Quality will out 1

January 16, 2004

There is no evidence that open access is censoring publication according to ability to pay (Letters, THES , January 9). As Iain Stevenson admits, the publication fee is being waived when authors cannot afford it.

Open access gives authors from economically poor countries more opportunity than subscription-based publishing to reach the journals they need for their research and to use articles written by authors from outside economically rich countries.

Open-access business models are new and developing. We cannot be sure how the needs of authors from poor countries will be met long term, but all in the open-access movement are determined that the sole publication criterion will be the quality of the article and not the ability to pay.

The Joint Information Systems Committee has issued an invitation to tender for publishers to bid for transition-funding from subscription to open access, the assumption being that the open-access business model will vary from journal to journal.

Frederick Friend
Jisc consultant

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