This is an extract of a letter from Richard Charkin, chief executive of Macmillan publishers, which was submitted as written evidence to a UK parliamentary inquiry on scientific publications.

In the letter, Charkin argues that the 'author-pays' model used by open-access journals "potentially undermines the integrity of the world's highest quality journals, with unwelcome consequences for the scientific community, and for the wider public".

The publisher estimates that it costs £10,000-30,000 to publish a research paper in Nature. "Such an amount would be hardly affordable to most research scientists, and so journals such as Nature would be forced to reduce editorial criteria, and publish more, lower quality papers, and/or favour wealthy authors that were in a position to afford such a fee," the statement says.