Breakthrough on Open Access

by E Wayne Ross on September 15, 2009

Inside Higher Ed: Breakthrough on Open Access

For years, as more academics have embraced “open access” publishing — in which journals are published online and free — a constant refrain from many publishers has been that the model would deprive them of the revenue they need for high quality editing and peer review. That argument was at the center of a recent report on the economics of journal publishing commissioned by the National Humanities Alliance. That argument was also cited by the Association of American University Presses to oppose federal open access requirements — over the objections of some of its members.

On Monday, five leading universities announced a new “Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity” in which they have pledged to develop systems to pay open access journals for the articles they publish by the institutions’ scholars. In doing so, the institutions are attempting to put to rest the idea that only older publication models (paid and/or print) can support rigorous peer review and quality assurance.