The OSTP’s recently announced move to a zero-embargo open access policy for all federally funded research gives new urgency to the question of how best to fund the systems of academic peer review and publication. Charging authors a fee for publication (an “article processing charge”) is the approach favored by commercial publishers, and has been scaled up in the form of “transformative agreements” struck by large research institutions like the University of California and many national research library networks in Europe.

The open access community has generally turned sour on the APC approach, however, and this new essay by Juan Pablo Alperin helps explain why. The core issue is equity: in a world where authors and their institutions must pay to publish, the rich will inevitably have more access to the benefits of scholarly publication, and the less-well-off will suffer. The world, in turn, will suffer from the loss of their contributions to science. Read Alperin’s full essay: Why I think ending article-processing charges will save open access