Despite concerns, Open-Access Journals Flourish

Randy Dotinga in Wired:

Despite concerns about the ethics of pay-for-play publishing, the number of open-access academic and medical journals is growing at a fast clip.

In January, an open-access pioneer announced it would more than double the number of journals it offers. Meanwhile, Blackwell Publishing, the world’s largest publisher of academic society journals, is dipping its toes into open access, and the number of free journals has grown by about 300 over the last few months…

Not everyone is thrilled, however. With some exceptions, journals have done things the old-fashioned way — charging for subscriptions and accepting advertising — for as long as anyone can remember. Many of the biggest names in the journal industry are sticking with the traditional model, and some of their editors say they have major doubts about their new competitors, especially considering the financial pressures they face to stay afloat.

More here.