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[Annelida] Open access

Kenneth Halanych via annelida%40net.bio.net (by ken from auburn.edu)
Wed Feb 27 10:04:31 EST 2019

Geoff - I would echo some of Aida’s comments.

The original intent behind Open Access is laudable. However, it has also proven to be problematic. Namely several Open Access journals - including the several big and reputable ones - have little to know editing. You are suppose to be paying to maintain the open access of your publication — but you often pay for A LOT more. PLOS serves as an illustrative example of this.

Also I think is it important to realize the potential impact of things like PLAN-S in Europe. The idea was hastily put together with a questionable amount of input and not well thought out.  There has been considerable discussion of this in both Europe and the USA. Importantly, such efforts may have devastating impacts on Societies that are often dependent on journal revenue. Thus it will, in my humble opinion, have a negative impact on science. I think it would be OK to mandate that research must be published as open access, but I think demanding that is  published in a venue that is 100% open access is an overreach.

A good bit of this seems to have less to do with science and more to do with reining in large for profit publishers. Thus to some degree for the funders to say this is about "getting science to all" is disingenuous.  As a researcher, it has GREATLY inflated what I pay for getting papers out (page charge or OA charges) - funds that could have been used to support a graduate student. Ideally grants will cover these OA, but that is not how ti has worked out. We all know that the funding agencies (many who are pushing this) are under ever tightening budgets.  The Blog you point out is interesting - but it should be point out that Frontiers has a vested interest in seeing Plan S get implemented sooner rather than later. Given this their point of view, their editorial is not surprising.

I would also point out the editorial in PNAS BY Marci McNutt  - https://www.pnas.org/content/116/7/2400.

I think OA is a good thing in many ways, but PLAN S goes way too far.

Ken Halanych

On Feb 26, 2019, at 10:31 PM, Geoff Read <Geoffrey.Read from niwa.co.nz<mailto:Geoffrey.Read from niwa.co.nz>> wrote:

Dear colleagues,

Copyright bedevils our work as scientists.  In particular modern closed-access journals hamper the advance of science, and even rules surrounding access to old books on taxonomy result in some ludicrous restrictions (for example the Hathi trust digitization's are often inaccessible to almost everyone).  Some good news is that recently the well-known BHL 'nothing after 1922' restriction came to an end, at least in USA, and now the freeing-up of taxonomy should advance slowly year by year - for instance McIntosh's last Ray Society monograph (1923) MIGHT become available at BHL soon (don't know when).
[background:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_in_public_domain#Entering_the_public_domain_in_the_United_States ]

Modern journals are what I want to draw attention to now.  Think carefully before you publish in a closed access journal such as Zootaxa (popular though it is as a place to publish, the vast majority of Zootaxa works are not open access).  Why should people, including citizen scientists, with only a need to find out about some worm they have encountered that day, have to jump through hoops in order to track you down to read your work - if you are still alive to respond? They probably won't do it, to your detriment as well as theirs - why did you put in such a tremendous effort if few get to see the result, and even fewer cite you? However, your work should be just there for them at a click of a mouse, shouldn't it?  It's not proprietary to you (the journal owner sells it, not you), and no-one is depriving you of profits if your work is open access. Surely if anyone interested can read it then the better it is for the world.

There are initiatives to encourage open access. Plan S requires that, from 2020, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants (in Europe) must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.  The link below is an entry point to information about it.



Geoff Read

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