The context for my question is that I recently discovered a new journal called Experimental Results, published by Cambridge University Press. Their mission, as stated on their website, is:
Experimental Results is an Open Access journal providing a forum for experimental findings that disclose the small incremental steps vitally important to experimental research; experiments and findings which have so far remained hidden. Such results often go unpublished due to the traditional scholarly communication process, in which only a select group of experiments are chosen to make up the narrative of a single paper.
Articles for consideration in Experimental Results include validation and reproducibility of existing findings, null results, supplementary findings, improvements or amendments to published results, as well as results that could be of importance, but for whatever reason, the researcher has not followed a particular line of questioning to produce a full narrative for a traditional paper. Where applicable, work published in Experimental Results will clearly link back to the related article.
While I applaud the idea of open access and publishing the science that Experimental Results is targeting, I can’t say that I understand how Cambridge University Press can justify the absurd 700 EUR article processing charge (ACP). How can they rely on authors’ good intentions to pay that amount to publish <750 words (the stated word limit) of science that is largely procedural?
Furthermore, when publishers houses see >35% profit margins on their “products” by relying on faculty service obligations for manuscript reviewing (among other factors), why does Cambridge University Press (one of the oldest and most well-established scientific publishers) need to charge a fee for this, at all? Why can’t it be truly free and open access?
Speaking generally, I do understand the common justification for fees relating to open-access publishing (i.e., someone's gotta pay, and if it won't be the university libraries, it's going to be the authors) - but this seems like it has gone too far, in my opinion.
To summarize my specific questions for clarity: 1. What is a reasonable justification for author fees in journals like this? 2. Why would authors be motivated to pay such fees to publish, instead of freely sharing information?
(Also, I am new to asking questions on SE, so I apologize if this type of opinionated/targeted question is inappropriate or violates policy by lacking a "correct" answer. This just seemed like a well-informed community in which to have this discussion.)