Re: Author Publication Charge Debate

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004 03:20:12 +0000

On Sat, 7 Feb 2004, Hamaker, Chuck wrote:

> [OA journals'] "market" is twofold. Researchers deciding where the most prestige
> and attention will be accorded their articles will submit their best. There
> shouldn't be many OA journals that are second or third tier...
> And we may need to create a "second or third tier" system just to accomodate
> material that will no longer meet higher review standards that will be
> necessary as authors select venues and pay charges for OA.

These detailed predictions are getting a bit ahead of the game. At the moment,
there are fewer than 1000 OA journals and more than 23,000 TA journals, with the
high-quality, high-prestige, high-impact journals almost all among the TA
journals. Hence it is not at all clear what is the evidence supporting these

Moreover, these predictions assume that most of the OA articles and most
of the growth in OA to date have been and are in OA journals, and that
is simply not the case. At least 3 times as many articles are made OA
annually via the self-archiving of TA articles than via being published
in OA journals.

The correlation between OA (via either route) and quality is yet to be reckoned.
But the correlation -- indeed the causal connection -- between OA and citation
impact has begun to be measured, and it is substantial:

> If you want your research seen, reacted to, evaluated beyond prepublication
> peer review, i.e. actually used and cited by others, the OA journals should
> over time win the race because of more potential for readers. Pay journals
> only have a potential for more (or fewer) subscribers.

No, this is incorrect, both empirically and logically: It is *OA
provision* (via either OA journals or OA self-archiving) that has been
demonstrated to have the greater usage and citation potential than
mere TA (for obvious reasons).

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:
        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.
Received on Sun Feb 08 2004 - 03:20:12 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:47:20 GMT