The “open science” revolution 2012-08-20


“In a recent blog, Timothy Gowers, a prominent mathematician who has won the field’s equivalent of a Nobel Prize, wrote about his boycott of Elsevier, a major publisher of academic journals. Gowers is a proponent of “open science,” which promotes free Internet access to scientific papers. In contrast, Elsevier’s  journal subscription costs are ‘so far above the average that it seems quite extraordinary that they can get away with it,’ he wrote. Hence, the boycott by Gowers and, to date, 7563 other academics who have followed his lead... The controversy highlights the cultural shift from print to digital media, and a few of the stumbling blocks of uncharted territory... Examples of open science are open-access archives and journals such as arXiv and the Public Library of Science (PLoS), collaborative blogs (e.g., MathOverflow) as well as social networking science communities like ResearchGate. Although open science is new, it has proved to be a promising evolution for the dissemination of scientific research in terms of cost, time savings and potential... First, open science is a cost effective alternative to publishing scientific papers in journals. Subscriptions to traditional journals can be very expensive. “Most Americans would have to buy access to individual articles at a cost of $15 or $30 apiece. Taxpayers who already paid for the research would have to pay again to read the results,” PLoS co-founder Michael B. Eisen, a biology professor from University of California, Berkeley, wrote in a recent op-ed. Traditional journals insist that the critical service they provide is not cheap; however, most of the reviewing is done by researchers volunteering their time and effort. The monetary issue can be avoided by the online open science system. For example, by linking papers to their own website profiles, which is allowed by most journals, ResearchGate creates a self-archiving repository. Researchers from ResearchGate share a platform housing 350,000 papers and connecting to 40 million abstracts and papers from other scientific databases. As a result, scientific resources are freely shared and accessed on Internet-based platforms...”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.advocacy oa.signatures oa.petitions oa.boycotts oa.elsevier oa.plos oa.open_science oa.arxiv oa.prices oa.mathematics oa.researchgate oa.mathoverflow oa.repositories oa.journals



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 14:47

Date published:

02/29/2012, 20:01