A New Kind of Publishing

I’ve been tired of the current journal system for quite some time. I started a page about alternatives to Elsevier back in 2004, but I’m glad to see the issue gaining some (NPR) coverage recently. It helps when hard hitting, award winning scientists take up the fight too. I’ve added my name to the growing list of researchers taking a stand against Elsevier at The Cost of Knowledge. I would encourage you to do the same.

The public pledge at The Cost of Knowledge has three levels of commitment: refusing to submit papers, refusing to referee manuscripts, and refusing to serve in editorial roles. I’ve opted for all three because there are several viable open access journals in my field. If this is not true for you, then please at least consider some level of commitment to this cause. If you’re looking for a place to publish, please check out the Directory of Open Access Journals for more options.

At a small college, with a small library budget, I am even more sensitive to the cost of journal subscriptions. If students and faculty at American colleges and universities struggle to afford Elsevier journal packages, imagine what that does to science in emerging nations.

As another benefit, if open access journals replace large corporate publishers, we will be much less vulnerable to industry pressure like the recent threats surrounding the diesel exhaust study. For many reasons, open access is the way forward. You can choose when and how to participate but we need all the help we can get right now.

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One thought on “A New Kind of Publishing

  1. Couldn’t agree more with you. On the one hand you have a great part of the scientific community working for free, refereeing or editorial work, and on the other to publish something most of the times you have to pay (If one is lucky, the journal has open access option) . So why is the access to this information so expensive. I understand they’re a business, but not an ordinary one. They thrive on the incredible amount of work done by others for the sake of reputation and prestige, whereas their work seems only oriented towards revenue.

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