Springer Open Choice

Various authors, Jul 09, 2004
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Peter West sent me this link last night and so I've had all day to think opf it. Essentially, the deal is this: when your paper is accepted by a journal published by Springer, you as an author have the option to make it open access by paying $3,000. This link fills in the details of the program. More coverage is available at Information World Review, including some naysaying from Oxford University Press.

CRLFNow, on reflection, this is probably as good as we're going to get from the publishers. Indeed, it's as much as we can ask without forcing them out of business. Sure, it's more than PLoS's $1500, but that's just price points, not principle. And we need to talk about how the material is presented and how easy it is to access. But that's just details.

CRLFNow for the cincher - and I throw this out as a proposal for both Springer and the rest of the academic community. It doesn't matter to Springer (does it?) who pays the three thousand, just so long as it gets paid. So this raises the possibility that a site could be set up whereby collections are taken for papers as they are accepted by Springer such that, if someone thinks a paper should be open access, they would donate some money toward that cause. The money would be collected until it hit the $3000 figure. Nothing would prevent authors and institutions from paying the full pop. But this adds to the way it could be done. And it provides an open market validation of the paper - a type of peer reviewing that allows the community to speak as well.

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