February 10, 2012

High acceptance rates & any almost any topic: bulk publishing journals

My thoughts on a new breed of online journals...

SAGE Open and Springer Plus look to me like similar journals the PLoS One model (both were launched relatively recently). PLoS One was launched in 2006: 6 years ago, and it has an impact factor of around 4. Not bad, but is the bulk publishing model something that has worked for the science and medicine community but might not work in other disciplines?

PLoS One are said to have a 70% acceptance rate, and Springer Plus are currently tweeting about how they publish on any topic, but they are also publishing in the sciences. SAGE Open are for the social sciences and humanities in general, and all three of these journals charge authors fees of around $1000.

PLoS claim to discount or waive the fee if the researcher cannot pay, and Springer Plus also offer discounts for those from low income countries. SAGE Open are cheapest of the three, at $700 and are offering an introductory author discount rate at the moment of $395… but who is going to pay, with what?!

We don't have a central authors' fund at Warwick. I'm not sure what the latest news is from institutions that have tried them, but I did hear a while ago that they were under-used by authors.

BioMed Central also publish journals on open access with fees set at journal title level: most in the region of $2000, but the library’s subscription entitles authors to a 50% discount. This is an area for me to investigate in future, because we do get stats from BMC about authors' take up of that discount... and that might be an indication of authors' willingness to use a central fund in some way. That and the handful of enquiries that reach me each year.

But are the biomedical sciences different? The Wellcome Trust not only mandate that research outputs should be made available on OA, but that the publisher should be paid to do this. They pay for it: we have a Wellcome Trust fund at Warwick, for authors whose work is funded by them. Another possible indicator of authors' interest in central funds to investigate... So one major funder could be forcing the publishing environment, and publishers like BioMed Central (incidentally, part of the Springer stable) and PLoS are able to charge fees and get them paid.

So, I also need to watch what funders in the other disciplines are mandating.

What is different about PLoS One and Sage Open and Springer Plus though, is not that they are open access journals which charge authors a fee, but it is their lack of subject specificity which interests me… bulk publishing is a model that would not work if you’re charging traditional subscription fees, but it potentially works on the digital, OA environment.

Lots more space to watch!


- No comments Not publicly viewable


Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

Subscribe to this blog by e-mail

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Find out more...

My recently bookmarked sites

Tweet tweet

Search this blog

Most recent comments

  • Oh yes, I'm writing that too! And tidying up my paperwork, plastering each piece with post–it notes … by Jenny Delasalle on this entry
  • A useful list, thanks Jen. I would add "it's never too early to start writing your handover document… by Emma Cragg on this entry
  • Yes, Google does find things very fast: I use it a lot to find sites that I know and regularly visit… by Jenny Delasalle on this entry
  • Mac OS has the ability to share Safari www bookmarks and other data, securely across multiple machin… by Andrew Marsh on this entry
  • Hi Peter, I see that you practice what you preach… and indeed the point that you make about being … by Jenny Delasalle on this entry

Blog archive

Loading…
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXIX