05 October 2007

More on open access

Thanks to the BOAI Forum and Steven Harnad for drawing attention to the paper ©Copyright and research: an archivangelist’s perspective© by A.A.Adams, which refutes another paper by K. Taylor (Copyright and research:an academic publisher's perspective.

It's a well-argued piece and my only complaint is that, once again, the case for what I have called the Platinum Route of collaboration and subsidy is ignored and 'Gold OA' is associated with author payments.

With today's technology, collaboration in the production of a journal is very straightforward and, rather than subsidising journal publishers by allowing time for editorial work and peer reviewing, universities could be subsidising OA journals in the same way. The only office you need is Microsoft Office - and, really, not even that - you can get by with a browser and an html editor. There will be questions about how far this model scales and, as far as I am aware, no OA journal published on this basis has yet reached the point at which the question becomes important. There are many niche research areas with relatively low numbers of active researchers who can be provided for under this model and scalability is only an issue in terms of dealing with submissions. Scalability in use is not an issue, since the technology can cope.

I noted in an earlier post that the JISC in the UK invested well over £300,000 in author payments to publishers, when the same amount of money could have got to subsidising new OA journals. I wonder if anyone is listening?

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