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Re: Taking Our Academic Medicine

The wishes of funders already determine that authors must publish their research
(as opposed to not publishing it),  if they want to get further funding. And
similarly, the wishes of funders also mean that authors need to
choose peer reviewed journals, of sound reputation, to publish their research
in, rather than publishing it just anywhere.

What I would envision in the future is that:

(a) the wishes of funders will similarly determine that authors publish their
research in a way which does not involve giving away the rights to the
published article to a third party

(b) as with any other research cost, if publication costs are part of an
individual scientists research budget then the scientist concerned will be
motivated to try to find the best value when publishing their research.
Alternatively, if publication costs are paid by libraries or funders, then yes,
those libraries and funders will encourage publication in journals which offer
the best value. In that way, a genuine market for the efficient, high quality
publication services will be created, in contrast to the current situation.


On 23 Nov 2005, at 21:13, Anthony Watkinson wrote:

In principle "traditional publishers" have no problem with OA. If it enables
them to make sufficient surplus or profit for their purposes, including
investment in future author expectations etc, either the subscription based
model or the author paid model is OK.

My own view is that barriers to publication of good scholarship are more
important than barriers to making it readership possible for anyone who
might want to read an article. The sting in the tail for authors in this debate
is that (in the model which Dr. Cockerill seems to envisage) are going to be
told where they can publish depending on the value perceived by the funder or
may be the value of what is being submitted for publication as perceived by the
funders. All funding involves discrimination. Will there be a separate filter
from the peer review and preceding it?

We do not know how the funders are going to decide what to fund - Wellcome for
example have not actually got round to explaining their principles in this
matter though there were hints at their presentation to the STM conference at
Frankfurt. I do not think it is publishers and  authors (in both of which
categories I am) only who will find this rather a concern and it is curious
that no-one to my knowledge has explained exactly how an author-paid system in
an environment of total OA (as described by OA advocates) is going to work.
Marx managed this but not Harnad. Maybe Cockerill can explain.

Anthony Watkinson