Re: Exchange Regarding Open Access Journals

From: Martin J. Osborne <osborne_at_CHASS.UTORONTO.CA>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2007 22:30:26 -0400

> I am not an advocate of publishing in Gold OA journals as the means of providing
> OA today. ... Publishing in OA journals in order to provide OA to one's research output,
> is nonoptimal and premature today because:

MJO: Needless to say, I strongly disagree.

> (1) Most journals (90%) are still subscription-based journals today.

MJO: I have a hard time understanding the logic here. Why is the fact
that most journals charge subscriptions relevant to an author's choice
to publish in an OA journal? You seem to be saying that there is there
no point in my buying a hybrid because most people drive SUVs.

> (2) Institutions' potential publication funds are still tied up in paying
> for ongoing journal subscriptions today.

MJO: I'm puzzled by this one also. The submission fee of TE is no
higher than the submission fees of most other journals. Thus submitting
a paper to TE, which is OA, has no short-term negative implications for
anyone's budget. And in the long term, if it drives other journals to
reduce costs and prices and open up access, it will have big benefits.
> (3) OA publishing charges are still far too high today;

MJO: *Some* OA publishing charges may be too high. But not all.

> *(6) 100% OA is needed today, indeed it is already greatly overdue;

MJO: Self-archiving and OA journals can coexist. You promote
self-archiving, I run an OA journal. There's no need to choose between
the two activities---we can do both.

> (a) Subscriptions are paid by user-institutions; publication fees are paid by
> author-institutions.

MJO: But most current good existing economics journals have submission
fees that are paid by author-institutions. So the only effect of an OA
journal, which is perfectly financially feasible if it charges the same
submission fees as existing subscription-based journals, is to eliminate
the subscriptions. There is no change in the fees paid by

Martin J. Osborne
Department of Economics
150 St. George Street
University of Toronto
M5S 3G7
+1 416-978-5094
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Received on Sat May 05 2007 - 04:30:22 BST

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