12 August 2014

The sticker price on AAAS’s Zune journal

We now have the first look at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s promised open access journal, Science Advances.

Wow, that’s expensive.

They want $3,000 as an article processing fee. I have no idea what services they offer will justify a price that is double that of PLOS ONE and thirty times that of PeerJ.

It’s as if they don’t want it to succeed, as if their publisher thinks that the open access model of scientific publishing is fundamentally flawed...

Update, 13 August 2014: A couple of other journals in the same market as Science Advances (online, open access) have made a couple of interesting announcements today.

eNeuro is specifically soliciting for Negative Results, Failure to Replicate, and Confirmation.” This is important, because replications are difficult to publish, but important.

eLife has just announced “Research advances”, which lets authors publish “significant additions” to their articles that are already out.

I like these. The more journals try these sorts of innovations, the faster they might be able to shake the label of being Zune journals. Will Science Advances try anything this innovative?

And while I’m here, note that a $3,000 sticker price for the default options (less than 10 page article, more restrictive copyright license) makes Science Advances one of the more expensive open access journals. I’ve placed it on the graph seen on this site.

Meanwhile, an open letter started by Jon Tennant to AAAS (I signed) has gotten a write-up on The Scientist.

Update, 14 August 2014: I realized the image of Science Advances cost didn’t show the range of possible expenses, so I updated it. I had to extend the X axis.

Just for the heck of it, I did the same for eNeuro (costs described here):

Still on the high end, but slightly closer to market value than Science Advances.

Related posts

AAAS creates another Zune journal 
Will AAAS get burned in the (scholarly) kitchen?
Opinion: OA Advocates Slam Science Advances

Hat tip to Jon Tennant. 


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

See some of my tweets from earlier today.

Biomedical Science PI said...

Cell Reports is $5,000. Science Advances sounds like a good deal.

Eric Charles said...

Well... presumably they are looking for an open access model that is near the profit margin of their print model. They don't mind giving it away for free, but they do mind losing money. Not the most virtuous position, but perfectly sensible.

Anna Sharman said...

$3000 may be high, but it's not at all unusual. APCs for megajournals (which publish all sound science) are mostly between $1000 and $2000, but selective OA journals generally charge more. For example, PLOS Biol/Med $2900, Genome Biol/Med $2760, mBio $3000. Hybrid journals generally have higher APCs than completely open access journals. So I'm not surprised that AAAS has gone for this level of APC. Whether it is justified is another question.