PeerJ—A New Model for Open-Access Publishing

Traditional open-access publishers require that authors pay for each accepted for publication in their journals.  Now PeerJ, a biomedical open-access journal that was released on June 12th, offers authors the option to pay a low-rate, lifetime membership that gives them ability to publish a varied number of articles depending on their chosen membership tier.  Nature covered PeerJ’s release in a report by Richard van Noorden in its June 14th issue.   Publisher’s Weekly, The Digital Shift, and also featured articles about PeerJ’s business model.

According to the PeerJ website, the lowest tier costs $129 for authors of accepted articles, which enables the member to publish one article per year.  The highest tier, called the Investigator Plan, costs $349 for authors of accepted articles and offers unlimited publishing.  Even the highest tier is very affordable compared to the $1350 per-article charge for papers accepted to PLoS ONE.  The journal requires that the first dozen authors of a multi-author article obtain a paid PeerJ membership and any additional authors must hold free memberships.

The PeerJ website also states that the first issue of the journal is expected to be published in December 2012. For more information about PeerJ, read the Nature article and check out the FAQs on the PeerJ website.

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