I'm a grad student getting close to submitting my first journal article (which will be single-authored). My understanding is that it's standard practice for authors to transfer the copyright of their paper to the journal in which it is published. I want my article to be published in a journal, but I don't want to transfer the copyright -- I want the article to be in the public domain. How will editors to behave towards such a request? Also, when should I bring up the topic: when I submit the article, or after it's accepted and I'm asked to sign a copyright transfer?
Some grants apparently have a stipulation that articles written as part of the grant research must be released into the public domain (e.g. grants funded by the US government). In this case, authors presumably sign a consent to publish, instead of a copyright transfer. Hence, there's at least some precedent for what I want to do, though I want my article in the public domain purely because of my personal views on the ethics of copyright.
I couldn't find too much information about this topic by googling. Oleg Pikhurko has a page discussing his attempt to have his articles revert to the public domain after a period of years, as opposed to instantly. It didn't work out particularly well in his case.
I'm not sure how much I'm willing to have my ethical ideals damage my career (e.g. by having publications delayed and/or being banned from submitting to journals).