Saturday, January 15, 2011

Submission fees could pave way to open-access future

From Times Higher
Most open-access journals are currently funded solely via charges to the authors of papers accepted for publication.

However, high-profile journals such as Science and Nature do not offer open-access options on the grounds that their high rejection rates would force them to impose prohibitively high charges in order to cover the cost of administering peer review.

But a new report commissioned by Knowledge Exchange, the European association of organisations committed to open access, says that a better business model for journals that reject more than 70 per cent of submitted articles would be to combine charges for accepted papers - known as article-processing charges - with submission fees.

The study, Submission Fees: A Tool in the Transition to Open Access?, says that for such journals, the combined cost of processing charges plus submission fees would allow the charges to be set at a substantially lower level, while also allowing publishers to increase and diversify their revenue.

Submission fees "would most likely limit author acceptance" if they were not offset by processing charges, it says.

The report concedes that while there is interest among publishers in introducing submission fees, they are concerned about higher administration costs and lower submission rates to journals.

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