Springer is starting a new open access journal called “Scio Cell Biology”. It’s intended to be the first of what they hope will be a whole family of “Scio”-branded journals. They’re a gold open access/libre publisher with a new business model that allows them to offer two excellent features:
1. No author fees.
No authors pay to publish. This includes big rich labs. No color charges, no publication fees, no author fees whatsoever. No institutional fees, society dues, or subscription fees either.
2. Reviewers get paid.
This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this. The amount they’ll get paid hasn’t been announced yet, but they’re hoping that this will let the editors go back repeatedly to the best, most constructive reviewers. They also hope that it will raise the prestige of the journal. The idea is that the reviewers are financially motivated to be as constructive as possible and so authors will want to have their papers reviewed by them.
So what’s their funding model? As a hint, here are some excerpts from their upcoming inaugural issue: