Yesterday, we had a meeting of Faculty Council for the Arts (I have to go as chair of our undergrad studies committee). This poor librarian starts us off with a 15-minute presentation about open access publishing, and it was excellent: all the global justice and other reasons for opting, if one can, for open access. Then she finishes, and this guy lights into her like I haven’t seen. So he goes on and she asks, “Can you tell me what you think is wrong with open access?” And he says, “One word: crud.” And then he says something about it being “pay to publish.” Then our new dean pipes up and said she had “no idea” open access publishing included peer review.
So it was left to me to explain this thing called the internet and how Society and Space does as much open access as possible and how peer review works, such as, for example, in our department-based open-access journal Analectica Hermeneutica. I prefer publishing open access myself–I get much more feedback–and I have yet to pay to publish. But I share this only because I didn’t realize that this was a widely-held view that open-access = vanity press. And that some old guard is quite visceral in their anger over it.