How many journals sell authors Open Access by the article?

Stevan Harnad harnad at
Sat Jul 3 06:14:11 EST 2004

On Sat, 3 Jul 2004, [identity deleted] wrote:

> I would be interested in your reaction to Springer's Open Choice news
> ( I
> assume you have greater interest in the company's self-archiving policy
> (which I am currently not aware of) but any thoughts?

You are quite right that there is far greater interest in
Springer/Kluwer's self-archiving policy than in their open-choice policy,
but one should certainly welcome the open-choice policy from any publisher
-- as long as that publisher is also green on self-archiving:

Springer is currently green on self-archiving (postprints)
and Kluwer is currently pale-green (preprints).
If their merger is now green on both, that's a step forward. 
(Note that the journal lists -- in construction
-- still need cleaning up to remove some duplicates and non-journals.)

The new fact that -- in addition to giving the green light to
Springer/Kluwer authors to provide OA to their own articles by
self-archiving them -- they also offer their authors the option of
paying Springer/Kluwer to provide OA on their behalf (i.e., to become
an OA journal on an individual article basis) is also a step forward.

It is important to note, however, that Thomas Walker's original proposal
in 1998 of what Springer/Kluwer now call the "open choice" option was
always coupled with the intention that the publisher should also be
green on self-archiving. An open-choice policy from a gray publisher
would not be a step forward at all, but a cynical bet on authors'
continuing naivete about OA:

    "For Whom the Gate Tolls?"

    "Should Publishers Offer Free-Access Services?"

    "Is ESA First?"

    "Are "Open Access Reprints" a Unique Service?"

    "How many journals sell authors Open Access by the article?"

Springer/Kluwer's current charge for paid OA provision ($3000) may
be a somewhat arbitrary one (PLoS is $1500 and BMC is $500), but
that does not matter at all, *as long as Springer/Kluwer is green
on self-archiving*. Authors can decide for themselves whether to
self-archive or to pay to have it done for them, and if ever there is
a wholesale conversion toward OA publishing, the market will decide
how much the service is worth. (My own guess is that there will be
cost-cutting and downsizing to the essentials before that happens):


    "Alternative publishing models - was: Scholar's Forum: A New Model..."

    "Journals are Quality Certification Brand-Names"

    "Central vs. Distributed Archives"

    "The True Cost of the Essentials (Implementing Peer Review)"

    "Workshop on Open Archives Initiative in Europe"

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-2004)
is available at the American Scientist Open Access Forum:
        To join the Forum:
        Post discussion to: 
    american-scientist-open-access-forum at
        Hypermail Archive:

Unified Dual Open-Access-Provision Policy:
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.

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