Two years ago (almost to the day) we called out Blood for their misleading open access options that they offered to Research Council and Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) authors. Unfortunately, little has changed since then:
- Blood continues to demand a $1000 ‘service fee’ to deposit manuscripts in PubMed Central (PMC). Nature, for sake of comparison, will do this for free.
- Their ASH Author Choice option, which costs $2500, offers no form of Creative Commons licence in return.
Neither of these routes is sufficient to comply with either Research Councils’ or COAF’s open access policies which require that the accepted text be made available in PMC within 6 months of publication, or that the published paper is available immediately under a CC BY licence.
At the time, we called on Blood to change their offerings or we would advise Research Councils and COAF funded authors to publish elsewhere. And that’s exactly what’s happened:
Figure 1. All articles published in Blood since 2007 which acknowledge MRC, Wellcome, CRUK or BHF funding. Data obtained from Web of Science.
Over the last two years we’ve seen a dramatic decline in the number of papers being published in Blood by Medical Research Council (MRC), Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and British Heart Foundation (BHF) researchers. The number of papers published in Blood that acknowledge these funders in now at its lowest point in over a decade.
It’s important to remember that the 23 papers published in Blood in 2017 are all non-compliant with the open access policies of Research Councils and COAF, and if these papers acknowledge Wellcome Trust funding then those researchers may also be at risk of losing 10% of their total grant. If you are funded by Research Councils or one of the COAF members, please consider publishing elsewhere. SHERPA/FACT confirms our assessment:
Sign the open letter
We’re still collecting signatures for our open letter to the editor of Blood in the hope that they’ll reconsider their open access options. Please join us by adding your name.