Why are AI researchers boycotting a new Nature journal—and shunning others? | Science | AAAS
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-05-18
"Computer science was born of a rebellious, hacker culture, a spirit that lives on in the publishing culture of artificial intelligence (AI). The burgeoning field is increasingly turning to conference publications and free, open-review websites while shunning traditional outlets—sentiments dramatically expressed in a growing boycott of a high-profile AI journal. As of 15 May, about 3000 people, mostly academic computer scientists, had signed a petition promising not to submit, review, or edit articles for Nature Machine Intelligence (NMI), a new journal from the publisher Springer Nature set to begin publication in January 2019. The petition, signed by many prominent researchers in AI, is more than just a call for open access. It decries not only closed-access, subscription-based journals such as NMI, but also author-fee publications: open-access journals that are free to read but require researchers to pay to publish. Instead the signatories call for more "zero-cost" open-access journals. The purpose of the boycott is "to lower the barriers to research progress" for resource-strapped scientists, says Thomas Dietterich, a computer scientist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, who began the boycott last month. The field is moving too fast for traditional publishing, and AI's potential for both great benefit and great harm requires openness, he says. "Locking up our research papers behind a paywall would make public scrutiny more difficult."..."