Ocean Science aims to be one of the leaders in the modern generation of "Open Access" or free-to web journals. Much of the literature about such journals is available on the web and links to many of the main sources are given below. One of the aims of open access publishing is to make scientific developments available to people, rich or poor, all over the world as cheaply as possible. This aim underlies many of the initiatives and statements, such as those of Budapest, Berlin and Bethesda.
A second, related, aim is to use computer developments and the web to push down the cost of scientific publication. This is a topic discussed in publications from the Wellcome Trust and the House of Commons Committee in the UK. In each case they are concerned by the power of existing publishers to control the market and the reluctance of scientists to move to Open Access Publishing.
One concern of the scientists is that the new journals might have a lower scientific standard than traditional ones and that their important "citation index" is low. However Nature (2001) reported that on-line journals were soon obtaining high citation scores and that is the experience of the EGU.
Open Access also allows us to introduce new systems of submission and reviewing. There are concerns about the effectiveness of the present review system - the reviewers lack of experience in some key area maybe allowing publication of papers with significant errors. There have also been concerns that referees have sat on papers so that publication is delayed and authors have lost priority of publication.
To tackle these problems, Ocean Science is using the two-stage publication scheme developed by Copernicus Publications and the European Geosciences Union. After a brief review by the Topic Editor to check that they are suitable, submitted articles are published in Ocean Science Discussions. This publication can be cited in questions of priority.
The paper is then formally reviewed in the traditional way by at least two reviewers. The reviews are published and other scientists and the authors can make and publish their own comments to help the review process. Finally all of these comments are used to decide whether the paper needs revision or whether it can be published directly in the full review journal Ocean Science.
No doubt the "Open Access" model will develop further in the future. We plan to be closely involved in such developments. At the same time we want to use the new technology to encompass both integrated views and detailed studies within the same high quality ocean science journal.
Copyright and Licencing
The Two-Stage Publication Scheme
Effect on Citations
Effect on Reviewing
General Initiatives and Declarations for Open Access