Being very keen on access to education and information, I was very keen on ‘open access’ journals. Right up until I heard how much they charge to ‘print’ articles.
Okay, so they need to cover running fees, if no one is subscribing.
Or €750 for a ‘priority service’.
This covers “covers costs for: professional copyediting; immediate publication quickly upon acceptance; different format of publication (HTML, PDF); inclusion in many archives as IndexCopernicus, DOAJ, JCR, among others.” Oh and you’ll need to pay 20% tax on that too.
Does this cover running fees? Or does it cover turning a profit for the publishing company?
More importantly, does this sort of charging structure leave the whole process open to accusations of vanity publishing? And can we even consider this to be ‘open access’ if it simply reversus the onus of payment from the reader to the producer?
Some researchers received earmarked money from funding bodies to publish in this way, but this level of cost seems wrong to me. Research needs to be easy access, and that means easy to read and easy to publish. This sort of charging structure drives out students and independant researchers and does nothing to democratise knowledge communication. If this is the future of academic journals, I can see it becoming even more elitist than it already is, not less.