Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nature Publishing Group and Scientific Reports: getting serious about OA competition

Kudos to Nature Publishing Group on their announcement of their forthcoming open access publication Scientific Reports. Priced at $1,350 US per accepted manuscript and using Creative Commons licensing shows that Nature is finally getting serious about competing in the open access arena. Also of significance is that Nature is providing ethical leadership in this area by contributing support to Creative Commons in the form of $20 per article, as well as supporting broader author's rights than many OA publications by offering two CC license options.

This can be seen as a qualitative sign of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access, as it is clear that the commercial sector is seeing the growth and deciding that open access is where the market is likely to be going. In my opinion, this is also a harbinger of future OA growth, as the reasonable article processing fee is likely to attract greater uptake than many earlier OA experiments by traditional publishers. This is also a welcome sign that some of the traditional quality publishers are likely to have the flexibility to transition to and thrive in the open access environment.

Welcome to Nature's Scientific Reports! Nature is not on the list of Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) members - at least, not yet! Perhaps they are on the waiting list mentioned by OASPA President Caroline Sutton at the ACRL SPARC Forum at ALA Midwinter this weekend?