Open access jeopardises academic publishers, Reed chief warns

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 1 December 2004



(2004), "Open access jeopardises academic publishers, Reed chief warns", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 32 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Open access jeopardises academic publishers, Reed chief warns

Open access jeopardises academic publishers, Reed chief warns

The rise of open access publishing of scientific research could jeopardise the entire academic publishing industry, according to the chief executive of Reed Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of scientific journals.

Writing in the company’s in-house “Review newsletter”, Sir Crispin Davis warned that asking researchers to pay for their work to be published but then making it freely available on the Internet “could jeopardise the stable, scalable and affordable system of publishing that currently exists”.

The open access movement has been gathering strength over the last few months and is due to receive a further boost this week. The UK’s higher education IT body, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), is about to announce that it is offering a second series of grants to institutions, publishers and scientific societies who want to use the open access model.

Earlier this year JISC provided £150,000 of seed money to institutions including the Institute of Physics Publishing, the Journal of Experimental Botany at Lancaster University, the International Union of Crystallography and the US-based Public Library of Science (PLoS). JISC is offering a further £150,000 and will be accepting proposals for consideration until the early autumn.

Reed has, however, made some concessions towards the open access movement. Alongside the rise of open access publishers, such as BioMed Central and PLoS, some academics are pushing for the right to place copies of articles they write for subscription journals on their own web sites. Reed has changed its copyright rules to allow self-archiving in this way.

Richard Wray, The Guardian, 30 June 2004.

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