Friday 19 June 2015

Color Charges

Should I boycott journals that charge money for color figures? Or at least send them only the papers that were rejected somewhere else? For a paper I would usually spend months researching a topic and probably another few weeks preparing graphics that allow a quick comprehension even for the hectic reader. What if during this process I find out that the best way to represent my results is by using a few colored lines? How can a journal editor in their right mind refuse to print those colored lines? It is not only out of respect for my work but also not to waste the time of any readers trying to decipher the greyscale figures that it looks like a clear decision to me.

The absurd thing is that color charges are usually given per image. You pay the same price for a full page color photo as for those one or two colored lines making a graph so much more comprehensible. I can see why a journal would not want to pay for the former. But I am sure it would be possible to add a few colored lines at an acceptable cost.

To answer the question from above: I am not going to boycott any journals. But the question of whether or not I agree with the publication process, certainly plays a role. Usually I have to choose a journal with the words Phys and Chem in it, arranged in arbitrary order and multiplicity. I could not tell you, which one has a higher impact factor. But I can tell you whether or not I like their publication policies. If you are interested, my favorite is J. Chem. Phys.: easy to use manuscript template, free color figures, reasonable copyright policies, and no nonsense.


Renjith Bhaskaran said...

But Felix, from my experience most of these peer reviewed journals print the colored figures at no cost. I have no idea about which journal you are talking about.

I do agree with you in using JCP template. It's very easy.

Your blog is nice. Keep continue writing...

Best wishez... :)

Felix said...

The culprit is Wiley actually ;) We had an Angewandte ( ) and a ChemPhysChem paper ( ). In both cases it was not even possible for us to have colored figures online.

For J. Comp. Chem. we were at least permitted to have color online. They only told us that we have to pay horrendous sums if we wanted it printed in color...