The journal Information and Computation has announced that
for one year, effective immediately, online access to all journal issues back to 1995 will be available without charge. This includes unrestricted downloading of articles in pdf format.
Retrieval traffic during the open access period will be considered as future subscription policies are formulated.
Journal articles may be obtained on Elsevier's Sciencedirect at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/08905401
This is obviously not the first journal to adopt an open access policy, experimentally or permanently, but is it the first one published by Elsevier to do it via Elsevier's site?
Elsevier is by no means the only publisher to have been put into the role of King George by rebellious journal editors, but I've quoted these example's from Suber's list to indicate one of the sources of pressure that may have led to a change in policy at Elsevier specifically.
Suber's blog also quotes from a recent article by Robert Kiley, Head of Systems Strategy for the Wellcome Trust, annnouncing that
...from 1 October 2005, all new grant recipients will be required to deposit in PMC [PubMed Central -- myl], or a UK equivalent, any papers arising from Trust-funded research. This condition will be extended to all existing grant holders from October 2006. All papers deposited with PMC will be made freely available to the public, via the Web, within 6 months of the official date of final publication.
Kiley goes on to write that
Ultimately, for the benefits of open access to be fully realised, we need to win over the hearts and minds of those who actually do the research and write the papers – the scientists and researchers. For this group, the key drive behind publishing is a desire for their research to be read and cited. To misquote President Clinton ‘it’s about impact, stupid’. Fortunately for advocates of open access, research1 is starting to show that open-access articles were cited between 50–300% more often than non-open access articles from the same journal and year....The developments announced by the Wellcome Trust over the past couple of months – coupled with the public access initiatives at the US National Institutes of Health and the recent announcement from Research Councils UK (RCUK) in support of open access – all suggest that we are witnessing a sea-change in the way research findings will be disseminated and made accessible in the future.
Are there any language-related journals that have moved in this direction? DOAJ lists 37 open-access journals in the subject area of linguistics, but these don't include the titles that I for one would like to see there.
Related Language Log posts:
Costs and business models in scientific research publishing (5/11/2004)
More on scientific and scholarly publishing (6/14/2004)
A small rant (6/30/2004)
The status quo just can't stand (7/31/2004)
Abusive publisher of the month (8/25/2004)
Open access again (8/31/2004)
Some open access advice for Michael Silverstein (9/1/2004)
Prickly paradigms under a bushel? (9/3/2004)
Pamphleteering, old and new (9/3/2004)
You couldn't have a starker contrast (9/17/2004)
Prairie dog talk (12/8/2004)
Blogs disgoogled? (2/23/2005)
Raising standards -- by lowering them (3/7/2005)
[Update 8/15/2005: Vincent Arnaud points out by email that there is a larger list of open-access journals, " maintained by Jan Szczepanski, a librarian at Sweden's Goteborg University", with a copy posted by Peter Suber here. This list includes more than 170 OA language-related journals (search for "LINGVISTIK"). However, I'll repeat my observation that most of the titles I'd like to see there are missing. ]Posted by Mark Liberman at August 13, 2005 10:45 AM