Friday, January 2, 2015

Open Access 2014: A Year that Data Cracked Through Secrecy and Myth | Absolutely Maybe

Open Access 2014: A Year that Data Cracked Through Secrecy and Myth | Absolutely Maybe

By Hilda Bastian
Absolutely Maybe

"Scientists created a rod for their backs when they allowed the journals in which their work is published to become the arbiters of its scientific merit.

A small tier of journals locked behind expensive paywalls became the elite of the elite, rejecting almost all the manuscripts received. That sends scientists on a time-consuming cascade of submission and re-submission to multiple journals. It delays access to research results and discussion for many months – and costs other scientists millions of hours of often-redundant review time.
This editorial peer review hasn’t been shown to reliably improve quality – and high impact factor journals, inevitably, fail to ensure quality.
What’s more, by not publishing open access, scientists lose out on the very things they really want: to be read, to be cited by other scientists, and to have access to as much funding as possible. The cost of scientific publishing keeps draining resources:
“It turns out that scholarly publishing does not operate like a classic market. For a number of reasons, no effective mechanisms for restraining prices have emerged.”
Last year I wrote that critical mass in favor of open access had been reached among research funders. That continued to grow in 2014. Financial pressure grew on both authors and funders, too, as more research attracted article processing charges (APCs).
Commercial non-disclosure agreements around journal subscriptions took a hammering. The year’s drama started in December 2013, when France’s national negotiators for university subscriptions balked at Elsevier’s asking price for its publications…"

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