Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Open Access Online Publishing Trend Continues in Academia

PeerJ uses a flat-rate publishing model to entice authors to a lifetime of open access.

A new open access journal, PeerJ, offers medical researchers and life scientists a publishing platform where they pay only once for what is effectively a lifetime publishing pass.

The pass comes in the form of a journal membership, so you can access others’ articles. The most basic plan, for one article a year, is $99 if you pay before you’re published. The article still undergoes peer review before it can be accepted. Members also have to commit to doing at least one peer review per year (which could be an informal comment on an already published paper.) The first 12 authors of an article need to be members, yet this means that the price of publishing just one article—$1,548 for 12 authors if membership is done after submission—is substantially cheaper than the several thousand dollars it would cost under a conventional open-access publishing model such as PLoS ONE. (In fact, co-founder and publisher Peter Binfield ran PLoS ONE before starting PeerJ).

Unlike most literary contributions, scientific publishing is often a “pay to play” system where authors are expected to (ostensibly) help offset publishing costs. This has led to a series of controversies over the past several years, as profit margins of academic journals can be an almost 40 percent margin, much higher than in other content distribution platforms (Amazon is less than 1 percent, for example), yet large journal publishers like Elsevier have been increasing the cost of subscribing for academic institutions.

Some online-only journals like PLoS ONE have gone against this model by offering articles free-for-all, but as a result the authors need to shoulder more of the production costs.

PeerJ is yet another way that the academic publishing model, like its scientific content, is experimenting with new ways of funding the distribution of academic content on the Internet.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

images created by Google Imagen
images created by Google Imagen

The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images

Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. But don't expect to see anything that isn't wholesome.

biomass with Charm mobile unit in background
biomass with Charm mobile unit in background

Inside Charm Industrial’s big bet on corn stalks for carbon removal

The startup used plant matter and bio-oil to sequester thousands of tons of carbon. The question now is how reliable, scalable, and economical this approach will prove.

AGI is just chatter for now concept
AGI is just chatter for now concept

The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it

Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.

Peter Reinhardt
Peter Reinhardt

How Charm Industrial hopes to use crops to cut steel emissions

The startup believes its bio-oil, once converted into syngas, could help clean up the dirtiest industrial sector.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.