Another Trojan Horse: American Physiological Society (APS)

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 12:33:15 +0100

    Pertinent Prior AmSci Postings:

    "Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandates"

    "Trojan Horse from American Chemical Society: Caveat Emptor"

    "Critique of APS Critique of NIH Proposal"

In contrast to my recent posting expressing admiration for my former
publisher, Cambridge University Press, which has been solidly Green
(i.e., endorses immediate OA self-archiving by its authors) and *as an
additional option* offers authors Gold OA for a fee:

the American Physiological Society is solidly Gray (attempting to forbid
Green OA self-archiving by authors) and now offers fee-based OA as the
author's sole option (see their press release below).

This offer is -- as has been many times described and explained -- a
Trojan Horse, as unworthy of serious consideration by authors (who don't
have the $2000 in spare change to waste on this surcharge in exchange
for OA) as it was when the same sole option was offered by the (likewise
Gray, and equally cynical and self-serving) American Chemical Society.

For an online-era policy that is fully in line with a Learned Society's
true raison d'etre -- to serve research, and not vice-versa -- see the
*other* APS: the American Physical Society:

    "Evolving APS Copyright Policy (American Physical Society)"

Stevan Harnad

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 01:10:15 EDT
From: Martin Frank <>

JUNE 29, 2007

Martin Frank, Ph.D.

Margaret Reich


"Author Choice" debuts July 1, 2007

BETHESDA, MD - Authors who publish with the American
Physiological Society (APS; and want to provide
the public with immediate access to their research results will
now be able to do so under a plan announced today by the APS.

Under the new program, Author Choice, researchers who publish
their studies in APS journals can make their results immediately
available by paying an open access (OA) fee. The plan, which
takes effect July 1, 2007, also guarantees that researchers who
are required to provide open access as a condition of funding can
quickly and easily do so. Author Choice is one of several recent
innovations undertaken by the 120-year old scientific society to
meet 21st century demands.

According to Martin Frank, Ph.D., APS' Executive Director, "The
history and mission of the APS is to publish research results
that can be used by scientists and benefit the public. Ten years
ago we made online access to our journals immediately available
for a nominal fee. Seven years ago we made all articles free
online after 12 months. Two years ago we made articles available
to all patients in need, at no charge. Now we are letting the
researchers and their organizations dictate when the results of
their research are made available to the public free of charge.
Given today's market forces, it makes sense to let the authors
decide what timing best suits their needs."

Program Tested Ahead of Roll Out

The plan goes into effect after several years of experimentation
with the APS journal Physiological Genomics. During a three year
period, APS offered authors the choice of whether to pay an open
access fee plus standard author charges. At the end of the test
period, 18 percent of authors opted for open access.

"It was very interesting to watch the level of interest and
financial commitment that we found among authors submitting their
work to this publication," said Margaret Reich, executive editor
of the APS family of journals. "Based on the results of our
internal study, we decided to make the choice plan as widely
available as possible. This means that as publishers we can now
offer a mixed model for access and payment to support the cost of

Ten Journals to Offer Author Choice Option

Authors who choose immediate access for their work will pay the
$2,000 Author Choice fee, plus the customary author fees. Open
access choice will apply to all of the APS' 10 monthly research
publications: American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology;
American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism;
American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver
Physiology; American Journal of Physiology - Heart and
Circulatory Physiology; American Journal of Physiology - Lung
Cellular and Molecular Physiology; American Journal of Physiology
- Regulatory, Integrative & Comparative Physiology; American
Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology; Journal of Applied
Physiology; Journal of Neurophysiology; and Physiological

Some 4,000 Research Articles Have Potential to be "Open"
According to Frank, the goal of the program is to allow choice.
"There will be many who do not want to pay the cost of the open
access fee from their grant funding, and there will be many who
do want to. As publishers, our duty is to offer them the choice
and then implement it. We are offering the Author Choice option
on the approximately 4,000 scientific articles we publish each
year. We are very interested in how this change will affect an
industry that is so deeply in transition."

About the APS

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and
organs function to create health or disease. The American
Physiological Society is a nonprofit organization devoted to
fostering education, scientific research, and dissemination of
information in the physiological sciences. From its beginnings
in 1887 the Society has grown to more than 10,500
researcher-members today. In addition to being a member-based
organization, it is a premier not-for-profit publisher in the
life sciences whose publications are among the most respected and
frequently cited in the field. APS publishes 13 widely acclaimed
scholarly journals and recently posted more than 650,000 pages of
historical scientific studies online, some dating back to 1898.

For further information about the program, log on to

Martin Frank, Ph.D.
Executive Director, American Physiological Society
9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991 USA
Tel: 301-634-7118
Fax: 301-634-7241
APS Home Page:

Integrating the Life Sciences From Molecule to Organism
Received on Tue Jul 03 2007 - 13:14:39 BST

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