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Bill proposed to block public access to publicly funded research

  1. Jan 11, 2012 #1

    Pythagorean

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    More threats to the open research community. Between this and SOPA...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/o...-for.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=research works&st=cse
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2012 #2

    Evo

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    Here is more information on the bill and what you can do to oppose it.

    http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/31184
     
  4. Jan 11, 2012 #3
    What possible purpose does this bill have, other than to be a handout to a few journals?
     
  5. Jan 11, 2012 #4

    Evo

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    Out of the blue two clueless politicians come up with this? Anyone think something is rotten in Denmark? Come on. I doubt either of them even knew any of those journals existed before they were "approached". And what's their reasoning to support this?
     
  6. Jan 11, 2012 #5
    I'm no conspiracy theorist, but it sounds like they're being paid off one way or another.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2012 #6

    Evo

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    I'm not either, but how else would this have come about? It's obvious lobbyists got to them, whether it was perks or brainwashing doesn't really matter. How can this be in the best interest of the public? If taxpayer money is used to fund the research then stipulations on availabilty of the research should be allowed. Right now the journals have exclusive rights for a year. Considering that the journals don't actually pay for the research, they just profit off of publishing, I think that is more than fair. And they make a lot of money.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2012 #7

    Moonbear

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    Sounds like they're just returning to the old way. When NIH first started requiring free access, there was a lot of pushback from publishers. It's hard to cover costs if you're giving away your product free. All it ended up doing was raising publication costs since journals had to start charging enormous page fees to publish in order to offset free distribution.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2012 #8

    Evo

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    But they charge huge subscription fees, do you really think they are hurting? Considering the costs that book publishers have with no guaranteed sales or subsciptions, I can't see how these journals aren't making a killing.
     
  10. Jan 11, 2012 #9
    That seems like the most reasonable guess ... until more is learned about this. This has nothing to do with any sort of conspiracy, imo. It's just business as usual ... imho. And it's one of the things that might be improved upon wrt American politics ... again, just imho.
     
  11. Jan 11, 2012 #10

    Evo

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    No one is suggesting a conspiracy.
     
  12. Jan 11, 2012 #11

    Pengwuino

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    That's a poor comparison. The number of people who buy books/magazine subscriptions vs. peer-review journals is many orders of magnitude apart. In fact, for example, I can probably count the number of subscriptions to the American Journal of Physics in my city of half a million on my hand. There is certainly good reason to suspect there is something going on but just saying that what they sell is expensive is hardly an argument.
     
  13. Jan 11, 2012 #12

    Evo

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    But book publishers have to pay authors up front before anything is published. It's a gamble that doesn't pay off many times. They have to pay for book tours and all of the associated expenses, advertising, forwarding books to bookstores never knowing if anything will sell. Journals have none of these expenses, it's pure guaranteed profit. What expenses do journals have? And they have exclusive rights for the first year! After a year, it's a bit old, eh? Plus they've already raked in the subscription money. There is no need for this bill.
     
  14. Jan 11, 2012 #13

    Drakkith

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    No matter what medium is used all journals will have expenses. As was said, it's hard to sell something if its being offered for free. That said, I do see an issue with not being able to see the results of something that our tax dollars paid for without having to pay for it again. But I'm sure the details are much different than what I imagine.
     
  15. Jan 11, 2012 #14

    Evo

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    But it's not free. They have pre-paid subscriptions that are a fortune, I would bet they're higher profits than your average publication, they have a captive audience. They don't need to print and distribute more than ordered. And for the first year, they can charge ridiculous amounts per paper. $35 for a paper when an entire magazine costs two bucks? What is that, $600 per magazine and they have no costs other than printing (and paying themselves). And that's on top of the millions of dollars in subscriptions fees. They will still continue to get all of this without the bill. They are not at risk of losing anything that they already have, that's the point, they want not only keep what they have, they want to take everything away from the public. What's wrong here?
     
  16. Jan 11, 2012 #15

    Drakkith

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    What's not free? The work published on the NLMW's website is offered free of charge according to what was posted.

    You're telling a business not to after possible profit? Good luck with that. Businesses don't survive by not going after possible profit.
     
  17. Jan 11, 2012 #16

    Evo

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    Do they not have pre-paid subscriptions from universities, medical centers, etc?? It's not provided for free.

    How many publishers have a bill passed guaranteeing them perpetual profits, on tax funded research, no less.
     
  18. Jan 11, 2012 #17

    Pengwuino

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    There's the key, can you actually show me that they have such minimal expenses?
     
  19. Jan 11, 2012 #18

    Evo

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    They don't pay for the research, they don't pay the authors, I don't believe they pay the reviewers, Vanadium50, ZapperZ, etc... can confirm this. Aside from printing and paying themselves what are their expenses? Do they disclose this publicly?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_journal#Cost

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serials_crisis
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  20. Jan 11, 2012 #19

    Ygggdrasil

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    One of the co-sponsors of the bill Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), received $8.5k in contributions from executives of the Dutch publisher Elsevier, one of the largest publishers of scientific journals.

    http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=807

    I will note that the author of the above blog post (and the NY Times Op-Ed in the OP) is a co-founder of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) a group which publishes many open access journals. Instead of charging subscribers for the content, PLoS charges the authors of the scientific articles to defray the costs of publishing (these journals are also online-only, so there is much less overhead).

    One disadvantage of charging authors instead of readers is that very good journals reject many more papers than they accept. However, the rejected papers still take up the journals resources (especially if they were sent to reviewers). Some critics claim that PLoS is able to make their model work because of the PLoS ONE journal that they publish, a journal which has more relaxed publication standard than other journals (it reviews papers to make sure the science is done correctly but articles are not judged on their perceived importance).
     
  21. Jan 11, 2012 #20

    Pengwuino

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    Yes they do not pay reviewers nor the authors. The few journals I regularly read are published by non-profit publishers. It would be interesting to compare the costs journals purchased from for-profit and non-profit publishers
     
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