Thursday, 23 October 2014

Open access and "open access".

I just found out that this week is Open Access Week. Yes, it's nice and comfy here under my rock, thank you for asking.

I found out, by the way, from an email sent to me by Maney. The email says they are partaking in Open Access Week - and my first reaction was "yay free access to articles!". Turns out that was wrong, though.

The email tells me about the very generous offer of 50% off the fees if you want to publish an article as OA with them. Yes, that's right - Maney is one of the "author pays for OA" journals, and their fees are quite hefty. Even with 50% off, you'll still shell out between 400 and 1000 USD. Erm... thanks, but no thanks. In my universe, the One Rule still stands: the author never pays. Yes, I know that publishers have to eat, too, and that their money does not come from publishing for free and giving away the published articles, too. It comes from selling what they have published - and I still think that it is fair to pay for what you want to read, provided it is not what Germans call a "Mondpreis" (moon price, literally - an astronomical sum that is totally unrealistic). I'm also convinced that a reasonable pricing of articles, especially older ones, would raise their income far enough that a fair-for-everybody model will be possible. (Or would you hesitate for a second to pay one or two dollars for immediate access to a paper that interests you? Instead of being asked to shell out 30+ dollars, even though the article is several years old and you do not know whether it will really help you on with your research, or not?)

You can laugh about the pricing yourself here. Incidentally, the page also offers the full list of OA articles published with Maney. I do not wonder why there are so few... (There is one about spinners and yarn regulation in 1550-1800 that might be of interest to you, too, written by John Styles.)

If you want to read some more, you can go to Paperity, an article aggregator of OA articles. (I found that via, by the way. The site seems to try for promoting OA, but also seems fairly small, impact-wise, and it has a layout that is a bit confusing to me.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You might also fund useful, as an open access academic search engine.