[clug] [OT] Open Source model needed for Academic Publishing?

Francis Markham fmarkham at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 18:45:47 MDT 2011

Interestingly, some top medical journals have been flirting with open /
almost open access for a while.  For example, Australia's top public health
journal has a temporally based open access policy:

   - Articles are open access for the first two weeks (presumably to
   encourage press coverage)
   - Articles are then subscriber only for one year, at which point they
   revert to open access


So there should/can be a middle ground business model for publishers to be
slightly less evil, while still raking in subscription fees.  But I agree
that generally the whole thing is a scam.


On 1 September 2011 10:33, Hal Ashburner <hal at ashburner.info> wrote:

> On 01/Sep/2011, at 10:19 AM, Amit Saha wrote:
> > On 31/08/11 22:24, Carlo Hamalainen wrote:
> >> On Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 6:06 PM, steve jenkin<sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au>
>  wrote:
> >>> "Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist":
> >>>  [Academic publishers charge vast fees to access research paid for by
> >>> us. Down with the knowledge monopoly racketeers.]
> >>
> >> This sort of thing really irks me.
> >>
> >> http://carlo-hamalainen.net/blog/2009/05/11/open-access/
> >>
> >> quoting Springer when I got a paper published in one of their journals:
> >>
> >>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> Authors opting for Open Access in the Springer Open Choice program,
> >> agree to pay the article processing fee. The standard fee is US$3000.
> >> Customers in the Americas will be charged in US dollars, and customers
> >> in Europe, Asia, and Africa will be charged the equivalent fee in Euros.
> >> VAT and other applicable taxes are not included in the standard fee of
> >> US$3000, and will be added according to the requirements of the country
> >> where the order is placed.
> >>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>
> >> So they want *me* to pay $3000 to have my paper available to the
> >> public, when it was written with funding from the Australian
> >> Government (an APA scholarship)? Ridiculous.
> >
> > :-) IMHO, that pretty much sums up the whole scenario. Why would *I* pay
> for publishing my article which I have already spent a significant amount of
> effort on, and _somebody_ is definitely paying my bills? It will take a lot
> of money in my banks to get into that kind of philanthropic state of mind.
> Yes, I definitely want my article to reach the widest possible audience, but
> why would I pay such exorbitant amount for it?  If I could have my way, I
> would write up all the research results I produce on my blog, but then they
> won't give me my Ph.D :) That would be open access without paying anyone.
> But that is far from being the state of the Iron walled academic
> fraternity..
> >
> > On another note, publishers these days are slowly but surely going to a
> state where they are forsaking the Quality for Quantity and hence revenue. I
> think it makes a lot of business sense for them. I think it is co-evolution
> in a very bad way:
> >
> > Students/researchers want to get their research published and publishers
> have a huge pool to earn money from. All for a relatively small effort of
> their own.
> >
> You're paying for the Attest service you get from the publication. i.e. the
> peer-review, editorial input and brand reputation of the publication that
> signals "this is a quality piece of research"
> You may be paying too much money for this.
> The conditions may be to restrictive.
> So what to do?
> 1. Make the leading journals open access but with the same or better
> peer-review and editorial quality.
> 2. Get Academics to actually *promote* the open access journals as being
> the top journals in their field and the place you go first if what you have
> is the best work and only go to the incumbents if you're refused because
> your work isn't quite high enough quality.
> But who runs these open-access journals? What's their quality incentive?
> Where do they get their funding? Can they be perceived as being impartial in
> the petty academic spats that are so very pervasive.
> So it becomes a harder problem that it first seems and academics themselves
> deserve some share of the blame for the current situation.
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