Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.
OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature - like this one from Science Target- do insist on its importance. Just as authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors and referees participating in peer review.
Peer Review and Processing Cost
OA journals perform peer review and then make the approved contents freely available to the world. The expenses consist of peer review, manuscript preparation, and server space. As an OA initiative, we pay pay our bills very much the way broadcast television and radio stations do: those with an interest in disseminating the content pay the production costs upfront so that access can be free of charge for everyone with the right equipment. Sometimes this means that journals have a subsidy from the hosting university or professional society. Sometimes it means that journals charge a processing fee on accepted articles, to be paid by the author or the author's sponsor (employer, funding agency). OA journals that charge processing fees usually waive them in cases of economic hardship. OA journals with institutional subsidies tend to charge no processing fees. OA journals can get by on lower subsidies or fees if they have income from other publications, advertising, priced add-ons, or auxiliary services. Some institutions and consortia arrange fee discounts. Some OA publishers waive the fee for all researchers affiliated with institutions that have purchased an annual membership. There's a lot of room for creativity in finding ways to pay the costs of a peer-reviewed OA journal, and we're far from having exhausted our cleverness and imagination.
The Case for Open Access
This is an animated video explaining and summarizing the major issues on open access to researchers and why it's important.
© McGill Library
Two Models for Open Access
OA can be provided in two ways:
- Green OA Self Archiving – authors publish in any journal and then self-archive a version of the article for free public use in their institutional repository, in a central repository, or on websites similar to this one provided by Science Target. What is deposited is the peer-reviewed post-print – either the author's refereed, revised final draft or the publisher's version of record. Green OA journal publishers endorse immediate OA self-archiving by their authors. OA self-archiving was first formally proposed in 1994 by Stevan Harnad. However, self-archiving was already being done by computer scientists in their local FTP archives in the '80s, later harvested into Citeseer. High-energy physicists have been self-archiving centrally in arXiv since 1991.
- Gold OA Publishing – authors publish in an open access journal that provides immediate OA to all of its articles on the publisher's website. (Hybrid open access journals provide Gold OA only for those individual articles for which their authors (or their author's institution or funder) pay an OA publishing fee.)
Science Target provides a Hybrid open access journal publishing solution. We charge the author to pay our editorial and handling fees. We ensure a high level of quality through a standard scholarly peer-reviewed process. We have a dedicated team of professional editors whose sole priority is to work on submitted articles and make sure that these articles get the proper review from reviewers in the same field.