Friday, November 04, 2005

Open access - the jury is out

The Oxford Open 'field trial' from Oxford University Press, started July 1, 2005, reports some unimpressive results. From 21 participating journals, only 9% of authors (publishing in 9 journals, solely in the Lifesciences and Medicine disciplines) used the author-paid OA model. Scientists pay 800 pounds per article. 19 More journals will join the model from January 1.

Another unspectacular finding concerning OA publishing, came from the Kaufman-Wills report. It showed that 41% of OA journals lose money and 24% break even. Proponents of OA journals easily warded off the attack, saying that the system needs more time. And of course, excessive profits are by no means the goal of OA - rather, 'excessive profits' form commercial publishers are the reason for starting OA journals.

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