Society double-paying for academic research?

At the risk of getting Paul all riled up, check this op-ed about paid versus open-access publishing for federally-funded research:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/opinion/research-bought-then-paid-for.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

I personally think that we should switch to a model where articles are pay-to-access but the long-toiling grad students who actually do the peer reviews are compensated… just sayin’  🙂

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4 Responses to Society double-paying for academic research?

  1. Paul says:

    Yes the whole system is broken… these publishers sound like the RIAA does.. stuck 10 years behind everyone else. Pretty soon everything will be online only and costs are minimal and could be paid for through author submission fees. The fees are written into many grants, and basically it is a way to subsidize the publishing industry for a service. But there is no reason, beyond that, to allow profits from tax supported research by selling articles. If the publishers don’t want to continue in an industry with small profit margins, that’s fine, others will take over. Just look at the success of PLoS, etc. Maybe we should be funding PLoS directly? Because we need to have a federally funded system to organize all the supplemental material that is deposited along with many paper to ensure that A) It is properly archived and backed up B) that is available in a useful way for people to access and use. Why not pay PLoS or someone to do it?
    So John, you are saying that we should charge for articles and have the money flow back to peer reviewers (who are also the same scientists doing research). Why have it so complicated..just include publication costs in grants at the outset and release everything freely at the end. There are finite review and publication costs, but infinitely higher charges if every person in the US has to buy an article (every person in the US has a right to read everything in my opinion).

  2. John says:

    No, I was just kidding- I’m sure that would lead to a ton of conflicts-of-interest! Reviewing is a pain, though it’s part of the job, and plus the reviewer gets something out of it as well in terms of an advanced look at what others are doing in the field.

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