September 2, 2013
Gold Open Access as a publishing model requires funds. As the reader of the journal article has a free access to the content, someone has to cover the costs of publishing process. In this model it is commonly understood – the authors pay. To be published they need to cover APCs. However, it does not mean that they have to dig in their own pockets.
Many authors, as far as publishing in Gold OA is concerned, are worried that they will have to bear the costs of publishing. It is hardly surprising, especially so, given, that this model is based on APCs which are covered by researchers and can prove really pricey. This might discourage researchers from publishing in Gold OA.
Well, the outlook for the researchers is not that bleak! Right now Open Access is viewed as a new paradigm for the development of science and as a movement AND model it seems to be gaining a momentum. Numerous research institutions and universities worldwide offer special funds for publishing in OA, and governments and international organizations follow the suit, by introducing mandatory policies for publishing in this model. To cut a long story short: money has finally appeared in the system. The funds are scarce but they are there. It is worth to look for funds. Just where to find them?
The answer for this question is sometimes very simple. If you are considering publishing in Gold OA it is worth to check, if your alma mater offers funds for these purposes. As I mentioned, research institutions and universities have extra money for this. For example – Genome Canada or Wellcome Trust. Wellcome Trust is the independent research-funding charity which introduced its own OA policy offering grants with additional funding for Open Access charges.
But research institutions are just one of the sources. The most obvious place where you can source the funds are universities offering programs for scientists. Currently, there are several hundred universities which introduced an OA policy. The list can be found on the ROARMAP. The list may be incomplete and not all of these institutions will have active programs for OA, Below you will find a list of universities which have recently introduced OA policy or open a funds for publishing in Open Access:
I realize, the battle to obtain the funds may be hurdled by many obstacles and truth is, sometimes it may be virtually impossible to get the money. Does it mean that you will have to give up the plan to publish in Gold OA? Not necessarily. Although the formidable acronym ‘APC’ is often associated with vast sums, this connotation can be misleading. More and more publishers offer special promotions for authors, giving low APCs not exceeding $ 100, or even waiving these charges altogether. It all depends on the offer. For example, mega-journal PeerJ offers subscription model where for $ 99 you can publish one article per year.
Institutions, universities and special programs of publishers are not the only means of gaining funds for publishing. Internet and internet community are powerful tools which can’t be underrated. For example, authors can try to raise funds using internet crowdfunding. This method is currently becoming extremely popular. There is a variety of projects enabling researchers to raise funds for their research and publication. It is the interested users who support the idea of a given project (publication) and come up with small donations. In this method the most important thing is the scale of interest in the project. The greater interest – the more generous donations. And if the numbers add – a researcher will be able to collect the sufficient amount of money. An example of such a service is Microryza.
Microryza is a crowdfunding platform for research. Individuals pool their money until the funding goal is reached. The users who make contributions will gain access to the updates and progress from the lab and will have a chance to interact directly with researchers. At the end, they will receive the access to the research results. A notable example is the partnership between De Gruyter and Unglue.it . This interesting cooperation attempts to give users the opportunity to contribute whatever amount they choose to a selected title. De Gruyter will be offering 100 titles from its e-edition series at the crowdfunding platform Unglue.it. Each title that raises 2,100 dollars at the site will be made available worldwide as an open access content. The titles include books published between 1958 and 2003, which can no longer be ordered or are out of print.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to gain and raise the funds for publishing in Open Access journals or books. I’m pretty sure that I did not mention even a fraction of them. However, the conclusion is an obvious one: Despite the fact that the funds for publishing in Gold OA are limited and insufficient, there are a lot of sources and methods for open access funding. And there are bound to more. I am sure. Open Access is to stay.