Saturday, April 29, 2006

Belgian Study Touts Open Access Publishing for EU

Elsevier is bad, says 112 page report.

Brussels delivers blow to Reed Elsevier

· Pricing of journal papers 'impedes science progress'
· Internet access proposal puts lucrative trade at risk

Richard Wray
Wednesday April 19, 2006
The Guardian

Scientific research funded by the European taxpayer should be freely available to everyone over the internet, according to a European commission report - a blow to the lucrative scientific publishing operations of media groups such as Reed Elsevier and Germany's Springer.

The report, produced by economists from Toulouse University and the Free University of Brussels for the EC, shows that in the 20 years to 1995 the price of scientific journals rose 300% more than the rate of inflation over the period. In the 10 years since then, price increases slowed but still significantly outpaced inflation.

"While it is important to stress the societal value of the existing publication system, it is also important to acknowledge the societal cost linked to high journal prices, in financial terms for public budgets, but also in terms of limits on the dissemination of knowledge and therefore of further scientific progress," the report concludes.

The report, published this month and open to consultation until the summer, recommends open access to publicly funded research. It proposes that researchers who receive EU funding should be "mandated" to place copies of articles published in subscription journals on web-based archives that can be accessed by everyone for free.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]


At April 29, 2006 11:48 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

I'm really glad to read that. Snippet from an email I sent recently to an organization who may or may not respond:

I want to write about [x]. I have to pay for all those
documents in order to let other people, who will also
have to buy them, know that they exist.

The alternative is not to write. If it were just a
matter of writing for myself, if I read the info and
told nobody, it wouldn't matter. But I have hundreds
of readers who can process this knowledge if they
learned about it, and hundreds more who will at least
skim my writing and see that the word bipolar is not
spelled bi-polar or BiPolar.

Is pay-per-read the solution? Am I looking at this all
wrong? I'm getting paid to write [sometimes] so I should pay for my
raw source material, right? Certainly that makes sense
in theory and in some cases is quite appropriate. It's
just that the scale is out of proportion in this case.
If I paid the going rate for PDFs, if every link from
my blog items cost me $30, I'd be paying thousands a
month, and I don't get nearly that in return.

Some journals give free access to media. The APA is
great for that, they send me lots of publications. They're
an exception.

Meanwhile, the authors of the articles invariably and
enthusiastically want me to read, and send me their writing. They want
readers, they want dissemination, they want


At May 01, 2006 12:41 AM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Last year, NIH "strongly encouraged" their funded researchers to submit manuscripts to PubMedCentral for free release within a year of publication in a paid journal. This, of course, won't help you find an article published last week.

SO there is some movement in science publishing to make federally funded research freely available to the public (after all, taxes pay for NIH). There's also PLoS and Biomed Central.

Here's an extreme (but true) example of when timely access is a life-and-death matter. My colleague's neighbor is suffering from a virulent form of breast cancer and wants to read about the latest experimental treatments. Who can afford to pay $300 for 10 articles? So my colleague got her the articles using his academic affiliation. What kind of publisher wants to gouge a cancer patient for articles on cancer treatments??


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker