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scientific publishing rip-off? 
Posted: 19 May 2012 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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They don’t say if this also applies to academic papers in other disciplines though obviously medicine and science are more important for mankind.

Regarding Professor Gowers and his revolution against the publishing industry: I couldn’t agree more. Monopolies are odious and pernicious on a grand scale. All of them are. Look at public utilities: we should rid ourselves of their very existence.

In that vein, I most strongly urge Dr. Gowers to abandon forthwith his government-granted monopolistic stranglehold on his professorial teaching position. It’s an outrage!!! Does he really think he is the only, or for that matter the best, qualified person to draw his salary? Clearly that is untenable. Yet we call it tenure. Now that’s something that quite causes ... oh my, there I go again. Never mind.

Strike that. Let’s just say that it’s hard to know where to draw the line, who is to call the shots, etc.

[ Edited: 20 May 2012 01:06 AM by Iron Pyrite ]
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Posted: 26 May 2012 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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If you’re open to an opinion from a rare visitor, I’m with almost all of you - you all seem to agree that academic literature should be priced based on its novelty rather than its funding - just needing a big enough group of ‘subscribers’ to push the idea. maybe I’m unique but I have believed for years that any scientific process or research is not ever ‘ going to be paid for by its own publishing - it’s almost always paid for by political funding or excessive advertising, so any ‘scientific’ journal is just a fluff piece or information only. That may not be necessarily bad/wrong/or inappropriate, only if we weight it incorrectly.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 03:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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I don’t think anyone believes that returns from publication will ever pay the cost of academic research. That’s not the issue.

First, academic journals are not “fluff” or afterthoughts. They are the primary means for disseminating the results of the research. If you do the research and it isn’t published, the effort is wasted because no one else will know about it. Restricting the number of other researchers who have access to the results (either by not publishing or charging too much) will ultimately slow the progress of the advancement of knowledge.

The issue is obscenely high profits made by a handful of publishers off of academic research that has been paid for and conducted by others.

Most academic research is tax-payer funded, so the results should be available to the public at low cost (ideally it would be for free, but we can give the publishers some reward commensurate with their effort). Most academic publications rely on free editorial services provided by other academics, so their overhead is low. Most journals are accessed online nowadays, so there is no marginal cost for printing additional copies for new users.

What the publishers do provide is the structure of peer review and centralized places where researchers know to look for the results of earlier research. A reasonable profit is justified; what they’re currently charging is not.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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The formerly lost codex of Archimedes, known as “Codex C” has been released under a Creative Commons license.

The Archimedes Palimpsest data is released with license for use under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Access Rights. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to The Curator of Manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.

The compelling story of its recovery is the subject of a TED talk:

William Noel: Revealing the lost codex of Archimedes

The lecturer, Dr. William Noel, is the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books at the Walters Art Museum.

Some biographical information on Dr. William Noel, here and here.

In the last minute or so of the TED presentation, the case is made for generally making results of scholarly research available to the public. 

A couple of quotes:

People go to the Louvre because they’ve seen the Mona Lisa; the reason people might not be going to your institution is because they don’t know what’s in it. Digitization is a way to address that issue.

The Web of ancient manuscripts of the future isn’t going to be built by institutions. It’s going to be built by users … people who just want to curate their own glorious selection of beautiful things.

[ Edited: 11 June 2012 12:57 PM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 12 June 2012 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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How much does publishing really cost? An interesting analysis by Christopher Kelty.

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Posted: 19 June 2012 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/06/19/3528705.htm
UK report backs open access publishing

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 Chris Wickham
Reuters

The shift toward open access to publicly funded scientific research should be supported by public money, according to a UK government-commissioned report.

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Posted: 08 October 2012 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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This may be of interest:

...So, libraries pay for material they don’t need, researchers are unable to access scientific papers they do need, and publishers produce content their audience can’t afford....

and,

...Hrvatin and his college roommate, Robert McGrath, think they can solve the problem…

__________________
Edited to include the missing link:

Here is the link, but also see 2 posts below:

The LINK

[ Edited: 09 October 2012 10:57 AM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 09 October 2012 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Link?

(Error Message:  Unable to receive your submission at this time

Oh for god’s sake.  OK, have your stupid extra verbiage.  Isn’t there any way to turn that thing off?)

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Posted: 09 October 2012 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Please forgive me for failing to include a link.

Here:

Popular press article (~Boston Globe)
http://articles.boston.com/2012-10-08/business/34303481_1_researchers-libraries-articles

Slightly more information:
http://www.labtiva.com/

The trial site:
http://www.readcube.com/

[Edited to include this link:] http://www.readcube.com/universities/utah

Link to the original article I should have included as a link above.

[ Edited: 09 October 2012 10:56 AM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 09 October 2012 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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It strikes me as a way to prop up the existing structure, which has the publishers making huge profits with little or no overhead.

The taxpayers fund the research.

The researchers write the articles for free.

Other academics edit the articles for free or for a small stipend.

Yet other academics peer review the articles for free.

For-profit publishing companies get the copyright and charge exorbitant fees for access.

The solution is not another funding structure. The solution is for the US Congress (which as the biggest purse in the world of science) to pass a law that any publications resulting from taxpayer-funded research are in the public domain and must be made available to all with no more than a nominal charge to cover distribution costs.

You’d have university presses taking over the journals and making them free or nearly so.

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Posted: 09 October 2012 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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The solution is not another funding structure.

I agree.

A related issue has been encountered (at least in Leftpondia) with regard to public law.

[Though I think it’s pertinent to the discussion, the following may be inappropriate for the forum. Please remove it, or I’ll remove it, if so.]

Briefly, and with link below, excerpts from an essay, Copyright, Technology, and Access to the Law:An Opinionated Primer, by James Grimmelmann, 2008:


Recently, the state of Oregon has used copyright law to threaten people who were publishing its laws online. Can they really do that? More to the point, why would they? This essay will put the Oregon fracas in historical context, and explain the public policies at stake. Ultimately, it’ll try to convince you that Oregon’s demands, while wrong, aren’t unprecedented. People have been claiming copyright in “the law” for a long time, and at times they’ve been able to make a halfway convincing case for it. While there are good answers to these arguments, they’re not always the first ones that come to hand. It’s really only the arrival of the Internet that genuinely puts the long-standing goal of free and unencumbered access to the law within our grasp....

[and, later in the article:]

...Both Oregon’s and Justia’s [Ed. Justia published Oregon Revised Statutes on it’s website] versions of the Oregon Revised Statutes are freely available, sorted by title and chapter number, with some formatting to make the structure clearer.
In early April of 2008, Oregon sent Justia a cease-and-desist letter telling them to cut it out. According to Oregon, Justia could either enter into a licensing agreement (and pay Oregon for the privilege) or remove the Oregon Revised Statutes from its site. This may seem a rather strange thing for a government to be doing: telling people to make it harder for the public to find out what the law says. It only get stranger as you dig deeper. Oregon tells its Office of Legislative Counsel to publish both print and online versions of its statutes. And the OLCC has a little something to say about copyright. This is the start of the copyright notice they attach to the web version:


The Oregon Revised Statutes and all specialty publications produced by the Office of the Legislative Counsel are copyrighted by the State of Oregon and may not be reproduced or distributed by any means or in any manner without the written permission of the Office of the Legislative Counsel.


This claim is even more remarkable. Not only the state of Oregon, but the very people whose official mission it is to maximize public access to the law are in fact the ones sending out the cease-and-desist letter telling other people to stop making the law accessible....

From http://james.grimmelmann.net/essays/CopyrightTechnologyAccess

[ Edited: 09 October 2012 02:55 PM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 09 October 2012 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Yes, in the US the federal government is prohibited from holding a copyright, but the states can. It’s rather absurd. If a work is produced at taxpayer expense, the taxpayers should have a right to it.

Federal contractors and grant recipients can copyright works produced by them, but not the government itself.

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Posted: 09 October 2012 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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The solution is not another funding structure. The solution is for the US Congress (which as the biggest purse in the world of science) to pass a law that any publications resulting from taxpayer-funded research are in the public domain and must be made available to all with no more than a nominal charge to cover distribution costs.

Playing devil’s advocate…
How would you stop non-US crumb-bums who didn’t pay a dime for the research from getting this knowledge cheaply?

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Posted: 10 October 2012 03:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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I wouldn’t stop it. That’s the beauty of knowledge; we all benefit when it’s shared. Perhaps one of the crumb bums will develop a cure for cancer from that free research. The US isn’t charging the world for use of GPS or the internet; why should this be any different.

It’s not like this is Harry Potter and worth a gold mine in any competitive market. Most of these articles are eagerly anticipated by dozens of people.

[ Edited: 10 October 2012 09:53 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 10 October 2012 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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And even under the traditional system, the money paid by journal subscribers did not reimburse the governments or granting agencies that supported the research.  The money went to the publishers, some of the biggest of which are foreign companies (e.g. Elsevier).  It’s not a question of whether somebody gets the benefit of the research for free, it’s just a question of who.

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