What is wrong with this picture? (Refereed Journal Publishing)

Mike Clark mrc7 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Jun 21 11:22:58 EST 2000


In article <Pine.SGI.3.95.1000619180220.27909B-100000 at cogito.ecs.soton.ac.uk>,
Stevan Harnad <URL:mailto:harnad at cogito.ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:
[snip]
> 
> And that is why such a huge conflict of interest is now becoming
> apparent between refereed-research authors and their publishers in the
> PostGutenberg Era. Whereas book-authors (and CD-recording artists), are
> united with their publishers in not wishing to have their work
> ripped-off, napster-style, research authors are, and always have been,
> eager to give it away! (Their refereed research has always been far
> more like a give-away advertisement than a for-sale product.)
> 

I now see your distinction quite clearly from this paragraph. I guess
academics rarely consider the differences in perspective on the copyright
law of a publication from this point of view. Few of us are out to make
money directly from publishing our work, but our careers may depend upon
the success of those publications.

I wonder if there is any way of trying to calculate how much profit and
also how many jobs in academic publishing are supported from the public
purse?

Academics write the papers, referee the papers, pay the page charges and
then also pay subscriptions to the journals/books to read the same papers.
Most of this is paid for out of the public purse (HEFCE) or from charities.
We are therefor paying huge amounts to as you say 'advertise' our own work
which we have given away the rights to very easily. It doesn't look like it
makes economic sense so why do we comply? 

Mike                            <URL:http://www.path.cam.ac.uk/~mrc7/>
-- 
 o/ \\    //            ||  ,_ o   M.R. Clark, PhD. Division of Immunology
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