It is difficult to see why Robert Campbell of Blackwells believes that open access, supported by article charges paid out of research grants, may cost more per article than the subscription system (Letters, May 21). He has publicly presented lower costs for Blackwells than those mentioned by the Wellcome Trust in its report. Campbell argues that authors are reluctant to pay more than $500. But they already pay more than that in the old system: for reprints, colour plates and so on, on top of subscription. Costs are likely to be lower, but the benefits of open access to society are such that they should be considered beyond the narrow economics of cost per article.
Publisher, BioMed Central