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The future of scientific publishing: a researcher's perspective


Slides from a talk given to BioMedCentral at their company day in London, Sept 2012

Slides from a talk given to BioMedCentral at their company day in London, Sept 2012

Published in Education , Business , Technology
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  • 1. The future of scientific publishing:a researchers perspective  Professor  Stephen  Curry Imperial  College
  • 2. Who am I?
  • 3. Why my perspective? G oogle it
  • 4. The Research Works Act SEC. 2. LIMITATION ON FEDERAL AGENCY ACTION. • No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that-- ◦ (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; Authors: Reps Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) - and Elsevier?
  • 5. Effects of the RWA and Elseviers stance - their content? - long-standing frustration with publishers (and scientific amateurism?) - surprise at costs (RLUK negotiations in 2011) Warning: thinking out loud in public... (25+ posts/articles) a mateur at work
  • 6. An open access advocate…10 April 2012
  • 7. Why should we adopt open access? For the sake of science ‣ unrestricted access ‣ faster exchange of ideas ? ‣ fosters inter-disciplinarity ‣ text and data mining: ‣ now that we can, we should ‣ more transparent costs ‣ improved market efficiency = better cost control ‣ stronger sense of community ownership (acad. & public) ‣ more motivated reviewers?
  • 8. Why should we adopt open access? For the sake of the public ‣ they paid for it (largely) — shouldnt they own it? ? ‣ they want access (e.g. patient groups) ‣ democratic necessity ‣ changes the dynamic of public engagement ‣ increased public demand good for Science?
  • 9. Why should we adopt open access? Risks/Downsides ‣ authors pays model = vanity publishing? ‣ weak peer-review by predatory OA journals? ? (Bentham vs PLoS ONE) ‣ higher overall costs (to research-active institutions/nations)? ‣ not according to Alma Swan (see Going for Gold) ‣ do scientific societies lose out? ‣ what about arts and humanities?
  • 10. Why are we not there yet? Publishers ‣ adherence to a profitable model. Hence: ‣ insistence on copyright acquisition ‣ Elsevier support for RWA ‣ confidentiality clauses on subscription deals ‣ Can publishers be part of the solution? (Or has Elsevier given everyone else a bad name?) ‣ They have to be!
  • 11. Why are we not there yet? Funders/Governments ‣ Wellcome leads the way ‣ but only 55% compliance ‣ Weaker support from RCs ‣ encouraged but not properly resourced ‣ about to change...? Finch, RCUK policy 5 Sept 2012 Cost? Length of transition? Effect on green OA? International co-ordination?
  • 12. Why are we not there yet? Scientists ‣ ignorant of ‣ obligations and how OA works ‣ subscription costs ‣ a problem with access (in wealthy institutions) ‣ concerns for scientific societies ‣ weak sense of public duty? ‣ conservative - fear of losing a traditional model ‣ invented the web but suspicious of it? ‣ addicted to impact factors
  • 13. Impact factors: dont get me startedAug 2012 Kill them now (partner) Welcome Trust OA policy: The Trust "affirms the principle that it is the intrinsic merit of the work, and not the title of the journal in which an author’s work is published, that should be considered in making funding decisions."
  • 14. The web changes everything...?
  • 15. Questions?