This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Take a stand for public access to taxpayer funded research

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by DanDare

Conflict of interest alert: I am a founder of and so I have an axe to grind in this discussion.

I have been studying the whole edifice of peer review, publication, and the cost of subscriptions. Even isolated article purchase is high. Libraries generally have to purchase large, expensive bundles that have more than their students are interested in. Reviewers constantly gripe about doing review as an unpaid duty, in fact there is a lot of unpaid and unrecognised effort in science publication. On top of that the publications are not non-profit organisations. They are out to make a buck and they see their articles as a low volume sale, so they put the price up as high as the market will bare. Cost of publication is not the issue.

Open Access has been around for a long time and seems to have acted more like a poison chalice than an improvement. Partly that is because the people that get government funding are usually financially flat to the boards already, and paying to give away their publications breaks the camel's back. The organisations that are willing to put lots of funding into R&D and have government funding as a small part of the overall budget don't want Open Access to turn their investment into a giveaway. It seems very counterproductive to me.

I would think that a better focus would be to try and bring the cost of accessing papers down, increase their distribution and make sure there is fair exchange, that everyone contributing gets some fair and equitable return on their work.

Sun, 27 May 2012 03:47:03 UTC | #943758