In a new strategy for scientific journals wanting to make access to their contents free but needing a way to pay for their operations, the Journal of Experimental Botany announced today that it would make research papers freely available online if the authors’ institutions subscribed to the journal. Other authors who would like their papers made free will pay $2,800. A yearly subscription to the journal, which is published by Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford University Press, costs $1,469.
Peter Suber, an advocate of open-access publishing, said he knew of no other journals using such a strategy, which should both pay for open access and encourage institutions to subscribe. But some other journals reduce the open-access fee for subscribers, he pointed out on his Open Access News blog, and one association — the American Society of Plant Biologists — waives the fee for its members to publish in its journal. —Lila Guterman