Open access journals which charge article processing charges (APCs) sometimes offer fee waivers to authors who cannot afford to pay them. This article measures the extent of this practice among the largest toll access and open access publishers by gathering stated fee waiver policies from publishers’ websites. A majority (68.8%) were found to offer fee waivers and sometimes they are only available to authors from low- and middle-income countries. This has implications for the ability of authors without funding to publish in journals from these publishers.
« Online open access journals allow readers to view scholarly articles without a subscription or other payment barrier. However, publishing costs must still be covered. Therefore, many of these publications rely on support from a variety of sources. One source of funds not commonly discussed is donations from readers.
This study investigated the prevalence of this practice and sought to learn about the motivation of journal editors to solicit donations, and also to gather input on the effectiveness of this strategy. Results show that very few open access journals solicit donations from readers, and for those that do, donations represent only a very small portion of all support received. »
« Background. Open access (OA) journals allows access to research papers free of charge to the reader. Traditionally, biomedical researchers use databases like MEDLINE and EMBASE to discover new advances. However, biomedical OA journals might not fulfill such databases’ criteria, hindering dissemination. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a database exclusively listing OA journals. The aim of this study was to investigate DOAJ’s coverage of biomedical OA journals compared with the conventional biomedical databases.
Methods. Information on all journals listed in four conventional biomedical databases (MEDLINE, PubMed Central, EMBASE and SCOPUS) and DOAJ were gathered. Journals were included if they were (1) actively publishing, (2) full OA, (3) prospectively indexed in one or more database, and (4) of biomedical subject. Impact factor and journal language were also collected. DOAJ was compared with conventional databases regarding the proportion of journals covered, along with their impact factor and publishing language. The proportion of journals with articles indexed by DOAJ was determined.
Results. In total, 3,236 biomedical OA journals were included in the study. Of the included journals, 86.7% were listed in DOAJ. Combined, the conventional biomedical databases listed 75.0% of the journals; 18.7% in MEDLINE; 36.5% in PubMed Central; 51.5% in SCOPUS and 50.6% in EMBASE. Of the journals in DOAJ, 88.7% published in English and 20.6% had received impact factor for 2012 compared with 93.5% and 26.0%, respectively, for journals in the conventional biomedical databases. A subset of 51.1% and 48.5% of the journals in DOAJ had articles indexed from 2012 and 2013, respectively. Of journals exclusively listed in DOAJ, one journal had received an impact factor for 2012, and 59.6% of the journals had no content from 2013 indexed in DOAJ.
Conclusions. DOAJ is the most complete registry of biomedical OA journals compared with five conventional biomedical databases. However, DOAJ only indexes articles for half of the biomedical journals listed, making it an incomplete source for biomedical research papers in general. »
« A “mega-journal” is a new type of scientific journal that publishes freely accessible articles, which have been peer reviewed for scientific trustworthiness, but leaves it to the readers to decide which articles are of interest and importance to them. In the wake of the phenomenal success of PLOS ONE, several other publishers have recently started mega-journals. This article presents the evolution of mega-journals since 2010 in terms of article publication rates. The fastest growth seems to have ebbed out at around 35,000 annual articles for the 14 journals combined. Acceptance rates are in the range of 50–70%, and speed of publication is around 3–5 months. Common features in mega-journals are alternative impact metrics, easy reusability of figures and data, post-publication discussions and portable reviews from other journals. »
The Open Access Movement (OAM), which started as a gradual realisation by authors mainly in biomedical sciences to make available results of public-funded research projects to the public without much barrier pertaining to cost, permission, copyright obligations, etc., gradually gained momentum across the world and India was no exception to it.
Though the movement was confined mainly to science, technology and medical fields in India, since last few years, a number of open access repositories and open access journals in Social Science subjects have started appearing.
The present study which is confined to the open access Social Science journals published from India as mentioned in the Directory of Open Access Journals, identified 60 open access Social Sciences journals in India.
The study also analysed the journals on the basis of certain parameters as to trend of open access journals in Social Sciences, and was found that most of open access journals in Social Sciences appeared between 2009 and 2014 and about half of the journals charge authors for publishing their papers in the journals and only a few are published under Creative Commons Attribution.
Lastly, the paper discusses about implications of open access publishing on Social Science research libraries made few suggestions towards encouraging open access publishing in Social Science subjects in India.
« Discussions of the potential of open access publishing frequently must contend with the skepticism of research authors regarding the need to pay author fees (also known as publication fees). With that in mind, the authors undertook a survey of faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in physical science, mathematics, and engineering fields at two research universities (Cornell University and Syracuse University) asking for their experience with and opinion of paying author fees for publication of research in open access journals. The results of this survey indicated that most respondents had not decided against publishing in an open access journal due to the author fee requirement. Those who had paid them only requested or received coverage for those fees in grant line-items or from institutional sources in a few cases. Responses seemed to combine cautious optimism about open access journals with intense skepticism about their quality and intense opposition to the idea of having to pay any additional costs from their own pockets. »
« Taking as an example an open-access journal with a single editor, this article discusses the various configurations of rights agreements used by the University of Michigan Library throughout the evolution of its publishing operation, the advantages of the various models, and the reasons for moving from one to another. »