Exchange Regarding Open Access Journals

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 04:44:14 +0100

On Wed, 2 May 2007, [Identity Deleted] wrote:

> What do you know about this new journal? [Journal Name deleted]
> Is it going to be less expensive than
> other open access journals with their rather hefty fees?

(1) OA Journals are a good idea, though a bit premature right now, if the
goal is OA: OA can be achieved right now through author self-archiving
of articles in conventional subscription-based journals.

(2) Nevertheless, it is a good idea to support and promote OA journals
if one can.

(3) This journal will charge about $1000 to publish, which is within the
current going rate for OA journal publication fees.

(4) It is specifically because of this publication charge that OA journals
are still premature: Right now, most journals are not OA, and most of the
potential institutional funds to pay for publication are currently
tied up in paying for it via subscriptions.

(5) This means that for now OA publishing charges are over and above
what is already being spent on subscriptions.

(6) $1000 per article is not much for some authors, but a lot for

(7) What all authors should be doing is self-archiving their articles,
to make them OA.

(8) That will not only provide OA, but it will force subscription
journals to cut costs and it may eventually force them to convert to OA
publishing (at a much lower price).

(9) The existence of viable OA journals today, however, despite the extra
costs (some) entail for authors, helps demonstrate that OA publishing is
possible, and refutes the claim by some subscription journals that OA means
the destruction of journals.

(10) This, in turn, helps encourage authors to self-archive, and
encourages institutions and funders to mandate self-archiving, thereby
accelerating the provision of OA (and the eventual transition to OA

So my advice would be this:

(a) If you would otherwise have agreed to serve on the editorial board
of a journal like this, then the fact that it is an OA journal should be
another point in its favour.

(b) If you were submitting an article to a new journal like this, then
the fact that it is an OA journal should be another point in its favour
-- if you can afford the publishing charges.

(c) Self-archive all articles you publish in any case, and make sure
your institution mandates self-archiving.

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Received on Thu May 03 2007 - 05:07:54 BST

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