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Open Access and Author Fees

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Why do Open Access publishers charge a fee to authors?


Publishing requires revenue, to pay for editorial staff, computer networking, and the rest of the infrastructure. Open Access publishers rely on author fees for revenue, while traditional publishers rely on subscription fees from individuals and institutions.


Hereís another point of view:

In OA, researchers pay a one-time fee to make their article widely available with no barriers for readers. In traditional publishing, researchers and their institutions pay numerous subscription fees each year to obtain access to articles (including their own articles).


Traditional publishers budget the number of articles they publish according to their revenue; both money and space can be very tight. Open Access publishers can be less constrained, since each article is supported by a fee.


There are currently several publishing models, including Open Access, hybrid, and traditional publishing. A ďhybridĒ journal places some content behind the subscription barrier and makes some freely available. An authorís fee is required for the open-access content, but the closed content still requires libraries and individuals to subscribe.

Who pays the fee?

The author, the authorís funding agency, or the department may pay the fee. Consider applying for a small grant or including the fee in your next budget.

Who owns the copyright on my article?

In OA publishing, the author retains copyright. Most traditional publishers require the author to sign copyright over to the publisher. Before signing a copyright agreement, review Stanfordís Copyright Addendum and other pertinent information. Donít inadvertently sign away your rights!

How does the NIH Public Access Act fit in with Open Access?

All articles reporting on research supported by an NIH grant must be made publicly available, through the PubMed Central archive, within 12 months of acceptance by a journal. All journals and all authors must comply with the NIH act, no matter which publishing alternative you select.

More information:

October 12, 2011 10:27 AM
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