I’ve just been listening to Cambridge mathematician Sir Tim Gowers interview from last night on Radio New Zealand National’s Nights programme. He wrote a blog post which sparked the recent boycott of academic publishing giant Elsevier. Currently 12,541 academics have pledged to either not publish, review for or do editorial work for an Elsevier owned journal. I am one of them.
Since becoming head of my own group, I have pledged to publish all my work open access. This means that any papers on which I am a corresponding author will not be behind a pay wall. I’m not doing too badly so far, mainly because I have been able to rely on the generosity of my collaborators at Imperial College London. In fact, Imperial now has a fund that its staff can apply to for help with open access charges.
But I’ve been in Auckland 3 years now and have about 5 papers that are in various stages of being written. So now comes the time to decide which journals to start submitting the papers to. Without the money I had at Imperial. I’m trying to balance impact factor with open access mandate and article processing charges.
Option 1 would be to go for an open access journal that has an impact factor. My current favourites which would be suitable are:
Option 2 is to try new kid on the block Peer J, an open access journal which is aiming to be like PLOS One. Basically Peer J charges a one off fee per author starting at US$99 to publish with them. PeerJ is also trying to encourage engagement within the community by requiring each paying member to provide one ‘review’ per year. This can be as simple as commenting on an article, or formally reviewing a paper in the normal pre-publication manner.
Option 3 would be to try the new post-publication peer review ‘journals’ like F1000 Research which aims to rapidly publish papers online under an open access model where the articles will hopefully be peer reviewed by the community. They are currently waiving article processing charges for the rest of the year.
I guess I could try submitting a paper to each model and then see which ones will be understood by whatever PBRF-type system we have to assess academic outputs in 6 years time! I’d be keen to hear everyone else’s thoughts on the matter, though.
On another note, I’ve recently started playing with the awesome Utopia Documents, a free pdf reader which searches the internet for content relevant to the paper you are reading. Go watch the demo on the website. It is amazing.