Monday, August 10, 2009

Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing

Stuart M. Shieber, Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard University, has authored a new article proposing changes to allow open-access journals to compete more effectively with traditional, subscription-based journals.

Shieber SM (2009) Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing. PLoS Biol 7(8): e1000165.

Scholars write articles to be read—the more access to their articles the better—so one might think that the open-access approach to publishing, in which articles are freely available online to all without interposition of an access fee, would be an attractive competitor to traditional subscription-based journal publishing.

But open-access journal publishing is currently at a systematic disadvantage relative to the traditional model.

I propose a simple, cost-effective remedy to this inequity that would put open-access publishing on a path to become a sustainable, efficient system, allowing the two journal publishing systems to compete on a more level playing field. The issue is important, first, because academic institutions shouldn't perpetuate barriers to an open-access business model on principle and, second, because the subscription-fee business model has manifested systemic dysfunctionalities in practice. After describing the problem with the subscription-fee model, I turn to the proposal for providing equity for open-access journal publishing—the open-access compact.

Full article. (Thanks to Syed Khan for bringing this to our attention.)

1 comment:

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