Ghost in a Bottle

peter.suber's bookmarks 2020-12-03


"The ghost is out of the bottle. That's how Derk Haank describes the current situation in which the authors of scientific papers are taking an increasing interest in who publishes them.

When I met him in December in the lobby of the Lowndes Hotel near London's fashionable Knightsbridge district for this exclusive interview, the topic was left open to his discretion. Of the three possibilities I suggested—economic recession, the war on terrorism, or the Public Library of Science (PLoS), whatever is most likely to influence your business—is it any wonder Haank chose to talk about PLoS?

At the end of last year, PLoS had collected almost 29,000 names on a petition to boycott any publisher who did not make the published research papers freely and openly available 6 months after publication. In signing the petition, the authors were saying that they simply would not publish in, sit on editorial boards for, or purchase journals that did not comply with their demand for a free, openly accessible literature.

Elsevier Science is the publisher of 20 percent of the world's journal articles. As its chairman, Haank clearly needs to care about such things.

"The ghost is out of the bottle," he told me. "How will we get it back in?"

And then he surprised me by saying something else. At Elsevier, he said, "we are much closer to a PLoS initiative than anybody believes, because we are working toward the same end."

Elsevier and the Public Library of Science in the same camp? I'll let Haank explain it to you himself, in his own words...."



12/03/2020, 11:49

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Date tagged:

12/03/2020, 16:49

Date published:

02/01/2002, 11:49