Open access (OA) journals are academic, peer-reviewed journals that are free and available for anyone to read without paying subscription fees. To make up for lost subscription revenue, many journals instead charge author fees to researchers who wish to publish in them. These fees can reach thousands of dollars per article, paid out of publicly funded research grants.
We have previously noted the degree to which a APCs are locking poorer and middle income countries out from being able to publish. The the enthusiasm for open access (ours included) didn’t anticipate the fact that, without some modifications, open access actually isn’t more democratic. Diamond open access, such as being supported by France, could be the solution but it is an even more radical change. This piece that appeared in The Conversation, examines the issues. We’ve include links to six related items.
I work as an academic librarian at McGill University, serving as an on-campus expert on open access publishing. According to research conducted by myself and a colleague, Canada is home to nearly 300 no-fee, open access journals. This is important, as author fees serve as a barrier for many researchers to make their work available for anyone interested.
Cost of publishing
Typical costs of publishing an academic journal include salaries for copy editors, typesetters and translators, and fees for technical infrastructure such as web hosting and submission systems. There are also costs associated with running non-OA journals, such as managing paywalls, subscription payment systems and salaries for sales personnel.