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This morning I sent the following message to the heads of the NSF and the ERC.

As Don Quixotian as this manifesto may be, it is in fact simple, sets incentives right, and requires little coordination among the two largest research funding agencies.

Dear Professors Cordova and Ferrari,

We are all aware of the escalation in journal publication costs for researchers, reaching thousands of dollars per article in  e.g. leading life sciences journals, and at the other extreme the phenomenon of completely fake journals, that publish un-refereed papers for huge fees.  This is public money going to private gate-keepers who provide little or even negative added value.


A relatively simple joint policy by the NSF and the ERC may overturn this situation:


1) Announce that as of 2.2.22, NSF and ERC grants will be awarded only to researchers all of whose journal publications as of that date appear in journals which are (i) open access, and (ii)  charge at most $100 for submission+publication;  in grant applications, researchers’ CVs will be required to mention explicitly, next to each publication, the publication cost.


2) In view of this new policy, encourage entire editorial boards of all scientific journals to migrate to one of the open and free journal systems  (e.g. OJS), and to re-establish there their journal under the name “The New Journal/Review of…”, respectively.  The NSF and the ERC may finance a small team to facilitate the technical transition of editorial boards.


Aviad Heifetz


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