In the popular conception, open-access journals generate revenue by charging publication fees. The popular conception turns out to be false. Various studies have explored the extent to which OA journals charge publication fees. The results have been counterintuitive to many, indicating that far fewer OA journals charge publication fees than one might have thought. You can verify this yourself using some software I provide in this post.

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I very occasionally hear expressed a concern about the Harvard open-access policy that it violates some aspect of academic freedom. The argument seems to be that by granting a prior license to Harvard, faculty may be forced to forgo publication in certain venues.  Our rights as scholars to determine the disposition of particular articles would thus be assailed by the policy.

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I assume that readers of the open access discussions on this blog are familiar with the state of play in the area, but just in case, here’s some background.

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Why this blog?

May 22nd, 2009

This blog presents occasional writings on whatever I’m interested in at the moment, which currently includes topics such as:

  • scholarly communications and open access, and other university matters
  • computer science topics of various sorts
  • language, linguistics, and computational linguistics
  • pedagogy and writing

I expect that in the near term, I’ll primarily be commenting on open access issues.

I’ve avoided having a blog until now because in the past I’ve been constitutionally incapable of presenting my thinking in any kind of interim state. This blog is my attempt to change this archaic aspect of my personality, and to provide a venue for writings of a more exploratory or ephemeral nature. Still, I expect many posts will be relatively long as compared to a typical blog, though short compared to a scholarly article and more topical.

I chose the word “pamphlet” to describe these writings, as I was inspired to experiment with this style of writing by the pamphlets of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll). The use of the word “occasional” under both of its first two senses was intentional.

The opinions expressed here are my own. I am not speaking on behalf of Harvard or any of its constituent parts, or on behalf of anyone else for that matter.