PeerJ and Why Giraffes Have Short Necks

Sometimes in life you need a new perspective. In the entirety of my existence, I've always thought of giraffes as having long necks, and I bet many of you did too. But then PeerJ went live today and suddenly my view of giraffes changed.  Instead of long necks, they're more of a medium neck creature. You see, today I discovered that sauropod dinosaurs had necks 15 meters in length or 6x longer than the world record for giraffes.** And as an aside, I learned what anatomic features enabled them to have such long necks.

And it's not just my perspective on neck length that changed today, it's my perspective on open-access publishing.  Until today, if you wanted to publish in an open-access journal, it would be a high-cost affair. For example, publishing in BMC-Infectious Diseases might cost you $2055/article and publishing in PLoS One might cost you $1350/article. Starting today, you can publish your hard-earned research findings in an open-access, advertising free peer-reviewed journal for .... $99.  And that one-time only $99 "membership" will allow you to publish one article a year.  Of course there's a slight catch. Each author has to pay the $99, so if you have 5 authors, it'll cost you $495. If you usually publish with the same author group, that will be a one-time cost.

We've written frequently about the benefits of open-access publishing including increased readership of your papers and the societal benefits of free access to research findings for our tax-paying funders (thank you tax payers!). There are many perceived barriers to open-access, particularly legacy promotion/tenure committees at universities, but these can be overcome. One real barrier has always been cost, but at $99 or even $495 that barrier is slowly going away. What a nice change in perspective!

For more info see Mike Taylor's post in the Guardian Feb 12, 2013

Image source: wikipedia

COI acknowledgement: I'm an Academic Editor at PeerJ (as is Dan). I'm also a section editor at the open-access journal Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, and was recently named Section Editor for SHEA's journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

**Yes, I've seen a sauropod skeleton before but I've never thought of giraffes as having short necks. It's the juxtaposition that was refreshing, like open-access next to $99.


  1. I really like this business model, and I hope it puts pressure on the highly overpriced BMC model.


Post a Comment

Thanks for submitting your comment to the Controversies blog. To reduce spam, all comments will be reviewed by the blog moderator prior to publishing. However, all legitimate comments will be published, whether they agree with or oppose the content of the post.

Most Read Posts (Last 30 Days)