Open Access Diamond Journals Study Published

I came across this report into a review of Diamond Open Access journals and thought I’d share it here, as the Open Journal of Astrophysics is a “diamond journal”…

A new study of open access journals which are free for readers and authors, known as “diamond journals” has been published. The in-depth report and its recommendations cover diamond journals across the world and provide a better understanding of the open access diamond landscape. Funded by Science Europe and commissioned by cOAlition S, the study represents the […]

Open Access Diamond Journals Study Published

5 Responses to “Open Access Diamond Journals Study Published”

  1. There organisations are new to me. Is this report a promotion, a self-review or an independent assessment?

  2. Paul Stevenson Says:

    I was pleased to support and use SciPost to publish proceedings for a conference we co-organised at Surrey in 2019. It all went very well, and we didn’t have to hike up the conference fee to cover the cost of proceedings as there was no fee. In fact, from the tiny surplus we made from the conference, we were able to donate money to SciPost.

  3. Jonathan Thornburg Says:

    This is a nice endorsement for OJA. But, there’s a broader problem that OJA and other arxiv-overlay journals face that I don’t think has been solved yet, namely, the dependence on arXiv as a single point of failure.

    arXiv is effectively a monopoly, and monopolies are not generally known for good customer service. In particular, right now an author has no effective resource if arXiv misclassifies or rejects their paper, and such a paper is effectively blocked from OJA and other arXiv-overlay journals. I suspect this doesn’t happen very often, but we know from Phillip Helbig’s sad saga that it does happen on occasion, and even an occasional injustice is still a very bad thing for the scientific community.

    [For anyone not familiar with Helbig’s saga, he wrote a cosmology paper (“The flatness problem and the age of the Universe”) and submitted it to astro-ph. For reasons that are unclear to me, arXiv reclassified the paper to either “misc” or “gen-phys” (I forget which), a clearly inappropriate classification for a cosmology paper and one for which the paper wouldn’t appear in the astro-ph “new papers” announcements. Helbig didn’t want it to appear in an inappropriate classification without an astro-ph announcement, so he withdrew the paper from arXiv. The paper was later published by MNRAS. I’ve read the paper (your favorite search engine will quickly find you a copy if you want to see for yourself) and I think it’s fair to say that almost any reader of this blog who reads this paper will conclude that it’s a legitimate (non-spam, non-crackpot, not-libelous, etc) cosmology paper which would reasonably be classified as belonging in astro-ph.]

    What to do to diversify beyond the arXiv single-point-of-failure? It seems to me that it would be healthier for the overall open-access ecosystem if there were multiple preprint repositories in physics broadly analogous to arXiv (vixra doesn’t qualify as “broadly analogous” owing to the very high crackpot-or-worse fraction). This (together with a reasonable level of cross-indexing) would still support overlay journals, while avoiding the monoculture/monopoly
    problems of arXiv.

    • Sometimes monopolies are good, at least if they work, and I would actually like that monopoly to be arXiv, because it offers the advantage that it is (or, rather, could be) a one-stop shop. No-one can be expected to check several different archives daily for new papers. As long as arXiv makes its own rules, those who disagree with them have no widely accepted open-access option. As a result, they publish with journals where the paper is at least still published, often or even usually online (as well). There are reputable journals which cost the author nothing to publish. They are usually supported by subscriptions. Since they accept papers from non-subscribers, there is no pressure to subscribe, and those who do apparently think that it is worth the money, either because they can be sure that the papers the journal hosts are the definitive versions (that is another problem with arXiv) and/or they want to support the journal as a matter or principle. They also allow the author to distribute a free version of the paper, even if the journal itself is not open access.

      If The Open Journal of Astrophysics wants to compete with such journals (maybe it doesn’t), then the simple solution is just offer the option to have the link point to the local copy at the journal’s own website (which is already there anyway), instead of or in addition to arXiv. Or allow the author to specify some public (perhaps institutional) archive. You could even have arXiv as the default. Or allow more than one link (e.g. to arXiv, to an institutional repository, to the author’s website, to the OJA website. ADS also has several links from its abstract to full versions of the paper and that seems to work fine.)

      If I have other options, why would I like to see the OJA improved? One reason is that I like the minimalist concept. Another reason is that my experience with publishing there has been good. Another is that some journals waste too much time in typesetting and formatting.

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