Returning Scientific Publishing to Scientists
The Public Library of Science-organized boycott of journals not allowing free distribution after six months of the articles they\'ve published begins September 1. Here\'s a useful round-up of those pushing for freer, cheaper distribution of scientific information:
Out of old bookes, in good faithe,
Cometh al this new science that men lere.
--Geoffrey Chaucer, The Assembly of Fowles
As Chaucer\'s \"old bookes\" give way to the Information Age, I\'ve been asking myself whether or not these books -- and today, principally journals -- have morphed into something else entirely. Scientific communication is increasingly driven by factors that have little to do with researchers and more to do with commercial publishers\' profits. Even amid talk of the Internet-driven rise of scientific publishing, the researcher and the lab -- where scientific communication originates -- seem to be forgotten entirely. Restoring the researcher in research publishing requires long-term, cultural shifts to right the balance in favor of the scientist.