Open Access and scholarly publishing


Peter S Gregory and Robert Parker. Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, CB4 0WF Cambridge, United Kingdom
Regular science publishing started with the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions nearly 400 years ago. Today, many of the world's leading scientific societies have publishing operations and many of the best known science journals are published by societies. Societies have a commitment to the dissemination of science, the maintenance of ethical and scientific standards, and the need to guarantee the scientific record, but many societies also rely on the surpluses generated by their publishing operations to fund these and other charitable activities. Do open-access models provide a boost to the activities of societies or do they gnaw away at the very fibre of science?