The elite Nature family of journals, including the flagship Nature, today announced it is taking the plunge into open access in scientific publishing. The journals will become among the first highly selective titles to allow any author to pay a publishing fee to make articles immediately free to read when published. Such open-access arrangements are being required by some European funders and foundations that seek to eliminate subscription paywalls in order to speed the flow of scientific information.
Nature’s author fee, €9500, is thought to be the highest of any journal. But the Nature Research publishing group says it is necessary to cover the costs of the full-time editors and others who produce Nature and its 32 other primary research journals.
The Nature group also announced a trial of a lower cost open-access option: when authors submit a manuscript to one of three journals—Nature Genetics, Nature Methods, and Nature Physics—they could pay €4790 or less per paper for open access, if they agree to participate in a process called “guided review.” In that process, if editors of the three journals and colleagues decide a manuscript is worthy enough to send out for peer review, they will ask authors to pay an initial fee of €2190 to cover review costs and then pay an additional fee if the paper is accepted.