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Open access, or not?

11 May 2023

Dear Editors,

The article The Society’s journey towards Open Access publishing (Simmons & Strachan, Geoscientist 33 (1), 14-16, 2023) was useful. I’m retired from a career in consultancy, and not affiliated to any academic institution.  Retirement is an opportunity to write up for publication some of the work I have done and, when needed, I will use the Society’s library service to access references.

It’s always good to find that a reference is available online for free. But, of course, Open Access means that someone else has paid an Article Processing Charge, typically in the range £1,000-2,000 per article.  This may not be that much for an institution that is saving on library subscription fees, but it is a lot for a private individual.  £1,000 would buy me a lot of off-prints via the library.

So can I please make a case for continued free publication in some circumstances, even if this is via waivers?

John Heathcote

Dr John Heathcote is an expert on hydrogeology and radioactively contaminated land, and was previously employed by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd.


The Society replies: The Society offers a variety of discounts and waivers on the article processing charge for its open access books and journals. Full details, including on eligibility, are available at: www.geolsoc.org.uk/open-access. Currently, the majority of Society journals and books continue to provide non-open access routes to publication at no cost to the author.

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