Tuesday, January 17, 2012

publishers versus openness

Academic publishers have become the enemies of science — the article explains how the US Research Works Act would “allow publishers to line their pockets by locking publicly funded research behind paywalls”.

A related issue is the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) which has led to Wikipedia’s forthcoming protest (see the warning message on Wikipedia itself) in the form of a blackout that will take place on Wednesday. this article seems to provide hope that sanity will prevail; it’s reassuring to hear Rupert Murdoch accusing the Obama administration of bowing to “Silicon Valley paymasters”.

(added slightly later:) This new post at Tim Gowers' blog also comes out in favour of the one-day blackout.

(added 6.2.12: article in The Economist about the Elsevier boycott.)


Ariel Procaccia said...

Here's a nice related article in today's NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/science/open-science-challenges-journal-tradition-with-web-collaboration.html?ref=science?src=dayp

Paul Goldberg said...

Yes, that's a nice article, with a good listing of open online forums being used by scientists, and relevant quote from Scott Aaronson's blog.

deepak said...

I'm not a prof but a student, from India, not from any IIT, which you seem not to be very fond of, and very new to the world of research.

Very recently, a paper co-authored by me got selected to a conference whose proceedings are archived in Xplore. I had to literally cough up 200 $ for presenting it in the conference.

This made me think,

Why should I pay for the work done by me, ironically on open source software, so that IEEE can sell it to others?

Why aren't the leading institutions revolting against such a system?

When governments can spend billions on research, why on earth can't they spend a bit more and make all that research free to access?

Paul Goldberg said...

Deepak: it is happening, but slowly.
This article (see also other links accompanying the article) explains how leading institutions and funding agencies are helping to move towards open access.

Paul Goldberg said...

...also see this recent blog post for an update.