Kaitlin Thaney argues the current momentum building for “no pays” academic publishing models and establishing the “reasonable costs” of publication, present opportunities to rebalance the inequities, costs, and power dynamics initially bred by the push towards Open Access “at any cost” over the past two decades.
It is fair to say we have been and continue to be loud and enthusiastic proponents of the idea that scientific publications should be free to read and free to publish in. Nevertheless, this piece published in the LSE Impact Blog reflects on important questions. 1. What is the reasonable cost of scientific publishing? 2. If readers and authors paying, how are those costs to be met? 3. What does scientific publishing look like after an international drive towards open access publishing?
Similar concerns from commercial publishers were heard following the US National Institute of Health’s 2007 mandate that federally funded research be made openly available one year after publication (a mandate that followed both the Canadian Institute for Health Research and the European Commission in moving towards open access policies and recommendations). In March 2008, PNAS convened a series of society, commercial, and open access publishers as well as other publishing representatives, funders, and open advocates at the National Academies in Washington, D.C. for their E-Journal Summit. The Great Hall echoed with now familiar fears and claims that more immediate access to research would cause publishers to go bust, completely disrupt their underlying revenue models, and forever change the publishing landscape for the worse.