I spent time visiting the Vendor Showcase today, and one of the more interesting companies represented was PeerJ. PeerJ was co-founded by Peter Binfield, previously Publisher at PLoS One, PeerJ entered the market to provide authors with a less costly alternative to publishing their open access articles. Authors pay $99 for a lifetime membership in PeerJ which allows them to publish one article a year for life. (If there is more than one author of the article, each author also needs a membership.) The $99 must be paid when the article is submitted to PeerJ; if the author wishes to wait until the paper is accepted, the fee is $139. There is also an enterprise version of PeerJ; an institution can deposit at least $5000, and the fee for any author from that institution is charged against the deposit.
Response to PeerJ has been quite favorable; so far, about 45 institutions have joined, PeerJ recently won an award from ALPSP (the Association of Learned and Society Publishers), and its articles are now indexed by the Web of Science.
PeerJ is a direct competitor of PLoS One; one wonders whether there will be a response to its entry into the market from PloS One.
And that innovative product? Well, it was displayed in PeerJ’s exhibit. Have you ever heard of Open Access Chocolates? Watch out Hershey’s; competition is looming up on the horizon!