In what appears to be a new policy, the American Psychological Association will require authors who publish in its journals to let it deposit their papers in open-access repositories — and it will charge them $2,500 to do so.
Researchers who have grants from the National Institutes of Health must deposit their published articles in the institutes’ online archive, PubMed Central. Last week the journal Nature and many of its offshoots announced that they would deposit their authors’ articles for them. Free.
Now the psychological association says that its authors “should NOT deposit” their own manuscripts, and instead should allow the group to do so. “The deposit fee of $2,500 per manuscript for 2008 will be billed to the author’s university,” the policy says.
Because the NIH does not charge a fee, that money is apparently going to the psychological association.
Open-access advocates like Peter Suber, a research professor of philosophy at Earlham College, expressed outrage. “It’s as bad as it looks,” he told The Chronicle. “This is not a good use of anybody’s money.” Depositing an article in PubMed Central, he said, is a “clerical job that can be done by a machine.”
The psychological association did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Chronicle. —Lila Guterman