PeerJ – Open access Journal gets started

Open access is still evolving and the bottom-line is finding the revenue model that works. But open access is inevitable and the glory days of the high impact factor, pay-walled journals is coming to an end.   They will not disappear any time soon but history will show that their era was the 20th century and that their decline was the natural consequence of the world-wide-web.

PeerJ provides academics with two Open Access publication venues: PeerJ (a peer-reviewed academic journal) and PeerJ PrePrints (a ‘pre-print server’). Both are focused on the Biological and Medical Sciences, and together they provide an integrated solution for your publishing needs. Submissions open late Summer.

Reuters reports:

The genteel but lucrative world of academic publishing is being stirred up by a dispute over who pays for and who profits from scientific research funded largely by taxpayers.

Scientists’ careers are made, and broken, by the quality and volume of articles describing new discoveries that they publish in top journals like Nature, Science and Cell.

And it’s big business, with the market in academic journals worth about $8 billion a year globally, according to analyst estimates.

A new low-cost scientific journal unveiled on Tuesday with an unusual business model will add to the pressure on publishers like Reed Elsevier and Axel Springer and stoke the debate over free access to research.

The founders of the new journal, called PeerJ, come with a pedigree. Peter Binfield previously worked for PLoS One, the most successful part of the not-for-profit Public Library of Science, which has pioneered open access to scientific papers, and Jason Hoyt comes from the research database group Mendeley.

It is backed by venture capitalist Tim O’Reilly and will publish research in biological and medical sciences using a revenue model based on a one-off payment ranging from $99 to $259 for lifetime membership per researcher, rather than payment per paper or subscription by readers. ……

Supporters of so-called ‘open access’ publishing, including about 12,000 researchers who have joined a boycott of the world’s biggest academic publisher Elsevier, argue the subscription publishers are profiteering.

Open access players charge the researcher but access is free and unrestricted upon publication. ….. 

So, will PeerJ be a commercial success and will it accelerate the shift to open access?

“I think it’s significant,” said Mark Ware, an analyst at research and advisory firm Outsell Inc. “But authors are a pretty conservative bunch, and whether or not they will want to play by these new rules remains to be seen.”

Ware noted that the pricing strategy for PeerJ has a compelling “viral” element. Papers are invariably authored by teams of scientists — and they would all need to be paying members of PeerJ to be published there.

Well, I’ve just signed up and Good Luck to the new venture.

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