EXiS Open Choice

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The Royal Society has launched a trial of an open-access service for all of its seven journals. This will allow people to read new scientific papers, free of charge, immediately after they are published on the web – if the author pays a fee.

Currently, all papers appearing in Royal Society journals can be accessed by subscribers immediately on publication, and to everybody free of charge 12 months after the publication date. Scientists in a number of developing countries can also access all papers immediately after publication in Royal Society journals for a nominal fee under the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERI) operated by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP).

The open-access service, called EXiS Open Choice, is being tested by the Royal Society to see if it provides a viable way of sustaining the costs of peer review and other aspects of journal production. Authors who choose to pay to make their papers immediately available on the web will be charged a full cost of £300 per A4 page, although the Society will initially be offering a discounted rate of £225 per A4 page to encourage authors to use the service.

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