Journals & Magazines

Scientists at U. of California Push for Journal Boycott

madtom writes "Today's Chronicle of Higher Education reports that two scientists at the University of California at San Francisco are urging a worldwide boycott of six molecular-biology journals on the grounds that their publisher, Reed Elsevier, is demanding that the University of California system pay too high a price for electronic access to the publications.

The scientists are Keith Yamamoto, chairman of the department of cellular and molecular pharmacology, and Peter Walter, a professor of biophysics and biochemistry. In a letter circulated this week, they say that Reed Elsevier is asking the university system to pay more than $90,000 a year for the journals' online editions. The California Digital Library, which negotiates journal contracts for the university system, rejected that price, and is now pushing Reed Elsevier to reconsider its licensing terms that will take effect in January, says Daniel Greenstein, director of the Digital Library.

Mr. Walter and Mr. Yamamoto are asking scientists to retaliate against Cancer Cell, Cell, Developmental Cell, Molecular Cell, Immunity, and Neuron by refusing to submit articles to the journals, resigning from their editorial boards, and declining to review manuscripts for them. The publications are considered among the most prestigious in molecular biology."

See the Chronicle article (subscription required) and related materials from the California Digital Library and the UC Academic Senate

Traffic overwhelms new online science journal

CNET Says The inaugural issue of the journal, called the Public Library of Science Biology, is the first journal to be published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a San Francisco nonprofit that's backed by several highly regarded scientists who want to see scientific research freely distributed online.

Not surprisingly, the free distribution model seems be going over well. Within the first eight hours of the journal's launch, traffic on the site spiked to more than half a million hits, said Nick Twyman, director of information technology and computer operations at PLoS. The traffic has overwhelmed the group's servers, causing PLoS to direct visitors to other sites, where they can access simplified versions of the journal. Twyman said he hopes to get the site up and running again by Wednesday.

PLoS Biology launched

mcbride writes "PLoS Biology has launched, and from the immediate passing view, has the look and feel of Science, complete with news, editorial, synopses of all research articles ("All PLoS Biology research articles are accompanied by a synopsis written by a professional science writer for a general audience.") and is available electronically in multiple flavors. Synopsis, Full-text (Web), Figures only, Print PDF (larger file, and Screen PDF (smaller file). The issue can also be downloaded as one BIG (65MB) file. As of 6amPST, the web server (including downloads of PDF) has been slashdotted. PLoS Biology is also available in print for those of us that like glossy covers."

Articles on PLoS Biology in Nature

madtom writes "Nature News announced the debut of the first issue of PLoS Biology this coming Monday. Positioned to compete with Nature, Science, and Cell, its arrival is already causing a stir: unlike other journals that record research about biology and medicine, this one is free. The scientists behind the journal are challenging standard publishing practice, in which researchers pay to read others' results in journals, arguing that this is unfair both to scientists who submit their work freely and to the public whose taxes subsidize the research. Not surprisingly, Nature has published a letter from John Ewing, director of the American Mathematical Society, who makes the counter argument that the journal's revenue model of charging the authors (upwards of $1500 per paper) is unfair to the authors, noting that the journal's assumption that researchers, especially outside the U.S., have their work funded by grants or their institutions, is erroneous. Article
Biology Journals
, and see also,
Ewing, John, 'Open access' will not be open to everyone [Correspondence], Nature 425, 559 (09 October 2003); doi:10.1038/425559a (requires subscription)

Butler, Declan, Scientific publishing: Who will pay for open access? [News feature] Nature 425, 554-555 (09 October 2003); doi:10.1038/425554a (requires subscription)"

Intro to Open Access: The Public Library of Science

EContent has An Article by Marydee Ojala on The Public Library of Science.

"Research scientists live for just one thing—research. Their L word is laboratory not library. Secondary research, looking for articles in their area of specialization, takes a back seat to the thrill of primary research. Yet, every scientist knows that publishing is intrinsic to the research process. Not only do they want to publish their research findings, they also want to ensure that their research is unique and significant. It's the latter that involves library research. Whether said library is a physical entity or electronic—or, in many cases, a blending of the two—the challenge facing scientists is being able to read the full text of relevant articles without spending their entire research budget in the process."

Is it science without a journal?

Lee Hadden writes: "There is an interesting editorial in the Journal of Cave and Karst
Studies, Volume 64 (2) - August 2003, ISSN 0146-9517, entitled, "Science, the NSS,
and the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies: Is it science without a journal?" by
William B. White.
The editorial discusses the difference between a magazine and a journal,
and the need to document the discoveries and observations of scientists. They
are especially proud that their journal has been added to Current Contents and
the science citation Index.
Although the editorial is not available online, many other articles on
cave science are. See their site at:"

Economics of open access

The PLoS is still getting press, This Time from over at The Scientist.
They say Debate over open access to scientific articles is steadily moving into the mainstream, with the publication this month of an editorial in The New York Times, a recently introduced Congressional bill to promote open access publishing, and a television commercial sponsored by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a California-based group that plans to launch an open-access journal in October.
Another one thanks to Gary Price.

Public's Research

rteeter writes "An editorial in the Sacramento Bee supports Public Library of Science."

They point out an indicator of PloS's [] potential success will be whether it has attracted top researchers to submit their studies to this journal as opposed to the traditionally dominant players in the field. PloS Biology has assembled a top-notch team of editors and reviewers, as has PloS Medicine, which will make its debut next year.

Cites & Insights for September 2003 out

Walt writes "The September 2003 issue of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large is now available.

The 20-page issue (yes, it's still PDF, and likely to stay that way) is chunky this time:

Perspective: DVD Durability Survey
Perspective: Weblogging: A Tool, Not a Medium
Bibs & Blather
Scholarly Article Access (almost half the issue)
Good Stuff Perspective: Weblogging and Libraries

The idiot who puts this thing out has already been made aware that there are two, count them, two obvious errors on the first page ("September 2002" should be "September 2003" in both cases). He probably won't fix them (for reasons explained in one of the essays, oddly enough).

That's what comes of not having an editor: You can look at something six times and see what you wanted to see instead of what's there."

$10,000 for a Journal about Libraries?

"Peter Scott notes that Emerald is offering free access to Library Management this week.

In case you didn't know, this "9 times a year" journal (when they don't combine issues) costs a cool $10,784. I believe it's by far the most expensive serial within librarianship.
I always wondered what could possibly justify that price.

I've taken a look and can only suggest that the curious look for yourselves. It's not hard; a year runs to 450 pages or so. Any comment from me would come off as mean-spirited."

Read Library Management here.

[via Walt]


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