Author Choice in Chemistry at ACS – and elsewhere?
A number of closed access journals/publishers have brought out “Author Choice” and similar approaches where authors pay publishers for “open access”. The details probably varies from publisher to publisher and I have been idly looking for examples in chemistry.
It is actually extremely difficult to to find articles on the basis of their access rights and you might think that I am weird to take this approach – surely the content is more important than the metadata? But I am interested in material that my robots can do exciting things with and I will take just about anything – chemistry is a desert for open text-mining (BJOC and Chemistry Central and a few others excepted)
I have found the first example of this in Chemistry, alerted – of course – by the blogosphere – in this case The ChemBlog
. The post casually announces JACs ASAP AUTHOR CHOICE
which points to a graphical abstract. The abstract links to a further fuller abstract, the HTML and the PDF. It also announces that this is an author choice paper and links to:
ACS AuthorChoiceArticles bearing the ACS AuthorChoice logo have been made freely available to the general public through the ACS AuthorChoice option.
The ACS AuthorChoice option establishes a fee-based mechanism for individual authors or their research funding agencies to sponsor the open availability of their articles on the Web at the time of online publication. Under this policy, the ACS as copyright holder will enable unrestricted Web access to a contributing author’s publication from the Society’s website, in exchange for a fixed payment from the sponsoring author. ACS AuthorChoice also enables such authors to post electronic copies of published articles on their own personal websites and institutional repositories for non-commercial scholarly purposes.
and in further information:
The American Chemical Society’s Publications Division is pleased to announce an important new publishing option in support of the Society’s journal authors who wish or need to sponsor open access to their published research articles. The ACS AuthorChoice option establishes a fee-based mechanism for individual authors or their research funding agencies to sponsor the open availability of their articles on the Web at the time of online publication. Under this new policy, to be implemented later this Fall [2006, PMR], the ACS as copyright holder will enable unrestricted Web access to a contributing author’s publication from the Society’s website, in exchange for a fixed payment from the sponsoring author. ACS AuthorChoice will also enable such authors to post electronic copies of published articles on their own personal websites and institutional repositories for non-commercial scholarly purposes.
The base fee for the ACS AuthorChoice option will be set at $3,000 during 2006-2007, with significant discounts applied for contributing authors who are members of the American Chemical Society and/or who are affiliated with an ACS subscribing institution. The fee structure will be as follows:
$3,000: Base Fee (authors who are neither ACS members nor affiliated with an ACS subscribing institution)
I first went to the abstract
J. Am. Chem. Soc., ASAP Article 10.1021/ja070003c S0002-7863(07)00003-0
Web Release Date: June 22, 2007
Copyright © 2007 American Chemical Society
A Red Cy3-Based Biarsenical Fluorescent Probe Targeted to a Complementary Binding Peptide
Haishi Cao, Yijia Xiong, Ting Wang, Baowei Chen, Thomas C. Squier, and M. Uljana Mayer*
Cell Biology and Biochemistry Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352
Received January 1, 2007
We have synthesized a red …peptide motifs.
[Full text in html]
[Full text in pdf]
There are several aspects of this:
- The abstract (and the full text) is copyright ACS.
- There is no mention in the abstract that this is an Author Choice publication
- or in the HTML or PDF full text
- the material cannot be used for commercial purposes
- The link from the abstract to the HTML links to the access toll-access login – i.e. this link is closed.
- as is the PDF
Indeed I thought the whole paper was closed until I realised that the Open Access was possible only though the graphical abstract. (To be fair this is what the DOI – at present – points to so the open access version would be found in Google through the DOI). I cannot see any reason why the full abstract should only point to closed versions of the paper. Indeed I cannot see any reason why there are closed versions of the paper at all.
I hope this is an oversight rather than deliberate. I know and respect people at ACS and I know they read these messages. But the value that they have offered to the authors – who may have paid 3000USD – seems minimal. They have insisted that the authors donate their intellectual property to the ACS, advertised the Openness of the article only in one place (and not in the article), restricted the use of the article (copyright probably restricts my holding the article on my machine for serious computation). It is not in the spirit or letter of the Budapest Declaration.
I have seen very little evidence of “Open Choice” and other schemes having any impact in chemistry. Technically the publishers can claim that they offer “Green” Open Access for a fee. I suspect – though I don’t know – that other commercial publishers of chemistry such as Springer and Wiley have similar low uptakes of the schemes. I have no idea whether this worries them – they get the subscription income anyway. Certainly I don’t get the impression that they intend to change the publishing model this way. I have written to Springer asking for details on openness of data in their Open Choice policy and what the take-up is in chemistry but haven’t heard back – maybe this blog will elicit a response. And, indeed, I’d be delighted to hear from any other closed access publishers – they will get a considered response.
Although I support OpenAccess my energies are in Open Data, so I remain fairly quiet on the mechanisms and business models whereby OA may be achieved. The level of OA offered by these mechanisms is totally unsatisfactory for the modern semantic world. (That’s why I am turning to theses).
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