Publishing in free access journal v paid journal?

In summary, the Wellcome Trust is launching a high-quality, open-access journal called eLife and is stirring up a boycott of restrictive academic journals. This is excellent news for the spread of knowledge and will revolutionize the way research is shared. The cost of peer review and the editorial boards of journals should not be considered an expense by publishers. Researchers who publish in top-tier journals may still find themselves paying for publication costs out-of-pocket. If you publish in a Springer journal, you will likely pay nothing out-of-pocket. However, if your paper is refereed and revised to the satisfaction of the editor, the editor may recommend that you self-publish on ArXiv even before they publish it
  • #1
mikeph
1,235
18
Just read this article which went on-line a couple of hours ago and was interested in some opinions here from the research community.

One of the world's largest funders of science is to throw its weight behind a growing campaign to break the stranglehold of academic journals and allow all research papers to be shared online.

Nearly 9,000 researchers have already signed up to a boycott of journals that restrict free sharing as part of a campaign dubbed the "academic spring" by supporters due to its potential for revolutionising the spread of knowledge.

But the intervention of the Wellcome Trust, the largest non-governmental funder of medical research after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is likely to galvanise the movement by forcing academics it funds to publish in open online journals.

Sir Mark Walport, the director of Wellcome Trust, said that his organisation is in the final stages of launching a high calibre scientific journal called eLife that would compete directly with top-tier publications such as Nature and Science, seen by scientists as the premier locations for publishing. Unlike traditional journals, however, which cost British universities hundreds of millions of pounds a year to access, articles in eLife will be free to view on the web as soon as they are published.

...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/apr/09/wellcome-trust-academic-spring

I noticed a couple of particularly well put comments:

This is excellent news. In the past, academics (like me) signed away copyright to journal publishers, who told them it had administrative advantages and who paid nothing for the rights. No one imagined the Internet thirty or forty years ago. Now all that old work, most of it publicly funded, has been re-cycled but hidden behind pay walls. The authors have never had to be consulted - they had signed away their rights at the outset. ALL this old work should be on open access, free to download

I don't see how the publishers can claim the cost of peer review and the editorial boards of journals as an expense. The editorial boards and reviewers are volunteers who give their time for free. I'm a computer scientist and regularly publish in Elsevier and Springer journals - I also review for them for free. It's crazy, we do the research, write the papers, our peers review them and then we sign away our copyright and the publishers charge our institutions to buy the journals!
I was recently offered to pay $500 to make a paper "open access" - they've got to be kidding.


Time for a change?
 
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  • #2
I'd love it if more articles were free, aside from freeing subscription funds for researchers it would allow members of the public to access scientific articles. I don't see however how it is going to work, where is the money going to come from to run the publishing services? I'd hate to see random adverts spammed into my reading of a scientific article.
 
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  • #3
It's hard to see how the business model will work, as Ryan says. Several times a month, I get spammed by "on-line" "open-access" journals wanting submissions. Once you start digging, you'll find that those "journals" want per-page fees from researchers. That can get expensive for researchers who don't have current active status with academic groups. No grant money and no departmental support means publishing can be expensive under such circumstances.

If you publish in a Springer journal, you will likely pay nothing out-of-pocket. Once your paper is refereed and revised to the satisfaction of the editor, the editor may recommend that you self-publish on ArXiv even before they publish it in their subscription-only on-line and print journals. Note: The self-publish request may have been because our little group had to maintain a presence on-line to host the spreadsheets and archive of images to keep the paper from getting unwieldy - still it was a nice surprise.
 

Related to Publishing in free access journal v paid journal?

1. What is the difference between a free access journal and a paid journal?

A free access journal is one that allows readers to access its content without any subscription fees or paywalls. On the other hand, a paid journal requires readers to pay a fee in order to access its content.

2. Which option is better for publishing my research, a free access journal or a paid journal?

It ultimately depends on your goals and priorities as a researcher. If you want your research to reach a wider audience and have a greater impact, publishing in a free access journal may be a better option. However, if you prioritize prestige and recognition in your field, a paid journal may be a better fit.

3. Are free access journals of lower quality than paid journals?

No, the quality of a journal is not determined by its access model. Both free access and paid journals can publish high-quality research. It is important to evaluate the reputation and impact factor of a journal, regardless of its access model, before choosing to publish in it.

4. Are there any hidden costs associated with publishing in a free access journal?

While there may be no direct costs for publishing in a free access journal, there may be fees for additional services such as editing or color figures. It is important to carefully review the journal's submission guidelines and policies to understand any potential costs.

5. Can I publish the same research in both a free access and a paid journal?

It is generally not recommended to publish the same research in multiple journals. This can be considered self-plagiarism and may lead to ethical concerns. It is important to carefully consider which journal is the best fit for your research and only submit to one journal at a time.

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