As of January 2013, any article for which a voluntary page charge of $100 per published page is paid will be immediately open access. Authors of these articles will retain copyright under a Creative Commons license. This program will expand access to and readership for your articles and fulfill mandates from employers and funders, as well as helping to support JBO.
While the open access option was already available in the old policy1, the new one brings immediate open access with the voluntary page charges, which is great, but most importantly the option to retain copyright under a Creative Commons license. This is a great step forward as the publishers need (must) adapt to a new world of publishing. The Elsevier boycott, which 12600 researches have signed so far, has probably not had the expected effect, but at least it has raised awareness of the issues related to despicable business practices and the cost of knowledge.
I truly believe this is the way to go, and the page charge of $100 per published page seems reasonable, and is certainly less expensive than most author-choice open access journals. Going open access is important, but as an author I’m also interested in retaining copyright of my work. Why should I need permission to reproduce my work? I’ll most likely continue to publish with SPIE and I’ll be on the look out for other publishers that match these policies.
The old policy was that the authors could pay a fee of $1500 to provide free online access to the full text of their published journal article, in perpetuity, to any online user, independent of any subscriptions to the journal. The other option was to pay the publication charges of $90 per published page and the article would become open access after a year. ↩