Freely available and still profitable?

February 8th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney

Despite the heated rhetoric over open-access (OA), some journal publishers have been quietly finding ways to reconcile OA with profit-making. The American Society for Cell Biology is one of those publishers. Gary Ward, treasurer of the organization, discusses this point in a recent blog post on The Chronicle’s Web site, contesting the common misconception that open access undermines business models and lacks an economic incentive.

From the post:

“Scientific journals can be made freely available to the public and still make money […]. For the past six years, the society has made reports published in its monthly research journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell, available online to nonsubscribers two months after publication. The journal has not only remained financially sound but also continues to generate profits while following an open-access model, the society reports.”

Ward’s stance comes in the wake of a recent article in Nature, exposing the plan of a group of for-profit publishers to hire “PR pit bull” Eric Dezenhall to take on open-access. For our blog post on the article, click here.

To read more about the ASCB’s argument for open-access, click here.

(Thanks to Peter Suber for posting this.)

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