There are a lot of "long-running misconceptions" about open-access publishing that should be addressed, says the University of Bristol's Michael Taylor in the Guardian. "It's not surprising that for-profit, barrier-based publishers are fighting to stem the tide, by misinformation if necessary, but researchers and the general public need not be taken in," Taylor says. For example, he adds, contrary to what some publishers have said recently, open-access publishers don't pay peer reviewers, they don't pay the editors who handle the reviews, and, while open access isn't 100 percent free, it's more cost-efficient than the traditional publishing method. "No one expects open access to eliminate costs. But we can expect it to dramatically reduce them, as well as making research universally and freely available," Taylor says.
Further, Taylor adds, "The greatest impediment to more universal open access at the moment is researchers' fear that unless they place their work in established, prestigious, barrier-based journals, they will be at a disadvantage when competing for grants." Funding bodies can help remove this fear by stating that they will only evaluate grant applications on the quality of the work, rather than "the brand name with which it's associated," he says.