My comments, in brief: this development is most welcome, as yet another example that open access has moved into a competitive phase for the commercial sector. Commentary on the APF will have to wait until one is announced, but note that anything above $1,300 U.S. will not be competitive with existing options such as Nature's Scientific Reports and PLoS ONE. It is hard to assess the terms based on the description from the announcement. My advice to Liebert is to use a CC license, leave copyright with the author, and clarify what "noncommercial" means as the current CC NC terms are much too broad. My recommendation is to limit noncommercial to no resale and clearly state that there is no intention of limiting educational use.
Description from the announcement:
BioResearch Open Access is a journal of broad interest that has been launched to overcome unnecessary barriers to the immediate availability and use of research. BioResearch Open Access makes all content freely available to researchers worldwide. There will be no article processing fees for articles submitted prior to May 15, 2012. Article processing fees to cover the cost of publication may be announced after May 15, 2012.Comments
All articles in the Journal will be deposited upon publication, without embargo, to PubMed Central. BioResearch Open Access is fully NIH-, HHMI-, and Wellcome Trust-compliant.
Benefits to authors:
- High visibility: immediate universal access, high citations, downloads
- Accessible to researchers in low-income countries
- Fast-track publication opportunity
- Global marketing and publicity for your article
- Podcasts or Skype videocasts on selected articles
- Users may access, download, post, and redistribute article as well as adapt, translate, text- and data-mine content contained in the article, for noncommercial purposes
Welcome to Mary Anne Liebert and Bioresearch Open Access - yet another example that open access has moved into a competitive phase for the commercial sector. Comment on the article processing fee will have to wait until this is announced, but note that anything above $1,300 U.S. would not be competitive with similar services such as Nature's Scientific Reports and PLoS ONE. The default $3,200 optional open access fee for other Liebert journals suggests that this publisher has yet to take OA competition seriously. This article processing fee is nearly double the BioMedCentral standard fee of $1,895 U.S., for example, and six times the article processing fees for many of the journals published by the profitable Hindawi Publishing Company.
The description of terms Users may access, download, post, and redistribute article as well as adapt, translate, text- and data-mine content contained in the article, for noncommercial purposes needs to be clarified before serious commentary is possible. Questions that I see as needing an answer:
1. Who retains copyright? (My advice: with open access, the author should retain copyright).
2. Will a CC license be used, and if so, which one? Presumably NC, but this is not totally clear.
3. If Liebert is not planning to grant blanket commercial rights, what does this mean, exactly? Note that I fully support the CC Noncommercial license, providing that the intent is limited to prohibiting resale and that it is clear that educational use is not considered commercial. Unfortunately, this is not clear with the CC Version 3.0 licenses - I hope that this will be corrected for Version 4.0, but in the meantime clarification is necessary. The language that I use for this for IJPE http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.com/2011/12/education-is-public-good-not-commercial.html is available to anyone for this purpose on a public-domain basis (tweak as you like, citation optional).
Thanks to Daniel Mietchen for the head's-up.