Thank you again OUP – other publishers take note

I am delighted to report that OUP has responded rapidly to my concern about charging for Author-pays Open Access papers which are intended to be free to read and free to re-use non-commercially for all:

  1. Kirsty Luff Says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 3:13 pm eDear Professor Murray-RustIn response to the comments raised on your blog today regarding Oxford Journals and Ingenta, we can confirm that steps have been taken to ensure that all content from Nucleic Acids Research and also open access content from journals published under the hybrid author pays model (Oxford Open) is freely accessible via Ingenta. Furthermore, Oxford Journals is currently liaising with other individual article suppliers to ensure that OA articles that use the Creative Commons Licence are freely available from all sites/platforms.
    Kind regards
    Kirsty Luff
    Senior Communications and Marketing Manager
    Oxford Journals

PMR: Good to have the rapid response and the promise of remedial action. There are still a number of outstanding points:

  • How much money did Ingenta (and others) receive for selling free articles?
  • What are they going to do with the money?
  • Why is this “oversight” endemic in non-OA publishers? (I have found this in Springer and ACS as well and I haven’t stopped looking)

PMR: How much damage has this done to the reputation of the toll-access publishing community? It claims “high quality”, “responsible preservation”, the “private sector” is the appropriate place for maintenance of the scholarly record. Yet it cannot manage the simple task of differential access to sites.
From now on I shall assume that all major science publishers are aware of this blog and therefore aware of this problem. I expect them to check that their PAID “open access” does proper justice to the concept. Anything less is a mixture of deceit, arrogance, cynicism, incompetence, or business-driven non-compliance. Any single one of these makes a publisher unfit to be the paid guardian of science. At present the ACS has failed to meet my criteria.
PS – I don’t ENJOY doing this –  I’d rather write code. If anyone – like Steve Bachrach has – wants to help it’s easy:

  • find a publisher who offers some form of paid open/free access
  • find a paper offered under such a scheme (very rare in some publishers)
  • see if it is possible to find access controls to read the paper
  • report it

… and let me write about it.

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One Response to Thank you again OUP – other publishers take note

  1. Alethea says:

    I’m pretty certain that OA-labeled articles in PNAS are publicly accessible from search engines. But I certainly have run into the same thing you have, from the links at PubMed to something designated as OA but blocked by the publisher’s portal. (I’ll keep my eye out from now on and not only give you a concrete example, but write to the publisher in outrage as you did.)
    There is a well-written editorial, if a little old, by Nick Cozzarelli here:
    and it reminds me that, while I will support PLoS by both reading, submitting and commenting on PLoS One articles, I do agree that the PNAS model is indeed truly OA despite the injunction on non-commercial use unless explicit permission has been obtained.
    Anyhow, I’ve timidly taken up the torch on my blog (linked above in my name, probably), as has Richard Grant on his

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