Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Great Science Publication Scam

I'm a big fan of open access publication. However, I haven't quite seen the point driven home like a recent opinion piece in the Harvard Crimson. Thanks to Jonathan Eisen at Tree of Life for pointing it out.

A passage from the article:

"Our professors do the research. They write the papers and proofread them. They even do the peer review. Then they sign the copyright over to publishers, who don’t pay them a dime—they’re paid by grants and salary, our taxes, and tuition. Harvard then pays again for the journals—many of them over $10,000 each—and most of us feel personally the bite each term when we buy our sourcebooks. Many of these cost upwards of $100 not because they’re on paper rather than online (printing costs pennies a page), but because of the fees charged by publishers like Elsevier (1,387 journals ranging across academia) and Wiley (348 journals), some higher than $1 per page. That’s three ways we pay for the same research, writing, proofreading, and peer review. Even Harvard has found the cost too high, and has cut down on its subscriptions."

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