[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist

Fred is using the word "services" in a different way than I.
Fred is using "services" to indicate a beneficial action--a good
deed, as it were.  I am using the term in the sense that it is
used in the computer business, which distinguishes products (a
Dell computer, an iPhone) from an Internet service (Highwire,
Silverchair, Google Web Search).  So we are talking past each

There is nothing wrong with Fred's definition of "services."
It's just different.

So to amplify on my remark.  If you want an OA service in my
sense of the word, you can build one.  If it's good, people will
use it.  Some OA services are good and people are using them.
PLOS One is probably the most prominent example; arXiv is
another.  The problem with Green OA is that it is not a service
(in my sense of the term).  It is a complicated set of
overlapping protocols and interests.  People are not using it for
the most part because they don't like it.  This is why some
universities are mandating that faculty deposit articles in IRs;
without the mandate, many members of the faculty would not
deposit the material.  But build a better service, and they will.

So why not do it?  We hear all the time that computing is cheap,
that peer review is mostly conducted without much help from
publishers, etc.  So why not do it?  Rather than hold meetings
and have arguments, just build a new publishing company that
would subscribe to all the tenets you want.  I think that if you
do this, the resultant service (in my sense) will look a lot like
PLOS One (but without many submissions, but that is another
matter).  If the service is good, people will use it.

I am reminded of the Lincoln anecdote about pounding the table.
(If the facts are on your side, pound the facts.  If the law is
on your side, pound the law.  If neither the facts nor the law
are on your side, pound the table.)  Why not stop pounding the
table and build another table?

Joe Esposito

On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 10:05 PM, FrederickFriend <ucylfjf@ucl.ac.uk> wrote:

> Perhaps Joe does not appreciate how closely the "services that
> people actually want to use" are linked to policies and
> guidelines. One aspect of green OA which is a service to users
> (authors in this case) is a link between a university's
> research management system and the repository into which
> research papers are deposited. Without that link authors may
> have to make two deposits of their research outputs, one into
> the research management system and again into the repository.
> Creating that link requires a policy decision and guidelines to
> researchers. A second example comes in the arrangements for
> paying gold OA charges. It is a service to users - in this case
> publishers as well as authors - if a university sets up
> straightforward payment mechanisms for this purpose. Setting up
> those payment mechanisms requires a policy decision and
> guidelines to authors.
> More fundamentally this exchange of correspondence arising from
> the Monbiot article has been about what needs to be done to
> improve scholarly communication through growth in OA. This big
> question is not about demonizing publishers or about berating
> authors. It is about understanding and dealing with the
> systemic weaknesses in the research dissemination
> infrastructure. The weaknesses arise partly from a flawed
> relationship between the academic sector and the commercial
> sector, a relationship in which the academic sector has largely
> lost control of research dissemination, and partly from flawed
> governmental decisions on research assessment, resulting in
> universities and authors taking a narrow view of impact and
> quality. An OA-based research dissemination infrastructure will
> remedy those flaws, providing a more balanced relationship
> between the academic sector and the commercial sector and
> demonstrating the wider impact that research outputs should
> achieve, but we are finding that remedying the current systemic
> weaknesses is no easy task.
> Fred Friend
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joseph Esposito
> Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 12:56 AM
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Re: Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist
> I don't think the OA world needs more policies or guidelines--or,
> for that matter, conferences of any kind. I think it needs to
> build services that people actually want to use.
> Joe Esposito