Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy [Updated June 22, 2006]   [open pdf - 221KB]

"Controversies about open access publishing and archiving confront issues of copyright and governmental competition with the private sector. Traditional publishers typically charge subscriber fees that fund some of the costs of publishing and distributing hard-copy and/or online journals. In contrast, most open access systems charge authors publication fees and give readers free online access to the full text of published and non-published articles or to bibliographic citations. Supporters of the open access 'movement' cite objections to the rising costs of journal subscriptions; peer reviewers' reluctance to do free reviews for journals rapidly escalating in price; and the belief that scientific collaboration, advancement, and utilization will be hastened by free access to citations and articles. Traditional subscriber-pays commercial publishers and some scholarly associations object to most open access publishing, saying it may duplicate what publishers sell, weaken the publishing industry, and erode profits. Some critics seek to limit free government-run repositories to include only articles and citations from federally sponsored research. Some oppose open access publishers' requirements that charge authors fees in the thousands of dollars to pay the costs of publishing articles. Others say that foundation donations that sustain some open access activities are unreliable."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33023
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