Publishers See Pitfalls to Open Access

I guess the opposite of Open is Closed? "Open access. Two bland words that have obliged scholarly publishers, librarians, scientists, funders, and governments to rethink their most basic assumptions, and in some cases begin to tamper with a business model that has held up for more than a century.

Open access (OA) calls for scholarly publications to be available online at no cost and without barriers. Arguments in favor include a broader and more rapid distribution of research results, and the essential fairness of allowing taxpayers who paid in part for the research to access it without paying again.

But publishers worry that making manuscripts freely available would weaken the scientific peer review process, because libraries, the main source of revenue for most publishers, would no longer have to pay for subscriptions to the journals. "

[Thanks to Graham for the link]

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When a publisher is for-profit

They are basically getting free content. Not to mention free peer review and maybe even free editorial work from contributing scientists.

If they then charge for Open Access they are getting everything for free, plus making even more on top.

Yes of course they have costs, but the content itself is free, and there is no profit-sharing with the authors after the fact. They have nothing to moan about while that is still the case. Maybe if scientists and/or their funders started charging publishers for providing their content they'd have a point. But they don't.

They don't pay authors

They don't pay authors because they don't have to. Academic authors are happy to publish for free. In return they get tenure.

That's the point. They should

That's the point. They should do for providing content. Everything else is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what the scientists do or don't want to do. The work is often not the copyright of the scientist but the funding body that funds them. Wellcome and UK research Councils for example now require all work to be Open Access whatever the scientist wants or cares about.

Tenure? Yeah right. Try telling a junior scientist or an RA. Or indeed anyone working in science. You keep publishing because you have to for your job. You are only as good as your last assessment. But by giving your work away for free aren't you devaluing it's worth?

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