New in the Guardian: Academic publishers have become the enemies of science

January 16, 2012

Just a quick note that my article Academic publishers have become the enemies of science is now up on the Guardian’s Science Blog.  Spread the word!

(You’re welcome to comment here, of course, but if you post your comments on the Guardian site, they will be much more widely read.  Registration is very quick and free.)

Rebbachisauridae incertae sedis MMCH-Pv 49, anterior cervical vertebra (MMCH-Pv 49/11) in right lateral (reversed) and anterior views (Haluza et al. 2012:fig 2A-B)

8 Responses to “New in the Guardian: Academic publishers have become the enemies of science”

  1. LeeB Says:

    They are talking about this in the New York Times and the Guardian.
    It’s looking like the publishers attempt to sponser this legislation may be their “let them eat cake” moment.


  2. Nick Gardner Says:

    TBH, I’m not sure how much this will damage science. Very few papers are read by people outside science, and if you’re a scientist you know how to get hold of papers (emailing friends or authors, or asking on twitter).

    This attitude assumes too much.

    Many papers have been authored by people long since dead and most people only have copies of their work in hard copy in a few labs here and there. Often though electronic copies do exist… behind paywalls. Many journals though don’t offer full access to their older articles with the standard institutional licensing and as more libraries begin to liquidate their physical copies of books using the argument that the resources are available online (when this isn’t necessarily true)…. it’s going to become harder to find papers.

    So yes, emailing or tweeting for papers is effective for new papers, not so much for stuff written ages ago, especially if your area of interest isn’t dominated by many other workers.

  3. Nick Gardner Says:

    Anyway, great article Mike. Good to have someone so articulate arguing at the forefront.

    I just wish people would be more forthright in calling this what it is:


  4. Mike Taylor Says:

    “I just wish people would be more forthright in calling this what it is: Corruption.”

    Let’s just note briefly that the Guardian’s legal team looked at the draft before it was posted.

  5. Nick Gardner Says:

    Lawyers sap the fun out of everything ;)

  6. Matt Wedel Says:

    Useful info on how to fight the RWA, especially (but not only) if you’re a US citizen, is here.

  7. […] to have written so much about publishing politics recently, and so little about sauropod vertebrae!  That stuff is important, […]

  8. […] work. We know that these corporations’ interests are directly opposed to those of authors, science, customers, libraries, and indeed everyone but themselves. So leaving them in control of the […]

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