Here's another article uncritically repeating a common cluster of false assumptions:

1. Assumption: All or most OA journals charge author-side fees.

False: 70% of peer-reviewed OA journals charge no author-side fees. About 50% of articles published in OA journals are published in the no-fee variety.

2. Assumption: All or most subscription journals avoid charging author-side fees.

False: 75% of subscription journals do charge author-side fees, not as APCs but as page and color charges.

My number is from a 2005 ALPSP study. I'd gladly update it, but I haven't seen more recent data.

3. Assumption: Fee-based journals don't erect editorial firewalls to protect against corruption. (Among other things, an editorial firewall insures that peer-review editors don't know whether a given author would pay a fee or receive a fee waiver.)

Hasty: Some do and some don't erect editorial firewalls. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone has published data on the ratio.

4. Assumption: If the possibility of fee-based corruption casts suspicion on the integrity of fee-based journals, then it would cast suspicion on more OA journals than non-OA journals.

False: On the contrary, if we assume no editorial firewalls at fee-based journals, then this business model would cast suspicion on 75% of non-OA journals and only 30% of OA journals (or 50% of OA journal articles).

By all means criticize those journals at risk of corruption, and those that are actually corrupt. I join that criticism. But if the suspicion arises from a business model charging author-side fees, then first get the facts on how many OA journals are inside the zone of suspicion (a minority) and how many subscription or non-OA journals are in there with them (a majority).

#oa #openaccess #journals
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