Re: Author Publication Charge Debate

From: Suhail A. R. <>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 02:48:30 +0000

While so many people are stressing on self archiving may I suggest another
method I call personal archiving that many third world authors use but is
only applicable to embargoed access journals (due to the fluidity of human
life). All authors usually have a pdf or other format copy of their paper.
Most journals publish an email address. Find the abstract, email the author,
and you get the full text. It works for me all the time. I just sent a pdf
of my paper to a researcher in Austria today, after receiving his email.
The only problem with this is a few TA journals refuse to publish an email
address for this reason. One example is Journal of Bone & Mineral Metabolism
(Japan - not the JBMResearch of USA). Despite my extreme persistence, they
not only refused to publish my email address, they also refused to give me a
pdf copy - they faxed it to me. Of course I made a pdf from my text for any
author that emailed me. I still think, till somone comes up with a better
way to convince existing journals to look for mechanisms to remove tolls, we
should push for embargoed access + author email address.


In response to Subbiah Arunachalam:

> There is no problem here as there are many journals
> which do not charge author tolls such as CURRENT
> SCIENCE, Proceedings of the Indian Academy of
> Sciences, and so on.

I must again stress that please do not mis-understand me: I am not
worried about author tolls now. There is no problem at all. Hundreds of
TA journals are avialable to serve the needs of the poor (in terms of
publishing costs).

> Usually, papers
> placed in arXiv get comments from physicists from
> different parts of the world, thus helping the author
> to revise and improve his paper before he formally
> submits it to a journal - which may be toll access or
> open access.

This is not feasible in most academic fields, especially those related
to high quality research. In fact scientists tend to keep their findings
private till published for many reasons.

> Could Suhail kindly provide a few actual examples of
> poor country scientists' papers, the journals that
> refused them because of inability to pay author fees,
> and the journals where the papers eventually appeared?

I do not think its necesary to mention names, but all were succesfully
published in TA journals.

> Often, journal editors waive author fees for
> developing country authors. Jan Valterop may please
> let us know if BMC waives author fees for developing
> country scientists.

>I find open access (both open archives and
> OA journals) to be a very good thing to have happened.

For now its good for everyone, poor and rich. Just as self archiving aims
for the future, so does my objection to OA journals aim for the future.

A.R. Suhail
Received on Sat Feb 14 2004 - 02:48:30 GMT

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