Overzealous open-access advocates are creating an exploitative environment, threatening the credibility of scholarly publishing.
|Illustration by Dusan Petricic|
One result is that the open-access movement is producing an almost boomtown-like increase in the number of scholarly open-access publishers, fostered by a very low barrier to entrance into the learned publishing industry. To become a scholarly publisher, all you need now is a computer, a website, and the ability to create unique journal titles.
Bolstering this trend is the so-called “gold open-access” model, in which publishing is supported not by subscription fees but by author fees. An example of a gold open-access journal is The Scientific World Journal, currently published by Cairo-based Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This megajournal covers virtually all scientific fields and imposes an article processing charge of $1,000 for each accepted article. Similarly, the better-known Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals charge authors anywhere from $1,350 to $2,900 to publish, with a discount if the researcher is affiliated with a university that is an institutional member. [Read more...]