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

Petr Kuzmic pkuzmic at biokin.com
Wed Jun 21 14:39:50 EST 2000

Mike Clark wrote:
> 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?

It could be the absence of viable alternatives, and the fact that tenure
decisions still involve the counting of research articles published
within the "Gutenberg paradigm" (on paper, in expensive journals).

However, I also believe that some of the reasons for compliance are
ideologigal.  By 'ideology' I mean that people's responses to public
events are determined not only by logic (reason, economic sense) but
also by faith or adherence to some kind of core values.

It could be that many scientists, especially those working in the
developed countries, consider the so-called market forces in a way
sacred, as do many other members of their respective societies.  

Any proposal that challenges the profit motive could be seen by them as
socially subversive ("bad for business").  It might be rejected for
ideological reasons, no matter how much or how little economic sense
does it make.

	-- PK

P e t r   K u z m i c,  Ph.D.		           pkuzmic at biokin.com
BioKin Ltd. * Software and Consulting                Ph. 608.256.4790
P.O. Box 8336                                        Fax 608.256.1269
Madison, WI 53708                               http://www.biokin.com

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