Harvard Library is pleased to be among the first university libraries to endorse the Action Plan for Diamond Open Access published last week.
Some open access (OA) journals cover their expenses through author-side fees called article processing charges (APCs), which function as barriers to authors who cannot find funding. Diamond OA journals do not charge APCs, and are as open on the author side as they are the reader side. Because they exclude no authors on economic grounds, they are an essential part of a more inclusive and equitable system of scholarly communication.
As Martha Whitehead wrote in Advancing Open Knowledge (November 2020), "We believe that not all countries are as well represented in the published record as they could be, and greater effort must be made to bring prominence to the full range of global scholarship. For example, we are concerned about publisher oligopolies and models that rely on article processing charges: they exclude authors and institutions who cannot afford those charges, and that burden falls disproportionately on the global south and less affluent institutions in the global north."
According to the Directory of Open Access Journals, the majority of peer-reviewed OA journals are diamond. Nevertheless, universities and libraries still support OA journals primarily by paying APCs.
Harvard Library supports diamond OA journals and the strategies to advance them outlined in this action plan from Science Europe, cOAlition S, OPERAS, and the French National Research Agency. We encourage universities and libraries to give new priority to diamond OA journals, foster their wider use and recognition, and ensure their economic sustainability.