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Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

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Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby justjj » Mon May 20, 2013 2:51 am

http://blog.priceonomics.com/post/50096 ... =longreads

"cientists’ work follows a consistent pattern. They apply for grants, perform their research, and publish the results in a journal. The process is so routine it almost seems inevitable. But what if it’s not the best way to do science?

Although the act of publishing seems to entail sharing your research with the world, most published papers sit behind paywalls. The journals that publish them charge thousands of dollars per subscription, putting access out of reach to all but the most minted universities. Subscription costs have risen dramatically over the past generation. According to critics of the publishers, those increases are the result of the consolidation of journals by private companies who unduly profit off their market share of scientific knowledge.

When we investigated these alleged scrooges of the science world, we discovered that, for their opponents, the battle against this parasitic profiting is only one part of the scientific process that needs to be fixed.
..."
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby roughbarked » Mon May 20, 2013 3:05 am

justjj wrote:longreads

only one part of the scientific process that needs to be fixed.
..."



I'll read the page link later but as I see it, the scientists do work which deserves to be paid for. They get grants sure but this often barely pays for the work. I'm not sure they need to be paid for the fame but if there are royalties being divvied up then the author in reality deserves the lion's share.

That I cannot be privvy to information which in reality is destined to be my future simply because I cannot afford the cost impost, does somewhat irk me. However, I happen to be capable of at least being able to decompile at least some of the code lines which are released.
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby Helix » Mon May 20, 2013 10:54 am

That's an interesting article. It seems to go off the rails at the end, though. I'm with them for open access journals --- these are brilliant, as long as they're the real deal (like PLoS One) and not vanity publishers (like Bentham).

Then it refers to an economics paper (science obviously being an extremely wide category) in which there was an Excel error, suggesting that the error wasn't identified for a long time. But it seems to have been picked up much earlier --- the lack of replication is a clear indication that something dodgy was going on and going on either by accident or design. And note that it wasn't the researchers working in that area who took the original (flawed) work so seriously that they designed their policies around it.

And now take that and magnify it by bunging unworked research on the internet for everyone to see...

And almost at the end, they're advocating that people work for free. They could be earning money to pay the bills, but think of the kudos!

Bah! Humbug.

(There are alternative interpretations of the article, but I haven't had any coffee yet.)
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby justjj » Mon May 20, 2013 11:30 am

Thanks for that, Helix.

I've been following this topic for a long time, but had not kept up lately, so jumped at this piece when it came up on twitter.

That's a neat story you linked to.
I had to look up vanity press.
I can see how the pressure to NOT share info must be significant ... too many ideas have unintended consequences don't they.
Perhaps everything does, but they are not always apparent.

I'll try to find more directly focused info about the longer term discussion to add here.
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby Helix » Mon May 20, 2013 11:42 am

I think that because the article links so many different ideas, that it's a bit diffuse. Any of those elements could spawn a huge discussion. (And I hope they do!)
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby roughbarked » Mon May 20, 2013 11:45 am

Helix wrote:I think that because the article links so many different ideas, that it's a bit diffuse. Any of those elements could spawn a huge discussion. (And I hope they do!)


Ah. The coffee has kicked in. :)


I want to take this moment to thank you both .. now to read all these links.
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby mollwollfumble » Tue May 21, 2013 5:35 pm

> most published papers sit behind paywalls. The journals that publish them charge thousands of dollars per subscription, putting access out of reach to all but the most minted universities.

That's why I love ArXiV - not only is it free but it's fast, and almost totally free of the type of political interference that usually dogs peer review.

However, almost everything that is available to universities is also available to the general public. Go into a university library and peruse its paper journal collections inside the library for free. Also, if you're looking for something specific in a pay per view online journal you can ask the librarian to direct you to a guest computer terminal from which you can view it.
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby roughbarked » Tue May 21, 2013 11:11 pm

mollwollfumble wrote:> most published papers sit behind paywalls. The journals that publish them charge thousands of dollars per subscription, putting access out of reach to all but the most minted universities.

That's why I love ArXiV - not only is it free but it's fast, and almost totally free of the type of political interference that usually dogs peer review.

However, almost everything that is available to universities is also available to the general public. Go into a university library and peruse its paper journal collections inside the library for free. Also, if you're looking for something specific in a pay per view online journal you can ask the librarian to direct you to a guest computer terminal from which you can view it.



Where's the like button?
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby justjj » Wed May 22, 2013 1:25 am

R. Soc. Publishing ‏@RSocPublishing

All our journals now have mobile sites so you can read articles on your phone! More info

http://royalsocietypublishing.org/site/ ... bile.xhtml
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby justjj » Thu May 23, 2013 6:15 pm

Another publishing argument; interesting.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/ ... Z2-55wq8Qo

Journal impact factor 'distorts science'

Friday, 17 May 2013 by Dani Cooper ABC

http://am.ascb.org/dora/
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby justjj » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:31 am

http://phylogenomics.blogspot.com.au/20 ... l?spref=tw

Building trust: a sine qua non for successful acceptance of preprints in the biological sciences
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby justjj » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:56 pm

*waves to the little red man down there*
:)
From GrrlScientist ‏@GrrlScientist
"the journal, BioScience, is OPEN ACCESS (for a limited time)

http://bit.ly/1gSqqeA
thanks to their new publisher, @OUPAcademic"
warning: I can't get that link to work, so hope it does for others who might be interested.
Just in case, this is the relevant blog.
http://blog.oup.com/

Good Luck ... my connection can't handle either of them.
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby Helix » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:16 pm

justjj wrote:*waves to the little red man down there*


Ahahahahaha! It must be Christmas.

justjj wrote:warning: I can't get that link to work, so hope it does for others who might be interested.


It works for me. Here's the longer version.

Thanks!
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby Helix » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:09 pm

Oh, I just noticed that I stuffed up the quotes in the previous comment!
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby justjj » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:29 pm

"How one publisher is stopping academics from sharing their research"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the ... -research/

"One of the world's largest academic publishers has launched a wide-ranging takedown spree, demanding that several different universities take down their own scholars' research.

Elsevier is a commercial firm that publishes some of the leading journals in many academic fields. In recent weeks, it has sent takedown notices to the academic social media network Academia.edu, as well as to the University of Calgary, the University of California-Irvine, and Harvard University.

In these cases, Elsevier is within its legal rights to demand the material be taken down. The firm often requires researchers to surrender their copyrights in a paper as a condition of publishing it. But the takedown campaign goes against a long-standing industry practice in which journal publishers look the other way when academics post their own work. ..."
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby Helix » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:01 pm

This is what Fake Elsevier (@FakeElsevier) had to say about that:

Our founder Lodewijk Elzevir wouldn't have bothered w/ takedown notices. Back then we would've just sent you an angry badger covered in tar.
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby justjj » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:13 pm

Helix wrote:This is what Fake Elsevier (@FakeElsevier) had to say about that:

Our founder Lodewijk Elzevir wouldn't have bothered w/ takedown notices. Back then we would've just sent you an angry badger covered in tar.

hehehe .
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby *jj* » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:15 am

From Rose Eveleth Dec 22 2014,

Free Access to Science Research Doesn't Benefit Everyone ...
There is a lot of promise in open access.
But there are a lot of problems too.


http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/a ... ne/383875/
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby Helix » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:35 am

It's even more complicated. The increased reliance on dodgy metrics as a way of measuring academic worth leads to a decline in morale. For example, this case from Imperial College (London) shows what can happen to people when the value of a research grant is considered so much more important than the research itself.
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Re: Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Postby nut » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:15 pm

Give me open access!

...“publish and perish”

There is a boundary at which the pursuit of wealth impacts negatively on the pursuit of science. While the pursuit of science is not independant of wealth it is this boundary that must be considered.
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