Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A sign of the times? Paying journals to publish your work...

We just received an intersting email from Sage journals, announcing the launch of SAGE Open, "a new open access publication from SAGE. It will publish peer-reviewed, original research and review articles in an interactive, open access format. Articles may span the full spectrum of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities."

The remainder of the announcement blurb promises that this will be the best journal ever, with fast turn-around times on paper reviews, rolling publication (i.e., no submission deadlines), no limits to what can be published, free access for readers, and so on. And then tucked away at the end of five reasons to publish with Sage Open is the following:
$195 introductory author acceptance fee (discounted from the regular price of $695)
 Sooo, typically, one would pay them $695 dollars to publish an article once it's been through Sage's own review process. Interesting times we're living in.

I saw this, too. It coincides with a survey I just took on open publishing and some of the survey questions asked whether I had paid to get published, whether it was a barrier or affected my decision to go with an open journal, etc. Up until the survey, I hadn't even thought that a fee was a possibility (though, admittedly, I haven't been an academic for very long).

I guess the fee covers their costs, which makes sense. For a submitter, it pays for the reputation and peer review. Otherwise, anyone could just self-publish.

There are, however, online journals that don't charge a fee for the article writers... More likely in digital media topics, I think. The general ideology of a lot of digital media scholars aligns well with open access. And the one I published in (Transformative Works and Cultures)is admittedly a new journal that probably doesn't have the clout to charge?

Maybe Sage hopes to give those in other disciplines an option. I'd guess also that some disciplines have a norm of charging submitters.
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