Problems with Author-side payment

From: Michael Smith <Michael.E.Smith.2_at_ASU.EDU>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 07:51:51 -0700

The practice of author payment for open access journals may work for
the hard sciences, but it presents major difficulties for various
categories of scholars, including:


(1) social sciences and humanities, where grants are smaller and
fewer than in the natural and physical sciences.

(2) graduate students and younger scholars.

(3) scholars in the third world. I work closely with authors in
Mexico, and in my field (Mexican archaeology) an author-pay model is
simply unworkable.
Archaeologists and other scholars in Latin America barely have enough
funds to carry out their research, and funding for journal author
charges does not exist (except possibly in a very small number of
venues). This is the situation in most of the third world today in
many disciplines.


The author-pay model puts people in the above categories (and others)
at a serious disadvantage. It would effectively leave out an entire
sector of scholarship in the third world. Panglossian arguments about
convincing funding agencies to pay for author charges, or
transferring university library budgets from subscriptions to author
charges, ignore the current financial plight of research in most of
the world today.


Mike Smith


Dr. Michael E. Smith

Professor of Anthropology

School of Human Evolution & Social Change

Arizona State University

Received on Tue Nov 13 2007 - 23:46:47 GMT

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