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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Is the Academic Publishing Model About to Bite the Dust? - About Time!

Academic Publishing Model
Getting The Boot
I have posted on this subject before (Academic Publishing is a Good Gig if You Can Get It - And a Rip Off for Creators) and Part Deuce of same).

Please read the above links for more background on this issue. 


Ever since time began, it seems, both grad students and professors have had to publish new and researched works in their fields in academic journals to advance in their academic standings and/or careers.
 
And these poor academic field laborers have never gotten paid for their efforts --- Guess who made millions on their free labor and creativity? Academic publishers and journals, that's who!
 
"Essentially, when the academics do all the thinking, all the writing, all the editing, for free, how come three companies can make millions upon millions a year selling it all back to them?"
 
I would say its damn time that the new digital tech leveled the playing field in academic publishing just as it has in traditional publishing :) 
 
Tim Worstall, Forbes, has this to say:
 
The Coming Collapse of the Academic Publishing Model
 
We had a quick look at the economics of the academic publishing model back here, when the subject first came to prominence. Essentially, when the academics do all the thinking, all the writing, all the editing, for free, how come three companies can make millions upon millions a year selling it all back to them?

When it was all about printing up 300 copies of an obscure journal and making sure that they got to the only 300 people in the world interested in the subject there was a possible argument in favour of the model. Now that everything is online perhaps less so.

The Guardian has a nice piece about the general discussion and then there’s this very interesting declaration by the head of the Wellcome Trust:

But the intervention of the Wellcome Trust, the largest non-governmental funder of medical research after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is likely to galvanise the movement by forcing academics it funds to publish in open online journals.


Sir Mark Walport, the director of Wellcome Trust, said that his organisation is in the final stages of launching a high calibre scientific journal called eLife that would compete directly with top-tier publications such as Nature and Science, seen by scientists as the premier locations for publishing. Unlike traditional journals, however, which cost British universities hundreds of millions of pounds a year to access, articles in eLife will be free to view on the web as soon as they are published.


He also said that the Wellcome Trust, which spends more than £600m on scientific research a year, would soon adopt a more robust approach with the scientists it funds, to ensure that results are freely available to the public within six months of first publication.


However, here’s the bit that really interests me:

Read and learn more

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