Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Tetrahedron article processing fee: overpriced. very.

This post is from a Liblicense message and forms part of a February 2011 discussion revolving around Tetrahedron and Harvard's open access fund.

One point that I have not yet seen in this discussion: is Tetrahedron's article processing fee overpriced? I would argue yes, very.

If Tetrahedron is charging $3,000 per article, while the American Physical Society is charging $1,500 for their new OA journal Physical Review X, and Nature is charging $1,350 for their forthcoming OA journal Scientific Reports, and both Springer and Wiley have announced competitive lower prices on their new OA journal suites (compared to their hybrid journal prices), then perhaps Tetrahedron has priced themselves out of the emerging OA market - which in the long run does not bode well either for Tetrahedron or its publisher.

I would recommend that Harvard researchers take advantage of the opportunity to self-archive Tetrahedron articles in DASH, and NOT consider paying the Tetrahedron APF, on the grounds that the cost is excessive.

To speculate a little: is it possible that this trend toward more affordable article processing fees is an early indication of the success of COPE (Compact on Open Access Publishing Equity)? Restricting COPE funding to fully OA journals appears (to me) to be helping to inspire the creation of new affordable OA journals. In the long run, this is what will create the new, affordable OA system of which Darnton speaks.

Some of the present players in the scholarly publishing system are obviously leading in the transition, while (not too surprisingly) some may be lagging behind.