Funding issues

The "article processing charges" for open access shifts the burden of payment from readers to authors, which creates a new set of concerns. The key concern is that if a publisher makes a profit from accepting papers, it has an incentive to accept anything submitted, rather than selecting and rejecting articles based on quality. This could be remedied, however, by charging for the peer-review rather than acceptance.[124] Secondary concerns include factors such as budget processes that may need adjustments to provide funding for the "article processing charges" required to publish in almost all open access journals (e.g. those published by BioMed Central [1]). The main concern is that this may reduce the interest for publishing research results in the lack of sufficient fund, and some discoveries can be lost in time.[125] Unless discounts are available to authors from countries with low incomes or external funding is provided to cover the cost, article processing charges could exclude authors from developing countries or less well-funded research fields from publishing in open access journals. However, under the traditional model, the prohibitive costs of some non-open access journal subscriptions already place a heavy burden on the research community; and if Green OA self-archiving eventually makes subscriptions unsustainable, the cancelled subscription savings can pay the Gold OA publishing costs without the need to divert extra money from research.[126] Moreover, many open access publishers offer discounts or publishing fee waivers to authors from developing countries or those suffering financial hardship. Self-archiving of non-OA publications provides a low cost alternative model.[127] Another concern is the redirection of money by major funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Wellcome Trust from the direct support of research to the support of publication. The Wellcome Trust spends over ?400 million (over US$700 million) a year on biomedical research. Robert Terry, Senior Policy Advisor at the Wellcome Trust, has said that he eels that 12% of their research budget will change from the creation of knowledge to the dissemination of knowledge.[128] This is ?48 million of research a year that is being lost for the cost of publication. In the past, grants from such agencies typically funded only research projects themselves, and the costs of publication were borne by journal subscribers. By adding support for Gold OA charges onto grant funding, these agencies redirect money that would otherwise have supported new research projects, with the result that access to research results greatly increases while the number of projects funded decreases. Some argue that in light of this issue, Green OA self-archiving should come before Gold OA publishing. This fulfills the need for OA. If and when Green OA in turn leads to institutions cancelling subscriptions, making subscriptions unsustainable as the means of covering the costs of publication, then that in turn will induce journals to cut costs and convert to Gold OA publishing. Meanwhile, the subscription cancellations will have released the institutional funds to pay for publishing via Gold OA fees. Outside of science and academia, it is unusual for producers of creative output to be financially compensated on anything other than a pay-for-access model. (Notable exceptions include open source software and public broadcasting.) Successful writers, for example, support themselves by the revenues generated by people purchasing copies of their works; publishing houses are able to finance the publication of new authors based on anticipated revenues from sales of those that are successful. Opponents of open access would argue that without direct financial compensation via pay-for-access, many authors would be unable to afford to write, though some would accept the economic hardship of holding down a day job while continuing to write as a "labor of love". However, this argument has no relevance to academic publishing, because scientific journals do not pay royalties to article authors and researchers are funded by their institutions and funders.

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