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Open Access

The Journal of Experimental Botany (JXB) offers Open Access publication to all authors of primary papers. Open Access publication means that papers are immediately freely available online without subscription control. Indications show that Open Access (OA) publication increases impact as full text downloads are higher and citations higher than for those publications kept under subscription control. The JXB now wishes to thank all those who have supported this initiative and extend the experiment to enable more authors to take advantage of OA publication.

Substantial costs are incurred in journal publication; the full cost of publishing a paper in the JXB is around £1750 ($2800) and the cost is considerably more in many similar journals. In the first phase of our OA experiment, costs were met in part by OA fees from authors (£250 per paper) and by two grants from the UK Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), which is a government organization concerned with ‘innovative use of Information and Communications Technology to support education and research’. However, income from the sale of subscriptions has continued to fund the major part of our publication costs.

The JXB is wholly committed to broadening access to its publications and maximizing impact; but at the same time the JXB must remain financially viable. Currently, the only way we are able to continue to publish without imposing large publication fees or page charges is through the maintenance of our subscriber base. It is with this in mind that we have designed the next phase in our OA experiment.

All primary papers whose corresponding authors' institutions have a current subscription to the JXB are published Open Access.

Authors belonging to institutions without a current subscription to the journal who wish to take advantage of OA publication will have to pay the full costs (£1750/$2800/€2275). We have been careful to develop the JXB, ensuring that our subscribers receive value in addition to our primary publications. In 2013, the JXB published three Special Issues (see below) plus reviews and opinion papers, all these remain under subscription control. An institutional subscription to the JXB therefore provides exclusive access to: special issues, reviews and focus sections; the primary papers that remain under subscription control; and in addition, it funds OA publication for its members. We hope that you can see we are working hard at building a viable business model that can provide a sustainable service to the plant science community.

The cost of a full online subscription to the JXB in 2013 is £1589 ($3178, €2384). On a cost per page basis this is a very competitive price; it is cheaper than any other comparable plant science journal without page charges or subsidy.

We are interested in your views and opinions; please send all responses to

Mary Traynor, Managing Editor
Jerry Roberts, Editor in Chief

Special Issues 2013

Improving Photosynthesis
Roots and Productivity