Offline: The Scramble for Science
Almost every day I get an e-mail from an academic publisher of a scientific journal (not a scientific journal). lancetI was invited by Elsevier, the publisher of , to contribute to one of their open access titles. A promise is a luxury. Being a guest editor of a special collection of at least 10 Gold Open Access articles will advance my career and demonstrate my leadership. Make a meaningful impact. Give me valuable editorial and organizational experience. Expand my research network. All a publisher asks is to identify a potential contributor in advance so he can submit two copies of his paper. Of course, there is an article processing charge (APC). Some invitations clearly specify the fee and warn you that you must agree to pay APC before submitting your paper. Publishers value my ability more than I deserve. In the last few days, I have been asked to submit papers on cell transplantation, childhood and adolescent addiction, allergy and immunology, health services, men’s health, clinical oncology, and Alzheimer’s disease. This competition will be held at the perfect time. The recently released US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) guidance calls for the immediate and free release of taxpayer-funded research results. All US agencies must fully implement this directive by December 31, 2025 at the latest. Dr. Alondra Nelson, Director of OSTP, commented: You can make important decisions and achieve fairer outcomes in all areas of society. The OSTP guidance is widely welcomed.
Audrey Smith and colleagues at the University of Florida last year reported a survey of over 37,000 articles from Elsevier’s “mirror journal” system. In this arrangement the parent hybrid journal has a gold open access mirror. Comparing two journals (one open access and one not), the geographic diversity of authors was significantly lower in the open access articles. Authors of open access articles are mostly from high-income countries. The Florida team concludes: [article processing charges] Barriers to open access publishing for scientists in the global South. Publishers will argue that they are making waivers for authors who cannot pay APCs.and lancet Agree to APC waivers on a regular basis. However, Smith and his colleagues note that in their study, waivers clearly failed to encourage submissions from authors in low-income settings. The message of this study is that despite the best efforts of publishers, open access, and broader open science, may not be completely free. It is considered to usher in a new era of relocation, public engagement and global collaboration. But while open access publishing may be a boon for some scientists, it seems to be closing the door for others.
The influx of publication requests to open access journals suggests that the culture of scientific publishing is undergoing an astonishing shift. In other words, there is a shift from an emphasis on quality to an emphasis on quantity. The publisher’s calculations are straightforward. The more articles you publish, the higher your earnings. In an era when the subscription model is waning, an alternative revenue stream comes from his APC. A new incentive for some publishers is to persuade editors to accept and publish more papers, not necessarily better papers. This change in culture and incentives is important. It’s actually historical. The entire foundation of the integrity of the scientific record is changing. Some proponents of open science recognize the dangers and warn of the negative effects.write in Nature Earlier this year, Tony Ross-Hellauer wrote about the “unintended consequences” of open science. He warned that open science could create a situation where “the advantages of those already privileged are magnified, especially given that they have the greatest influence over how open science is practiced.” Did. As the culture of science publishing shifts from value to quantity, driven by revenue-protection motives, the very purpose of science publishing risks being jeopardized. Quality is threatened. Stocks are under threat. Publishers need to ask themselves: What do they stand for? And market share isn’t the only answer to that question.
Publication date: September 24, 2022
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