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  •  Plos does seem to be working... reduce the cost! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde, Tropical Depression

    I like the idea of Plos (though my Principal Investigator won't let anyone in his lab submit to it because he's worried about lack of exposure), and I think the core problem with the journal process right now is how expensive they are.  You can't currently support a more "open-source" model when an issue of Cell costs $30.  The solution?  Ditch all printed copies of these journals and go completely online (this already seems to be happening...)  This would reduce the amount of money it costs for a given journal to publish and might encourage more participation and more sharing of information.

    Darksyde, I do have one question for you... you talk a little about making scientific literature freely available... this sounds like a great idea, but how much would it help?  Papers published in biomedical and scientific journals like PLOS are written at a level that the general public wouldn't understand them anyways, and every scientist who needs to read these papers already has access through their respective institution (though again, as I said, these subscriptions are unreasonably expensive right now).  Would you encourage each journal to create a section in every issue summarizing the important results of the week's papers for laypeople?  

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

    by Brian A on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 05:14:05 AM PDT

    •  You should ask Coturnix (0+ / 0-)

      about that, as I was kinda wondering myself. He'll probably be around in comment or at his blog shortly.

      Read UTI, your free thought forum

      by DarkSyde on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 05:16:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another thing about Plos (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brian A

      is that it is damn freakin' expensive to publish (as compared to ACS journals, for example, that don't have page fees at all . . )

      •  They need more advertisements (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        They have so few adverts on their website and no printed journal, so I guess they must make close to nothing from advertising dollars...  So since they make so little on adverts and they don't charge anything for people to read the journal, they need to make it up in publishing fees.

        Adverts are annoying of course but they are a great way to make the system more fair and egalitarian, as if they make up more of their costs in adverts it will be easier for more people to publish...

        "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

        by Brian A on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 05:37:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To me their high fees smack of well-funded labs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brian A

          having a leg up in getting some perhaps-less-worthy research published (although, yes I do know the journals are peer reviewed).

          Plus it freezes out all the struggling 3rd world labs for sure . . .

          •  Defeats the whole purpose (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            Yeah and if only well-funded labs can publish there, it sorta defeats the whole purpose of Plos, doesnt it?  

            "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

            by Brian A on Sat Jul 07, 2007 at 05:53:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  A point of clarification from PLoS (0+ / 0-)

      A couple of points of clarification from PLoS:
       
      First and foremost, if an author cannot afford the full publication fee for a PLoS journal (they range from $1250 for PLoS ONE, to $2500 for PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine), then we waive the fee.  We make this very clear on the article submission form.  Editors and reviewers have no access to payment information, so the ability to pay can’t influence editorial decisions on the journals.  We have the waiver policy, because we agree that there’s no point replacing a system whereby only rich people have access to the literature, with one whereby only rich people can afford to publish their work.  

      Second – the fees themselves.  The business model that we and other open access publishers (but not all OA publishers) are using is to cover our costs by charging a fee to publish an article, rather than a fee to read an article.   We’re keeping the fees as low as we can, but we also have to try and cover as much of our costs as possible.  Ultimately, this system will work if publication fees are included in the expenses that fund research itself, and many funding agencies are supporting this idea.  After all, publishing is an integral part of the research process, and paying a publishing fee is no different from buying a reagent, or paying to attend a meeting.  It’s a new business model (although not so dissimilar from the page, colour and reprint charges that many authors are used to), but we feel it’ll lead to a much more effective journals publishing market than the suboptimal system that we have now, not to mention all the benefits that unfettered access to research literature will bring.

      After all, one of our core values is to make OA publishing easily available to everyone in the world, not just the well-funded researchers in the top labs in the Western nations.

      "Knowledge is Power"! Visit me at my blog

      by coturnix on Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 08:58:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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