I was recently offered the ability to publish one of my journal papers in a reputable journal but ‘Open Access’. The facility for me to do this was at the bargain price of $3250. I also considered using PLoS ONE via the public library of science, but at approximately $1000 per article again the price seemed to preclude publication.
I understand the rational of open publication but it seems to me at these prices the ‘open’ aspects are not really being transferred to the author, only the reader, and therefore the suggestion of increased citation. If this is the case – are Open Access journals affording scientists, who can pay, increased citations?
At $3000 a paper, and only $30 to view a single paper in most conventional digital libraries I can gain access to around
300 – 100 (oh my terrible maths – amended 14 Feb 2011) papers for the price of publishing one, how can this be right? When I publish – I first submit a draft, once accepted I copy edit, make corrections, place the paper in a ‘camera ready format’ and send it on it’s way – when published it looks very similar to my final ‘camera ready copy’. How does placing this on a server cost between $1000 and $3000?
It seems to me Open Access journals were founded on fairness and free access, but this should not be at the expense of the author. I understand monies need to come from somewhere but penalising the author will just force them to publish in conventional journals or circumvent the publishers systems. As far as I’m aware the public library doesn’t charge an extortionate amount for publishers to place books with them – I suggest then – than neither should PLoS or similar.