There has been a trend toward open access publishing that has been strengthened recently with a number of coincident efforts, for example Randy Scheckman's Nobel Prize talk, and the UC's Open Access policy for example. Some journals are opening up an open access component to their publishing - Remote Sensing of Environment for example now has an open access model as well as subscription model, and some new completely open access journals are coming on line. The open access model means the author pays the publisher for the costs of putting out an article, instead of the publisher charging universities subscription fees to allow access to the journal.
Open access publishing is a great idea, whose time is ripe: publically funded research should be easily assessed by the public; in general the cost of publishing an open access journal is less than that of a regular article. But the rush to open has opened the window to fraudulent enterprises out to make a fast buck. Thus the landscape of open access publishing is often confusing, and there have been a number of great discussion about how to navigate the stormy waters of open access. Here is my wrap up of some of the informative posts out there:
- An article in Nature introducing the term "predatory publishers": "The explosion in open-access publishing has fuelled the rise of questionable operators" http://www.nature.com/news/investigating-journals-the-dark-side-of-publishing-1.12666
- Jeffrey Bealls' list of predatory publishers in 2014: http://scholarlyoa.com/2014/01/02/list-of-predatory-publishers-2014/
- Recently MDPI, who publishes Remote Sensing, an open access journal I have published in several times, was attacked via an email campaign. Here is their response: http://www.mdpi.com/about/announcements/502
Other notes pointed out in the Nature article:
- PLOS ONE, which charges a fee of $1,350 for authors in middle- and high-income countries (UC Berkeley gets a slight price cut), has seen the number of articles it publishes leap from 138 in 2006 to 23,464 last year, making it the world's largest scientific journal.
- In the past year, the UK and US governments, as well as the European Commission, have thrown their weight behind some form of open-access publishing.