Next Stop, Chemistry Central - David Bradley

Commentary by Jean-Claude Bradley

Accessed: September 1, 2006

On the original blog post, David mentions that chemists have a new place to publish OA if they want. This new chemisty-based service is like BioMed Central (an OA place for BioMed research).

Jean-Claude's response is interesting. He says that the concept is great, but the author-pay model is problematic when other reputable journals are able to do it without fees:

"However, I am concerned that part of the model is based on author publishing fees on the order of $1000/article, similar to the //PloS and PloS One models//. Note that authors from institutions who are //members// can publish free of charge. Drexel is not a member as of yet.

Not all Open Access journals are funded by author fees. In the realm of organic chemistry the //Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry// and //Arkivoc// are funded using different mechanisms and provide what I would call Fully Open Access on the front as well as the back end. I think that this is where Open Access can really become a fully free and democratic process, with no barriers from the author and subscriber to share knowledge freely."

This, so far, has been the number one debate in Open Access Scholarship. Should authors have to pay fees to publish??? I don't think they should, as I know few graduate students with the money necessary to pay 1000 bucks at a clip. The idea that this money can come from funding is a little disillusionary, as it will be hard to justify 5000 dollars for "publication costs" to OA journals. Since people (grant funders) think OA is free, they aren't going to understand WHY a grant seeker is asking for this money.

It is an interesting conversation. OSS and OA are tied very closely by this complaint. Scientists aren't going to publish raw data if they have to pay per post. So, they will shy away from posting raw data altogether unless the rhetoric of OSS is cleaned up.