Thursday, March 08, 2012

Open Access Hat Trick

I'm this close--why not have one more post about open access?  So I just finished going through the "charge the author" buffet by Springer for my most recent article. I can confirm that the $3k fee for an open article is still in effect, and I also had the option of ordering a poster, re-prints in sets of 25, or paying $1500 for full color on my figures and I'm sure some other options that I'm forgetting.  So It's good to know that Spring is not stuck on a single method of charging authors for the taxpayer's intellectual property.

Then things took a turn for the completely bizarre.  Hopefully the link works for you.  If you do some digging you find out that Springer is actually happy to have you self-archive your work in pre-print form on say an institutional repository--which of course will be immediately harvested by google scholar with one lone provision. You have to wait 12 months after the print version comes out.

So what are we fighting about? If Springer wants to try charging people for their actual contribution to this process, copy-editing and making it look pretty I say go for it. I'm happy to provide a link to your version that costs money inside mine they've already downloaded that is free. I'm also happy to give Springer exclusive rights of distribution for 12 months, although I acknowledge that in some fields that time should be much shorter or maybe not involve a delay at all but in the case of my research, we're not going to lose any lives if there's a delay in wider distribution.

Am I missing something here? Why is the publishing industry paying for lobbyists and fighting this legislation as well as introducing their own when at least with Springer they're pretty close to seeing eye to eye already? Why not make this more public and promote some good will?

Monday, March 05, 2012

Can't go home in good conscience yet

So just saw this on FB via David Wiley, the publishers have decided to ramp up the crazy on open access.  Apparently their opposition to recent legislation is that it lacks "fair compensation to authors".

You know what system lacks fair compensation to authors? Oh right--it's YOUR system. It also lacks fair compensation to editors (of the non-copy variety) and reviewers. I think I know why you have the biggest profit margin, it's not just because you aren't paying any of us, it's because you aren't paying the right PR firm. If you can't get ahold of just how wrong you are, at least get someone who can put the right lipstick on your pig.