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The movement towards open access to scientific literature has gathered increasing pace over the past year, partly fuelled by the launch last October of PLoS Biology, an open access journal produced by the Public Library of Science.

In this article, PLoS Biology challenges criticism that the publication fees or 'author charges' that it requires in order to provide free access to readers put an unfair burden on authors. Publication fees are not restricted to the open-access movement, it says, as authors regularly pay several thousands of dollars in page charges and other fees to traditional publishers.

Furthermore, the term 'author charges' is misleading, it says, as the fees are not borne purely by authors, but are shared by the many organisations that aim to disseminate scientific discoveries as widely as possible.

Link to full article in PLoS Biology