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Open Access publication message

March 14, 2006

scientific ratWe, scientists, create, provide and judge the science presented to journals. While we are not paid by the publishers, we pay to get access to this science.

Publishers who concentrate more and more journals within a few companies use their oligopoly to charge more and more and earn tremendous amounts of money. They use a snobbism about impact factors and the tyranny this exerts on the career of young scientists.

We can dilute this power in a simple way. Open access is the only answer. Whenever I have to choose one reference out of several, I shall from now on choose a reference to a paper that I and my readers can access freely on the Internet PubMed. If we all do that, we shall push the impact factor of those journals (printed or not) which do not grudge us.

If you agree with this message diffuse it.

(message originally from Pr Jacques E. Dumont, IRIBHM, ULB ; links are from myself)

From → Open Access

2 Comments
  1. Velterop permalink

    Any scientist can publish anything with full open access if he just posts his articles on some open access web site or deposits in an open repository and forgets about submitting it to a journal. Any scientist can also try to arrange himself for his article to be peer-reviewed by his peers. There is no need to bother publishers if that’s what you want. The choice is yours.

    However, if you want an official publication, and want a publisher to arrange the peer review and to professionally publish your article as an official record of your research results, then you’re asking the publisher for a favour, and then you’ll have to play by the publisher’s rules. If you don’t like the rules of one publisher, you go to another one. The choice is yours.

    Some publishers will publish with open access in exchange for money; others only with toll-access in exchange for the transfer of copyright. The choice is yours.

    Authors have choices.

  2. Dear Velterop,

    I quite agree with your leitmotives: “The choice is yours” and “Authors have choices”. But I disagree with your opinion that “[scientists] are asking the publisher for a favour [to publish their research]” …

    If you go back into the past, in the beginning of scientific publishing, it was considered as a communication mean between scientists, a way to share information, discoveries and as a kind of archive. It was often edited by a Scientific Society and scientists retained their rights on their own work. I think that the main point behind “Open Access” is that we are going back to this spirit of sharing information. And, now that technology made it possible, scientists are now able to share quality, peer-reviewed papers with everyone. The question should not be “How much will I pay to be published?” but “How will people have access to my findings?”. I am not asking my publisher to limit access to my findings: I can do that by myself (by not publishing my results, e.g.). I am just asking my publisher to allow people to read my papers. All the people.

    I am not begging a publishing company for a peer-review procedure, it’s not a favour. They are providing this service and they often do a great job. This process, as well as the editing one, the printing one or the web servers, is costly. And I agree that someone has to pay for that. In the “Closed Access” model, the reader pays 5 to 50 euros (USD) per article to read or his/her institution already paid an increasingly huge amount of money to the publisher. In the “Open Access” model, readers don’t pay. In this model, either the scientist or his/her institution pays for the publication process, in case the article is accepted (some journals/repositories do not even ask money). Working in an university with public funds, I prefer that people (who paid taxes allowing me to work) have access to my findings rather than limiting this access to a few rich institutions.

    This is obviously my opinion. And, although I am leaving everyone free of thinking what they want, I’m sure that “Closed Access” companies don’t have many advantages over “Open Access”.

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