Five universities — Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, and the U. of California at Berkeley — are participating in what is termed the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity. This is an agreement by the five institutions to pay reasonable publication charges for articles written by their faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals when other funding sources are not available. From Cornell University’s 15 September, 2009 announcement:
Cornell University Library and the Office of the Provost are contributing $25,000 each for a pilot program to pay publication fees in open-access journals for Cornell faculty, researchers, staff and students.
Most scholars receive no compensation for research papers they contribute to journals. But high subscription costs that pay for peer review management, editorial services and production can limit access to research. The current shift from the traditional print model of scholarly information dissemination to low-cost digital distribution has the potential to remove all access barriers to research.
“Open-access journals are scholarly journals that are available online to the reader without financial, legal or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the Internet itself,” said John Saylor, associate university librarian for scholarly resources and special collections. “Successful, highly regarded open-access publishers include BioMed Central and Public Library of Science, and there are more every day.”
To pay for their operating expenses, open-access journals look to sources of income other than subscriptions, such as foundation support, subventions, in-kind support and, increasingly, publication and submission fees (often called author fees). . . .
The Cornell Open-Access Publication (COAP) Fund will underwrite processing fees for scholarly peer-reviewed articles in open-access journals for which funds are not otherwise available. Cornell faculty, postdoctoral researchers, staff or student authors can apply for COAP funding of up to $3,000.