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View Diary: Academic publications and Aaron Swartz (40 comments)

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  •  This isn't a US only problem. (3+ / 0-)

    Most authors are from other countries and are not supported by the US government.

    Probably most journals are now foreign also, but that is harder to tell. I just published a paper in an online journal and we didn't find out until the editor responded that it was a European journal (not that it mattered to us).

    The big publishing houses sell electronic access to their journals in bulk to libraries. That works fine for large universities.

    Most scientists think that there are too many journals and too many papers. A major problem is the evaluation system focuses on quantity instead of quality. Many universities and granting agencies now limit the number of publications that you can use to make a case, so the advantage of having hundreds of crappy publications in obscure journals is diminished. Still, it hasn't succeeded, since there are plenty of obscure journals full of crappy publications.

    •  Good point. (2+ / 0-)

      However, I suppose arguably if the issue is that the US public should have open access to research they ostensibly paid for, the main issue would be publications by US based authors, specifically those in which the work was paid for by federal or state funding.

      IANAL so I am not going to be able to address the question of international copyright...!

      I wonder about the federal ones. Since federal employees cannot assign copyright (I returned copyright forms saying as much), those articles really ought to be available to anybody. But it's not like you can just download those articles without access to a university library, at least as far as I know. I am not aware that journals treat those articles any differently than they treat other ones.

      •  I was a federal employee also. (2+ / 0-)

        I am fairly sure that journals don't treat those articles any differently. They are still going to charge for access since they have them and you don't.

        However, anyone could make copies and distribute them freely or put the article up on the web and the publisher couldn't do anything about it.

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