Sunday, January 28, 2007

Traditional science publishers hire PR firms to scuttle open access

Doesn't surprise me - this industry has descended into blatant rent-seeking behaviour over the last couple decades. It's gotten to the point in my field (heterogeneous catalysis) that all (pretty much) the journals dedicated to the subject are owned by Elsevier. No prizes for guessing what happens when you own all the journals...
I also suspect that a lot of lecturers (the reveiwers, how many businesses let their employees take a day of 3-5 times per month to review articles for another business?) are tacitly pulled into the system since they can aspire to become 'editors' of the journals and thus pump up the ol' resume.
Add in these ridiculous 'impact factor' calculations and you have the makings of a ludicrous Kafkaesque like rabbit warren of being seen to publish in journals not because it's good work but because the journals themselves define good work. Madness!
Publish or perish: you reap what you sow.


Blogger Thom said...

The article has a real gem of a quote from Rudy Baum at the American Chemical Society:

"These efforts have been dubbed "socialized science," by Rudy Baum, editor in chief of the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Chemical and Engineering News. "Open access, in fact, equates with socialized science," he wrote in a 2004 editorial. "I find it incredible that a Republican Administration would institute a policy that will have the long-term effect of shifting responsibility for communicating scientific research and maintaining the archive of science, technology, and medical (STM) literature from the private sector to the federal government."

12:57 AM  

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