Don’t fall into the trap: this is not Open Access!

They call it Open choice, OnlineOpen, Universal Access, Author choice, Author solution

Starting in 2003, confronted by the range and scope taken by the Open Access movement, numerous publishers have decided to jump on the OA bandwagon by offering their authors the hybrid model. But this model (not to be confused with the reverse model) is especially pernicious. Behind the pro Open Access image the publishers wish to project hides a genuine swindle!

The principle of the hybrid model is to ask the researchers for the payment of a certain sum (often several thousand Euros) so that their articles can be made available on open access on the publisher’s website. At the same time the publisher continues to have the journals in which these articles are published paid for.

As the Rector Bernard Rentier (University of Liège) states in his post on July 16, 2012, ‘the intermediate and hybrid proposal by which the Universities pay to read AND to publish is quite simply disastrous for our budgets and reduces the proportion of our financial resources which are directly attributed for research.’

If to this are added the sumptuous profits made by major academic and scientific publishers, then there is much to give pause for thought and react to.

Besides the purely financial aspects, certain publishers also hijack OA in using tactics to ‘seduce’ the researcher which are doubtful to say the least:

  • inexistent or summary peer reviewing,
  • no detection of plagiarism,
  • a link between article acceptance rates and royalties paid…

Jeffrey Beal, in 2 recent articles published in the Scientist and Nature, offers a hard hitting summary of these practices and on his blog draws up an updated list of these ‘predatory publishers‘.

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