developing
countries. I find open access (both open archives and
OA journals) to be a very good thing to have happened.

Best wishes.

[Subbiah Arunachalam]

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Received on Fri Feb 13 2004 - 04:00:18 GMT

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