Support Your Scientific Society Journals « Mind Games 2.0 2012-07-21


“My inbox has been flooded ... with advertisements from Elsevier, Cell Press, Wiley-Blackwell,PLoS, etc., about the 2011 Impact Factors for their journals. WTF?? ... Oh right, they want me to submit papers to their journal.  What do I get for this?  It must be impact – that must be why they are advertising primarily with their impact factors...  Almost all scientific publishing is a business ... This then necessarily begs the question, ‘What’s the best business model for a scientific publication?’ ... ‘Best for who?’  I hope the answer is best for science and society. One traditional business model is a professional society supporting a journal ... Individual and institutional subscriptions for the journal are the primary source of revenue to fund the journal...  This model has many positive features: (1) the society supports the community of scientists and builds a professional network; (2) the society is primarily in charge of the peer-review process, and thus maintains the scientific integrity and ethical standards of the field ... and (3) the journal supports the activities of the scientific society ...  The primary downside of this model is that ... access to the journals are limited to subscription holders and their affiliated members... The other traditional business model was for for-profit publishing houses to publish journals directly without any scientific society involvement... The institutional and individual subscriptions for these journals are typically 4-6 times higher than for society-sponsored journals... Ten to fifteen years ago a new model emerged ... the Gold Open Access model...  Since the only revenue stream in this model is the author’s fee for a paper, these fees are typically quite high... Many authors are quite taken with the Author-Pays model, mainly because of the Open Access features of the publication... However, most scientists have not carefully considered what this business model does to science and science publishing... In both the unaffiliated for-profit publisher and author-pays models, the publishers must drive traffic through their journals, and what they market to authors is ‘impact’ ... Thus, the entire scientific community has changed the essential way it structures and evaluates quality based on a corporate marketing ploy.  Is that any way to run science or evaluate science? ... For all you people out there thinking how great author-pays open-access is, and why you want to publish in journals with high impact factors, consider the entire package.  How much science will you get done if you must pay US$2,500 for every paper, or your institution must pay 4-6 times more money for subscription fees?  And what are the consequences to science of using a corporate marketing ploy in determining where to publish your work? Which is best for science?  Journals published and supported by professional scientific societies! What publishing model is best for supporting science infrastructure?  Journals published and supported by your professional societies!  This is the most inexpensive model for authors, and for our universities and other scientific institutions.  That leaves more money to do more research!  This model also ensures that science publishing is beholden to the interests of science and society and not the profits of the publisher. What should you demand from your society-supported journals?  Green open-access policies! ... With this, anyone with access to the internet can have full access to your papers. (Don’t forget to deposit your data in a public data repository as well.) What should you demand from your supporting institution?  Facilities and policies for supporting green open access to your scholarly products.  For example, Harvard has an excellent policy for green open access of all scholarly works produced by Harvard faculty and students. Remember, all this involves trade-offs...  Complete and unfettered open access comes at a very high price for science – literally and figuratively.  Publishing in society-sponsored journals is the optimal balance of these trade-offs.”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.policies oa.comment oa.elsevier oa.societies oa.plos oa.impact oa.costs oa.prestige oa.prices oa.jif oa.harvard.u oa.wiley-blackwell oa.repositories oa.journals oa.metrics



Date tagged:

07/21/2012, 08:03

Date published:

07/21/2012, 08:42