The Cost of Imaging Neuroscience


Last year I wrote a piece about the resignation of the entire Editorial Board of an Elsevier journal. The main reason for this action was `extreme’ Article Processing Charges imposed by the publisher for so-called Gold Open Access to the papers. As I wrote then

This current system of ‘Gold’ Open Access is a scam, and it’s a terrible shame we have ended up having it foisted upon us. Fortunately, being forced to pay APCs of many thousands of euros to publish their papers, researchers are at last starting to realize that they are being ripped off. Recently, the entire Editorial Board of Neuroimage and its sister journal Neuroimage: Reports resigned in protest at the `extreme’ APC levels imposed by the publisher, Elsevier. I’m sure other academics will follow this example, as it becomes more and more obvious that the current arrangements are unsustainable. Previously the profits of the big publishers were hidden in library budgets. Now they are hitting researchers and their grants directly, as authors now have to pay, and people who previously hadn’t thought much about the absurdity of it all are now realizing what a racket academic publishing really is.

Well, the new journal founded by former Editorial Board of Neuroimage and Neuroimage: Reports has now appeared. It’s called Imaging Neuroscience and its rather website can be found here.

Good news, you would think.

But no…

Imaging Neuroscience is itself a Gold Open Access journal which charges an APC of $1600 per paper. That’s about half the Elsevier were charging ($3,450) but is still far too high. It simply does not cost this much to publish papers online! (There’s a paper that gives a summary of the commercial costs of different aspects of publishing here.) The journal claims to be non-profit making so I’d love to see what they are spending this money on. It can’t be on their website, which is very rudimentary.

It seems that the neuroscientists concerned have just decided to replace Elsevier’s absurd APCs with their own absurd APCs. Oh dear. And they seemed so close to getting it…

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