Open Access or not

Very interesting discussion on Twitter today that started after someone said that she was not considering open access (OA) publications as an outlet for her (apparently) top material. Michael Eisen, PLoS co-founder, accused her of hypocrisy and the discussion started. For me at this point is a no-brainer. In Ecology and Evolution (as a discipline, it is also the title of a OA journal, the poor sister of Evolution) after PLoS Biology there is a lack of option of OA journals with high impact factor or rank or credibility. Ecology and Evolution is (basically) the OA option for papers that have been rejected by Evolution (review cascade, yes, sure. We do not want your paper in our prestigious journal, but you can pay $1500 and get it published in our much less relevant journal), PLoS One for papers that have been rejected at least a couple of times by more relevant journals (PNAS, rejected --> Ecology Letters, rejected --> American Naturalist, rejected --> ok I am fed up, let's go PLoS One, accepted. Just ask), EcoSphere is for papers rejected by Ecology, Ecological Applications, Frontiers etc. For sure there are scientists submitting to those OA publications as first option, but the vast majority submit there because they have been rejected between one and multiple times by other journals. For a journal to become relevant takes some time. To build credibility takes some time.

Grant agencies want the Nature, Science, PNAS publications (and higher PLoS journals, sure), they want publications in top disciplinary journals (AmNat, Ecology Letters, Ecology, ARES, Trends in Ecology and Evolution). Look here for the publications of ERC winners, how can that be not clear? Do you see any Ecosphere? PLoS One? Ecology and Evolution? Is it so difficult to understand?

People publish only OA out of an ethical position. I respect that and I am ethically in favor of OA. I'll maybe follow in a few years.

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