Thursday, May 11, 2006

Free online science publishing

From today's Guardian (why not an US paper?):

US senators propose to make scientific research freely available:
American legislators have proposed that scientific research paid for by US taxpayers should be freely available online to everyone. Analysts described the move as a "potential banana skin" for established scientific publishers such as Reed Elsevier, Springer and Informa.
The Federal Research Public Access Act - introduced by senators John Cornyn, a Texan Republican, and Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat - would require all federal departments and agencies that invest $100m (£54m) or more in research to demand that articles be put online within six months of publication in a subscription journal.
That is exactly as it should be. Of course, the publishers are squirming:
But the Association of American Publishers warned that the law would jeopardise the integrity of the scientific publishing process. Association member Brian Crawford warned it "would create unnecessary costs for taxpayers, place an unwarranted burden on research investigators, and expropriate the value-added investments made by scientific publishers, many of them not-for-profit associations who depend on publishing income to support pursuit of their scholarly missions".
You know, when the cars became ubiquitous, many horse breeders, dealers and trainers lost their jobs. They then got employed by car dealerships, factories and garages. It is time for the science publishing behemots to go the way of the Dodo as well.

Update: There is an excellent discussion by Nick Anthis and his readers over on Scientific Activist. Go take a look at the post as well as the comment section.

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 2:55 PM | permalink | (3 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink