Monday, April 08, 2013

and a late comer to the Open Access Party ... the New York Times

Just about every outlet in the universe has written about the pitfalls of Open Access digital only 'academic publishing'. Today the New York Times joined the party. It's not a bad piece actually, written by veteran health reporter Gina Kolata. Check it out when you have a minute! It's centered around Beall's list of predatory on-line 'publishers'. What's lacking are reasonable explanations of what made this fiasco possible. Low barriers to market entry anyone?

Meanwhile ever more research funders are rushing headlong into forcing researchers they fund to publish their content in open access outlets. All of this, of course, is giving rise to ever more dodgy 'publishers' opening up their business, aka uploading submitted content to their webserver for a steep fee. Worse, upcoming research assessment exercises force academics in some places to publish their research outputs in open access outfits without providing funding for the uploading activity (aka open access publishing). You better forget about the idea of having reliable publishing histories attached to academic content. Courtesy of Open Access the powers that are have fully embraced a wild west version of what was once known as academic publishing. It'll no doubt come to bite them in their backside, but I suspect those responsible will long have left when the consequences of these ill-considered policies hit the proverbial fan.

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