When is a Journal Open Access?

From: peter murray-rust <pm286_at_CAM.AC.UK>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 08:18:50 +0000

I have a question which I hope is simply and accurately stated:

Is Journal FOO "Open Access"?

I would be grateful if list members could help me
to answer this question. I shall take a single
example of a journal and ask for opinions as to
whether the journal is Open Access. I should make
it clear that I believe there are many other
journals which pose similar questions and that -
apart from the Open Access problem I have no problems with the Journal

The DOAJ includes the journal:


ISSN: 14228599
Subject: <http://www.doaj.org/doaj?func=subject&cpid=61>Chemistry (General)
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Language: English
Keywords: chemistry
Start year: 2002

in its directory of Open Access Journals. The DOAJ states:

How do we define Open Access, Research Journal, quality control?

Open Access Journal:

We define open access journals as journals that
use a funding model that does not charge readers
or their institutions for access. From the BOAI
definition [1] of "open access" we take the right
of users to "read, download, copy, distribute,
print, search, or link to the full texts of these
articles" as mandatory for a journal to be included in the directory.

(by contrast the BOAI states:
permitting any users to read, download, copy,
distribute, print, search, or link to the full
texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing,
pass them as data to software, or use them for
any other lawful purpose, without financial,
legal, or technical barriers other than those
inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.

Molbank provides the following license statements:
    * Copyright of published papers. We will
typically insert the following note at the end of
the paper: 200^ by MDPI (http://www.mdpi.org).
Reproduction is permitted for noncommercial
purposes. For alternate arrangements concerning
copyright please contact the Editor-in-Chief.
    * Important additional information: All
thematic special issues will be fully
<http://www.mdpi.org/oaj-supports.htm>Open Access
with publishing fees paid by authors. Open Access
(unlimited access by readers) increases publicity
and promotes more frequent citations as indicated
by several studies. More information is available
at http://www.mdpi.org/oaj-supports.htm.

and from the copyright transfer form:

The copyright to this article is hereby
transferred to MDPI, effective if and when the
article is accepted for publication.The copyright
transfer covers the exclusive right to reproduce
and distribute the article, including reprints,
translations, photographic reproductions,
microform, electronic form (offline, online) or
any other reproductions of similar nature. In the
case of a Work prepared under US Government
contract, the US Government may reproduce,
royalty-free, all or portions of the Work, for
official USGovernment purposes only, if the US
government contract so requires.The author
warrants that his contribution is original and
that he has full power to make this grant. The
author signs for and accepts responsibility for
releasing this material on behalf of any and all Coauthors.
The undersigned author, as corresponding
co-author of the Work, states that all co-authors
have been made aware that this manuscript has
been submitted to this journal, that they have or
will be provided with a (electronic) copy of the
manuscript, that they have consented to be
co-authors of the manuscript and to transfer the copyright.

I have the following questions and unless they
can be answered by a simple "yes" I will assume the answer "not-yes" (i.e.
excluded middle).
(a) Is Molbank an Open Access journal?
(b) If yes, who has made this decision? (b1) the publisher or (b2) DOAJ?
(c) Has DOAJ reviewed Molbank's license(s) and
other statements and deemed them to be compatible with its own criteria
(d) Does the DOAJ consider its declaration to be
equivalent to the BOAI? Do readers of this list?
If so, why are significant parts omitted and can
they now be explicitly replaced?

Although I believe that the points above are
critical to the re-use of publications as Open
Data in Open Science, I am NOT raising these
issues on this list, simply asking for factual
clarification about Open Access practices and definitions.

There is a fuller discussion on my blog:
and at least one useful comment has been submitted



Peter Murray-Rust
Unilever Centre for Molecular Sciences Informatics
University of Cambridge,
Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
Received on Fri Dec 01 2006 - 17:25:59 GMT

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