Monday, 14 April 2014

The Fallacy of Open Access Science Publication

Open Access Publications...

What exactly are they meant to do? Are they there to promote new ways of literature publication? Or are they just there to make money? I believe the latter.

Why do I believe this? It’s because they charge over $1000 for EACH article. Now compare this with the old system where publishers charged nothing to the writer of the article.

The difference is that to read the article in open access it’s free to all, but in traditional systems you either had to pay for the article, pay to be a subscriber, be a member of an academic institution or of course merely e-mail the author for a free pdf.

That means that Open access costs (someone) $1000 per article and subscription access costs (someone) $0.

In terms of expenditure - both open access journals and subscription access have exactly the same costs EXCEPT for journals such as PLOS One (you know the open access one, which costs $1000). You see traditional journals have editorial staff, which have to be paid, usually from adverts. PLOS One does no copyediting and therefore it relies on Peer Review to find the errors. This costs 0, cos we peer-reviewers do not get paid. But it still has the adverts. BECAUSE OPEN ACCESS IS A HUGE CON. It makes millions for the publishers.

Public Library of Science is meant to be a non-profit organisation. But in 2012 it took in $32 MILLION in author fees (after all the supposed refunds for deserving countries etc) AND $0.5 million in advertising. See link to their accounts. After publishing costs of $22 million and staff of $5.5. million that only left them with with a surplus of $7.1 million for the year, bringing their cash up to $15 million. Now it has a surplus of $20 million! LINK

At least the Hindawi corporation don’t pretend to be “good for you"

So now we’ve cleared the misconception that open access is good for all, who is it bad for? The researchers - you have limited funding (if any) and you know that ANY paper you submit needs to be paid for to the tune of $1000+. It is only going to reduce the number of papers, and amount of actual science you can do with the funding allotted.

But then who cares? Clever doctory people have millions of bucks right? Not quite, cos if they did they’d be Open Access Publishers!

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